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Old December 31st, 2008, 05:43 PM   #1
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Shooting 58" plasma

Hey all,

I have a new project coming up in a week where we are needing to do a 2 cam shoot with a large plasma in the frame. I have never done this and after some testing today, the image quality looks pretty dull. Has anyone had experience shooting monitors? Is there some white balance trick to get the talent and the screen to look good while both in the frame>?

if anyone has an idea how to set this up, help is needed. We will do everything from site navigation to spreadsheet demos to animations and so on...

Thx!

Adam
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Old December 31st, 2008, 06:24 PM   #2
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I've always played with the brightness, contrast, color and tint on the monitor to get it too look as good as possible while I'm watching through the viewfinder (or portable monitor) on my camera. But if you want it to look the best, you should "simulate the picture" by motion tracking video onto the monitor in post.

You're lucky your not shooting a CRT monitor, those were a pain in the butt. :)
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Old December 31st, 2008, 07:14 PM   #3
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I shot some video in a home entertainment store for the owner. I shot both plasmas and LCDs with an XH A1 in HD and it looked quite good. I wasn't too critical of it though since it was mostly used for cutaway shots.

If you want it to look real, get an accurate monitor for your camera and play with the picture settings on the monitor your shooting. It shouldn't be hard to get a look that works. Nearly every TV station in the US is using them behind their news readers. Even the green screen weather wall is following the Victrola into the land of memories.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Don't forget that most monitors put off light that is around 5600k. So if you're using tungsten lights (3200k) you'll have to make some major corrections (using your eye and the technique Tripp describes) to the display Tint adjustment on the monitor your shooting. I would recommend shooting with daylight balanced lights if possible.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 10:41 AM   #5
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We do this all the time, it's no big deal.
Setup your blocking & lighting first, then punch up the shot with talent in position,
and run your video source into the plasma. You can then tweak the controls on the plasma, or use a TBC between the video source & the monitor. Have your waveform/vector scope handy to make sure your broadcast compliant.

Good Luck!
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Old January 4th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
I've always played with the brightness, contrast, color and tint on the monitor to get it too look as good as possible while I'm watching through the viewfinder (or portable monitor) on my camera. But if you want it to look the best, you should "simulate the picture" by motion tracking video onto the monitor in post.

You're lucky your not shooting a CRT monitor, those were a pain in the butt. :)
The monitor we are using is a Samsung and it has some pretty cool settings.
I think we are using dynamic but I will play around with it when we get back
into the office tomorrow. The thing about this project is the company sells business
simulations and the driver of the sim is Microsoft excel. So the talent on screen is a
professor teaching sim strategies and techniques. The colors coming from the
monitor are not very vibrant and come off very blue and washed out. Now if we were
playing highlight reels or other video through the monitor it would look great, but
since the source is fed from a computer, it’s tough to make this look decent.

They want to basically index the program they teach to professors and corporate
clients live and host it online for a train the trainer kind of thing. They bought a couple of
XH a1's and have a back drop on the way that goes wall to wall, floor to ceiling.
There will be a podium with a Bluetooth KB and mouse to control the spreadsheet.

These lectures or debriefs will be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes in length.

The lighting we got from Lowell and are the Fluo-Tec Studio 250's. I thought that
the tungsten style bulbs would have been better but i was wrong. I was skimming the last post
and it seems daylight would be better. I will order those Monday.

So that’s what we are doing for this project.
I’m not a lighting guy so this is a bit of a challenge.

Thanks for all the help, I hope this post clears up a bit of what we are trying to
pull off. I will post some screen shots tomorrow of the space so you can have a visual.

Our output is purely web based for now and we are mainly using flash video via the on2
flix pro option. We still have to figure out what res we are going to go with but they
do want to make these itunes ready as pod casts, feeds and so on and also on their web
site.

Last edited by Adam Curtis; January 4th, 2009 at 08:49 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
I shot some video in a home entertainment store for the owner. I shot both plasmas and LCDs with an XH A1 in HD and it looked quite good. I wasn't too critical of it though since it was mostly used for cutaway shots.

If you want it to look real, get an accurate monitor for your camera and play with the picture settings on the monitor your shooting. It shouldn't be hard to get a look that works. Nearly every TV station in the US is using them behind their news readers. Even the green screen weather wall is following the Victrola into the land of memories.
Indeed!

I wish we had actual video flowing throught this thing but its a spreadsheet.

As a test I shot a movie playing through it and it looked awesome!
Now the battle I am dealing with is reflections. There is a glossy frame around it
so im thinking of covering it with some gaf tape. We are probably going to need some black
curtains or something from seeing the cams in the shot too...

This is really a low tech set up different from everything ive ever done. Its actually
pretty cool for training purposes because all their other stuff is captivate demos,
basically just screenshots and an audio track.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 07:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Curtis View Post
Now the battle I am dealing with is reflections. There is a glossy frame around it so im thinking of covering it with some gaf tape.
Gaffer tape is going to look like, well, gaffer tape.

I don't know what it's called, but there's a spray you can use to take the gloss off a surface. I know it's used to soften the hard shine on painted car surfaces. You should be able to block off the screen near where you're shooting the bezel with a large piece of poster board so that you don't get any on the screen itself.

It can't be at all caustic if movie and TV crews use it on expensive automobiles. Perhaps someone knows what it's called and where to get it.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 08:14 PM   #9
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Do you mean dulling spray?
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Old January 4th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #10
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Why do you need tvs in the scene at all? Can't you just make a picture in picture window for the spreadsheet.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #11
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^^^^I agree^^^^

Why recreate when in this case it's a lot easier to simulate?
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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Sherwood View Post
Why do you need tvs in the scene at all? Can't you just make a picture in picture window for the spreadsheet.
I just love people see through the clutter and get to the base issue straightaway. Nicely done.

I wish I could do that.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #13
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If PIP in post is not an option, call your local television station newsroom and see if you can talk to the lighting director. Chances are, they are doing the same sort of thing for the local news broadcasts with plasma displays.
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