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Old November 24th, 2003, 11:27 PM   #1
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Anyone use software waveform monitors?

Hi, I have a question or two. Does anyone
use Premiere Pro's software waveform monitor
and vectorscope with any success?

If you do, do you need a card such as the
Matrox RT.X100?

Also, how much does a "live effects"
card help in the color correction process?
I can't imagine how this can be done outside
of the studio.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 04:22 AM   #2
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I'm using Vegas but I had the waveform, vectorscope and histogram
open when doing color correction in post. Besides me learning
what exactly happens to the signal when using certain functions
in the package it also gave me an insight into how far I could go
on certain things.

For shooting I relied on my zebra stripes (set at 90%) and my
laptops LCD screen from time to time if I wanted to be sure of
framing and contrast (from dark to the highlights).
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Old November 25th, 2003, 08:04 AM   #3
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I also use the waveforms in Vegas for tweaking the video. It would be interesting to get a program that samples the video coming in on Firewire and generates vectorscope and waveforms. A cheap laptop could do the job of more expensive equipment at a shoot.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 08:21 AM   #4
 
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I find the waveform monitor tools in Vegas to be indispensable. Don't know how I lived without them before. Kinda like a cell phone.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 07:18 PM   #5
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Firewire to a capable laptop is what I'm
thinking of too. But wouldn't that require
a "live effects" card such as canopus 2?
The idea is take your money from your
vecorscope/waveform monitor AND your
production monitor and put into the laptop
and canopus 2. What you get is something
that is very portable, color correctable with
the capability of live effects. You also get a
laptop that you wouldn't otherwise have.
Who knows what benefit you would have with
audio. It seems as though it would have to be
one hell of a laptop though.

This is my theory, but I have
no clue if it is doable.
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Old November 26th, 2003, 03:24 AM   #6
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Please tell me more

Hi,

I'm a video newbie but very interested in this subject. The link below contains everything I know.

http://studio.adobe.com/tips/tip.jsp?p=1&id=400&xml=prepcolorcor

I don't even have Premiere Pro, just the basic version 6. Now I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade or go for a different NLE program. Can anyone recommend further reading or offer advice?

Tnx in advance,
Roger
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Old November 26th, 2003, 04:04 AM   #7
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Do any of the software only editors, show waveform/vectorscope for a dv input? (I mean without actually capturing and opening the file, but while it's connected) It seems like one did, but I don't remember who. I can say that vegas will not xpress pro will not.
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Old November 26th, 2003, 06:11 AM   #8
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I've used the WFM and vectorscope in Vixen with Premiere for a few years. Very helpful, if not essential, when grading.

I also use a WFM (a tiny Hamlet Picoscope) when setting up whenever there is time. The PicoScope is very small and feeds into the monitor.

Hamlet have a real-time set of software meters in the pipeline. These will allow a laptop with a 1394 port to act as a WFM, vectorscope, audio meter and more. The program is called VidScope. They already make a PCI card version for analogue video.

Now listen Sony, JVC and Panasonic: why don't you put software WFMs and vectorscopes in all your cameras? It would be so simple.

Best,
Helen
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Old November 26th, 2003, 06:37 AM   #9
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To Helen

Hi,

Please excise my ignorance but what's Vixen?

Roger.
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Old November 26th, 2003, 11:24 AM   #10
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Hi Roger,
Sorry, I should have given more details in my original post.

Rather than try to explain, here is the URL of the Vixen site:

www.xentrik.demon.co.uk/ViXen/body_vixen.html

Vixen isn't just the WFM and 'scope, I guess that it compares to Video Finesse.

Ask if there is anything else.

Best,
Helen
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Old November 26th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #11
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Hi guys,
I have a basic understanding of using a waveform monitor and vectorscope to properly calibrate video. I've used them numerous times when dealing with analog equipment, but have been told that digital is digital and doesn't need to be calibrated. Honestly, I dont like that idea too much because I want full control over my projects. I am familiar with the difference between digital and legal analog broadcast (pertaining to 7.5 IRE black and 100 IRE white), and usually just use a broadcast legalizer filter to adjust for analog output, but would prefer a waveform monitor and vectorscope. My question is, are the scopes benificial to a 100% digital production or do they just apply to digital-analog conversion?
I've been looking at a program called VideoScope 1.3 (www.evological.com/videoscope) for my Mac. Its not very expensive so that's not a big deal, I'm just wondering if it will prove to be a useful tool.
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Old November 26th, 2003, 07:33 PM   #12
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FCP has scopes in the capture window. They are disabled when you start capturing. I don't know if they're any good.
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Old November 26th, 2003, 09:54 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Joe Sacher : I also use the waveforms in Vegas for tweaking the video. It would be interesting to get a program that samples the video coming in on Firewire and generates vectorscope and waveforms. A cheap laptop could do the job of more expensive equipment at a shoot. -->>>

That would be nice. But you know they have that. But the bucks are big.

Canopus' Edius waveform monitor and vector scope module will display the incoming DV stream.

Fortunately I have a portable waveform monitor from Leader that works very well when I absolutely have to have a 'perfect' image.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 04:16 AM   #14
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So why should we all need this

Helen, thanks for the link. I've had a look at the site and downloaded the trial but not installed it yet. Looks interesting.

Now a question for everyone and it may be a really dumb one... remember I'm a newbie.

Don't programs and techniques like this just encourage bad practice in production? Most of the pictures I make are stills, shot on film. I try to light everything properly, set the right exposure and use a top notch processing lab'.

The only time I scan pictures and enhance them in Photoshop is when I've messed up (happens two or three times in a good year) and then the end result is never as good as if I'd got it right in the first place.

I know video is different. One of things I've learned is that it's so much more demanding. Everything needs to be spot on or you'll beat yourself up about the results you get.

But don't the same principals still apply? Get it right in the first place and you shouldn't need Vixen or anything like it, except for creating special effects or quirky colour casts.

This may sound a bit arrogant... it wasn't meant to come over that way. I'd genuinely appreciate feedback because I've still got a lot to learn about DV.

Cheers,
Roger.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 05:17 AM   #15
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There are sort of two threads running here. But mainly we are talking about using real time waveforms almost like a lightmeter.

As a tool for in-production use to ensure consistent and appropriate levels. A waveform is much better at this than a monitor, particularly an uncalibrated LCD monitor competing with the lights and shadows of a location shoot.

But even so, color correction is used even on the best footage, to make sure scenes match. Slight differences in color will be noticable if a straight cut is made between two clips.

Scopes are also used, in conjunction with color bars, to make sure analog footage transferred from one shop to another looks like the creator intended.

But I'm sure you are right, and it could be easy to over-rely on the power of modern color correction tools; to the detriment of careful production habits.
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