Magic Bullet vs FilmFX examples at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 1st, 2004, 02:15 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Magic Bullet vs FilmFX examples

Following on from my questions in another thread regarding shooting footage for Magic Bullet, I have created a page showing FilmFX 2.35 vs Magic Bullet For Editors Vegas 5 edition.

www.freewebs.com/fallenangelstest/looks1.htm

These pages may take some time to load on a 56k modem as I made them pretty hastily and didn't have time to be making thumbnails links etc.

Any comments or extra examples welcome.
Simon Wyndham is offline  
Old August 1st, 2004, 03:37 PM   #2
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10
great job simon, very informative! I have both filmfx and MB and ill keep this as a reference for future projects.
Pat Worrell is offline  
Old August 8th, 2004, 07:34 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 38
Thanks a lot for that, I never understood the power behind these two programs. Do you have to render before you can preview effects on either of these programs? Is the rendering time on MB unbearable?
Ryan Mattos is offline  
Old August 8th, 2004, 08:06 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
Frankly, Simon, I think you need to spend less time on all the software fixes, and more time on lighting your scene correctly.

Wayne Orr, SOC
Wayne Orr is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 01:31 AM   #5
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Wayne, these shots are from community projects. The stories are made up by kids who have no experience with the camera, and I can tell you right now there is NO time for lighting set-ups other than the most basic possible!

Regardless I would be interested in knowing what exactly you thought was wrong (not that there is such a thing as wrong, only what the shot was intended to look like)?

If you are referring to The Silencer stills I think you should understand the circumstances more first. That was a very large room with no natural daylight to speak of, horrible coloured mats, and flourescent lights. The scenes called for the place to be daylight in some shots (nighttime in others). With 500w halogens and only one circuit ring to plug them into there is a limit of 6 lights at a push before everything trips.

If you are to criticise I would prefer you to say what you thought needed doing as opposed to a cynical 'you are crap at shooting' style response.
Simon Wyndham is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 01:36 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Hi Ryan, glad you appreciate it.

The previews for MB can be done quite quickly. I can see the results pretty much instantly. The actual render times are not awful on my 3.2ghz P4, but still fairly slow.
Simon Wyndham is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
"I can tell you right now there is NO time for lighting set-ups other than the most basic possible!"

I guess that pretty well sums up your attitude toward lighting, Simon, which is unfortunate since the quality of your light largely determines the quality of your final product. What you are attempting to do is use software fixes to eliminate spending time on lighting, which you probably find boring, and not nearly as much fun as shooting and fooling around with Magic Bullet, etc. But, I am afraid the basic law of the digital domain still applies: Garbage in, garbage out.

Most of your pictures are way underexposed. I know, you are trying to create "mood" for you horror film. You would be surprised at how many "dark" films are shot with considerable lighting in order to see into shadow areas. Then, in color timing, these pictures are adjusted to improve the light and shadows to give a rich contrast to the pictures. Often, in your pictures, the shadow areas are already dark, so when you apply a software fix to the picture, the shadow areas become extremely grainy.

Here is something you can do if you want to learn more about lighting versus post production color correction. Go to your video store and rent two copies of "The Anniversary Party." Get one on videotape and one on dvd. The videotape version was released without any color correction (a dirty trick played on the DP, John Bailey) and looks like a godawful home video or Sixties soap opera. Very flat, no color saturation. Then, put on the dvd version. This is from the film that was made after color correction, and is beautiful. This is the version you were supposed to see, not the awful videotape. But without the "awful videotape," there could be no beautiful film. John Bailey knew exactly what he was doing: create a "fat" negative (on videotape), and you can do amazing things in post with the hardware.

Color correction can work wonders with properly exposed (and lit) material. But underexposed and overexposed material will always look mediocre, even with lots of software hijinx. It's called "polishing a turd." I can say this from experience; I've created my share of turds. But I learned to recognize them, and worked hard to eliminate them.

To wrap it up, you spent a tremendous amount of time experimenting with your software, making the sample pictures, and writing your comments. I encourage you spend a similar amount of time working on your lighting skills, reading books on lighting, and studying films and paintings.

I guess I could summarize by saying, "lighten up a little."

Wayne Orr, SOC
Wayne Orr is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
Wayne, I LOVE lighting. But those community projects have NO time, repeat NO time for lighting setups. Until you have tried working with 20 underprivaliged kids who have never made anything before in their lives and you are expected to make a 20 minute long video with them of any degree of quality THEN you would possibly be able to comment.

I underexposed slightly ON PURPOSE. I don't have a matte box for my 16:9 lens so unless I want to have the effect of looking through a tunnel I have to underexpose slightly to avoid blowing out the sky and then bring it out later. I am at the absolute maximum lightness without blowing stuff out on all those shots you see. With slight under exposure I can bring stuff out afterwards. Over exposed and that detail is gone forever. Not one of those shots, especially the house of cards shots, are underexposed to the point of digital noise. The interior shots on House of Cards came out as I intended. Exactly as I intended. Sorry if my intended look struck you as being wrong, but it's my artistic desision. I also know that because I set shots up in a particular way in mind for post production adjustment they are not 'wrong'. I'm sure I could rip any shots of yours apart if I so chose and you had them up online.

On top of this, those shots look fine on a TV (a properly adjusted one at that). They are not way underexposed at all. If I went brighter there would be blown out highlights all over. Maybe you like white sky. Maybe you are lucky and can afford £500 for a piece of plastic and metal called a matte box. Sorry I have to work differently due to circumstance.

I'm finding your attitude pretty damned irritating to say the least, and to judge my abilities on seeing stills from two projects, one of which was forced to be shot more hastily than I think you will ever have shot anything, and one of which I put up 'problem' shots on purpose to show what I was going to do with them, you are a complete fool. Wayne just what is your beef?

Plus, about that considerable lighting you mentioned for darker films. Just what is it about the sentence "With 500w halogens and only one circuit ring to plug them into there is a limit of 6 lights at a push before everything trips." didn't you understand?

If this is the kind of response I am going to get from trying to put up some stills to illustrate something to someone then I won't bother in the future. I think I will leave these forums now. Thanks to the guys that have been a great help such as Ed Troxel etc. It's been fun.
Simon Wyndham is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 05:23 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 94
"I am afraid the basic law of the digital domain still applies"

People like you want to make them selves feel big by cutting others down.

Wayne YOU are the problem with film making. It's guys like you that will go around and telling people they are shit and that they don't know what they are doing and make nothing but Garbage, your comment Garbage in, garbage out just goes to show how ignorant you are. Have you ever seen 1st films from some of the biggest Directors or DOP's in the industry they look horrible compared to what they produce now.
Also DVINFO.net is a place where people come to learn not be cut down so why donít you keep your hollyer then though attitude to your self and help some learn lighting if you think it is so important (which it is) instead of cutting them down.

Michael Moore

PS
Love the shots and yes they are a little under exposed but I know what you are talking about not having the time. No biggie thow, not like these are going to the Oscars LOL :)

PPS
Sorry for jumping in but Wayne comments were super lame
Michael Moore is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 07:02 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Posts: 43
We all make mistakes during the shoot - reasons can be as diverse as actor's egos, a bad chilli the night before or the police turning up...

Discussions like this on how to make our DV films look better are vital. Sometimes we can't light, or we do and we f**k it up, but we can't reshoot.

Wayne, your second post was more reasonable. Your first post was immature... we need to nuture positive criticism, and help each other out.

We all learn from our own mistakes, and using forums like these, we can learn from other's mistakes too...
Doug Turner is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 08:11 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
Michael Moore? Michael Moore from Canada?? Ohmigod! I so luh-ve your films. (Actually, that Michael Moore would not have misspelled "hollyer." As someone educated in Catholic schools, he would have gotten five across the knuckles from Sister Mary deSade for that mistake.) After reading your harangue, I guess I won't be expecting any Christmas cards from you, Michael. And I am sorry that Simon took off in a snit, but when you get into this business you better develop a thick skin, because you are going to come up against the "Long Knives" quite often. As a matter of fact, I am quite comfortable with my original comment to Simon, and it wasn't until he refered to my "crap criticism" that I became bellicose.

As I said originally, I think he needs more work on his lighting skills if he is going to post pictures to be used as illustrations for a tutorial. "Lighting skills" not only refers to using equipment, but also how you view a scene and make the available light work for you. And how much work does it take to add a reflector? But first you have to realize your scene needs a reflector, then you have to get out the reflector, and then you have to get someone to hold the reflector. No time! We've got shooting to do, and can't be bothered with that crap!

I know the drill; I've been there. The camera is FUN. Lighting's a drag. You have to have all this clunky gear, and you have to know all this stuff about kelvins, and color temps, and amps (no, not for your guitar). Does this mean that you can't shoot without a bunch of lights? Absolutely not. Supposedly Robert Rodriquez only used one light to shoot "El Mariachi." But guess what? He had been doing it for years, and understood where he could fudge and where he couldn't. And he had modest expectations for "El Mariachi." He wasn't going to post it as a tutuorial on low budget filmmaking. That all came later, after the unexpected success of the film. First you have to read the books and learn the rules, then you can break them because you understand what you are doing.

My problem with Simon's tutorial is that he is trying to give the impression that all problems can be solved with software, and therefore lighting is of little consequence. I don't care about all his protestations to the contrary, I have to go by what is up on the screen. And I worry that some novice will think that this is the way to go: just shot away and fix it in post. It simply does not work that way. Most of the stills have a very serious exposure problem, and the software fixes are only a band-aid to the problem, and not a very good band-aid. Think I'm wrong? Then why don't you submit these stills to the two companies, and tell them they should post them on their websites as good examples of what their software can do. Just don't tell 'em I sent you. Let me know when they are up.

Criticism is not a bad thing. We need to point out when the emperor has no clothes. I'm sorry if I didn't pussyfoot around in my original comments. I don't see where that is a big deal. I did a short filmlook project for a friend quite awhile ago, and I invited criticism, and boy, I got plenty! (http://www.digitalprods.com/target.htm) But if you are going to put your work up there for all the world to see, you better be ready to take the bad with the good. There were a number of complimentary posts regarding Simon's work, and my one negative review shouldn't cause him to take his ball and bat and go play in another park.

By the way, Michael, if you do a search you will find that I have helped a number of people on this and other forums with their lighting, but they had a much better attitude than you.

Think I'll go kick my cat.

Wayne Orr, SOC
Wayne Orr is offline  
Old August 9th, 2004, 10:57 PM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,315
Everbody, please let's settle down a bit. It's easy to get worked up when we're having typing conversations and not talking in person, and often times words can sound harsher than they are really meant - it just depends on our writing styles.

Simon, please don't leave! We all have occasional head-butting every once in a while, but as you mentioned, it's a great place to hang out and learn. Some of us learn through tough words, others through positive reinforcement.

But most importantly, everybody - relax! It's just the Internet.
Imran Zaidi is offline  
Old August 10th, 2004, 12:25 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
Well said, Imran. My apologies to anyone who was offended by my comments. Believe it or not, they were meant to instruct.

Wayne Orr, SOC
Wayne Orr is offline  
Old August 10th, 2004, 02:19 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Malvern UK
Posts: 1,931
I haven't quite left yet. But Wayne, those shots from The Silencer DID use reflectors!!!!!!! I used the maximum number of lights plus reflectors I could to fill in as much of the important areas I could in the situation I was in!! For example in the shot where you can see most of the gym I had 4 500w Halogens coming in through the office window through a set of blinds and a smoke machine set up for diffusion, I had 1 500w off to the left side of the screen with a reflector that gave a bit more fill to the background and another 500w with a reflector on the actors faces in the foreground with some poor girl I had roped into holding it.

You also point out that I should not be using those stills as a tutorial. I wasn't giving a tutorial. It says IT IS THERE TO DEMONSTRATE THE TWO FILTERS DIFFERENT LOOKS ON REAL WORLD FOOTAGE. It is there to show people what these filters look like on sometimes less than absolutely perfect footage unlike the filters webpages.

"My problem with Simon's tutorial is that he is trying to give the impression that all problems can be solved with software," No I am not, but I do show my intentions with what I might do with some problem shots I DO have.

"Most of the stills have a very serious exposure problem," The last page stills have a bit of a problem. The rest of the stills DO NOT. The detail is all there in the picture, but without the filters applied those House of Cards stills are mostly as I intended. Sorry if you think that look was wrong, but perhaps I don't want a horror movie filled with bright colours. In particular the shot inside the classroom, and the shot looking at the entrance to the building with the shafts of light are EXACTLY as I wanted them. That's the way I wanted them, therefore there is NO PROBLEM with them.

My own personal way of shooting is to shoot with a mind for post production adjustment. When I have no time for lengthy lighting set ups such on House of Cards I have to work with what I have and adjust my exposure to suit. I don't want blown out skies and I don't have a Matte box to put a grad ND into. Therefore I sometimes have to slightly underexpose the foreground, but I KNOW that I can bring out that detail later because the detail is still there.

You work under more ideal situations. I don't and I know what I can do with footage afterwards and shoot with that in mind. Otherwise I'd end up LOSING detail in shots not gaining it, especially in exteriors.
Simon Wyndham is offline  
Old August 10th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #15
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Glad to hear you're not ditching us completely, Simon. When a situation between members de-escalates, it's important not to escalate it again. Apologies have been offered so let's leave it at that point please. Frankly I think we're fortunate to have more than one member of the S.O.C. onboard with us to offer constructive criticism from time to time. And I must agree with Wayne that a thick skin is indeed a requirement sometimes in certain aspects of our industry. Perhaps that can help temper our delicate sensibilities for a well-balanced roundness of character.

At this point, since I enjoy getting the last word in and because there's not much left to say, I'll close out the thread and we can all move on. Thanks, everyone.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline  
Closed Thread

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:05 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network