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Old February 20th, 2008, 02:49 AM   #1
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Canon XM2 - Magic Bullet test

I did a test video in preparation for a new short to get the best out of my old Canon XM2 and i was quite surprised by the outcome.

Here is what i did: Shot it in normal 50i mode and turned all the settings in the CSTM PRESETS down a few notches and enabled 16:9 mode. In post, i first captured my video as normal DV and took every clip that i knew i would use into After Effects and applied the Magic Bullet to convert the footage into 25p and color corrected each clip separately with the Looks Suite. I exported each clip into Uncompressed AVI and imported them into Avid Xpress Pro where i did all the cutting in a 25p timeline.

Finally i exported the Avid timeline into WMV to upload on the web. I also tried to encode to MPEG 2 to burn on DVD by exporting a QuickTime Reference file from Avid and importing that to Sorenson Squeeze, it worked OK but it didnt look so good. Maybe there is a better way to export to DVD from Avid?

Anyway, I'm very happy with the final quality and it can be viewed here: http://www.vimeo.com/699451
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Old February 21st, 2008, 03:32 PM   #2
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I did the same thing for my movie "unrest" except I used the GL2 and it made a world of difference in the end.

Although, I used 60i, then edited the footage first, then scene by scene converted the bigger pieces into 24p in After FX after I edited them in Vegas.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 02:27 AM   #3
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Pasi - good work. Thanks for sharing.

You would appear to have adapted a similar approach to the "Sundowning" recipe: Presets down a notch (sharpness too?); Internal 16:9; MB and convert to 25p (not sure Sundowning did this?)

My comments are:

A] I would like to have seen a bit more adjustment to the shadowy blacks. I am assuming the Sharpness was notched down too?

B] I fell the softness doesn't assist the hard architectural edges nor the tree and organic foliage. Maybe I would have gone for keeping neutral sharpness and allowed for some more colour grading within Vegas - I use Vegas.

C] Was all that shallow DoF achieved without any DoF machine assists?

D] The colours on the graffiti were gorgeously captured. Well done!

E] Your framing and panning was added to the overall "feel" - they didn't, as so often is the case, detract. Nicely and slowly developed.

But my biggest question, and I really would like to know, why go 25p? What does this add? I would like to know what is lost coming to 25p from a very decent 50i capture? What sharpness and colour retention for colour grading is also relinquished?

Regards

Grazie
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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Graham, you are correct. Quite similar settings as Sundowning, everything including sharpness down. Sundowning went from 60i to 30p, i'm in PAL land so naturally i go from 50i to 25p. No 35mm adapter or other DOF machine used, only an extra ND filter infront of the lens.

To answer your question "why go 25p". Well, this was a test for a short i will make with the XM2 and the final product needs to be progressive so 25p is the best way to go from 50i. As to what it adds, definetly a cinematik feel and better output possibilities if nothing else.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 09:50 AM   #5
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Understood.

What number ND?
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 11:24 AM   #6
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NDx8 and the built-in ND when necessary, i try to keep the aperture at F/2 or lower. What is the best way to export to progressive widescreen PAL DVD from Avid Xpress Pro? QT reference file and Sorenson squeeze?
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