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Old May 5th, 2005, 10:04 AM   #1
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Cinegamma and Magic Bullet

Hi. I've just completed production on a short film, and I'm right now playing around with the image with Magic Bullet. The problem is that I've read so much on trying to achieve the "film look", that I've confused myself.

I shot the footage on a Panasonic GS400 in cinegamma and frame modes. The unaltered footage looks nice -- I lit it well, and it has that documentary, 16mm feel to it. But as a result, it doesn't have that colorful punch I would like.

I've played with Magic Bullet and the S-Curves, and the colors, contrast, and image looks nice, but it looks a lot more like video than the unaltered footage. Which is strange to me.

Am I defeating the purpose of using the cinegamma mode by increasing the contrast (which most of the MB filters do)? Can anyone relate their experience using MB on cinegamma footage (say from the DVX100 or the GS400)? I'm still fairly new at this.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #2
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Hello!
So,I have to tell you that I have exactly the same problem!!! And still no good results. No any film look. Even worse... I read so much manuals and literature about film look making, and nothing good. I shot with miniDV cam JVC GR DVL520A and it is very good in its class. But after processing the relusts are not good. I just dont knoq what to do.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 08:15 PM   #3
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You've got to lower expectations, these plug-ins give you a "kinda close to filmish" look. But it won't look exactly like film.
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Old May 9th, 2005, 01:49 PM   #4
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Robert,

I use the GS400 and MB, so hopefully I can be of help.

I don't use the Cine mode on the GS400, but I have tweaked the picture adjustment settings. I have turned all of the controls all the way down, that's exposure, contrast, color, and sharpness. All the way.

Try it out. With the POWER LCD off, and all the settings down, compare what you see on the LCD to what you see with your naked eye. It'll be pretty close. Now crank those settings back to the defaults. Wow, not reality, not even close. Oversaturated, oversharp, etc.

OK, another bonus. With the exposure and contrast turned down, you'll get at least a whole stop or more of extended exposure latitude. That's more details in shadows and highlights. You'll capture more information this way. You want to capture as much detail as possible. MB processes things in such a way that when gamma and contrast are adjusted, no detail is lost, it's just moved around. It's non-destructive.

One more, with sharpness turned down, you reduce the nasty DV sharpening effects, jagged edges, and mosquito noise.

Now on the MB. It all relates together. MB manual tells you to shoot as flat, low contrast, and simple as possible. It expects this natural and realistic footage. If you feed it that, you'll get better results. Some of the presets that may seem very extreme (green pearl, for instance), will actually give you a usable picture, if you provide the proper low contrast footage as input.

Now, if you don't shoot with the settings all the way down, all is not lost. You can still use the presets, but you'll probably want to adjust the Pre stage in MB. Whatever the saturation setting is, you can knock that down by 10 or 20 to correct back to normal, and you can do the same with contrast, again, 10 to 20 should get you down to reality.

Use gamma setting with care. If you want to make the image generally darker or lighter, use this. If you have dark footage, the extreme presets will look extremely dark. Correct this by turning down gamma by 5-10 or more in the Pre stage.

I actually use MB not just for special looks, but for basic color correction, too. Using the Pre stage, I can match shots darker or lighter, higher or lower contrast. I keyframe everything shot by shot and adjust as necessary until everything is on an even keel. Then, I can apply special looks and it will all look consistent.

Bottom line on cinegamma, or anything else that increases contrast in-camera, you will be losing details. Shoot low contrast, and adjust to you liking in post, when it is non-destructive. Capture all those details.

Josh
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Old May 13th, 2005, 11:36 PM   #5
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Hi Josh,

My JVC GY-DV5000 camera has a menu setting to set color matrix to simulate movie look and other SONY camera's color look. What do you think if I should turn that off or use color matrix for movie look? The reason I ask is Magic bullet do not want to use gel, just require normal shooting. Thus manipulate color matrix inside camera seems break that rule too.

TIA
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Old June 3rd, 2005, 11:27 AM   #6
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Thanks!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Provost
I use the GS400 and MB, so hopefully I can be of help.
Joshua,

Thank you so much. That's EXACTLY the information I was looking for. You rock!
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:44 PM   #7
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Some more info, I have put some examples of what the Picture Adjustment settings on the GS400 do. Of course, this doesn't apply to all cameras, but if you have a camera with manual controls, this might be informative. Everyone should be looking for the Contrast control on their cameras...

http://www.matterofchance.com/gs400/
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