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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #1
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HDV to film project

I am going in into a short-film project contest we will have here in Rio de Janeiro.

The final output has to be 35mm film, but you can shoot in whatever format you want.

My first intention had been to shoot in regular HD video, but budget restrictions have made me reconsider that. And I am thinking of shooting in HDV, using a Z1.

The film is a musical, or at least parts of it are. More than 90% of the story is supposed to be happening on a film set in the '30s, so I intend to do some color & image manipulation in post.

But I want to restrict my blow-up options and stay away from 60i or 30p frames, to see if I can avoid 60i/30p to 24-frame conversion. Going 50i and/or doing 25p seems like a less risky/less expensive way to go. Though I am not sure if I will find a lab here that can work in a PAL medium, which is what I am really considering. Brazil is an NTSC country, so that is a concern.

For the tests I am planning to shoot a band playing a music and see how it sounds when slowed down 4%. If it sounds fine I won't need to do a 24-frame conversion.

Has anyone gone this path? What are the pitfalls I may find?


Carlos
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Old June 5th, 2006, 08:29 AM   #2
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I think you are on the right track. What I would do is contact Swiss Effects----and ask them what they recommend for shooting your video/film. They are one of the better transfer houses and can really give you a set of instructions to follow before you begin production.


http://www.swisseffects.ch/english/e...ges/e_tape.htm
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Old June 5th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #3
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yeah, u should consult your film transfer post house.

i think most film transfer post house can deal with 25P & the audio issue.

several times my company prints feature film from our 25P masters.

a few times i did the 4% audio stretching myself. (Mixed the audio master myself)

we print in Hongkong tho... :)
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Old June 5th, 2006, 12:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for your suggestion.

I am very much aware of Swiss Effects and they would be my first choice if my funds were larger. SE has a booklet on HDV to film shooting that everyone should read, that is not available right out of their site. But they should send it to everyone who asks. Obligatory reading.

Unfortunately my funds are short and I will have to do with a local lab. At least I already checked and they can handle a 50i original, so I now have to make some tests with the Z1. A Panasonic P200, but rental is probably higher and maybe lab processing too.

As my film involves dancing, "ballroom type", I should check camera and dancers movements, which seem to be problematic in HDV.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #5
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I didn't recommend them as the place to do the transfer. I recommended them because they use to post some very informative pieces on shooting for film transfer.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Mintzer
I didn't recommend them as the place to do the transfer. I recommended them because they use to post some very informative pieces on shooting for film transfer.
In any case, if you had, the recommendation was perfect. Completely agreed with you on they being quite informative on transfer issues. In that way they develop a trust that makes go with them when an actual job comes along.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 03:28 PM   #7
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Carlos,

You might also take a look at www.dvfilm.com
They have some suggestions for shooting for transfer to film, and you can download a demo copy of DV FilmMaker which will convert 60i to 24P.

I played with the demo, and was quite impressed. Marcus will probably also give you great advice regarding shooting 50i versus 60i, as i found him very willing to answer questions.

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Old June 5th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #8
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I took a look at the dvfilm site, and he's added another program, Raylight, that also looks interesting. Here is the recommendations for Z1U.
Interestingly, he recommends shooting at 60i, for the Z1U.

http://www.dvfilm.com/fx1/index.htm
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Old June 5th, 2006, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Mays
I took a look at the dvfilm site, and he's added another program, Raylight, that also looks interesting. Here is the recommendations for Z1U.
Interestingly, he recommends shooting at 60i, for the Z1U.

http://www.dvfilm.com/fx1/index.htm

Thanks for your comments. I will have a look at the URLs.

But you will have to take DVFilm's recommendations with a grain of salt, I think, because they are interested in selling their software.

I have always believed that manipulating the image as less as possible was the way to go. Particularly if you don't need to use any software to compensate for the frames lost when going from 30 to 24fps.

Shooting in 50i lets you go to 25fps easily, and even if you then go to 24fps the loss is very little and needs little compensation.
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Old June 5th, 2006, 05:27 PM   #10
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One problem I may find in the Raylight software is that it can only be used in Vegas or PremierePro, and I use Avid Xpress Pro.

This short will have to be edited in my setup, and it's a good chance to see how to go around with an HDV on it.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 05:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E. Martinez
Thanks for your comments. But you will have to take DVFilm's recommendations with a grain of salt, I think, because they are interested in selling their software.
True enough. But DV FIlmMaker has a free demo, and I'm impressed with its conversion from 60i to 24p. I'm suggesting my wife get if for me for father's day!

Conversion from 50i to 25p is straightforward, but I believe that there is still some benefit in the motion detection algorithm Marcus uses, to know when to blend fields to eliminate the "jaggies." The frames at 60i are faster than 50i, so the jaggy problem might be worse at 50i.

Ideally you would shoot 24P natively, but the footage I shot at 60i and ran through DV FilmMaker looks pretty good to my eyes.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #12
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By the way Carlos---your 50i is the way to go---no doubt.
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Old June 7th, 2006, 05:45 AM   #13
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Movement in HDV

I insist on everyone owning a Z1/FX1 or interested in HDV, to ask from Swiss Effects their HDV to film leaflet. Obligatory reading!

Here's a part of it that worries me a little, as I will have dancing on my short film, and I am concerned about the "jaggies" that were mentioned above.

Quote:
Motion reproduction: Motion can be a problem with HDV. The compression type that is used by the HDV format works in a way that not every image is recorded entirely but only once for the parts which are not moving for a group of 12 images (Sony HDV). If the whole image content changes (in pans or with a shaky hand camera) the compression must be stronger to keep the data flow within the given limits. As a consequence the image quality decreases more or less visibly in pans and motion artifacts can occur.

Has anyone shot something that might recall a dancing sequence? What were the results? What were the solutions?
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Old June 7th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #14
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Carlos,

I shot several video shorts at 60i, (my FX1 doesn't do 50i), and have noticed the interlaced "jaggys" when there is a lot of motion in the frame. These jaggies have a bad effect when run through most compression engines for viewing on the Web. You would think the compression would average things out, and the jaggys would disappear, but they seem to sometimes get worse. (If field dominance is incorrect then things really fall apart!)

To combat this, I take any video clip with a lot of motion, and deinterlace it in Premiere Pro. I believe this is throwing away 1/2 the resolution in the image, so I only do it on a cut by cut basis.

However, DV FilmMaker seems to know which portions of the image have motion, and which portions are stable. It does some sort of blending to get rid of the motion jaggies, while preserving the resolution of the background that is not moving. I really like the result of the tests I shot, but you can do a few tests and see for yourself the difference.

I have no experience with 50i, but I believe it will be the same as 60i, the interlaced frames will be jaggy during area of fast motion. If you simply convert to 25p, and then speed down to 24p, you will still have this image issue. The Marcus Van Bavel recommendation is to shoot at 60i, and convert to 24P, and from my test footage, this looks like a pretty viable option.

DV FilmMaker also appears to do something very intelligent with field dominance. I read about it, but I don't know how to explain it. I've only been playing with this stuff for about a year, so there may be someone with a lot more experience than me, who can explain things "more better."

Dick
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Old June 7th, 2006, 12:13 PM   #15
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for field-ings thingys pls read this wonderful, very clear guide, with explanations and images!!

http://www.100fps.com

for film output, i would suggest shooting in 25P Cineframe for easy & fast workflow.

if you need to get slow motion, shoot it in 50i, then separate the fields to 25P (plus scaling up the vert rez). Yes vertical res is half, but you get very nice slomo.

also i suggest using shutter speed of 25 or 50 fps. This will give you closer look to film's 180 degrees shutter.

to get smoother, less strobing movements, eg. to get more motion blur, i suggest to shoot in 50i, with 25fps shutter, then later deinterlace using blend fields.

i myself prefer to use black stretch on & no cinegamma, grade the color later in post. I use the most open aperture to minimise Z1's depth of field, to get it closer to film look.

hope helps.
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