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Old May 16th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #1
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24p feels like film. But, what about color?

Yes 24p feels like film. But how far can the HD-100U go
with film like color abilities before post production?
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Old May 16th, 2006, 10:57 PM   #2
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Hmmm... I'm going to defer mainly to the experts here, but from what I know, most professional productions go through extensive color-correction to look as good as they do. I don't think I've even seen any film footage that hasn't gone through some sort of telecine or 1st-pass processing with slight color-correction. Does this mean the HD100 captures the same sort of raw material that film does color-wise? I don't know because I've never worked with film aside from still photography and I always color-correct that stuff simply because it usually needs some sort of help.

What I do know of the camera is that it captures a lot of latitude and that is a quality of film that is very desirable. I also know it captures pretty good colors with Paulo's True Color settings (especially part 3) since he properly calibrated the camera the way film footage is done in post with a similar chart. In my opinion, it's all about the other tools you use such great color-correction in post that gets the "film-look" in addition to good exposure.

But Id be interested to hear what people who actually work with film have to say.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #3
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HDV downsamples the color a bit more than luminance, so there's less you can do in post without creating color blocking or banding. There are two basic approaches you can take. The goal of Paulo's Truecolor is to give you back as many of the bits that HDV throws away as possible, giving you more latitude in post. The other approach is creating your look in the field. Since the camera itself is sampling color at full resolution, only throwing it away when it hits HDV, processing in the camera at shooting time is less risky than processing in post. Even if you only get your look in the general vicinity of your final look, you have to do less processing on the color-downsampled HDV in the end.

The color controls in the camera are quite flexible, I've worked with cameras twice the price that aren't as flexible in the color department. If I had a good monitor with me in the field I would have no problem creating my look in the field and doing no correction in post.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
Since the camera itself is sampling color at full resolution, only throwing it away when it hits HDV, processing in the camera at shooting time is less risky than processing in post.
Stephen, I gotta disagree on this one. Once you create a look in the camera you have less options to change it than when you try to keep colors "neutral". Let's assume that you go for a very high contrast configuration or that you want to recreate somthing like a bleach bypass or overblown colors a-la Traffic. If you achive this in camera and, later, you want to change it in post, you can't. On the other hand, if you carry over as much color information you can then use post-process to similate, probably with better results, the looks mentioned above.
It's kinda similar to what Rodriguez did for "Sin City", he recorded at full 4:4:4 just to be able to selectively throw it away later. It might take more time but it's defintely, IMHO, less risky.

Going back to the original question. Film can record much more color information that video, even with HD. The reality is that this wider latitude is generally used as a "safety net". Film is more forgiving than video. With video you need to be more carefull because the boundaries are much narrower. On the other hand, when a feature film is transfered to DVD, the range of colors available in a film is restricted to what is available in the SD domain and people don't seem to notice too much.

Your job, when working with HD, should be to capture all the colors you need with the smallest amount of sacrifice. There are compromises with everything, even with film, we have to learn what we can live with when working with HD.
To best answer your question, Rob, you should try some of the configuration available from this forum, test extensively under the light conditions that you expect to use, and find the best compromise that suits you.
The HD100 can deliver great footage that, for a lot of people, can look like film.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 02:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
If you achive this in camera and, later, you want to change it in post, you can't.
IMHO, you should decide in pre-production whether you're going for an extreme look. Try to get as much of that look as you can in the field, where you have more bits to work with, sticking on the conservative side of the more lossy adjustments to give yourself some latitude. When you're in post you just don't have as many bits to work with, and the kind of processing needed to get an extreme look from normally shot footage risks artifacts. If you make an extreme look in the field and decide later you don't like it... Well, I guess you should have done better pre-pro. If you made that bad of a decision about something so fundamental, there are probably other problems with your show anyway.

If you're going for a bit more of a neutral look you can afford to do more of that look in post, but I think the more sure you are of your final look, the more you should take advantage of the latitude naturally available to you in the field to minimize post processing.

A little bit about me, I shade cameras and do some photography for broadcast TV, so I'm used to doing everything in the camera on the spot, so I guess I'm a little biased toward doing it this way. =D Of course I'm not generally going for an "artistic" look with the stuff I tend to shoot, but I definitely can when I need to.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 10:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
IMHO, you should decide in pre-production whether you're going for an extreme look. Try to get as much of that look as you can in the field.
I agree on this regarding lighting and other optical effects like shutter speed. On the other hand post effects can be way more sophisticated than what we have available with this camera. In addition there can be situations, despite the ple-planning, that arise in the cutting room, when you see two scenes together. Just MHO. I like tweaking in post. If you have a solid signal and good software you shouldn't get visible artifacts.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #7
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I actually enjoy tweaking in post quite a bit myself. Which admittedly CAN be a problem with HDV... but not always. I've tried really messing with some clips (bleach bypass, radical tinting, large value shifts) and some scenes handle really well (just like DV), while others will crumble. The codec you choose for post makes a big difference as well. To me DVCProHD handles better than AIC despite the resolution loss. Cineform would probably trump them all but that's not for Mac as of now. But that's a different thread.

Basically from what I've found it's the flat or gradual gradations that fall apart when doing a lot of CC work on HDV. But even there it's sporadic and even the slightest change could get rid of the banding if it shows up in these areas. For instance if you find that applying one effect on a clip creates banding on a wall or person's face, dial in slightly different values for gamma & color until it goes away. The final result should be very close to what you were going for. Like Paulo said, there's sacrifices for any medium and you need to choose what's important to you. I shoot close to what I need and then finish it off in post.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Terpstra
I actually enjoy tweaking in post quite a bit myself. Which admittedly CAN be a problem with HDV... but not always. I've tried really messing with some clips (bleach bypass, radical tinting, large value shifts) and some scenes handle really well (just like DV), while others will crumble. The codec you choose for post makes a big difference as well. To me DVCProHD handles better than AIC despite the resolution loss. Cineform would probably trump them all but that's not for Mac as of now. But that's a different thread.

Basically from what I've found it's the flat or gradual gradations that fall apart when doing a lot of CC work on HDV. But even there it's sporadic and even the slightest change could get rid of the banding if it shows up in these areas. For instance if you find that applying one effect on a clip creates banding on a wall or person's face, dial in slightly different values for gamma & color until it goes away. The final result should be very close to what you were going for. Like Paulo said, there's sacrifices for any medium and you need to choose what's important to you. I shoot close to what I need and then finish it off in post.
Chad,

I've worked in the native codec for almost 2 years now and can say that with the recent addition of Magic Bullet II to Liquid, I'm so impressed by how great the color correction is and how well HDV holds up. Completely solid with all 55 movie looks. It takes a long time to render Magic Bullet but it is well worth it. FilmFX has a great library of filmstock looks and total control over every aspect of each emulsion emulation. It is great as well.

I still have my own standby color corrections that I like to use within the NLE's CX color corrector which are quick and easy but for overall look, Magic Bullet II and FilmFX are two great products.

S.Noe
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