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Old November 12th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #1
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Nano for Green Screen Advice

I am putting together a studio with greenscreen and plan on getting a Nano for use on my EX1. I also need to check scopes so I am wondering what would work the best:

1) Can I split the HD-SDI - one to Nano and other to computer to view scopes. If so, would Premiere work for this or would I need other software(like Blackmagic's Scopes)

2) Use Nano's HDMI out to a very expensive LCD that has scopes built in

Thanks
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #2
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No need to split the SDI, nano has an SDI output.

What LCD are you using that has scopes built into it?
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:16 PM   #3
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I don't have a LCD yet but I saw a Marshall 23 or 26" with scopes for $3400+.

I just read about Blackmagic's Ultrascopes. It includes a PCI Ex card with SDI input and needs a 1900x1200 monitor to display everything. Its almost ideal for me but I want a solution that allows me to switch to live SDI input after checking scopes. I wonder if BM's Decklink HD Extreme would work instead.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #4
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A narrow band zebra can also be helpful if scopes are out of reach. Also cheaper Marshal LCD will have false color too, that can also be used to dial in a green screen exactly where you need it.

Although, those built in scopes sound awfully nice.

Maybe something like OnLocation would be useful in a pinch too. Probably won't cost you a dime if you already own Adobe CS3 or 4 since you already have it.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #5
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According to C-D's new FAQ sheet, both the HDMI and SDI outputs are active during recording. So, I could take the SDI to the BlackMagic UltraScope on the pc to a regular 24" LCD and the HDMI to a cheaper JVC 24" LCD($1600) for live monitoring.

OR....

Really learn to read/use scopes and use the same inexpensive 24" LCD to check scopes before recording then switch the LCD's input to HDMI from the Nano. If the scopes are good during the shoot, then I don't really need a super color accurate LCD, right?
Actually, now that I think about it, when I add in video and images to the keyed video, won't I still need a quality LCD?


Dan, I saw your email but I am having a meeting next week to review all the equipment I want to purchase and to get the money for it; so, the Nano isn't 100% set in stone. Believe me, I will make sure they know that we need the Nano as I want it really bad for doing TVCs. (I'll be getting the Nano thru Abel Cine, fyi)

One other quick question: is it better to download directly from the Nano to pc or use something like the SanDisk Firewire Extreme CF reader or Lexar Firewire 800 reader? I want to get 2 32GB SanDisk Extreme 60MB/s cards and maybe the reader if it doesn't screw up anything.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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If I was you I would go HD SDI into the Nano Flash and then loop the signal to the HD SDI monitor that has built in scopes. I would at all costs try and stay away from bringing a computer on set. It gets messy and isn't worth it at all if it is providing something that is easily rented for a production.

The monitor I would recommend is the Panasonic BT-LH1760. If unable to rent one in your area you can find a company like Flanders scientific that will ship the monitor to you for a week rental.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Dear Steve,

Please feel free to call at any time.

The rash of CompactFlash card failures that we experienced with Mac Leopard has not occured on any PC.

Thus, we feel that it is perfectly ok to attach a CompactFlash card reader to a PC and use it for copying the files to your computer.

On the other hand, the Nexto devices offer some very nice advantages and one should feel free to use these for the Mac or the PC if these offer a benefit to you.

Note: We are no longer impartial since we sell the Nexto's.

But, I like the abilty to take a CompactFlash card, on-set, and almost immediately create a copy (stored on the hard drive of the Nexto). Then, if one is using a PC, one can load the card into the PC either directly or via the Nexto.

I just like having backups.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #8
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Dear James,

Nice advice.

It is always best to have your recorder to be the first device, after you camera, in the chain. If something happens to the signal down the line, or a cable gets unplugged, etc, then the recording will not be harmed.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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monitor with scopes

I'd second James' suggestion for a good HDSDI monitor looped out of the nanoflash. I own two of the Panasonics, they are nice but only have a waveform.
If I were looking today I'd buy the Flanders Scientific 17 or 20 inch. It has waveform, vectorscope, 1:1 pixel monitoring for SD signals, and it looks great.
But if you'd like a nice used Panasonic I could be convinced to part with one!
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Old November 12th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #10
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I want a 24" LCD to use on the pc AND live monitoring. If I go with the JVC for live monitoring, then I can use the regular 24" (ie HP or Dell) for the BM UltraScope for live waveform/scope monitoring.

I understand the inherent risk of sound coming from the pc (HP Z800) but it should be far enough away from the subject. Plus, I'll be using Sony wireless lav's and either on-camera mic or Zoom H4N for ambient. I have Adobe Audition and its noise removal works quickly and easily if I encounter any problems.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #11
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I have to be the dissenting voice here. I have never seen a monitor with built-in scopes that was good enough for anything more than very basic signal monitoring. They are getting better, but the resolution and the features (or lack of features) of the built-in scopes leave a lot to be desired, in my experience. And I own three different monitors with built-in scopes - a Panasonic 17", Panasonic 7" and TV-Logic 7". The TV-Logic is the best of the three, by the way.

Of course, it's better to have a monitor with built-in scopes than to have nothing for signal monitoring at all. And I agree with James about avoiding a scope that exists within a computer. That may work in a studio environment (although still cumbersome), but it doesn't work out in the field. I have seen people struggling with those on outdoor locations... arghh.

Depending on your budget, there are a couple of much better options. A few years ago, I was in the market for a good scope and I needed a portable monitor too. I was considering one of the Astro products, which are pretty good monitors, but they are not great scopes. I finally bought a Leader LV 5750, which is a great scope, but not a great monitor. It certainly works when you don't need critical evaluation.

If you can find a good deal on that scope, it might be a good choice, but Leader has some other choices that are better now. Check out the Leader LV5330 and LV5380
(www.leaderusa.com/web/products.htm). Both of those systems have better monitors than the 5750 and they both have great scope features. Yes, they are more expensive, but you won't regret having a great tool like any of those. Eventually, you should consider purchasing a DSC Labs Chroma DuMonde chart for camera setup. You'll wonder how you ever lived without either of those items once you have them.

If you can't afford or justify the expense of one of the dedicated scopes, I would recommend the TV-Logic monitor, since it has waveform and vectorscope. They have added features to the scope since I bought mine. Fortunately, firmware updates will add those features to mine... as soon as I find the time to get mine to the dealer for the update.

Good luck!
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Old November 12th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #12
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Had a bit of trouble finding out the pricing on the Leader LV5330 and LV5380 units. Eventually I found the pricing. Fortunately, being a steadicam operator-in-training kind of guy I am used to nosebleed pricing on stuff. Pretty much NOTHING fazes me when it comes to cost now. I consider this a blessing. Makes blowing 10 grand here, 15 grand there kinda normal... So when I saw 6 grand and 10 grand for those monitors I did wince (just a bit) but I quickly regained composure. Seriously....

I understand they are waveform/scope monitors and viewing monitors rolled into one, however, it should be added as a matter of context that a stunning, I mean stunning, HD state of the art steadicam monitor with HD-SDI input (and all the other kind of inputs imaginable), viewable in any kind of outdoor light will set you back 3 grand, I see this as a bit overpriced even though it has the waveform/scope etc functionality thrown in. Unfortunately, there is nothing else comparable in it's price range. Given that maybe the price is acceptable.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 10:23 PM   #13
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Andrew,

I agree, I suppose. When I spent 10k for a slightly used LV 5750 three years ago, that was difficult. But, these scopes are so much more than monitors. The extra features for measurement are more than I can explain here... the CineLite and CineZone features are great extras... especially for non-engineers.

Also, being able to do a screen capture of one image (like the Chroma DuMonde chart) and being able to overlay with another input for camera matching is fabulous.

Being able to view the audio channels in a number of ways... well, you can tell I'm a big fan. And no, I don't work for Leader :-)

I just know what it's like to buy one thing because it's less expensive and then have to buy the item I should have bought in the first place, when I realize the cheaper tool wasn't the right tool for the job.

I know... it's a lot of money for a 7 or 8" monitor.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #14
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Guys, not to be rude but lets squash this debate about Leader as it is totally outside of our budget.

What I'm trying to do is ONLY for the studio. At the moment, field work comprises of events and interviews, nothing that I have much control over. Because of possible time constraints, I want the green screen key to be nearly perfect during capture so I won't need to spend time fixing anything in post. However, learning to fix keys in AE is a valuable skill for future work.

I read some great articles on green screen production, and they recommended software scopes (both of which are Mac only and I'm PC only). The articles were written before the BM Ultrascope was released but I trust BM for quality equipment/software.

Thanks

PS Andrew, which Steadicam and camera/accessories are you using? I'm looking into the Flyer for EX1 + Nano, Arri Mattebox & shotgun.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 11:11 PM   #15
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Steve... sorry to take up space on your thread... didn't see that you had specified a budget in your original post.
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