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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


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Old March 12th, 2004, 05:14 PM   #1
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Shooting for straight to DVD, what to do?

My friend wants to direct a feature length project, and I am to DP it. He has a DVX100, and will be getting, in addition, a DVX100a soon. What we've been trying to figure out is how to shoot with DVD as the end format in mind (he'll try to get a deal with Blockbuster or something, anyway, no important). We also want the 16:9 look, for it's artistic value, and the 24p framerate, for the same reason. This is for NTSC only.

So, here's the question: What settings should be used with all this in mind? In camera, as far as frame rates (23.97? 24p? 24pA?), 16:9 settings (should he get the anamorphic lens, or do it in post, or what? It'd be great if we could do a fullscreen version and a widescreen version, like the big boys do). Is tehre anything different we need to do, since we'll be using two different cameras (this is to shoot two angles at once). Keep in mind, I'm not a DVX100 owner, so I'd appreciate if you'd taylor your responses accordingly. Thanks.
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Old March 12th, 2004, 06:19 PM   #2
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I do believe 24pA will be higher quality than 24p because you will be able to create four perfect frames from the 8 perfect fields (and the middle two fields in the 10-field chain are disregarded). But you need something like Vegas that supports it. Then you should be fine.

A lot of people don't like the anamorphic lens, though if you do use it you'll have more resolution to P&S if you want a P&S version. But if you'd prefer to just open up the frame to do the P&S, and matte it to do 16x9, then obviously shoot in 4x3 mode and matte and anamorphic stretch in post.

Hope that helps.
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Old March 13th, 2004, 12:03 AM   #3
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Thanks. The guy who's directing and owns the cams also has Vegas, as well as Avid Xpress DV (or whatever the home version's called).


Jeez. . .so for the full screen version he'd actually have to have someone reframe every shot in post? I'd prefer to frame in 16:9 terms, rather than do something that's safe for both, seems like too much of an artistic comprimise. What do people generally prefer now days--a letterboxed look, or something that fills the whole screen? I mean, for the fullscreen version, what if we just exported in such a way that it letterboxed, and the widescreen would just conform to a true 16:9 device?
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Old March 13th, 2004, 12:28 AM   #4
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Hello Josh,

I'll give you "my" best way, and you can adjust as you see fit.

Do your shooting in 24PA as this will allow you to produce to 24p DVDs without any struggles.

Edit in either FCP 4.0 on an Apple or Vegas 4.0 in a PC. Both will capture 24PA footage directly and work with the 2:3:3:2 pulldown correctly, allowing true 24p editing/production.

Again, if using apple I would suggest you work with their DVD Studio Pro or on the PC then DVD Architect. Either will allow you to author and burn 24P DVD Masters for DVD production.

As for the camera settings, other then 24PA, you guy will need to do some test shots to determine "your look". Here is a good place to start:

-SCENE FILE MENU-
DL -4
VDL -4
DC +5
CL 0
CP -4
CT 0
MP -6
AIL 0
GAMMA CINE-LIKE
MATRIX CINE-LIKE
SKIN TONE 0FF
VDF THIN
PROGRESSIVE 24PADV (ALWAYS )

I adjust COLOR TEMP (CT) down (-) when shooting overcast to keep colors rich and warm (personal preference), but could also go the other way if cooler look is needed.

As to the master Pedestal set in minus number... This to me makes the colors much richer and more full, I also like pure black on blacks not some shade of black and keeping MP at -3 to -7 will make that happen.

Lots of choices, just as it should be. The top 2 DETAIL LEVEL and VERTICAL DETAIL LEVEL kept in the minus range really keep playback on large screen TV (not HDTV) smooth yet clear, left at 0, images are much more coarse and less pleasing to the eye.

Since you will have both the DVX100 and the DVX100A, you will need to be careful in these adjustments to match cameras as close as possible. Don't just trust the settings, do some sample shots and edits to be sure.

16:9 is no problem for either camera to shoot without an anmorphic if final output is for DVDs. Some very minor improvement could be noticed with and adapter on the DVX100, but I seriously doubt this would be the case on the DVX100A if compared when shooting in Squeeze Mode. With the better DSP, prisms and in-camera 16:9 in the DVX100A, my guess would be that if you shoot with an anamorphic on the DVX100 and Squeeze mode on the DVX100A, both would bring nearly exactly the same results (aside from focus or barrel distortion issues with the anamorphic) when final output is 24p DVDs, even viewed on DLP or HDTV.

If you are serious about producing both 16:9 and 4:3 formats, you will have to shoot with both cameras in 4:3 mode. Do your edits in 4:3 and produce your 4:3 MPEG2. Change your setup to 16:9, crop to 16:9 and produce your 16:9 MPEG2. Use these to author your 24p DVDs in both 4:3 and 16:9 formats.

Good luck. Take the time to do some test and you'll be happy you're shooting with the DVX's for sure.

-Rodger
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Old March 13th, 2004, 12:35 AM   #5
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Thanks! Excellent info!
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Old March 18th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #6
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A couple more things, now that I've played with the cam a little.


First: When I adjust the master pedestal setting--am I always going to be NTSC legal, no matter what I set it to?

For the setup level, 0 or 7.5, which should it be?

You know how the XL1s has the 16:9 guides, the white marks, that you can use to frame for later cropping in post? Does the DVX100 have anything like that? I know it's got the actual black bars, but I'd rather not shoot with those, seems like it would limit you in the end. Does it just have guides? What about the DVX100A?
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Old March 18th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #7
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1 - No, the cam can easily be adjusted to NTSC illegal values. The key is to check everything in your NLE before output.

2 - stay with zero but depends on your NLE setup. search here - there's a detailed thread from a few weeks ago that covers this subject in great detail with a link to a JVC tutorial and other info.

3- No 16:9 guides on either cam, but easy to fashion them - again search, several people have made their own.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 01:51 PM   #8
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okay, so wait, why adjust the master pedestal if I'm going to have to readjust in post to make it legal again?



I believe I started that thread you referred to.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 01:53 PM   #9
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You adjust for look and exposure effects that you are difficult to recreate in post. The you make sure it's legal if you want it to be broadcast.

If you are never going to broadcast it, just test it to make sure it looks okay. Worrying about legal is not as important. As long as it looks good and you don't have signal bleeding into the audio tracks etc., be creative.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 06:31 PM   #10
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Sorry, let me redefine legal. I figure if DVD players are an NTSC device, hooked up to NTSC TV's, you want the signal to be legal according to NTSC specs, right?

I do get what you mean about "easier in camera than in post."
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Old March 18th, 2004, 07:34 PM   #11
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DV is digital - DVD is digital - both have no setup - both should have blacks at 0 IRE. The DVD player will add the appropriate setup to the analogue outputs if it's a North American DVD player.

And I'd shoot 24pA, remove the extra frames and create a 24p MPEG2 for DVD - it should look great.

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Old March 19th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #12
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Okay thanks. More questions to come.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 01:30 AM   #13
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Resurrecting this thead.


Hope it doesn't need to be moved or anything. the nature of the project I'll be working on has changed, and now I need to know about shooting for a possible 35mm transfer. Same settings? Differences? What are they? Also might be aiming for cable television.

I guess I'd like to know if there's some reason that I can't shoot the same way, and have all three in mind as possible distribution methods. In otherwords, can I shoot it one way, and have it go to film, cable, or DVD? Or do I need to shoot the same thing like 3 times, with different settings, or do something in post and have 3 different final cuts?

Also, my director seems to think you have to light differently with a film transfer in mind. That doesn't really make sense to me. Shouldn't you just follow the same rules? Don't overexpose unless you want it lost forever, don't underexpose unless you want it lost forever, don't use gain unless you want video noise, etc.? Wouldn't you light it just like you would if you wanted it to look good on TV or DVD?
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