3 of the Most Popular Types of Materials Used for Diffusion in Filmmaking

Diffusion is essential, but how do you know what kind of material to use?

If you're a no-budget DIY filmmaker, chances are your light diffusers are beadboard, shower curtains, and white bedsheets. There's no shame in your game—finding cheap ways of doing expensive things is pretty much the modus operandi for DIYers, however, knowing what kinds of diffusion materials professional filmmakers and DPs use on their projects might help you take your lighting game to the next level. In this video, Aputure's Ted Sim talks with cinematographer Julia Swain about the basics of diffusion material and how each one can be used to make your lighting look more beautiful and cinematic. Check it out below:

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_OP0EQiypI

To put it simply, diffusion is just "material that softens the quality of light." Diffusers come in all shapes and sizes with a wide range of materials that interact with light in varying ways, from spreading out harsh light to blocking it out completely. Really, the material you use is one of the most effective ways you can change the look and quality of your light. This is why it's so important to learn the difference between materials like muslin, full grid cloth, and Magic Cloth because each one will interact and affect your light differently. (For example, unbleached muslin is going to give off a warmer light than bleached.)

What kinds of diffusion do you tend to use more often? Let us know down in the comments.     

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