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Motion Controlled Exposure on Exterior to Interior shots

Moving Your Stories Inside and Out

Exterior to interior—and vice versa—can be very challenging moves to complete seamlessly. On this week's Rhino Tech Tip, we show how you can use Rhino Focus to smoothly rack your lens's iris control. Watch the tip to see how we use the 42" Pro Rails through a window and Rhino Focus to nail the extremes of both exposures.


Traditionally this shot would come at extreme cost and effort and only reserved for big-budget productions. For crew, it'd require the camera operator, 1st AC, 2nd camera operator, and potentially more. On top of that, they'd more than likely be on a steadicam/gimbal setup, have wireless transmission, and FIZ control (focus, iris, zoom). We'll complete the move using Rhino Focus, Arc II, and Slider with one camera operator/director.


The setup is rather simple, but there are a few key points to keep in mind as you plan your shots:

  1. In most scenarios, you'll need the 42" Rhino Rails for not only the length but overall ease of setup
  2. Mount the slider at each end, preferably with a stand (c-stand, light stand, or combo stand) to keep your working area manageable
  3. Use a manual cine lens that has built-in lens gearing
  4. Have your shot planned out so that you can match the slider pace with the scene

how to get the shot

For our scene, it made the most sense to slide through a window. It also added fun elements that we weren't necessarily anticipating like the reflections off the window, being able to capture both halves of the story, and getting a deeper look within the character's home. 


To complete the set up, here's what you need to do:

  1. Place Rhino Focus on the lens gearing that controls the aperture. This sounds fairly straight forward, but depending on your camera's body type, it may be a bit snug. If it doesn't fit, you may have to rig Rhino Focus off of some other portion of your camera rig. If you need a longer Ethernet cable to adapt to the new mounting location, you can use the cable from your 24" rails.
  2. Program the aperture rack the same way you would a focus move to adjust the exposure to be correct for your interior and exterior portions of the shot. It's better to have some "breathing room" (like the wall we used) to give the camera a chance to make the transition without feeling jarring. You can even experiment with using fast focus to better calibrate the timing of the exposure change.
  3. Help your talent hit their marks with the move. This may take a few tries, but the end result will be well worth the effort.

Get out and get creative

With a move like this, there is so much potential. You can do any combination of the shot. You could do a similar move with Rhino Focus on your zoom control. If you go this route, you can even use photo zoom lenses and add our included gear ring on your zoom ring. Whatever you do, simply go out there and get creative. If you use a move like this in a project, be sure to tag us @rhinoCG so we can see what you come up with.


Rhino Gear Used in Tech Tip

$300.00