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Old November 28th, 2002, 10:06 AM   #1
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Night shots and CG - suggestions needed

Hi there,
i'm planning to make a little short movie (2/3 mins) to lemme improve CG integration and of course my skills with my XL1s...

the subject will be a Buggy race in the main streets of my town, night shooted and with no lot of car traffic. I'm planning to shoot at 2.00 am or so and with a foggy night, maybe after a rainy day cause i wanna push CG integration with stunning reflections and particles effects.

my request is a set of suggestions on how to shoot those footages, filters to be used and so on. I'm considering to shoot it in Frame mode cause i wish to give it a Film looking appearance and not sure if 16:9 native or cropped in post production.

my actual configuration or accessories I already have is the following, i can consider to buy something uselfull if i'm missing anything.

XL1s - 16x standard lens
filters I actually own: UV - Polarizing - Mist - Fog
x1.6 Canon extender
Lightwave system stuffs for Mic wind screening and viewfinder.


i'm considering to buy a Kata Rain soft case and a Cavision rotating Mattebox 4x4 from Ebay cause i wish to use such filters and clear glasss to protect the lens glass during Camera Car shooting (and maybe motorcycle car shooting:})...

is a Manual 14x lens suitable or better than standard 16x lens for such shooting?

it's a personal work i wanna do with a couple of friends...

thanks for yer surely usefull advices.. i hope to show you something asa I've started it :]
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Old November 28th, 2002, 01:26 PM   #2
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If the filters you already own are screw on types, the matte box is a waste of money.
You say you want to have extra glass on the lens to protect it, which is always good, but it may cause you serious problems. At night, you will probably have street lights burning against the darkness. This will likely reflect off the glass of your lens, back against your filter, then back into the lens causing ghost lights to appear on your footage. This will make you very, very sad if your shots are ruined. It may not happen, but I've done some similar stuff and had it happen.
The 16x stock lens may be a better choice than the 14x in this case. If you are tracking moving vehicles, I'd rather have autofocus, and if you are planning on using some serious zoom (I see you have the telextender) then you will want the image stabilization.

Skip the 14x lens, skip the matte box. Put that money in your pocket or into other production areas (I didn't see a tripod listed, that's 10x more important than a matte box).
Don't use any filters, do your effects in post. If you drop your camera while riding a motorcylce, a UV filter isn't going to do it any good. :)
Buy the rain cover though. That's a good idea if it's misty.
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Old November 28th, 2002, 01:31 PM   #3
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As I've said before in other threads, shooting in fog greatly reduces your contrast, which miniDV handles poorly, and introduces a lot of noise. Generally when shooting with 35mm also has a lot of noise, but when telecined down, it looses most of the artifacting.

Since you are planning to integrate CG at night, I would suggest at least a 1000W light to illuminate your subject properly, and/or to shoot at magic hour (dawn or dusk) and not true night time. Magic hour, will allow you to capture lights in windows, but there is still enough light to expose ok, and can darken it down in post.

Adrian
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Old November 28th, 2002, 01:55 PM   #4
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thanks all.

Dylan - yeah my filters are Screw on types. about the protecting glass.. any other way to protect?... i really fear any little dust going on my lens while running.. :\ ...
i'mm not track vehicles but the whole scene cause MY own vehicles (3D) will be intergrated into the shoot.. passing throught and under real vehicle (that will be much bigger than 3D ones).

Adrian - Actualyl i dont have to illuminate any subject... or with "subject" u mean the street ?... my shooting will mainly be camera car shooting, where i'll then composite my own 3D modeled cars running crazy.... i done some exposure tests

i alreay have a tripod.. but i have to buy a new one cause it's wich one i used with my old GL1... it wont sustain my XL1 :]

about magic hour... unfortunately the streets will have too much traffic.. when during night will be more empty that lets me have less post-painting work to clean unwanted veicles... maybe sunday evening can be an alternative.


thanks for all yer suggestions :]
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Old November 28th, 2002, 07:39 PM   #5
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Yep, if you have the screw in filters, the matte box is a waste, plus 4x4 filters are WAY more expensive. Little bits of dust won't really show up, whether they are on a lens of a filter.

If you worry about your camera, consider this... I film paintball with my XL1, and have got the thing covered in thick paint goo and it still works fine. A Kata rain cover will keep dust off it no problem, and the lens is much more resistant to damage than you may imagine. Dust just wipes off. Don't worry, you'll probably be fine just the way it is (if I'm picturing what you are shooting properly).

Oh, if you want ultimate protection, get SCUBA diving case for your camera. EWA-Marine makes a soft case, and I'm sure someone makes a hard case that would protect it from anything.
I think the soft cases are $800, but I'm not sure.

I still don't think you need one though. Save your money.


PS, REALLY looking forward to seeing your movie when it's done!!! :)
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Old November 28th, 2002, 07:54 PM   #6
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eheheh.... ok ok ... i've to be honest... i damn fear that i can damage my camera by shooting at 50-60 km/h speed with my car and really close to the road (cause of the size of the 3D cars)

u can imagine that my 3D cars will be really like a toy.. so i'll be close to real wheel with my camera (my little, darling, sweety Xl1:]).. obvious by side and not rear wheel... but i really fear the dust and little .. rock (sorry for my bad english :p) crashing on my lens.. most of the shooting will be like in the Feature Movie "Toy Story" when Woody and Buzz runs with the Buggy suiving the truck (have u saw that great 3D movie by Pixar?)

i'll cut off the Mattebox ... (i found one on ebay for 150$ atm... should i grab it anyway?)...

i Kata will be enought i think about Camera Body protection.
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Old November 28th, 2002, 08:08 PM   #7
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OK, I didn't realize your camera was going to be held at ground level while you are driving (by someone other than the driver I hope!!!)! If you do that, then definitely put a UV filter on it, but one should be plenty. If the camera gets hit with something big enough to smash through the filter, the force of the impact is probably going to do internal damage to your camera as well.

I checked out the Cavision matte box you were looking at. I don't think you will be able to "grab" it for $150. A different one just sold last week for about $600us. I'd expect the one you are looking at will go for at least $500. Everyone here would choke eachother out to be able to buy one for $150. :)
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Old November 28th, 2002, 08:20 PM   #8
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well.. i'll be the camera operator... and not the driver at same time :] ...

about the mattebox.. yeah.. i guess the price will grows up... and i'll give up when it'll be higher than 250$ cause i really dont need it so urgently :]

about the little short i've started this topic about... is a little project i really wanna to work on with a friend in our spare time...
it would be a sort of shooting training for me and also a 3D challenge for both. i actually work in 3D since long time and since here ther's not so much production possibilities as a real job such this one i wanna make my own little "heavy" experiment.

we're still drawing storyboard and detailing the script.. that's why i'm organizing myself about shooting. :]

my Xl1s is almost new and never "really" used (i bought it at great price from the company i was working for and it was really new) so it's time to learn shooting since i have it.

i'll surely take you updated as soon as the project will start and goes on. thanks a lot for all your advices and for next ones will come later on :]

about UV u adviced.... no clear glass is available considering the purpose i'm using a filter?... UV usually push down lighting in my shooting and since it'll be night i wish to avoid overgaining... i wont go over +6db...

i have two UV filter btw.. i can use one as a "shield" for my lens :]]
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