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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #1
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Shooting for Digital Projection...

I am lucky enough to live near an arthouse theater that does digital projection. I'm wondering what I should do during production to insure that the image is at its best when projected. I've seen a bunch written about camera settings for blowing-up to 35mm, but honestly, this is something I will probably never do.

So, XL2 gurus, if you were going to set the camera up for a shoot that you were hoping to have digitally projected, how would do it? What about filters?

Thanks!

Matt
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 10:03 PM   #2
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My philosophy has been to make the project look right on a monitor and not worry unduly about possible projection. Diffusion filters will reduce sharpness and should be used with care; underexposure that will require a lot of boosting in post will result in artifacting that becomes more noticeable on the big screen, and focus issues are more obvious. But these are all things that can be an issue on the small screen as well.

For the projects I have shot that have been digitally projected, I think the biggest issues have been the quality of the projector. I've seen the same film look great or not at all great depending on how well the projector has been dialed in, so any variation in the film itself is much less of an issue than this.
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 10:29 PM   #3
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Thanks Charles. What about pulldown (3:2 vs 2:3:3:2) does it make a difference for this? I'm expanding on the short I posted below (which I would love your feedback on, btw) and am making a 15 minute short which will eventually be projected, but never blown to film (I could never afford it). If I can keep the footage I have (shot in 3:2) that would be great, if not I'll have to reshoot as well as reedit.

Best,

Matt
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 11:09 PM   #4
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Match it

If you have After effects or simalar programs you can make your existing footage progressive scan or at least simulate it . I would NOT shot in 24p unless you know you are going to film. If you will project digitally then shoot 30p -- It will look GREAT on the big screen and on your monitor. LIGHTING and EXPOSSURE is EVERYTHING - Use the cameras ZEBRA setting at 85 and avoid letting the Zebras peak ESPECIALLY on skin tones. Play with the gamma settings in your camera THEY are GREAT.
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 11:13 PM   #5
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Jonathan,

May I ask why you feel this way (regarding shooting at 24p)? That was one of the main reasons I bought the camera. I think I'm ok with the lighting and the exposure. Not sure I know enough about the gamma settings, but this particular project is being shot in black and white. Still, any suggestions you have would be much appreciated.

Matt
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Old November 22nd, 2004, 11:50 PM   #6
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24 vs 30p

My observation is that 30p still gives a smoother motion than 24p when viewing on a regular NTSC monitor and still gives the film like motion that most people expect. I suggest that you set your camera on a tripod and PAN at a medium speed across some sceneic setting like trees. Repeat this PAN in every setting your camera has and then watch it on you monitor and see what you like. Keep in mind I am only saying I use 30p if I am sure the final thing will stay on the small screen.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 07:36 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that pulldown or full 30 fps also depends on what
you are going to use to drive this projector. If you are going to
hook up a laptop (make sure you set it at OPTIMUM resolution
for the projector!!) through either VGA or DVI then you can play
it natively at the speed that you want (for example 24 fps).

However if you have a DVD player that is not a progressive scan
DVD player (DVI out?) and/or not connected to a projector that
understands such a signal it will do a 2:3 pulldown and create
(in realtime) 30 fps from your 24 fps footage.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 11:34 AM   #8
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Thanks Rob.

On another note, I'm watching my short experiment again and I'm so confused. The footage just doesn't look that good. For example when there are shadows and a streak of light (as in above the dresser in the bedroom) it seems like I can see the various shades of grey in splotches, like there aren't enough shades of grey to make for a smooth transition from light to dark. And it seems a bit grainy.... I lit the seen and then stepped down the iris until the zebra bars went away. What can I do to really make the footage clear and beautiful? I know the camera is capable of this, but I don't know how to do it.

Matt
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 03:11 PM   #9
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Matt, Are you seeing this artifacting straight from tape or are you digitizing it at a low ressolution? Re: Zebras -- I like to see the zebras only on the hottest spots in a frame and then light down from there. Let's say it is a human face -- the nose and cheeks and forehead may have a slight zebra as well as any points of light or high gloss or reflective surfaces in the background. From there just fill in the shaded areas as desired.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 03:21 PM   #10
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I don't know...

Tonight I'll plug the camera in to the tv and check it out. I don't think it's bad then, at least it looked great when I was acquiring the footage.

It's once I bring it into the computer (Final Cut Pro) that I have problems. I also see this on a DVD that I made when it is played on a tv.

Matt
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 03:33 PM   #11
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Matt Good news-
If you aquired good footage then you have good footage and your camera is performing well. Check your capture settings in Final Cut Pro and make sure they are set to full DV NTSC res. Also Mind how you compress things for DVD -- Good Luck -- More shal be revealed.
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Old November 23rd, 2004, 07:59 PM   #12
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Hmmm.... It's on the source footage as well - but not quite as banded....

Perhaps that just how the light hit the wall?
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