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Old October 24th, 2006, 07:27 PM   #1
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Preset for working in dark environment

I'm working on a project where I'll be shooting outside in poor light conditions. I'm shooting a halloween event where there will be actors and props. I like to shoot in 24P + will be using VL 10LI light to give me a boost. Most of the props are lit up (some more than others). I'd rather not get any grain (i.e. due to increase in gain).

I did this event last year... with very little nottice + two months under my belt with the XL2. I'm just looking for some suggestions on a preset to use this year.

Here is the link to what I did for last year...

http://www.hauntedoverload.com/main.htm > click on the "Comming soon" > then the "Trailer" ...

Thanks...
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Old October 25th, 2006, 10:23 AM   #2
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Do a search for low light presets. Several have been posted in the past.

The basic things to do, however, are: boost the coring, crush the blacks, and lower the setup level and master pedestal settings.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 12:24 PM   #3
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Wouldn't you want to boost the blacks? You're trying to see into the shadows, after all.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 02:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass
Wouldn't you want to boost the blacks? You're trying to see into the shadows, after all.
I wouldn't think that's what he's after here. He mentioned that the props are lit and said specifically that he wants to eliminate grain. Crushing the blacks will kill a lot of unwanted noise.

It depends on whether he wants a contrasty image that will make the lit areas "pop" while minimizing noise in the shadows, or a low-contrast image that will allow him to see more detail in the darkness but that will be a little noisier as a result. I just assumed he was after the former based on the situation he described.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #5
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Sorry, I missed that part.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 04:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replys..

If I Stretch the blacks will I add more grain? Stretching will provide more detail in the shadows?

Also - I plan on keeping the gain at -3.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 04:39 PM   #7
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You won't really add any grain by setting the black setting to stretch, though you will risk having more chroma noise in the dark areas of the image. You will get more grain if you raise the master pedestal, though. These two things (along with raising the setup level) will give you more shadow detail, but your images will be noisier as a result. It's a bit of a trade-off.

Based on your description of the material you'll be shooting, I don't necessarily see why you'd need more shadow detail. If the props are all lit, even to varying degrees, then why do you need to see into the dark parts of the image? And wouldn't lots of darkness fit the Halloween spookiness idea pretty well?

If you're not sure which approach you'll end up preferring, why not set up two presets before the shoot--one with crushed blacks (including lowered setup and MP), and one with stretched blacks and boosted setup and MP settings. That way you can try both and see which you think looks best.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #8
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No need to keep the gain at -3, you can boost it up to +6dB with no noise if you adjust the coring up and the sharpness down a little, you can also turn the NR on low if that doesnt cover everything up. I prefer to crush the shadows, this will make it look more natural as it does to your eye...


ash =o)
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Old October 28th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #9
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Thanks for tha advice... I appreciate it. Getting the right preset is hard.. I don't quite have the hang of the preset settings yet.

I made up three presests:

haunt-1
haunt-2
haunt-3

I exeperimented in a dark room with the VL 10LI light, XL2 about 10 feet away from some different colored objects. Set at 24P 16x9 / Manual white balance / shutter all the way open / manual focus / +6dB for all shots. See attached grabs.

Here are the settings that I came up with. I know it would be best to do this in the field. But it's pooring rain out. Any additional advice is appreciated.


[Presets]
Preset Name = Haunt-1
Gamma = 1
Knee = 1
Black = 2
NR = 3
VDetail = 1
Color Matrix = 1
Color Gain = 5
Color Phase = 5
Red = 4
Green = 4
Blue = 4
SetupLevel = -3
Sharpness = -4
Coring = 4
MasterPed = 1
Description =


[Presets]
Preset Name = Haunt-2
Gamma = 1
Knee = 1
Black = 2
NR = 3
VDetail = 1
Color Matrix = 1
Color Gain = 5
Color Phase = 5
Red = 4
Green = 4
Blue = 4
SetupLevel = -3
Sharpness = -4
Coring = 4
MasterPed = 1
Description =

[Presets]
Preset Name = Haunt-3
Gamma = 1
Knee = 1
Black = 2
NR = 3
VDetail = 1
Color Matrix = 1
Color Gain = 5
Color Phase = 5
Red = 4
Green = 4
Blue = 4
SetupLevel = -3
Sharpness = -4
Coring = 4
MasterPed = 1
Description =
Attached Thumbnails
Preset for working in dark environment-haunt-1_6db.jpg   Preset for working in dark environment-haunt-2_6db.jpg  

Preset for working in dark environment-haunt-3_6db.jpg  
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Last edited by Tim Bickford; October 28th, 2006 at 10:09 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Bickford
Any additional advice is appreciated.
What Ash said. Using -3dB makes it that much harder to get enough light. You could repeat your test with a bit of gain and see if the grain really is unacceptable.

Richard
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Old October 28th, 2006, 10:17 PM   #11
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Richard-

I goofed and typed -6db ... I used +6dB in the test grabs. Sorry..

I just went out to the site for a couple of hours. I used my haunt-1 setting at +6dB and +12dB. Most of the characters that I'm shooting are more than 10 ft away. In some cases 30 ft. The VL 10LI light helps a lot... because it's very dark, not much light at all. I gotta give that light credit here...

I found the 12dB gain setting to give the best image in the view finder. It does not look all that bad on an NTSC monitor. A little bit of grain. I could use some advice on tweeking the setting to remove just a bit more grain. However, I can live with it.

Thanks....
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Old November 1st, 2006, 11:07 PM   #12
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Hi Tim. I was going through this thread again because I have to shoot a rock band at a club this evening, and I have no idea what the lighting is going to be like (except that it is out of my control). Thought I could pick up some tips for dark background situations. Then I found that I couldn't see any difference between your haunt -1, -2 and -3 presets. Is this a copy/paste issue or am I missing something obvious?

Richard
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter
Then I found that I couldn't see any difference between your haunt -1, -2 and -3 presets. Is this a copy/paste issue or am I missing something obvious?

Richard
There's not a whole lot of difference. But just look at the blue toy, and you can see a slight difference.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 01:11 AM   #14
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Hi Adam. I can see clear differences in the frame grabs, I was talking about the preset parameters that Tim listed, they look the same to me. For example, if I set the camera to get the look of haunt-1, what would I need to change to get haunt-2?

Richard
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 07:14 PM   #15
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If you look at the grabs you will see a black lense carrying bag behind the red basket. On the right side of the bag you can see the some writing. (i.e. manufacture name). This is most clear in haunt-3. Looks like more detail in the blacks in haunt-3 and haunt-1, less detail in the blacks in haunt-2.

I used the haunt-1 setting for my haunted yard project. In all cases I had to use the VL 10LI light, which by the way... was worth every penny. Attached are two grabs.

ghost.jpg - The ghost is 34 feet tall. I used haunt-1 with the gain at + 6 dB, 24P, wide open aperture, manual white balance & VL 10LI light.

monseter.jpg - About 8 feet away. I used haunt-1 with the gain at + 6 dB, 24P, wide open aperture, manual white balance & VL 10LI light.

Sorry I did not see your post yesturday Richard. If the band does not have stage lights then you could be in for a rough go. The VL 10LI light works great in run and gun dark situations.

Let us know what settings you used.

Tim
Attached Thumbnails
Preset for working in dark environment-ghost.jpg   Preset for working in dark environment-monster.jpg  

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