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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:35 AM   #1
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My video appears dark on some screens...

I have just produced some online video for a client.

Some people are complaining that the video is showing up quite dark on their screens, with my face a dark pink and shirt a light green. Can anyone make any suggestions on what I should tweak within the video, to stop this from happening?

The video can be found on the homepage, 'personal' 'expat' and 'business' sections of this site:

UK Based PO Box and Mail Forwarding Services, UK Online Postal Boxes

Thanks,
James.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:24 AM   #2
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without looking at it I can tell you it's PROBABLY NOT your video IF you've used the proper scopes (waeform/vector) and have properly set the colors and exposure when editing. Keeping colors legal IE 16 to 235 not 0 to 255 etc.
It sounds like some folks don't have their computer monitor set properly and since there are so many different monitors and some have more precise settings than others plus most people take it out of the box and use the factory settings which may or may not be correct I doubt that you'll ever get it to be right on all monitors.
If the project looks right on your computer monitor/production monitor then I would leave it alone and perhaps the viewers will figure out they need to adjust THEIR monitors.
Probably not what you wanted to hear but it's the way things are.
Just make sure your video looks correct on your equipment.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info Don. I'd like to clarify that it is my video - we are a PR company but have just branched into this video business, and I am editing very basically so still have a lot to learn.

Everything is showing up fine at my end, but still a lot of people can view most video correctly, but mine is showing up very dark.

I'm trying to find a solution without having to do back to tinkering with the raw files again as they are AVCHD and slow to edit!!
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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Yup the guy looks dark with a green/blue color cast. Viewing this on a PC. Maybe Mac will be different? Hard to say without seeing the original footage.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:38 AM   #5
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Is the trick just to make the imagine lighter? The original footage is a little dark, but looks natural.

However, the video goes through chromakey so perhaps this is where the colours are going wrong?
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:44 AM   #6
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Yep, that's nasty. Could be part of the keying process. Are you applying a hue shift somewhere? It looks like the hue "clock" has been rotated some. Shirt isn't green here, just a very ugly unnatural blue.

On a calibrated Mac LCD.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:52 AM   #7
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I am a very basic editor (I am new to After Effetcs) so literally just selected the eyedropper in Keylight, clicked the green to turn it white, and applied some edge blur.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 11:39 AM   #8
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Yes James looks dark and green on both my calibrated my macs too. I can also see strange shadowing on what must be the chromakey screen. Looks like you were too close to it and there doesnt seem to be much light on the initial shots.

Also sounds like you just used the camera mic as the sound is not too good either, its low level and echoey a mic needs to be a personal lavalier or within 3 feet of the speaker. I act as a consultant on shooting and delivering high quality web video content so drop me a line of you need to hire my services.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 12:02 PM   #9
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I think I will re-record these tomorrow. What suggestions do you have for ensuring that I get it right?

I was about 10 feet away from the camera, used 3 lights and a boom mic. I will use my lapel microphone tomorrow, but would like some advice for the lighting etc to ensure I don't get the same problems as today.

One thing I did do was to turn the main lights off in the room and just use my kit lights. Is it best to keep the lights on in the room also?

Any advice would be great.
Thanks.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 03:16 PM   #10
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A boom mic needs to be less than 3 feet away, the cromakey background needs to be 5 feet from you and lit so that no spill from it affects the lighting on you. If yo have shadows on it you will also have problems keying.

Also white balance is important but what camera are you using as some prosumer cameras dont do chromakey very well.

You mention AVCHD and that you are having problems editing it so what is your workflow?

With best respects there are lots of web design, PR and even print media companies that think that they can just buy some kit and do video to pro standards, this goes for a lot of directors and producers too who seem to totally de-value the skills of proper camera, sound and editing staff.

I could suggest a course but if you are wanting instant pro results just by asking on a forum such as this then you will be re-shooting a lot of times to get things right.
There are a few books available but at the end of the day it takes time and guidance to learn how to do things right.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 04:23 PM   #11
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I am actually an ex BBC television news presenter/journalist so have a very good working knowledge of both camera and editing skills and equipment. I've produced documentaries for BBC Two etc etc so am not someone who 'think I can just do it'.

I'm just using the kit and software for different purposes now.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 05:46 PM   #12
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Sorry James dont mean to offend but being a journalist does not mean you are qualified to be a technical operator and just being ex BBC doesnt qualify these days.

I made the point that journo's are now picking up Z1 type cameras and expecting to make TV and I would have thought that your BBC background would have made you aware of the problems that you are already having.

As I said I am happy to help you out but as you are wanting to make money out of this it is a pro situation and beyond the hobbyist aspects of production that are discussed here.

I suggest you get yourself on the BBC training courses to get up to speed on the latest DV sound and shooting techniques or employ someone to get you to where you need to be to progress your business.

P.S. I could name numerous ex BBC and ITV personnel who have tried to do corporates without the required knowledge.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:49 PM   #13
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Sorry to sound so harsh in my previous post James and I do wish to help you but I meet so many ex broadcast people who think that being ex ITV or BBC means that you can instantly do web content.

It is different and there are so many other factors that are taken as for granted in broadcast that just do not apply to web delivery.

The two main ones you have already been made aware of things look dark and sound levels are totally different.

I have done 29 years in broadcast but for the past two years I have been researching IPTV and web delivery and it is not just a case of low end camera's being able to get the best for web delivery.

Bear in mind that anything on the web has to be compressed to beyond normal limits and therefore broadcast disciplines may not apply.

Example the sound level on your clips is probably in broadcast level spec but it sounds too low for my ears and once levels are brought up the background echo becomes intrusive and makes it sound semi pro. Tight sound is always best and because most web content is heard thru small speakers you need to optimise the bandwidth available.

The same goes for pictures and I can vouch for the fact that even though I had nice defined workflows for my sony Z7 and S270 cameras I have had to re-think now that I have a more pro panasonic 301 P2 camera.

At the end of the day its all about knowing your basic skills but then applying the new ways of working back onto broadcast basics.

I still meet ex ITV and BBC people who just think that cause its in broadcast spec that it will be OK on the internet and then wonder why the pics look so flat and the sound is inaudible.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:59 PM   #14
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You should use the full 0 to 255 RGB color space for web content. 16 to 235 is for NTSC broadcast but it shouldn't be used for web content.

Also, if you are doing chroma key, you will have an easier time if you use 4:2:2 color space rather than the 4:2:0 from your camera. You can use an intermediate Codec such as Cineform to convert to 4:2:2 but your editor needs to support 4:2:2. If your editor only supports 8-bit mode, it won't support 4:2:2.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #15
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The difference in brightness may be dependent on whether it is being viewed on a Mac or a PC. My experience has been that Mac monitors are generally set up with higher gamma (and therefore look brighter) than PCs. So if you make it look right on the Mac, it will be dark on the PC. This is purely from a real-life perspective, I have no technical data to back me up on this one.

Have fun!

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