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Old December 1st, 2005, 11:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim
If you are stuck with a bad codec, try upconverting before color correcting. This improves blocking effects. The problem is that some of it is always going to be in the source footage- which will be faithfully reproduced of course.
Since the codec has limitations (as they all do), I've always subscribed to getting the image the way you want "in camera". The HD-100 is completely capable of getting the images the way you wish right in camera. This eliminates massive color corrections in post in favor of more suttle changes if needed in the NLE's color corrector.

I think setting up the camera to represent the final intent (as closely as possible) is the best method for digital delivery.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 11:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim
So- unless you are willing to capture scenes over component analog I would recommend painting the image in camera.
I'm not sure what you mean.

I can transcode to an intermediate codec (uncompressed) in the camera and send the signal via a component analog cable where it is digitized

OR

I can send HDV via FireWire and transcode in the computer to an intermediate codec.

The point is that the concerns about manipulating HDV simply have no validity if one uses a high-quality intermediate codec.

However, if you plan to use native HDV or AIC then you likely do have to worry. That means FCP users would probably be wise to use Tim's idea of a 1280x720 4:2:2 8-bit DVCPRO HD codec as the intermediate codec if you can't use 10-bit uncompressed.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 11:52 PM   #18
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Steve.

Alexander's point is that once the camera encodes the signal into HDV on tape, the damage has been done.
Yes, it is a good idea to transcode into the best codec possible (uncompressed 10-bit 4:4:4) if extensive manipulation is required and you won't be adding any more compression artifacts.

Alexander was probably referring to a live uncompressed recording device like the Wafien that will catch the signal before the Mpeg2 encoder can do its work.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 11:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim
I am the opposite -- moving images should be completely molded to my will. I hope you realize that is a valid viewpoint too.
I completely agree. But your concept means you really have to decide where to do the molding.

"Well, you are right- you can't trust the viewfinder for just about anything except framing. So yeah bring the monitor and the waveform, and the vectorscope."

My impression is that except for the well funded that just isn't an option. So if you can't bring all this equipment to the shoot -- do you dare adjust based on the LCD/VF? I think we both agree that could be a big risk.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 12:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
Since the codec has limitations (as they all do), I've always subscribed to getting the image the way you want "in camera". The HD-100 is completely capable of getting the images the way you wish right in camera. This eliminates massive color corrections in post in favor of more suttle changes if needed in the NLE's color corrector.

I think setting up the camera to represent the final intent (as closely as possible) is the best method for digital delivery.
Generally I agree, but I don't do this by painting the image in the camera.

I try to create the image I want in front of the camera.

What I think we are talking about is when that can't be achieved.

That's where we disagree.

Most cameras don't paint as well as you can in a good NLE, much less any sort of grading solution.

The controls are simply not refined enough.

So, its sort of a middle road. I do color the image in camera, but always with an eye towards keeping my options open in post. That means technical correctness first and foremost every shot.

Oh, I am not being very precise here at all.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 12:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
Steve.

Alexander's point is that once the camera encodes the signal into HDV on tape, the damage has been done.
Yes, it is a good idea to transcode into the best codec possible (uncompressed 10-bit 4:4:4) if extensive manipulation is required and you won't be adding any more compression artifacts.

Alexander was probably referring to a live uncompressed recording device like the Wafien that will catch the signal before the Mpeg2 encoder can do its work.

Thanks, I probably would have explained that in a forty page essay. Saved everyone there. <grin>

While I am a proponent of using uncompressed video everywhere possible, with HD that is rarely feasible. So, with HD I try to use DVCPRO HD. Sometimes even that is not possible and I have to go to HDV.

With uncompressed I feel confident with just leaving the image alone in camera- nice clean technically correct capture of what has been created on set. I won't color in camera unless I have a very very clear image of the end product in mind.

With DVCPRO HD I feel compelled to work a little harder on set to create exactly the look I want. I will color in camera for many shots, but I try to limit it in preference of the better controls I will have in post.

With HDV I feel the image is corrupted once The Bad Codec gets its paws on my image... so I try to get as much of what I want in the end product in camera before the codec does its brilliant technological terror thing. (Now I feel somehow compelled to speak about the power of the Force.) Better post controls are no use if your source material is decimated.

Even with the imminent threat of The Bad Codec looming I still try to keep options open for post.

You never know when that happy shot of mom looking out the kitchen window will be reused as a melancholy or pyrrhic shot showing her ready to survive some tragedy. Ahhh Kuleshov you rascal.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 01:31 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
I completely agree. But your concept means you really have to decide where to do the molding.

"Well, you are right- you can't trust the viewfinder for just about anything except framing. So yeah bring the monitor and the waveform, and the vectorscope."

My impression is that except for the well funded that just isn't an option. So if you can't bring all this equipment to the shoot -- do you dare adjust based on the LCD/VF? I think we both agree that could be a big risk.
Well in my last installment I think I hit all that about when to mold the image. The problem is that where I feel we should do the molding slips around as the technological environment and other constraints hit our hypothetical production.

As to not being able to afford a monitor, waveform and vectorscope to the shoot- well if you can't afford these things then you can't really afford to shoot HD properly.

My feeling is that you could do away with the vectorscope and waveform on set if your monitor is properly calibrated. You need a monitor though under most circumstances.

First where don't you need it ? ENG mostly, some documentary stuff.

You can make do on those shoots with autofocus and the focus assist or peaking or whatever its called on your camera.

Any other type of work means you need a monitor. Minimum requirement is that it show the 2/3 of the full resolution of your format. That's minimum not suggested. Can't tell you how many times the XL-1(original) viewfinder tricked me- it has 215000 pixels about 2/3 of SD. BAD.

Guess what ? None of the viewfinders available for HD meet that criteria- not even on Panavision CineAlta equipment. The HDVFC30W displays 960x540, or a mere 1/4 of the total image resolution all for the economical price of $10,500 USD.

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...sp=19&id=69518

I have a strong preference for the largest LCD screen that is practical to tote to the set. It has always been worth the effort.

The main point is that if you can't get the camera of your choice and a monitor you can use in the field at a minimum then you can't afford to be in the HD production game.

Save your money and WAIT. Maybe better viewfinders will turn up, if nothing else new stuff will show up lowering the costs of all the "old" stuff.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 09:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Ibrahim
Generally I agree, but I don't do this by painting the image in the camera.

I try to create the image I want in front of the camera.

What I think we are talking about is when that can't be achieved.

That's where we disagree.

Most cameras don't paint as well as you can in a good NLE, much less any sort of grading solution.

The controls are simply not refined enough.

So, its sort of a middle road. I do color the image in camera, but always with an eye towards keeping my options open in post. That means technical correctness first and foremost every shot.

Oh, I am not being very precise here at all.
This "get the color right in camera" is relatively new for me. Before cinegama came along, I was in alignment with your thoughts on the matter. When cinegama came along, it changed the way I approach color (capture). I'd rather get the colors the way I want on tape then wait for a color correction render any day of the week. It's now the way I work. At most I'll pull the blacks down to suit myself.

Of course it depends on the type of work you do as well.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 11:11 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
I'd rather get the colors the way I want on tape then wait for a color correction render any day of the week. It's now the way I work. At most I'll pull the blacks down to suit myself.

Of course it depends on the type of work you do as well.
That is a great way to approach things, but as a practical matter, at least for a feature, you are never going to avoid the need for color correction. You can get it close in-camera (or in come cases, achieve the look and feel of the visual), but for the final matchup from scene-to-scene, even shot-to-shot, requires a scope and tweaks.

Blacks in particular can be troublesome when relying on your eyes rather than a scope. You may have black levels shooting up and down with each edit. If you are seeking mass distribution or transfer to film.... you will be doing those renders anyway.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 11:38 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Marty Baggen
That is a great way to approach things, but as a practical matter, at least for a feature, you are never going to avoid the need for color correction. You can get it close in-camera (or in come cases, achieve the look and feel of the visual), but for the final matchup from scene-to-scene, even shot-to-shot, requires a scope and tweaks.

Blacks in particular can be troublesome when relying on your eyes rather than a scope. You may have black levels shooting up and down with each edit. If you are seeking mass distribution or transfer to film.... you will be doing those renders anyway.
I wholeheartedly agree. Even if you intend to make it perfect in camera you won't.

This is part of why even when I am using HDV I leave at least some room for post adjustments. To me that means tending towards technical correctness over artistic sensibility on occasion.
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