Post-processing recommendations anyone? at DVinfo.net

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Old July 16th, 2007, 10:24 PM   #1
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Post-processing recommendations anyone?

Hi All,

I have to admit - there's alot of material here about the setting(s) people like to use and why, e.g. CINE or not. I also have to admit that since my purchase of a HV20 some month or two ago I have played with almost all possible combinations to check out the resulting quality - at least to my eyes! At this time I prefer P, HDV rather than PF25, and custom settings of minus one for all parameters except colour which I set at zero. At the end of the day however, the biggest differences seem to come down to progressive or not, and, CINE or not. Bear with me...

Now to the first part of this post - CINE seems to be some sort of in-camera contrast reduction to adjust the effective dynamic range. Is this indeed correct?

Second, in low light, CINE is my least preferred setting, using either HDV or PF25. However, there is plenty of discussion of using "post" to correct footage taken in CINE and this may change things somewhat for me. What sort of "post" are we talking about though? Does anybody have suggestions for how to adjust contrast and brightness, etc? I use Sony Move Studio Platinum and it would be nice to know what numbers other people with similar software are using to adjust contrast, brightness, etc to make a more informed judgement about whether to use CINE or not, especially in low light.

Thirdly, onto computer side of things. I use two machines to play around with the footage. One is a Pentium4 2.4 GHz, the other (at work) is a PentiumD 935. The latter is obviously much quicker but even this machine seems to have a real hard time applying deinterlacing through any given media player. It takes powerDVD with hardware acceleration to even come close to smooth motion. I guess this may in some way be expected however even my projects rendered as DVD widescreen are "Stuttering" on screen, whether played as files from the hard drive or directly off the disc. Why would this be so if I do not see the same thing using a regular DVD-Video movie?

If anybody cares to throw suggestions or thoughts my way I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,

Tim
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:14 PM   #2
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Out of all the people who are keen on CINE mode because post-processing is supposed to produce a wonderful end result, not one suggestion on how to achieve this?

In Sony Movie Studio, from use of P mode on the camera, I simply increase brightness a tad, and double that value for contrast, and it produces crisp, vibrant imagery. I can volunteer that much info.

Oh, and BTW, don't set up a PAL Widescreen DVD project in Sony Architect Studio when the source is already (16:9) widescreen! Some players don't like it and the imagery stutters quite badly. Yikes !

Tim
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #3
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I didn't see this post before, my apologies.

In an editor, I open up the colour correction options, and look at the histogram for exposure of a scene. CINE trys to 'fit' the entire scene into an underexposed image.. it makes a flatter image with little contrast. It doesn't 'look' right, but for shooting when post in mind, it's useful. It's very helpful/important to have zebra bars on when shooting to ensure you don't over expose - I keep mine set at 100 (the brightest) so I always know when something is over exposing. I shoot with CINE and almost always underexpose (make things darker than they need to be) - I too shoot with post work in mind.

The trick is then pulling either end of that image - the darks and the highlights, so that it more fully fills the histogram area. This means that muddy dark areas in your shot that should be black, will be black once you tell the program what point you want black to be.

You can do the same with the highlights - if the sky isn't bright enough (its murky) you can bring the highlights of the scene up to their max or so as well.

This site explains more behind the theory:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...stograms.shtml

Once I properly control the contrast to my preference in post, I usually bring up the color saturation as a final touch - voila.

It really isn't that complicated to do all this once you've done it a couple times - 30seconds usually on a basic clip for me. And oh so worth it in my opinion.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #4
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Thanks Robert, it's that simple huh ?!

Seems like I have been doing something very much along those lines already but without a reference as do what I am doing, i.e. the histogram

Checking in Sony Movie Studio Platinum it would seem that histograms have been removed compared to the feature set of Vegas. So, that's bit of a bummer since I can therefore only guess at the required correction.

Seems like I might need to find another way on obtaining histogram info. Also, with my current work I am fixing the brightness and contrast up front and this is applied across all of the footage. Is this as silly as it sounds, or really not a bad option?

Many thanks.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #5
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What do you mean fixing brightness and contrast up front? You mean, once it's captured, applying one instance of the effects changes over all the clips?

If that's the case, that's your call! :D Most of the time, I'll do some effects/alterations indivudally and others universally. Usually I'll (roughly) match clips to one another in terms of contrast and then apply an umbrella effect over everything - say a tint or something. Your workflow choices are up to you! Really helps to have a TV connected to your computer so you can see your work as it's happening.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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Hmm, unless I am using the software wrong, yes. Pick a frame that seems to be "representative" and apply brightness/contrast adjustment. For holiday stuff this I am happy with, and I guess that's a good thing because the software I use seems incapable of dynamic adjustment. If there is a drastically better way of adjusting footage without spending a fortune on new software, I am all ears. (The HV20 was a big hit in the wallet!) Also, to be honest, I expect to come back with perhaps 20 tapes from my next holiday. I simply do not have the time to go through and tweak different sections to different extents lest I change employment, so a "one-off" adjustment is fine by me.

For what it is indeed worth, the dynamic adjustment capability in sub $1000 software seems absolute rubbish - tried that already.

Also, talking CINE mode for a moment - if that's a fixed in-camera adjustment of contrast, etc, then theoretically a single adjustment up-front is all you need to redistribute the histogram - right ?

At the end of the day - before the HV20 I was using an older JVC minDV thingy and Pinnacle Studio version 8/9. All this high-tech stuff is new to me and I consider myself to be on the learning curve somewhere. But, if one of you good people want to help me strap on some Acme rockets like the Coyote to climb the curve a bit quicker - why not. It would be appreciated.

Tim
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 08:49 PM   #7
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Robert, why don't you put up a tutorial page with screenshots to show us, other Vegas users, how it's done in "post" when a clip is shot with CINE? I think that would benefit lots of us. Thanks.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:03 PM   #8
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That's a nifty idea - presuming you have the time and effort, and are willing to do such Robert.

Incidentally, I am using Movie Studio Platinum, the poorer cousin to Vegas.

Tim
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:08 PM   #9
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Tim, the Canon HV20 will work better with either Vegas 7 (the full $500 version+updates), or Vegas Movie Studio 8 Platinum ($130). The Platinum version of Vegas 7 has HDV-specific bugs and does not detect scenes in the HV20 captured footage. I bought VMS7-P on 20th of June, only to upgrade to v8 as fast as I could, just 10 days later, in order to get better support for HDV. Now, I am a happy camper with VMS8-P and my HV20. And while it does not officially support 24p, it will deal with it perfectly, without any sync problems (after you remove the pulldown: http://eugenia.blogsome.com/2007/07/...-24f-pulldown/ ).

Robert, should you have the time to write it, I could host the tutorial on www.TuxTops.com tech magazine if you don't have any webspace that allows for lots of bandwidth because of screenshots.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:28 PM   #10
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Whoops - should have said. I am still in the trial period of Movie Studio Platinum version 8, direct from the sonycreativesoftware website. I am playing with it so intently only to decide if I want to buy it.

A couple of days ago I did try making a PAL DVD from 25p footage and it had no problems with it - however the footage was still quite "stuttery". So, at least it worked, and I have not had any HDV import issues. I will now read the provided link - many thanks for that.

Tim
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