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Old December 13th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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How can I make this look better?

I filmed this clip, and as usual... it came out very dark. I'm using a small handheld Sony camcorder.
http://files.filefront.com//;6352260;;/

Yes, I really need to work on my lighting. This was shot with no special lighting, and you can tell.

I do want it to be dark... but it just looks a little grainy, and the colors are off.

Is there any way that I can work with what I have? Any way of improving the image during post?

I've added "auto color" to this clip but it was too severe so I had to blend it with the original stock. About 75% original, 25% auto color.

Any tips on making this look better? I'm using PPro 1.5

Thanks,

Mike

PS - Is this the best place to post this?
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #2
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So I took your clip, put it on my Premiere Pro 2 line, adjusted just contrast and brightness a bit, and captured this result. It does show clearly that there is detail in the clip to work with and that a bit of hard work will do the trick.
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How can I make this look better?-filmframe-copy.jpg  
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #3
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I would just use the Levels effect, setting the top end at a bit less than maximum.

But to be honest, it looks pretty good the way it is on my HDTV when passed through my Matrox Parhelia APVe component jacks.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #4
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WOW! Thanks Chris... that does help.

You see how the blue on the top of the pen (she is holding) is blooming, I believe it is from the auto color.

I guess it would be better to use the color corrector.
I'm just so bad at it and I usually screw it up.

Any tips on what I should adjust with that?

Thanks again,

Mike
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
I would just use the Levels effect, setting the top end at a bit less than maximum.

But to be honest, it looks pretty good the way it is on my HDTV when passed through my Matrox Parhelia APVe component jacks.
Is this "Levels" effect in PPro1.5 or After Effects? (I'll have a look when I get home)

The video clip I posted is a direct port from PPro1.5.

Is there something in AE that I could use to help?

Thanks Steven,

Mike
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #6
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I believe that Levels was in Premiere Pro 1.5, I use version 2.0 though.

If it is not in 1.5 then it is certainly in After Effects. Don't use the auto levels. Just Levels.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
I believe that Levels was in Premiere Pro 1.5, I use version 2.0 though.

If it is not in 1.5 then it is certainly in After Effects. Don't use the auto levels. Just Levels.
I have it... one last thing?

What do I change?
There are many black, white, gamma levels. The whites seem to be at 255, the blacks at 0, and the gamma is at 100.

Should I just drop them all slightly?

Edit: Seems like dropping the white RGB input level helps, so does boosting the gamma.

Which one would be better to use?
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Old December 13th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #8
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Start by taking the whites to 150 or so and see how you feel. I don't think the other settings really need much work.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #9
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150 really makes it look grainy but you are definitely on the right track. I think I'll drop it to 220 or so and get the results I'm looking for.

A little brighter, a little more detail, but still dark.

I hate the noise that you get with this thing as things get brighter. I guess you have to try and find that fine line...

Thanks again,

I'll play with it tonight and see what I can do.


Mike
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Old December 13th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #10
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Try a very slight fast blur. Maybe a pixel or two.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
Try a very slight fast blur. Maybe a pixel or two.
I'll give that a shot as well...

Thanks,

Mike
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Old December 14th, 2006, 08:02 AM   #12
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Thanks Steve, I went with the blur (1 pixel) and the levels adjustment.
It's really looking better now.

Thanks to Chris as well... I might further tweak with the contrast and brightness a tad more.

Thanks guys,

Mike
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