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Old July 17th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #16
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can somebody explain the the function warm cards to me? My understanding is it offsets the white balance to warm up the colors of your shot. Cant your just do this with your picture profile settings though? What is the advantage (if any)using cards as opposed to offsetting the WB with PP? Does it make the process easier or somehow different with cards?
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Old July 17th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
DSC labs had every chart under the sun for sale at NAB but didn't bring any grey cards.
Perhaps due too the fact that grayscale charts are preferable to gray cards. You can white balance on a grayscale.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
(Of course, if you have an engineer, scopes and a remote camera control, they'll pull out an expensive chart but then dial it in to taste anyway.)

Lenny Levy
Indubitably! Hence the question bears asking when the last time was that you saw an engineer use a white card? As I like to say, white cards are the worst way to balance a camera!! And warm cards are a much more worser way!!! Details and disclaimers :-) in a fun and wacky post! --->http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...ml#post1077884

Do I have a warm card you ask?! But of course I do!! I also have a knife to cut my seat belt in case my car crash dives into the river! :~)


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Originally Posted by Brian Barkley View Post
... and thousands of DP's worldwide use warm cards to get the best appearance on location ...
May I presume you refer to the low budget independent world? When there is enough money on the line, the majority of DPs use a DIT. Never (never say never) a white card or warm card.


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Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
I searched the Kodak site for specs on the grey and white cards. While they do list their cards as neutral grey, I don't see any manufacturing numbers.

Paper ages easily with light exposure, and I wouldn't be surprised if one side aged faster than the other.... I'd put my trust in plastic (Whibal) over paper for white balance.
Positively, any light source will degrade test charts, along with temperature and humidity. Most markedly unlaminated paper and cardboard charts are especially vulnerable on top of their weakness towards surface damage.

The absence of control numbers, "manufacturing numbers" as you put it, is further clue to an error prone chart.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 04:32 AM   #18
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Forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought grey cards were to measure exposure and white cards were for white balance.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dave Tyrer View Post
Forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought grey cards were to measure exposure and white cards were for white balance.
Tradtionally, calibrated gray cards (usually Kodak 18% cards) have been used by still photographers to set exposure, but they can also be used to set white balance -- as long as they are truly color neutral. As far as color is concerned, there is no difference between a gray card and a white card.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dan Lukehart View Post
can somebody explain the the function warm cards to me? My understanding is it offsets the white balance to warm up the colors of your shot. Cant your just do this with your picture profile settings though? What is the advantage (if any)using cards as opposed to offsetting the WB with PP? Does it make the process easier or somehow different with cards?
In my opinion, there are several reasons why using WarmCards is better than adjusting the Picture Profile or other methods of warming the picture.

First, WarmCards save time. To set a proper white balance, you MUST manually white balance the camera at the location where youíre shooting. If you only use a plain white card, then you also have to take the time to manually adjust the PP to warm-up or cool-down the image. But, with WarmCards, all you have to do is aim the camera at the card, press the WB button, and youíre ready to shoot immediately.

Of course, you might decide to use the WB Offset feature of the camera to warm-up the white balance 100% of the time whenever youíre using a certain PP, but that doesnít allow you much control on a shot-by-shot basis. And if you forget that WB Offset is activated, you may shoot video with a white balance you didnít intend.

Second, WarmCards are designed to do more than just boost the overall Kelvin temperature. The four shades of WarmCards were chosen to emphasize the hues that make skin tones look best. Think of it this way: Using the Picture Profile menu to crudely make the whole picture warmer is like only having a Bass or Treble knob on an audio system. On the other hand, using WarmCards is like applying a pre-set Equalizer setting across the whole spectrum of colors. In most instances, especially when shooting interviews, the effect you get from WarmCards is noticeably more pleasing than just cranking up the color temperature.

Third, thereís no guess work involved. The effect that WarmCards provide is predictable, repeatable, and consistent. Once youíve experimented with WarmCards and see the effect they have, youíll have no qualms about using WarmCards without even checking a monitor.

Fourth, with WarmCards thereís no labor-intensive color correcting footage in post or waiting for time-consuming rendering to finish. And what if you have to give (or show) the raw footage to a client? Can you count on them to process the footage so it looks the way you intended it?

Fifth, WarmCards includes a Minus Green card for getting a cleaner white balance under common fluorescent lighting. Thereís no easy way to do that by changing the Picture Profile

If you want more information about WarmCards, thereís plenty more details on Vortex Mediaís website.
WarmCards - White Balance Reference System
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Old July 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #21
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May I presume you refer to the low budget independent world? When there is enough money on the line, the majority of DPs use a DIT. Never (never say never) a white card or warm card.
Nobody uses WarmCards? There's over 24,000 crews using Warmcards.


NFL Films, CBS Sunday Morning News, 60 Minutes, 2002 Winter Olympics, 2004 Summer Olympics, 2006 Winter Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics, 20/20, Dateline, E! True Hollywood Story, Survivor, Big Brother, A&E Biography, A&E Investigative Reports, HGTV, TLC, Larry King Live, Court TV, Discovery Channel, "CBS "Early Show", "Modern Marvels", A&E "American Justice", NASCAR Images, CNN, Good Morning America, Univision, Fox News Sunday, ABC World News Tonight, ESPN2 "RPM 2NIGHT", Sundance Channel, Fox Broadcasting, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc.

See a few of the rest --
Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

Okay, so maybe an ASC cinematographer working on a multi-million dollar feature film wouldn't use WarmCards, but how many of us are working in that world? Not me.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Nobody uses WarmCards? There's over 24,000 crews using Warmcards.


NFL Films, CBS Sunday Morning News, 60 Minutes, 2002 Winter Olympics, 2004 Summer Olympics, 2006 Winter Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics, 20/20, Dateline, E! True Hollywood Story, Survivor, Big Brother, A&E Biography, A&E Investigative Reports, HGTV, TLC, Larry King Live, Court TV, Discovery Channel, "CBS "Early Show", "Modern Marvels", A&E "American Justice", NASCAR Images, CNN, Good Morning America, Univision, Fox News Sunday, ABC World News Tonight, ESPN2 "RPM 2NIGHT", Sundance Channel, Fox Broadcasting, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc.

See a few of the rest --
Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

Okay, so maybe an ASC cinematographer working on a multi-million dollar feature film wouldn't use WarmCards, but how many of us are working in that world? Not me.

Wazzup Doug?

That is the mother of all testimonial lists. Why isn't my name in there! The warm card we have isn't yours actually. Would like to try yours someday. Certain manufacturing steps I've wondered about maybe you can clear up.

Didn't say nobody uses warm cards. The response was to Brian's statement that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Allen View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Barkley View Post
It's a matter of opinion of course, but Hollywood sound mixers do adjust audio equalization as they record, and thousands of DP's worldwide use warm cards to get the best appearance on location ... I use warm cards, Tiffen filters, and other tools as I shoot. That's just me . . .
May I presume you refer to the low budget independent world? When there is enough money on the line, the majority of DPs use a DIT. Never (never say never) a white card or warm card.
Well intentioned statement but not accurate. We know, a "DP" and an ENG camera operator are not one and the same. As I pointed out in the other thread, linked in my post above.. "White balance question", ENG and quick fix situations are mainly what you made the warm cards for, didn't you?

Since video became DIGITAL all of a sudden the number of "DPs" in the industry jumped exponentially. The "Lighting Cameraman" of yesterday along with everybody who bought a sub-$10k DV camera was now a self-proclaimed "DP". Nothing is set in stone... albeit I think it's safe to say most bonafide DPs do not use warm cards, or white cards. I'm talking at the NON-ENG Varicam, F900 and above level. Hate to resort to model #s but there you go. I believe the warmcard application should be specified, not described as an across the board panacea save ASC cinematographers! :-)

More thoroughly, it's safe to say a studio shoot, truck shoot and practically all network episodic television or any other location shoot usually employing a video village is probably not using warm cards. Any truck engineer I know of spotted pulling out warm cards to match cameras would never be hired again. Correct me if I'm wrong but you didn't design warm cards to be used by these people. You had in mind first the ENG shooter and, at a stretch, the EFP crew with no DIT. In the other thread linked in above post I also expressed it's not bad to have in the tool bag for these guys.

Still when someone says they want "the best white balance" and white or warm cards enter the discussion this understanding should be attached. They do have a place but it is not as a tool used to create "the best white balance". This statement is rooted in elementary camera engineering --- a realm the warm cards are not intended to be in. I suspect you agree.

On another note that list of customers is quite the impressive monster! How do you attain such specific records of all these shows and clients? I was curious of a few things. The before after shots are simulated or actual video grabs using warmcards? Forgive all the questions but here's some more. How did you determine the right shade for each warm card. What's the life expectancy before the dyes destabilize. Is there a QC process and tolerance range each card is tested for using a spectraphotometer. Can you specify this tolerance range if there is one.

All the honest reference white/gray card manufacturers I know of acknowledge the greatest challenge to producing reference cards to be consistent neutrality from card to card. Michael Tapes whose Whibal product gets mentioned here at times went so far to make videos about the topic WhiBal White Balance Gray Card Video Tutorial by Michael Tapes. I know your products are different and personally I do not agree with several of Michael's methodologies but he gets points for attempting some conformity to neutral readings. We both know this is a relevant matter. There are so many of these cards in the market as you know and the bulk of them are not close enough to neutral. Nevertheless they are blindly trusted because people are cameramen not camera engineers. Obviously the essential value of a premium white balance card is neutrality of the material. Your warmcards are also subject to spectral response when part of the sell is to match different camera crews. If customers are not made aware of these specs for such products they might as well carry different shades of laminated copy paper with them to balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
As far as color is concerned, there is no difference between a gray card and a white card.
Not true, the reflectance curve of a white card is not the same as a gray card.

Before buying them let me touch on one point I'm not thrilled with being the matte surface on vortex warmcards. One look at the array of competing products shows you're not alone in matting your test charts. But the truth is matting actually increases reflections and reduces dynamic range. The idea that it reduces reflections is a complete myth propagated by the old test chart manufacturers. Going back to the theme here of accuracy sacrificed for practicality, when the clock is ticking and its down to the wire yes I can comprehend how a matte surface is quicker to balance to because you don't have to fiddle with angling the the card.

Anyway in the end sometimes I don't white balance at all because it's not creative. Instead I like to be surprised by what I get just turning the camera on and if it looks bad there must be a reason for it in the universe which I just don't understand yet.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #23
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Max, you do know which forum you're posting on, right? Just in case you forgot, this is the XDCAM EX forum which caters to ENG/EFP cameramen who typically work alone or with a very small crew.

I'm not interested in getting into a debate about white balancing methods that are totally impractical at the level most of us work at, or trying to convince you that a lot of us have earned the title "DP" even if you don't think we deserve it.

I'm satisfied to let my previous posts speak for me, and leave it at that.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Max, you do know which forum you're posting on, right? Just in case you forgot, this is the XDCAM EX forum which caters to ENG/EFP cameramen who typically work alone or with a very small crew.
<snip>
I thought this forum catered to all XDCAM EX users.
Certainly I've not noticed a significant quantity of ENG/EFP shooters here. There's a lot using 35mm adaptors and I doubt they're shooting ENG/EFP.
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