Led tracking markers


Suping an upcoming shoot with talent against a black cyc. It’s meant to be a dark environment, but there will be graphic elements added around the talent in post. Thinking some led tracking markers might be useful here. I’m reading that they can be handmade with a diode, battery and some tape, but wondering if anyone has used anything a little more turnkey?

Also seeing some interesting laser pointers that make a point grid, but that would really only work if you can control how many dots it shines. Would like to avoid having 100+ tracking markers to paint out.


I have used led tea lights with great success. Buy a pack of 20 on ebay for $10. They are a little harder to mount. I found that using an red diode clamped to a battery was fiddly but a little lighter in weight. You could clip them to a black curtain or stick them up.

Be careful if they go into soft focus—they can get big.

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Yeah, also worried about them creating flares. I plan to have a few different things on hand.

That’s the thing. Modern leds are quite bright. I’ve heard horror stories of tracking markers causing lens flares in low light situations, which, like… I think I would just walk into the ocean at that point.

I like @PlaceYourBetts tea light idea. Just don’t get the ones that flicker.



Hear that everybody? Outsource your tracking to Andy! He will handle your flickering tea lights… for free!

Overnight? I bet you couldn’t turn them around overnight.

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Oh yeah! Don’t get the ones that flicker. No matter how romantic it would make the shoot.

Have a test with taping up the white light and see if you can reduce the brightness. I used to put a little orange tape over them to reduce their sting.


Our engineering department happily made a bunch of the little red diode ones for me 7 or 8 years ago for a night shoot at checks notes the Universal City Walk in LA. We did limited testing beforehand, and certainly didn’t check their relative brightness next to a bunch of giant neon signs. They were completely invisible on camera. I guess that’s better than flaring the lens? Thankfully there was plenty to track, so it ended up not mattering.

Maybe it cuz I was always picking up tracking markers that the last guy never turned off, but I’ve had horrible experiences with tea light tracking markers. I think about these things constantly and I prefer to have a variety of objects and, more importantly, ways to attach them to things.

I LOVE these glow sticks that you can hang over traffic cones. Premium 6" Glow Sticks Green (25-Pack) | Green Glow Stick

I LOVE for bigger and more important LEDs cheap USB powered bike lights with butyl tape to stick them anywhere…

Whatever you do bring, make sure you know how you are going to attach them to things. And, if you need production to supply said things.

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Also a fan of reflective tape. I’m hoping this works and avoid even breaking out the leds.

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some laser party lights are awesome as well.

Ive used them before just did green on a greenscreen worked really well.

something like this :

Yeah that is cool. I’ve seen some laser pointers that do a similar thing, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to choose the number of points? Say 10-20 instead of 100+.

i tried to use laser pointer with green laser and “disco” prism to add trackng marks to xhromakey bkg, but it was a lot of glass in scene (windows, etc) so marks was clearly reflected and even re-reflected from glass to scene, so decided not to use pointer

Plus lasers. Eye damage. Celebrities. Insurance. Yikes.

Glas and greenscreen is horrible no matter what :slight_smile:

The lasers I used I just put on the rails that the electricians use so they where next to the main lights hitting the chroma backdrop ) and it was no hazard and incredibly quick to setup vs gaffa-konfetti. Had 12 of them and filled out a pretty large stage

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Not to mention the threat of wild fires while clearing a path for the California High Speed rail.


Brilliant! What a great find! Thank you!