Macgregor's "Similo" Film Picture Quality 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.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 5th, 2006, 03:01 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 41
Macgregor's "Similo" Film Picture Quality

In SIMILO, the short film by Macgregor, shot with a DVX100, the picture quality, is excellent. See picture 1:
http://www.stedeford.com/dvx100picturequality.html

Yet the natural picture quality in picture 2 doesn't look good. See picture 2:
http://www.stedeford.com/dvx100picturequality.html

These are both shot with the same camera, yet the picture quality is different.

Why/How is this?
Matt Stedeford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: switzerland
Posts: 2,131
i think picture quality is the same (resolution wise), but the light is so different, that the first one looks better (dark background can hide a lot of problems and is cut to different ratio)
the first one has probably some filter too (enhanced contrast, tuned color) that the second has not.
the 2nd picture look flat because the light is very soft and evenly distributed, there is absolutely no shadow at all.
And the sky in the background "eats" the trees.
I think the 2nd picture has too little DOF.
Giroud Francois is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 41
So what your saying is, it's down to CC and DOF?

CC can't change the quality of image edges. You mentioned you thought the darkness was simply hiding the edges in pic 1. However, the image quality remains in the light parts of the movie as well.

I can see that the sky eats into the trees in pic2, and it looks ugly. How was this avoided in the short film similo?

So many questions, so little time! Lol.. I wish macgregor would just post a list of main stuff/settings he used on SIMILO, and explain how to achieve the same quality, because it would basically answer most people's questions in this forum.

I myself have been behind the scenes reading this forum for some time. I absorb info and forget to write it down! I don't know whether to get a DVX100, FX-1, Canon, which equipment, techniques, etc. and if the lo-down on this film were simply posted, it would answer all my questions. :)

Thanks for any help on this.

Last edited by Matt Stedeford; July 5th, 2006 at 05:42 PM.
Matt Stedeford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: switzerland
Posts: 2,131
in the case of these 2 pictures, the DOF is good for 1rst pic and bad for 2nd.
mountain and road benefits from small DOF, they are uniform color shapes and in this case small DOF helps to reduce them to simple surface, enhancing the subject details.
in the second picture, the background content is complex, as much in color than in details. Small DOF just make is messy.
Would be the subject under better light and the background darker (taken later in the afternoon) , it would be ok, but not here.
Giroud Francois is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2006, 03:39 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stedeford
In SIMILO, the short film by Macgregor, shot with a DVX100, the picture quality, is excellent. See picture 1:
http://www.stedeford.com/dvx100picturequality.html

Yet the natural picture quality in picture 2 doesn't look good. See picture 2:
http://www.stedeford.com/dvx100picturequality.html

These are both shot with the same camera, yet the picture quality is different.

Why/How is this?
...am I missing something -these two links point to the same picture in my browser...
Nick Outram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 101
scroll down nick ;)

i think what makes the second one look worse is the fact that theres alot more detail in the bg, which im suprised nobody pointed out. the background on the first one is just a horizon with nothing on it where as the second one is a house etc.
__________________
(Wishes to be more informative and helpful than a nuisance)
Tim Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2006, 12:01 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
I have the definitive answer:

The narrow DOF looks bad on the second picture, because the sky was blown out and clipped. End of story.

Here's the deal: narrow DOF acts like a filter in all directions. But it's not done electronically. It's done optically - before the photons get captured by the imager.

Imagine a black paper over a white surface. Put it in the background of a narrow DOF shot. The transition between black and white is blurred symmetrically. The curve would have an "S" shape. It has an equally smooth transition from white to gray as it does from black to gray. If your exposure is set properly, your camera will capture a nice smooth transition with no hard edges.

Now imagine that you start over exposing. It's like you're crushing the "S" curve against the ceiling. The top of the "S" starts to flatten out, looking more like a "Z" at the top. The letter "Z" has a hard edge, and that's the problem in this case.

Take a close look at the second picture. The transition from dark to gray is very nice. The transition to white has a hard quantized edge.

BTW, this is order dependent. Had the photo been taken in focus and over exposed, and then a filter applied, it would look fine. Crushing your "S" curve after it has been applied is the problem.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2006, 02:09 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Woodstock, Georgia
Posts: 154
It was shot near the end of the day, and the subjects face was lit, so the lighting is very balanced. Add to that the simple background, shadows that add depth, and contrast + color tweaking and you have an amazing shot.

DOF isn't a magic fix all. You have to put thought into balancing lighting, shadows, correct exposure, and good color correction.
Solomon Chase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solomon Chase
...and you have an amazing shot.
That's certainly true of the top photo. It's gorgeous. The second photo would have been equally as beautiful, had the sky not been overexposed. Everything except the transition to the sky is really wonderful - and frankly, most people in the audience wouldn't even notice.

I'm looking at doing some bluescreen work, which allows me to fake shallow DOF. I can keep the foreground in focus, and blur the background synthetically. If the background is blownout, it won't matter so much, since I'll be applying the filter after any clipping. My "S" curve won't clip.

That's not to say that the chromakeyed results will look as great as a well done shot at sunset. I'll still need to get all of the elements right to even attempt to come close.
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Woodstock, Georgia
Posts: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst
That's certainly true of the top photo. It's gorgeous. The second photo would have been equally as beautiful, had the sky not been overexposed. Everything except the transition to the sky is really wonderful - and frankly, most people in the audience wouldn't even notice.

I'm looking at doing some bluescreen work, which allows me to fake shallow DOF. I can keep the foreground in focus, and blur the background synthetically. If the background is blownout, it won't matter so much, since I'll be applying the filter after any clipping. My "S" curve won't clip.

That's not to say that the chromakeyed results will look as great as a well done shot at sunset. I'll still need to get all of the elements right to even attempt to come close.
The bluescreen approach should work (I've seen it done). The only thing you can't do is very shallow DOF. Example: the subjects hair is out of focus but the face is in focus. You also can't do DOF rack focus among other things. If you are shooting interviews or something stationary, it would all work out great though.

And to the original poster: here's an example of how framing, contrast, color, and lighting all play a part in making great footage.


http://solomonchase.com/similo.jpg
Solomon Chase is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2006, 11:05 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 208
Matt, I agree completely -- I'd love to know more specifics about how this was shot. What prog for color grading? Which mini35 was used? all that stuff.
__________________
~Justine

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams" -Arthur O'Shaunessey (as quoted by Willy Wonka)
Justine Haupt is offline   Reply
Reply

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 04:27 AM.


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