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Photon Management
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 07:13 PM   #1
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lazy pixel, low light

Ok, so here's my newest dilema.
I am shooting a bar scene for my feature this coming Sunday night.
I'm shooting with my trusty GL1 and plan to use the bar lights (but using higher wattage bulbs) and or my stockpile of salad bowl hme depot lights.
The problem with this whole situation is that my "trusty" GL1 has a few, how should i put it, wounded pixels. They're not dead yet but they have taken some fire and are deserving a purple heart.
The pixels are only a real problem when in medium to low lighting situations.
My question is, should i illuminate the hell out of that bar, to an obnious degree so that my pixels aren't visable, then darken the room in post?
Should i just shoot the darkened bar then spend weeks trying to cover the pixels in post?
shipping this thing off and getting the pixels remapped is not an option for this shoot and i only have the bar for one night.
any advise will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks as always.
J
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Old July 24th, 2006, 07:23 PM   #2
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Wow. I don't know how anyone could answer that question for you. Youse rolls your dices and youse takes your chances...

Seriously, though, I wouldn't deliberately overexpose without a test showing that it works for the project, because you do risk walking away with nothing useable.

Retouching off pixels scene-by-scene... how much is your time worth? Maybe you should rent a camera.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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Jason,

I think the answer is buried in your post.
1) Repairing or replacing the camera (which is the real problem) doesn't seem to be an option.
2) Lighting the bar to a high F-stop will take *a lot* of light. Each stop that you add means that you have to double the intensity of the light. Given your description of your lighting package, I don't think you have enough photons to get the bar bright enough.

So, that leaves some sort of post fix for the problem.
Are these pixels showing up bright or dark? Is it really noticable? Are they the same pixels every time?
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Old July 27th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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thanks for the help so far.
the pixels are showing up brighter than everything else, if im shooting with the lens cap on there are a few gray spots.
its always the same pixels.
i've not had any problems when shooting daylight exteriors or very well light interiors though (i've had a a couple of day for not int. shoots where i lit the place up like a chrismas tree).
if i infact do need to just shoot the right lighting and fix in post, would anyone have any suggestions on software to do so?
i could probably make a matte for each shot with some kind of nuetral color to fill the pixels but that may take me until the end of time.
is there any software out there that could help me do this quicker?
currently i have prem pro 1.5 and after effects 4 (but have never used ae).
....unless someone wants to sell me a gently used gl1/2 on the cheap?
thanks for all the help, i really appreciate it.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 11:42 AM   #5
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woops, i meant after effects 6.5. sorry
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Old July 27th, 2006, 11:18 PM   #6
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Wow. This is as ludicrous as it is... I don't know. You've come up with a shitload of remarkably complex solutions. Occums Razor? (sp)

Dude, your camera is broken. Yeah I know it's just the pixels, and you can build a matte box that holds horizontal toothpicks to compensate but -- fo' real! your cameras broken. The image. No good. Toothpicks no good. Duct tape... maybe.

Seriosly, I'd recommend calling off the shoot or renting a different camera because all you're going to do is screw over all the other good kids who are busting their asses for no money(presumably [though I feel pretty confident about it]). Just consider that you may want to work with these people again and all of your solutions are kinda ridiculous.

However, if by some chance one of your solutions does work and your footage is immaculate... I don't know.

Yeah, be responsible and either make 'dead pixels(?)' your aesthetic or buy a new camera, but you as it is now, you may be dickin' others over
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Old July 30th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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wow nicho, that was the oppostie of help and encouragment.
thanks for taking to time to post such deflating garbage.
i appreciate your time and your obvious professionalism.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 03:51 PM   #8
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If you can avoid shots where you have to move the camera, then building a mask in AE to pull just the fixed pixels down is pretty easy. If you feel very ambitious, you can shoot a background plate of each scene offset just slightly and use the mask to replace the pixels in post. This obviously causes a problem when you're dealing with a moving subject (like an actor), so you may have to deal with those situations by hand. All of this will be time consuming, but you should finish well before the End of Time.

Another option would just be to let it go. Frankly, the story and the acting are much more important than the tech stuff. I just came from a film festival this weekend where one of the category winners (out of about 30 films) was shot on a High-8 camera with nothing but reflectors for lights.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 04:42 PM   #9
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thanks.
i'm going to shoot a little brighter than i'd like to, shoot it and see what we end up with.
worst case is that i need to build a matte or say screw it.
thanks as always guys. i dont think that i could have gotten this far in this project with all of your help
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