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Old June 6th, 2018, 04:44 PM   #1
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Settings for dance recital

With stage lighting, I was wondering if I should attempt to lower contrast by using a cinema picture profile? Anyone have a suggestion? I'm recording to an Atomos recorder in ProRes so should have plenty of bitrate to adjust contrast and saturation.

Also, I presume the best format to use is 60i? Or would 60p be better even at 720?
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Old June 6th, 2018, 08:17 PM   #2
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Re: Settings for dance recital

Honestly youíre over thinking it. Iíve been doing this for many years there are only two things you need to do:

1. proper exposure. It doesnít need to be perfect. Not over exposed, still fine if itís under exposed by few stops. I still get fooled on occasion and itís almost always a problem when I have someone cover a job. Itís not a matter if it will be off but how bad. Every performance is different, you might get evenly lighted performance that doesnít change and think whatís the big deal? But more than likely you get poorly lighted with lots of changes with many difficult choices.

2. Follow the action. This is something that either comes natural or you learn it over time. Like exposure it really simple but hard to do right. Anticipate and react quickly to the dancers on stage. In experience videographers are always a step behind, too much panning, zooming too close, cutting off arms, legs, just not getting it or getting it too late.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 07:11 AM   #3
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Re: Settings for dance recital

This isn't going to be a cinematic masterpiece you're saying? Good stuff. Thanks.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 07:16 AM   #4
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Re: Settings for dance recital

Agree with Pete. Both teachers and parents want a record of the dance with kids on it. Not asking for an artistic film !!! Older dancers would be happy with a full stage shot of the whole dance !!! They will all see themselves and the dance pattern which is the important thing NOT closups that are artistic. Small kid dances stay very simple and then a slow pan across the line will allow parents to see their child's face. All dances end with a nice pose anticipate the music and make sure you get this ending pose. Shooting with a 4K camera of full stage and track action with HD camera will give you more options in editing. You may be better off as Pete says of underexposing a little as the last thing you want to do is blow out the faces !! Faces, feet and costumes are important for dance !!
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Old June 7th, 2018, 08:33 AM   #5
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Re: Settings for dance recital

What Ron said. If you want more creativity then shoot with more than one camera. I always shoot two cameras one of the entire stage, the other does the closups and panning. You can also film the behind the scenes of them getting ready for the show. You can get as cinematic as you want here.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 08:34 AM   #6
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Re: Settings for dance recital

My vote would be to go for one of the cine gamma or hyper gamma settings to help maintain a bit of extra highlight detail. (I'm not sure what cameras you're using??) Log will give you the most control in post if your camera does that...and you're comfortable with the workflow.
A lot will depend on the lighting - but also on what you have time to deal with in post.
If it's something that you can play with a bit, then I'd suggest keeping your matrix or gamma settings for a less saturated output - allowing you to better deal with some of the illegal colors that may be part of the performance (if they're using oversaturated LEDs). If you can check lighting in advance that's a big plus.
I typically shoot stage performances at 30p with 180 degree shutter. But if you're wanting it smoother you could go with 60p. I stay away from interlaced because of potential downstream de-interlacing issues when encoding stuff for the web.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 11:59 AM   #7
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Re: Settings for dance recital

One or two stops underexposed - always works for me, and as stage lighting rarely puts important things in the low lights and shadows, this usually produces decent looking video.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 12:25 PM   #8
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Re: Settings for dance recital

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Sperling View Post
My vote would be to go for one of the cine gamma or hyper gamma settings to help maintain a bit of extra highlight detail. (I'm not sure what cameras you're using??) Log will give you the most control in post if your camera does that...and you're comfortable with the workflow.
A lot will depend on the lighting - but also on what you have time to deal with in post.
If it's something that you can play with a bit, then I'd suggest keeping your matrix or gamma settings for a less saturated output - allowing you to better deal with some of the illegal colors that may be part of the performance (if they're using oversaturated LEDs). If you can check lighting in advance that's a big plus.
I typically shoot stage performances at 30p with 180 degree shutter. But if you're wanting it smoother you could go with 60p. I stay away from interlaced because of potential downstream de-interlacing issues when encoding stuff for the web.
Good stuff. Yeah I don't know how I left out the camera. Sony EX1, so I was considering a way to lower contrast a bit.

I'm selling DVD's and BluRays and I have had problems in the past (shooing 60i) with the interlacing looking really blurry on the DVD's unless I de-interlace in post. Progressive isn't a DVD standard but they seem to play in all modern sets.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 12:59 PM   #9
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Re: Settings for dance recital

If you shoot 60i and edit on an interlace timeline and then go to DVD or Bluray you are in the same format all the time. These days I shoot 60P on all cameras but edit on an interlace timeline to go to DVD and Bluray which are interlaced most other than 720P60 or 24P anyway.
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Old June 7th, 2018, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: Settings for dance recital

When using my EX1 for stage shows I usually set the Gamma to Cine 4 with a level around +6. I'll set the matrix to standard with a level of -1 or -2. There's a bit of color tweaking in the matrix as well, though nothing huge. Usually black is set around -1 or -1, with black gamma -2 to -4. I also usually bring the detail down a bit. This seems to give a good baseline, and can be color adjusted fairly easily.
It still gets used for smaller shows, typically as a medium/close camera, often with an F3 as a locked off wide shot. Last larger show I shot with it was after a cast change for "On Your Feet" - and I'm happy to say that they were able to intercut the EX1 footage with their original Alexa metarial, requiring only minimal color correcting when creating new press clips.
With the EX I try not to underexpose too much to avoid noise. I find the Cine Gammas do help protect the highlights a bit - and obviously you don't want your highlights to burn out.
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Old June 8th, 2018, 05:09 AM   #11
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Re: Settings for dance recital

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Chandler View Post
With stage lighting, I was wondering if I should attempt to lower contrast by using a cinema picture profile? Anyone have a suggestion? I'm recording to an Atomos recorder in ProRes so should have plenty of bitrate to adjust contrast and saturation.

Also, I presume the best format to use is 60i? Or would 60p be better even at 720?
I use an EX1r for events and find that 1080 30p 60fps into an Atomos Samurai recorded in Pro res DnxHD is just great. If it gets a bit under exposed, then I denoise the footage. Yes, it takes a while (overnight usually) but is well worth the wait. I expose for the highlights and let everything else fall where it may. I have a Century 1.6x extender I use occasionally, but find the loss of depth of field not usually worth the extra reach for that type of use.
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Old June 11th, 2018, 10:23 PM   #12
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Re: Settings for dance recital

Might want to check with the owner/client on how they want it.
We used to do pans across the little kid line because they basically don't dance in any pattern anyway but rather stand there. I wanted to make sure the parents could see their faces really good. But while you are panning then some of them are not going to be on camera the entire time so one owner said just show them all, all the time, so each kid is on screen all the time now in a wide shot. Doesn't look as good and certainly no art to it, but each kid is always on screen.
If the parents are happy then the owner/client is happy
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Old June 11th, 2018, 10:50 PM   #13
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Re: Settings for dance recital

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Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
If you shoot 60i and edit on an interlace timeline and then go to DVD or Bluray you are in the same format all the time. These days I shoot 60P on all cameras but edit on an interlace timeline to go to DVD and Bluray which are interlaced most other than 720P60 or 24P anyway.
Blu-ray supports 1080p60 just fine.
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Old June 12th, 2018, 11:40 AM   #14
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Re: Settings for dance recital

"just show them all, all the time, so each kid is on screen all the time"

True, parents want to see their kid ALL of the time and will let you know if you didn't get enough of their child on video!

What I've done for many years - with the little ones that stand stationary in a row - is to utilize either PIP or horizontal split-screen. Frame the full row of kids at bottom of screen, leaving plenty of empty space above to do that close-up pan with second camera. This actually worked MUCH better back when we shot 4:3 video, more room above, not so much with 16:9 but still usable.

Parents LOVE this, can always see their kid in group context 100% of time, and also get benefits of some good close-up time as well (keep those pans s-l-o-w and don't forget to pause a couple of seconds on first and last kid, or they get less screen time than those in the middle of pan).

Thanks

Jeff
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Old June 12th, 2018, 07:53 PM   #15
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Re: Settings for dance recital

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Originally Posted by Cary Knoop View Post
Blu-ray supports 1080p60 just fine.
I believe the spec does not support this even if modern players will play BLuray with 1920x1080P60. Even the extended UHD spec does not support this according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray. Not sure if my authoring program will accept it as an output either so making one may depend on the authoring program too. Not at my editor at the moment but will see if it will accept a file.
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