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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:14 PM   #16
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The XL2 allows you to press the blacks (I can't remember if I did that or not, but I'll check) That might help. For the most part I think it's just about controlling the light, although as I said, I'm just learning. I try to set the key, how I want it and then throw light and shadows around that. But again, there is probably a better way.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:15 PM   #17
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Thank you Matthew for some of your insights.

David, is harsh lightning not one of the aspects of the true film noir? I could be wrong though, but I thought it was, with harsh contrasts, and big shadows...

I like the harsh look actually. I don't like it when a black and white movie is grey and black most of the time :-)
Look at that look in Schindler's list, I absolutely loved it!
(but that's also because I'm a big sucker for Spielberg, I just love him, but you've got to give credit to Janusz Kaminski, his DOP since Schindler's List)
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:16 PM   #18
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Flags are an essential tool if you're using soft lighting that will spill all over the place. An other great tool for softboxes is an egg crate (man I swear gaffers and DOPs come up with weird names for their gear).

This is a 3 dimentional grid that you place over the softbox. It allows to preserve the soft quality of the light while eliminating a lot of the spill from photons bouncing uncontrolably all over the place.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #19
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mathieu Ghekiere : Thank you Matthew for some of your insights.

David, is harsh lightning not one of the aspects of the true film noir? I could be wrong though, but I thought it was, with harsh contrasts, and big shadows...

I like the harsh look actually. I don't like it when a black and white movie is grey and black most of the time :-)
Look at that look in Schindler's list, I absolutely loved it!
(but that's also because I'm a big sucker for Spielberg, I just love him, but you've got to give credit to Janusz Kaminski, his DOP since Schindler's List) -->>>

Yes, techniques and mentalities have evolved since then, but if you'd want to completely recreate the noir look, where shadows and lit areas would be very harshly seperated, in this case yes, even though artificial looking, you'd want to go with that sort of setups.

I like myself to combine contrast and soft light. Nothing prevents using one with the other. I despise high key lighting, but I love the soft quality of a light.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:26 PM   #20
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I've seen those egg crate things, they even make one for my Riffa, I just never imagined that they did much. Looks like I'll have to get one and play with it - Thanks for all the tips!!
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:37 PM   #21
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A bit off.topic, but how does one get a mac homepage? I don't own a mac but i could use an account that hosts files this big and moves them out that quickly.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:45 PM   #22
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Matthew, if you lack money are have time on your hands (or both), you might consider recreating some of those tools guerilla style for a fraction of the cost. Lots of tools commercially available out there can be built without too much trouble, like cranes, flags, gobos, stabilizer system, etc.

I just finnished building my very own matte box, all made of aluminum, with a pretty clever (I think) french flag system that allows me to fine tune my matte box frame no matter the aspect ratio or focal length selected.

Some of that gear is very expensive and it often seems the cost isn't really justified (an egg crate is one example of that).
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Old November 7th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #23
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Matthew,

As someone who hasn't yet posted a short, I can tell you I enjoyed it very much, as well as congratulate you on your work and the bravery to lay bare your artistic soul to this wolf-like pack! ;-)

I have more of a technical question. In watching the movie on a PC monitor, I could swear I saw interlace artifact: 60i jaggies along contrasty edges that were in motion. But you said you shot in 24p...do others see this as well, and if so, is this some kind of QT artifact then? Perhaps inter-frame issues? Or a function of the pull-down method?

Cheers, and congrats again!
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Old November 7th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #24
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Yes, I have to say I saw that also...
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Old November 7th, 2004, 08:24 PM   #25
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Pete,

I wish I could explain that for you, but I really have no idea, nor am I sure I know exactly what it is you're referring to - but I think so.

The only thing I can tell you is what I did. I had the camera set to 24p but the simple one (no pulldown) and imported it via firewire to Final Cut Pro. Which captured it but the FCP file is 29.whatever. I edited it in FCP and exported it using Compressor to make an mp4 file. I'm still not to sure about compression and how best to do it, so maybe I screwed something up, any advice would be appreciated.

Roger,

When I purchased the mac there was a starter kit that allowed me to get a .mac account. Not sure how you would do it otherwise. Check Apples homepage?

Best,

Matt
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Old November 8th, 2004, 06:18 AM   #26
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I noticed the interlacing also but to be honest this is frequent on most NTSC transfers, I see it a lot when reviewing dvds and taking screen caps. If it was placed on DVD then I'm sure it wouldn't be noticed when played through a tv. This sort of stuff looks much worse on a PC than in would on television.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 07:44 AM   #27
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If you shoot 24p with the 2:3:3:2 pulldown option and then edit in a 24p timeline, you won't see any interlacing artifacts whatsoever, as there will be no interlacing involved in the acquisition and the final render, granted you export it in a QuickTime 24p file. The interlacing will usually be added in the 3:2 pulldown process, and if you shot with that method and edited in 29.97fps, this is likely the reason you can see interlacing artifacts.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 09:16 AM   #28
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Uh, ok.... I apparently need to do some more reading. Let me ask you this. Is there anyway to shoot 24p and make a DVD that does not have artifacts? As far as web delivery goes, what's the best method of shooting/compression?

Thanks

Matt
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Old November 8th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #29
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Matthew , I'm at work now, but with your permission I'd be happy to do a still capture and post an example of the artifact on my little personal web site this evening for you and our online friends to take a look at.

Kevin's right that on a TV, interlace artifact would not be apparent because TV screens display interlaced fields by design. But if a video file is encoded as interlaced, you can see the artifacts on a computer screen because it is a progressive scan display device; both fields are displayed at once and if they aren't identical, the jaggies show where there's motion. This should be true for both PAL and NTSC files.

I use a PC and Adobe software, so can't speak to what happens in FCP...perhaps some of the FCP experts can chime in here. But since you captured to a 29.97 timeline (usually just rounded to 30fps in casual discussion), I suspect that David has hit on the answer. At least in Premiere, going from 24p on tape to a 30fps timeline would cause some adjacent frames to each contribute one field to an additional frame the software generates to have 30 frames each second, rather than just the 24 fps. If I was shooting 24p, I'd just capture to a 24fps timeline, but I can also capture to a 30fps timeline, and the software will create those extra frames using either 3:2 or 2:3:3:2. BTW, did you have the XL2 set on 3:2 or 2:3:3:2?

Being at work, I can't check your mp4 file now to see if it was encoded at 24fps or 30fps. I should've thought to check that last evening! If this is what happened and FCP supports 24p natively, you could either plug your project into a 24p timeline and make sure to encode it to a 24fps file, or use the proper 24p pull-down (either 3:2 or 2:3:3:2) while encoding so any "extra" interlaced fields on a 30fps timeline are stripped away while creating the final exported file.

If you find it confusing, don't feel bad. I find it confusing, too. I never paid any notice at all to 24p...until I got my XL2 and suddenly had 24p to play with! I'm very definitely still struggling to learn the basics of 24p edited on a computer!
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Old November 8th, 2004, 12:38 PM   #30
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Ok I admit it, I'm lost... Well sort of.

So, if I shoot in 24p (3:2) which is what I did, and I capture it to a 24p timeline, wont I still have to conver it to 30fps to watch it on a tv (in the States)?

[EDIT: And yes, of course you have my permission to do that.]
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