Sylights-lighting-preview-app-224x73Thoughtful, artistic lighting is necessary to set your film apart from the competition. Some great planning and pre-production on lighting design can make a $5,000 short film sell a $50,000 look. And the good news is there are many tools that can help you achieve your intended look on an indie budget, from a good book lighting setup to a bit of well-managed haze. As a new iPad owner, I recently stumbled upon Sylights, an app geared at photographers that (like many things DSLR) also has great digital filmmaking applications. Hit the jump for some screen caps and a brief rundown of this handy FREE app/website:


Sylights is an app and online platform that allows you to easily and quickly create lighting plots. As you can see above, you can attach photos to your diagram, which is great for look-book or storyboarding purposes. It's also a great resource for inspiration, as there are many browse-able diagrams shared and completed. The app has fully poseable cameras (the DSLR being the most relevant), various lights, backdrops, rigging, etc. I think it would be most useful for studio applications, working with green screen, a cyc wall, or on a set.

Granted there are other overhead planning apps out there like the wonderful Shot Designer app, but I also appreciate the simple aesthetics and extra design work that has went into Sylights. Not to mention it's free (though in the FAQ's they do mention some "premium" features to be released in the future).


Have any of you used Sylights/see any plots that are catching your eye in the diagram section?