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Old July 9th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #1
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An interesting thing on "TV" HDV/HD vs. film-like HDV/HD

(Note, I mean TV HDV/HD by the style: more well-lit and 60i.)

I was showing some Sony HDV footage to some non-industry friends and family on my HDTV (widescreen, 1080i). One was documentary-style clips that I had done for fun (60i, well-lit, lots of colors in the shot since it was outside and in South Florida). The other was a short film a friend directed and I produced. Both shot on the Z1 and I displayed both in native HDV.

Their reactions were interesting. More people responded to HDV footage that was shot documentary-style (60i, lots of light, etc.). The film clips I showed they reacted to it by saying they could still tell a nice quality, but they weren't 100% sure it was HD. And that was HDV footage converted from 50i to 24p with more contrasted lighting and some shallow depth of field (and different camera movements). They wondered if it was shot on film and transferred to HD.

My final conclusion? Shooting film-style with contrasting lighting, 24p, different camera movements and shallow depth of field had these viewers thinking film, not HD. When they see HD, it's usually 60i and lit very well. My wife had the same reaction when we'd watch HD docs on Discovery HD and then a movie telecined from 35mm to HD on HDNet.

I'm no psychologist or researcher, but I think the average viewer responds to HDTV when it's 60i and well-lit because that's how it's mostly presented, esp. on Discovery HD. There's defintely more visual pop!

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Old July 10th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #2
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It sounds to me like your case study proved another couple points as well: that you can definitely shoot HDV to look like film and people can't easily tell the difference (a valuable thing); and that there are different looks that people associate with different types of content...in other words, a Discovery doc should be well-lit and 60i because that is the look people associate with that type of program, not moody, high-contrast film-look lighting.

imo, that's one of the up sides of this transitional phase -- most of these cameras have multiple shooting modes, which gives us the ability to shoot a wider variety of projects with the same camera.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #3
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And with more high-end movies being shot digitally (Genesis, F900/950, etc.) and this story here, I think we're going to see more digital in our futures, from way up high (the SUPERMAN RETURNS) to us, the indie guys and gals.

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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:23 PM   #4
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I dunno, I recently watched Ultraviolet, which was shot digitally, and I couldn't help but think "video...video...video" the entire movie.
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Old July 10th, 2006, 07:39 PM   #5
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based on the previews I saw, it looks like 24p music video with so many bright, vibrant colors, it reminds me almost of animation.

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Old July 11th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #6
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This mirrors my view. IF I am looking at a documentary or event video where the purpose is education or memory of the event I want it in as much detail and as smooth as possible, just like being there( my eyes don't stutter !!!). I don't want shallow depth of field, high contrast and stuttery motion i.e. I don't want the film look. For a dramatic feature then everything is fair game to create the mood. One size does not fit all. I find it quite annoying that so much is now moving to 24p as a fad. Some of the programs on my cable are just not watchable with the stuttering, panning looks like it was done with image stabilizer fighting the movement, terrible. The problems of transmission encoding and scalars in the TV's lead to some very poor images. Am I a fan of interlace hell no I would like high frame rate progressive 60P or above. Just can't get this economically right now. But you can tell I am not a fan of 24p!!!!

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Old July 11th, 2006, 08:22 AM   #7
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This is all very interesting. I guess even non-industry people are accustomed to seeing things a certain way. 60i for news, docs, soaps, etc., 24p for narratives (film and TV and even music videos). Remember Stone Temple Pilot's video for Big Bang Baby? Purposely done in 60i and I remember everyone thinking something was wrong. This was 1996 and though I was learning some 16mm film techniques in film school, we focused a lot on video (no digital at the school at that time, so BetaSP mostly).

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Old July 11th, 2006, 09:02 AM   #8
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I started with 8mm film in the 60's, Super8, Super 8 Sound, VHS, 8mm, Hi8, DV and now HDV ( FX1) all as hobby and mainly recording events so the goal has always been to create a finished product as if one was looking though a window( that is even true of theatre, who am I to alter the lighting teams efforts). Main issue for me has always been latitude. Cameras are never as good as ones eyes. So for me the most annoying thing about the film look is the frame rate stutter, something I have been trying to eliminate over the past 45+ years from the 15fps of my first camera!!!! My ideal ( for what I do) is a camera with really large latitude and high progressive frame rate!!!! Now that most is digital the obvious to me is acquire in the best possible way and then alter to taste in post. Depth of field may be an exception for dramatic effect, but dynamic range and frame rate changes are certainly possible.

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Old July 11th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #9
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How easy is it to adapt 60p to 50p or the other way around? 24p still has the advantage of easily adapting to any world format.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans
My ideal ( for what I do) is a camera with really large latitude and high progressive frame rate!!!! Now that most is digital the obvious to me is acquire in the best possible way and then alter to taste in post. Depth of field may be an exception for dramatic effect, but dynamic range and frame rate changes are certainly possible.

Ron Evans
Then you may get your wish very soon in the form of the Silicon Imaging or RED cameras. If you haven't been following the development of those two cameras, might be a good time to start.

regards,

-gb-
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Old July 11th, 2006, 11:35 AM   #11
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Yes I have been following the new camera developments with interest. Thomas, as far as converting progressive 60p etc once all the displays are true progressive it shouldn't matter, the display will respond appropriate to the input, though display refresh rate will need to be the same or multiple. Problems only arise when trying to convert to older interlaced displays with fixed scanning. IF one needs to produce for the past then interlace at 50i and 60i is the what is needed to cover the world. The 24p fad is useful if moving video to film. I am sure that in the next few years we will see the end of film in commercial cinemas and we will then be able to screen productions with appropriate characteristics for the subject matter rather than clinging to the past limitations of projection equipment. We will be able to have high frame rates for nice smooth pans, shallow depth of field even stuttering( drop the frame rate) at will, even within the same production.

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Old August 1st, 2006, 11:07 AM   #12
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In my opinion the "film look" is absolutely ludacris, people buying 2000$ adapters just to get a shorter depth of feild, and spending hours deinterlacing to make 60i 24p. The reason 60i will never be a digital movie standard is because no one is gonna stop going after the film look thus keeping 60i shunned as a sort of doc/reality tv show look. I for one love 60i's look, the motion and fluid look it has, when I turn on Discovery HD and see them flying over a rich green forest or blue ocean in 1080i I love the the look it gives, heck when I see short films shot on fx1's where its straight 60i I still love it.

I think people are gonna go after the film look no matter what I or anyone says or does, eventually though I think everyone will end up with 60p, I know 60p is gonna replace 60i eventually.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 11:50 AM   #13
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I agree I detest 24/25P it has too many limitations.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 12:38 PM   #14
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The major flaw with this "test" is that you were playing from source. In order to really see the perception of viewers you would need to dump it, dub it, copy it, squeeze it down for broadcast, decode it and THEN input it to your TV. This is why acquisition in HD is actually growing faster than delivery. Even if your ultimate source is a cell phone, it will look better shot on 35MM than on a cell phone.

Also, even though Discovery and others broadcast in 60i, a GREAT deal of the programming is shot on high end HD cameras in 24P. 24P is like everything else, a TOOL. Some programming it is great with, other programming it ruins the live intimate feel. I think some of you are improperly deciphering what is 24P and what is 60i.


ash =o)
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Old August 1st, 2006, 01:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
The major flaw with this "test" is that you were playing from source. In order to really see the perception of viewers you would need to dump it, dub it, copy it, squeeze it down for broadcast, decode it and THEN input it to your TV. This is why acquisition in HD is actually growing faster than delivery. Even if your ultimate source is a cell phone, it will look better shot on 35MM than on a cell phone.

Also, even though Discovery and others broadcast in 60i, a GREAT deal of the programming is shot on high end HD cameras in 24P. 24P is like everything else, a TOOL. Some programming it is great with, other programming it ruins the live intimate feel. I think some of you are improperly deciphering what is 24P and what is 60i.


ash =o)
I think its all about subject and framing, frame rate is something we decipher as (some of us) kids the movies were 24p so we got used to serious things being 24p, so when a commercial came on in 60i it looks insubstantial, but lets say movies growing up were digital and 60i, and only commercial and news were 24p, then we might all be doctoring our footage to look like 60i.
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