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Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:01 AM   #1
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Overexposed footage: Any cure?

We shot some footage yesterday in a studio setting with a godzillion Source Fours bathing our talent in light, and some of our footage is a little hot. Guess we didn't pay enough attention to the zebra - which was anyway set at 100+. We took a lot of care with the focus but still the footage looks a little 'soft.' Totally useable, but not quite as crisp as we anticipated. Is there any video processing we can undertake in Final Cut Pro to fix this?
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Last edited by Scott Shuster; May 23rd, 2007 at 09:08 AM. Reason: (added clarification that we will be in Final Cut Pro for post production)
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 09:56 AM   #2
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Effects: Image control: Brightness and contrast filter, also try the Proc Amp. You can also try some other effects in "image control" to adjust the levels.
Also work with the 3 way color corrector to adjust any saturation, mid levels and black levels, those should help your overall image as well.
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Last edited by Mark Bournes; May 23rd, 2007 at 09:58 AM. Reason: added 3 way CC technique
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 10:28 PM   #3
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Are you using any filters?
What zebra?
Are you in the right forum?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 07:16 AM   #4
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In final cut pro, duplicate the footage twice making 3 layers of the same clip.

in the middle layer, we're going to turn it into an alpha channel, so push the color correction so every thing but the blown out parts are black and the blown out parts are white. Set this to be a luma mask (compositing mode in the right click or control click pull down menu)

In the top layer, drop the brightness and voila, you've affected only the bright areas of the image.

You can also apply sharpness filters to try to help the focus slightly, but it'll start to look really "digital" the stronger you make it.

p.s. If I have the luma mask part wrong, you'll want to try setting the middle layer to normal and setting the top layer to luma mask...I couldn't remember which way it went without actually doing it.

You can also use this technique to create more blown out whites in footage or sky replacement or apply blur to create light wrap.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #5
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wow, Cole, that's really interesting: Will share it with the technical staff today. Ken you may be right that this discussion should be in FCP so let me zero in again on the HD110/110:

We believe the problem is that we are filming in a very heavily-lit theater, where some of the powerful theater lights - some white, and some with colored filters in front of them - are actually seen by the camera. This creates a lovely glowing or star effect, but it may confuse the poor camera's systems.

However even where we are not looking directly at a light, we are having trouble maintaining a sharp image. We are throwing an enormous amount of light on the performers and focusing with care, but the softness persists.

We think we are missing something very basic.

We are a performer-owned company and more artisic than technical...wishing the camera had autofocus and automatic systems to handle these problems.

By the way: We switched it to "full auto" just to see what it would do on its own: The results were no better. Oddly, given all the light we are throwing at our scene, in "full auto" the camera decided to keep the aperture wide open or at F2. How can this be explained?
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Old May 28th, 2007, 01:40 AM   #6
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For starters, yes you are in the wrong forum. This is the HD1/10 not HD100/110/200/250. That is where my confussion regarding you "zebras" comment came from. HD1/10 don't have zebras. Your problem with additional lighting and coloured filters seems to me that you need a matte box with flags so you can protect the lens from interfering light. Are you sure your in HD mode? Don't take offense, just want to make sure your not shooting at 480p60 or heaven's forbid DV mode. Your in 720p30 or 720p24 right? Are you using the focus assist function? Have you tried extreem zooming in tight on the subject, adjust the focus for sharpest image, then zoom back to your regular shot. This will guarantee perfect focus.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:06 PM   #7
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ouf! You're right, Ken! I did post it in the wrong forum! (*smak!*) Dohh!! Thanks for the good pointers...we are making rapid progress on this: Looks like some of those "detail" and "black" settings we were using were at fault...
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