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 Post subject: Re: ANH vs ESB Vader: look & Character Analysis
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:05 am 
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banthapoodoo wrote:
craigjohn wrote:
I've always been an ESB Vader fan, especially in regards to the helmet. Some call it a surprised look, but you if you look at it as more of a mechanical/cubist skull, it starts to take on a more eerie presence - and the revealed eyebrows entirely enhance this feel.


For the actual helmet, ANH is the popular favorite around here (myself included). But for the look of the helmet as captured in the movies, my favorite is ESB. With a few exceptions, the helmet looks fantastic and captures the dark sinister nature of Vader. But the ESB helmet(s) viewed in person would not look nearly as good as how they were captured in film. Director Irving Kershner gets the credit for that by choosing just the right lighting and camera angles to make Vader look his evilest best.

In this shot in the elevator on Cloud City, note the circular lighting above Vader and how it reflects off the eyes and highlights the edges of the mask and dome. It produces eerie, wavy highlights and also hides many defects.




Very cool! Lighting is very important in many movies. Star Wars is no exception. Just look at how they filmed the Emperor, you never see him in direct light, always somehow in the shadow.


craigjohn wrote:
Good lord, I hate reading this white text on a black page. It's bugging my eyes. Is there a preferences adjustment I can use? :)


Go to User Control Panel (top page under the banner), click Board Preferences (left side) and choose My board style: Blue Moon instead of Provision Blue - you'll have black text on white background (like a newspaper)

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 Post subject: Re: ANH vs ESB Vader: look & Character Analysis
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:24 pm 
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In most of the ESB scenes where Vaders brows are 'popping', it has more to do with uplighting. In the movie still Banthafodder posted, there is a cut to sequence to Lando where you can see how the lighting affects Lando's face, there's a form shadow cast on the top of his cheek bone. With the photo BF posted, you can see the uplights reflecting in the base of Vader's helmet, his (camera left) cheek sculpt, right along the far edge (the light has a greenish tint).

There are other instances in ESB where you see a low soft box reflecting in the helmet for a lower directional lighting effect to make those eyebrows 'pop'. The first scene where Vader notes the "That's It. The rebels are there"... referring to Hoth, you can see the low directional lighting soft boxes reflecting in the lower part of Vaders "bubble" eyes.

The moodier directional lighting and cinematography is one of the reasons my favorite movie of the entire lot is ESB. Kirshner and Peter Suschitzky did a phenomenal job in re-setting the environment.

I have to think, after the problems they had in capturing Vader's helmet in ANH, which led to the adjusted paint scheme, the crew spent some time figuring out how to light Vader's helmet so they could get that dark brooding figure they originally wanted, but also giving us enough definition and shape so he's not a black pit. ...low directional lighting will do that. They also made the necessary adjustments in the overall design, "redesigning/lifting the dome brow" and rounding off the widow's peak, so those eyebrows catch the light.

This also coincides with my feelings about Harry Potter. I loved the first two movies - so fun. But Alfonso Cuaron's use of moody directional lighting, and Seresin's wide angle cinematography amped-up/set up the Harry Potter world in Prisoner - which also happens to be my favorite of the series. I've always been a fan of moody directional lighting - never a fan of "over lighting" a scene, whether in a movie or still photography, which flattens the frame and you lose dimension and mood.


Last edited by craigjohn on Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ANH vs ESB Vader: look & Character Analysis
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:27 pm 
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Excellent observations, I've been learning about photography and lighting is crucial.


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