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I'm shooting a scene for a film where the actor will be placed in front of a computer monitor. I want to use the monitor to light the actor, but I want to be able to adjust the color temperature to get the look I want. I have F.lux (https://justgetflux.com/), so I know changing monitor color temperature is possible, but I want to be able to control it. Preferably the program would be free, and I would be able to adjust the temperature in real time.

  • What do you want to show on the screen? – p2or Apr 10 '15 at 19:06
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    I was planning on using a white image fullscreen, and then being able to adjust the temperature from there. – KC McLaughlin Apr 10 '15 at 19:07
  • You can use flux to set your monitor temperature manually ... also, what monitor are you using? Mostly all mordern monitors have in-built options to change color saturation, temperature, brightness ... or, even easier, couldn't you just use an orange/red/whatever-colored image in fullscreen mode? – MoritzLost Apr 10 '15 at 19:31
  • I have an older AOC monitor, the settings on it aren't very in-depth. The main issue is I want to be able to adjust the temperature live so I can see what it looks like, which is why I want a program. I did look into f.lux settings a little more, and it allow some modification, but I'd like something a little more flexible if anyone knows of something like that. – KC McLaughlin Apr 10 '15 at 22:24
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If you can't adjust the monitor, then send it something other than pure white.

@poor already posted an answer to do this with Blender, but that seems like HUGE overkill. I would have just booted Linux, logged in remotely, and done DISPLAY=:0 xsetroot -solid '#fff' to set a solid white background, or any other color I wanted.

And there's probably something you could run to open a fullscreen window with a color of your choice, to save the trouble of switching to a window manager that didn't clutter up the screen borders with stuff. Maybe a screensaver type of program?

I can't think off the top of my head what would give you a GUI color adjuster that would change most of the screen in realtime.

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  • Using a seperate OS seems even more overkill than installing a freeware program tbh – MoritzLost Apr 11 '15 at 14:41
  • You could additionally mention that it's possible to boot it via usb stick. – p2or Apr 11 '15 at 14:46
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    @Gin-San: If it was a computer I owned, it would already be running Linux :P Obviously go with whatever OS you already use. – Peter Cordes Apr 12 '15 at 1:06
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Here is a hack. You can use Blender and the Blackbody Node of Cycles Render Engine. Following example shows a realtime viewport animation of the color temperature in kelvin:

enter image description here

  • Create some geometry (e.g. a plane) as light emitter
  • Setup an Emission shader
  • Create a Blackbody node and plug it into the Emission Color
  • Position your camera
  • Switch your Camera by pressing Numpad 0
  • Set the Viewport Shading to Rendered or press F12 to render the image

enter image description here

blend file


Renderings

enter image description here

2000K

enter image description here

4000K

enter image description here

6000K

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  • Ya, good idea. If you can't adjust the monitor, then send it something other than pure white. Blender seems like HUGE overkill. I would have just booted Linux, logged in remotely, and done DISPLAY=:0 xsetroot -solid '#fff' to set a solid white background. – Peter Cordes Apr 11 '15 at 12:32
  • @PeterCordes Thanks Peter. You are right, OP was asking to control it by kelvins and I thought Cycles is physically accurate and have an instant viewport interactivity/rendering, so it could work :) Why not converting your comment into an answer? I would like to upvote it ;) – p2or Apr 11 '15 at 12:45
  • sure, why not? :P – Peter Cordes Apr 11 '15 at 13:31
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Thanks for the other good answers. Here is what I ended up doing.

I created a blank white html page and made it fullscreen, and then used f.lux to adjust the color temperature. It worked for me, but I should point out to anyone looking to use this solution in the future that it isn't perfect. F.lux doesn't give a very broad range of color temperatures. They were enough for my purposes, but someone looking for a very warm or very cool look might not be satisfied. In addition, f.lux changes the color temperature for the entire desktop on all monitors, so if you have something color-sensitive running during the shoot, like using the computer as a monitor, your colors will be off on that as well.

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