Makoto Okabe[Japanese]
Light Shower: A Poor Man's Light Stage
Built with an Off-the-shelf Umbrella and Projector
Makoto Okabe Kenshi Takayama Takashi Ijiri Takeo Igarashi
The University of Tokyo

Galileo's Tomb light environment

A high specular object (sunglasses) with Grace Cathedral light environment

Each figure shows a composite of an actor in the Galileo's Tomb, Eucalyptus Grove or Grace Cathedral lighting environment. We created this composite using Adobe Premiere Pro. We applied the blue screen key effect for creating a matte image and manually adjusted the tone curves of RGB to adjust the appearance. One of the strengths of using a projector over a diode array is that a highly specular object can be used for a composite. Bottom figure shows a composite of an actor wearing sunglasses in the Grace Cathedral lighting environment.


Compositing an actor or real-world object into a virtual background is a powerful and widely used tool in movie and TV production. To create a natural composite, it is necessary to maintain photometric consistency between the foreground object and the background environment. Various light stage systems have been developed to achieve this goal. One problem with previous systems is that the systems involved are very expensive and time-consuming to build. We propose an inexpensive light stage system, Light Shower, which consists of an off-the-shelf projector and a white umbrella. The projector projects an image onto the white umbrella, which creates environment light for a human face or a real object inside the umbrella.

 Paper and supplementary materials

SIGGRAPH 2007 Sketches
pdf, 0.88MB

Supplementary video
mp4, 35MB

zip, 44MB


Makoto Okabe, Kenshi Takayama,Takashi Ijiri, Takeo Igarashi, "Light Shower: A Poor Man's Light Stage Built with an Off-the-shelf Umbrella and Projector", DVD publication at SIGGRAPH 2007 Sketches.