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


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Old July 2nd, 2006, 08:09 PM   #16
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When a clear blue sky with nice striations of clouds blows out into a pure white glob, blown-out highlights are a problem. Sometimes a blown-out sky can be faked as a cloudy sky, but people are accustomed to the sky occaisionally being blue. Couple the blown-out sky with under-exposed shadows and the lack of exposure latitude with video cameras becomes a real problem. That does not come from my posterior orifice. It is a simple fact that the sky has color and detail. Video cameras can rarely expose both the sky and foreground shadow areas simultaneously without losing significant detail that the audience is accustomed to seeing in reality.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 03:03 AM   #17
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There's a solution to that. Don't shoot towards the sun.

Away from the direction of the sun, while you still might blow out the odd cloud, there won't be half as many problems.

The prosumer cameras are gaining better adjustments.
On cameras such as the XL2 adusting the master pedestal and the knee will get you more range. Similarly using black stretch on cameras such as the Z1.

The idea that shooting film will solve these problems is silly. Film DOES have far more latitude in most cases (depending on the stock you use). But even film has its limits.

Most problems can be solved by being more careful with shot setup. Of course documentary is harder though.
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 06:10 AM   #18
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There are way too many variables to consider when shooting a scene to expect good light conditions will always exist. Some locations only look right for one direction and that direction may be with the camera facing South. For many months, South is going to be towards the sun. Also, for other facings the shot will only work for a short time each day due to morning or evening sun getting in the lens or noontime harshness ruining the look. The sun is not concerned about when time and budget are snapping at your heels and a dozen crew are all arranged for the day. In these situations, Riley's technique could save the day. I know that I am going to try to emulate it as best as possible without using After Effects (can't afford that now).

There is a way for any camera to achieve greater exposure latitude, but until I figure out how to prove it possible and get a patent I can't say anything. Someday, all this may be irrelevant. Until then, I'm going to look into luminance keying for sky replacement. :)
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 09:57 PM   #19
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how did you get that dof in the first clip. I love how it gets more blurred as the distance increases. very realistic!
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Old July 3rd, 2006, 11:24 PM   #20
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Really nice--especially that first clip, Riley. Makes me wish I knew After Effects.

p.s. to Bennis: I shouldn't be laughing, but that quip in your sig line is pretty funny! :)
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Old July 26th, 2006, 01:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley Harmon
Here is your coveted film look. Mixture of After Effects DOF Simulation, image softening, and my own 24p method. Shot 60i with a Sony VX2000.
:-) Comments and criticisms appreciated.

www.rileyharmon.com/temp/pan61.mov
It may not look exactly like film, but it definitely gives it a better feel than video. Yeah, what is up with the red bars though...

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Old July 26th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley Harmon
Hey Riley, what did you do to match the rest of the scene with the sky? Did you use an overlay?

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Old July 27th, 2006, 07:18 AM   #23
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Looks pretty good but nothing we haven't seen before.

A really convincing 'film look' test would be to shoot something using a 16mm camera side-by-side with one of the new HD cameras, or even a SD cam.

Than place the footage here and everyone could judge by themselves...
Whoever is rich enough and can spend the time, please take the first step forward...
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Old July 27th, 2006, 11:04 AM   #24
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in the spring ill be shooting a lot of stuff on 16mm, i also have access to high end sd cams and possibly hd, ill look into it
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Old July 28th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ferdinand
Looks pretty good but nothing we haven't seen before.

A really convincing 'film look' test would be to shoot something using a 16mm camera side-by-side with one of the new HD cameras, or even a SD cam.

Than place the footage here and everyone could judge by themselves...
Whoever is rich enough and can spend the time, please take the first step forward...
I agree, but the trick is to provide the illusion of film using video which ultimately cannot be compared unless, like you said, someone has the time and money to A/B the two.
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