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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 31st, 2002, 07:37 PM   #1
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2:35 and 1:85 framing guides?

Hello Everyone,

You've all been so reliable at providing such great information in the past, I thought I'd put you to test once more about something I've been looking for...

Does anyone know of any template or attachment of any kind that might connect to the GL2 (lense or viewfinder) to help with framing a 2:35 and a 1:85 aspect ratio image? Anything that is less crude than simply gaffer tape on a set monitor will be a welcome suggestion.

Look forward to your reply...

~NA
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Old December 31st, 2002, 08:31 PM   #2
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I don't have the specific numbers in pixels, but a perfect solution for you would be to create black mattes in these aspect ratios in Photoshop or some other paint program, such as Paint Shop Pro. Start with a 720x480 transparent image and add black bars within the top and bottom of the image to get the proper aspect ratio for widescreen. Save this image as a .JPG and load it to the Smart Disk / MultiMedia Card in your GL2 via the USB cable. Choose "card mix to tape," and the letterbox matte is now an overlay for your video. You'll see the letterbox in the viewfinder, plus it's instantly recorded to tape, mixed with the video you're shooting. No need for any work in post... instant 4:3 letterbox to your choice of widescreen aspect ratio. Hope this helps,
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Old December 31st, 2002, 09:44 PM   #3
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great suggestion

Thanks Chris for the great suggestion. I'll definitely use that technique. Just for the sake of knowing...Do you know of any way possible to view the aspect overlay image WITHOUT burning it permanentaly on the video?

In most cases having it burned permanently won't be problem, but there may be instances where we'll want the full frame to be recorded anyway. Is there any way to make this overlay more of a "guide" rather than a permanent commitment? Perhaps more along the lines of the 16:9 framing guides where it is only visible through the viewfinder? Just curious...

:)
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Old January 1st, 2003, 09:12 AM   #4
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I have made some PAL bitmap masks that mask off the image in
either 1.85, 2.35 or 16:9...

I can put the math up for both PAL & NTSC if you want
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Old January 1st, 2003, 11:39 AM   #5
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<< Is there any way to make this overlay more of a "guide" rather than a permanent commitment? Perhaps more along the lines of the 16:9 framing guides where it is only visible through the viewfinder? >>

No, sorry but this is not possible. The internal electronics of the camcorder are not readily user-modifiable.

Rob -- could you post the numbers and e-mail the bitmaps to me? We should put your masks on the GL2 website.
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Old January 1st, 2003, 12:11 PM   #6
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yes please, this masks-idea sounds very good
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 04:49 PM   #7
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I'm doing the math at the moment but want to make sure I have
it correct before posting it and mailing you the bitmaps. I'll
report back when I have them!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 08:16 AM   #8
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Last time I checked...

The GL2 had Electronic Guides in the viewfinder, while shooting 4:3 aspect.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 02:15 PM   #9
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I know you said you didn't want gaffer tape or anything but it really does work well. Before I got my GL2 with the 16:9 guides that is what I used. I would create a matte in Photoshop, import it in Premiere, and then export it out to my camera. Then I would pause the video on my screen and use some semi-transparent (not the clear stuff but the misty stuff) scoth tape to cut out and lay over the black bars on the LCD screen. Dosn't really work for the viewfinder. And this, of course, isn't recorded on your camera. Also I don't think this leaves any mark or stickiness on the LCD screen/monitor. I know this isn't the most professional way but it allows you to see your composition for both your 16:9 (or 1:1.85 etc.) and your 4:3 because the scotch tape is semi-transparent. Well, now I have my GL2 so it isn't needed any more. But it would work well if you wanted a ratio other than 16:9 or 4:3 on your footage. Good Luck!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 03:51 PM   #10
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I was doing the same thing on my XL1 before I got the XL1s, i.e. laying Scotch tape down inside the B&W viewfinder (which is a surgical procedure to be sure!) It's a great idea, Scott. The only thing I would add is if you take a Sharpie or similar black felt tip and trace along the edge of the tape, it creates a nice clean frameline, a bit easier to distinguish than the texture of the tape.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 03:59 PM   #11
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Ahh yes! The sharpie is a great idea. It would allow you to see the distinct place where the frame actually ends. It would also allow you to work from further distances because you would be able to see the black sharpie line better then just the scotch tape. Great idea Charles!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 07:29 PM   #12
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Transparency can work too

Thank you for the suggestion about the scotch tape. Yes, I've done a lot of fussing around with paper view-finder masks and such and I guess I'll continue along that route in cases where I can't have the matte recorded on the video for whatever reason.

For anyone who isn't opposed to the viewfinder overlay idea, here's another technique for the suggestion box:

In any old program (Word or whatever) draw a box that's the same exact size as your LCD screen. Then within that box, draw lines to represent the top and bottom of your 2.35 or 1.85 frame (or whatever ratio you want).

Then rather than printing it onto a piece of paper, put an overhead projector tranparency into your printer tray and print the guide onto the clear film. Cut out the film and lay it over your viewfinder (maybe use some tape at the top to hold it in place if necessary). That should work nicely. I was in search of the way to do this electronically and now have my answer (via the image overlay). So many options now...

~NA
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