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Old June 16th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #1
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Newb Question...Shooting in black and white

Ive only recently started researching digital video "film look" but some of the examples I have seen posted on here as having a "strong film look" really dont look anything like film imho - sorry to be cynical.

I am curious, can you easily shoot digital video in black and white, or must it be converted to black and white? How does digital video shot in black and white compare to film shot in black and white?

Ive done a search and have not found anything. Thanks for any info.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 04:48 AM   #2
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Infra red

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean J. Manning
Ive only recently started researching digital video "film look" but some of the examples I have seen posted on here as having a "strong film look" really dont look anything like film imho - sorry to be cynical.

I am curious, can you easily shoot digital video in black and white, or must it be converted to black and white? How does digital video shot in black and white compare to film shot in black and white?

Ive done a search and have not found anything. Thanks for any info.
Your best shooting in normal colour and then leaving this sort of thing until post product IMO.

Also, if your camera has an nightshot mode (e.g. Sony HDV-HC1) you should try getting hold of an infra-red filter (900nm+) and shooting in daylight with that on -you can get some amazing results!


Nick.
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Old July 17th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #3
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"Also, if your camera has an nightshot mode (e.g. Sony HDV-HC1) you should try getting hold of an infra-red filter (900nm+) and shooting in daylight with that on -you can get some amazing results!"

What are you talking about here Nick?
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Old July 18th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #4
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I think what he means is to get a setup so the camera can detect infrared light. So when you shoot a video of the sun behind the clouds, you will see beautiful beams of light pouring out from the sky which the human eye can't see because it is infrared. Either that or I am completely wrong.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #5
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Infra red video

Certain Sony cameras have a 'nightshot' mode that pumps up the signal gain from the camera allowing you to 'see in the dark' -well almost.

If you put an infra-red filter on the camera -which is opaque to look through by the human eye- it only allows the strongly infrared light through.

Have a look at some of the pics / explanation here:

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/infrared/

...and some more images -imagine what my vampire video is going to be like (!):

http://www.pbase.com/image/544678
http://www.pbase.com/bobt54/ir_bw


Regards, Nick.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #6
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Shooting B&W

There are several ways to obtain a B&W film look with video. First off what camera will you be shooting with and what will be the end media ie.. DVD, web, tape, or film.

I believe in the 50/50 rule 50 in camera 50 in post. That said it is best to get the cleanest best exposed image in camera and then add major gama, color correction and contrast changes in post. But, that is the safe standard route which will give you the look everybody else has.

I have yet to see a digital post filter or plugin that matches an analog manipulation of light. The following depends on the format you are shooting on if it DV or HD will effect the filteration you will use

DV B&W
shooting 24P 1/48 of shutter f stop wide open and zoomed in halfway into the lens to reduce depth of field

In the menu desaturate the image to get B&W set the gama to cine/film and if you have control over Black level take it down 2 steps to get a richer black. (IRE set to 0 )

To take off the steely quality of video use a Low Contrast filter with DV 1/8 indoors and 1/4 outdoors, HD indoors 1/4 indoors 1/2 out doors. (Tiffian or Formatts make excellent filters)

The effect of the Low Con filter will be to slightly soften the edges and reduce the high contrast of video.Remember MPEG 2 compression for DVD will soften your image as well so to much diffussion will make your image muddy when transfered to DVD. ( Some may recommend Black Pro Mist filter which works as well giving your blacks richness and diffusing your image remember no more than 1/8)

I would avoid using tradition B&W filters they are to harsh for digital use.

If you are shooting outdoors use a polerizer filter to reduce glare and to balance exposure by reducing the exposure of the sky.

Also ND fitlers 3/6/9 to reduce exposure to keep your f stop wide open (basically ND filters are sunglasses for the camera)

Lighting basics always soft light on the actors and hard light in the background to seperate the actor from the background. Remember video sees everything so it is best to avoid light spill, control the lights paint with it get a nice degree of white, grey, and dark rich black in you scenes.

Post

Finial Cut Pro or Avid

Go to the RGB setting set one, try Green first to 100% and red and blue to 0% and then play around with all three colors to enhance the black & white look it will change your grey scale.

Watch your highlight video does not hold highlights well in post try to bring your knee down to just under 100 IRE for whites.

Have fun

Good night and good luck

David H Castillo
Director of Photography
Blue Barn Pictures
www.bluebarnpictures.com
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Old July 20th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #7
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Samples

David,

there's some good advice here -could you post some samples?

When I get back tonight I will see if I can post some of my Infra red video images, I need to work out some stuff with Vegas and posting to this forum...


Regards, Nick.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 05:11 PM   #8
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Infra Red Video

OK, the dancing chicken was an image file post test if you hadn't guessed!

The three images below where taken as part of a vampire video in a graveyard. All used an 1000nm infra red filter, Sony HDV-HC1 and edited in Vegas. I have added Magic Bullets B&W crunch, night filter.

Notice how the sky goes black but the foliage is hotter so it comes out white. Contrast is intensified in stonework, this is all standard photography stuff. I haven't seen any ir HD video on the net though...


Nick.
Attached Thumbnails
Newb Question...Shooting in black and white-graveyardchurch.jpg   Newb Question...Shooting in black and white-graveyardstatue.jpg  

Newb Question...Shooting in black and white-graveyardstones.jpg  
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Old July 20th, 2006, 05:32 PM   #9
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Film Look

Sean,

you might also be interested in taking a look at my posting in the Letus35 thread here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=71807

-I have used shallow DOF to create a "film like" look on a digital camera with this apparatus that basically allows you to attach 35mm SLR lenses to your camcorder -in this case a 50mm Canon F1.4 manual lens...


Regards, Nick.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 09:15 AM   #10
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Would shooting with B/W in camera help with compression at all? One might think it would because there is no color but then again I do not think the encoder is that smart. I'm sure it still encodes to chroma channels even though there is no data there. It would encode just one blank flat image for each chroma channel. Would this in any way help give more bits to the luma channel since there would be no change in the chroma channels from frame to frame?
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Old July 21st, 2006, 05:55 PM   #11
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I would shoot in color because you can play with "color filters" in post:

http://www.glennchan.info/fcpugto/sh...end/shot10.htm
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Old August 12th, 2006, 11:42 PM   #12
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yeah whatever you do dont shoot in b&w to tape. it wont help your quality and you can never get anything more out of it than brightness and contrast.
maybe later on down the road you dont want to desaturate all the way or even at all. i learned the hard way about 7 years ago and i ended up never using the footage.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Fields
yeah whatever you do dont shoot in b&w to tape. it wont help your quality and you can never get anything more out of it than brightness and contrast.
I second that. If your NLE has something equivalent to Photoshop's Channel Mixer you can do amazing things to your footage like simulating the traditional color filters (red, yellow, green...) used in B/W photograpy. But by all means get correctly exposed footage.
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