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Old January 25th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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DV... Can I eat that?

Cheers guys`n girls
I am a newbie on dvinfo.net and have a lot of questions to you guys. First I must say that you`re doing amazing work all together... especially the adapter threads are really interesting and helpful. Excuse my flat and proletic english (exist a word called proletic?). I am an italian-secondo from Vienna and a dv-enthusiast without a camera but a lot of crative energy. I am a graphic designer and I want that the images in my head are going in motion instead of resting on a poster. Rody says: If you`re crative, you`re lucky. But for airing your stuff you must be also technical. That`s why I am here in this community. I have thousand of questions, but no one is in my brian right now. Oh.... yet... yes I`ve found one:

If I buy a ntsc camera for using in europe, how difficult would it be to make the stuff in pal after the post-production. I know it`s easier to buy a pal version and work with it, but I love the look of ntsc. Because the diffrence between ntsc and pal it`s not only the definition. (I know it`s higher on pal) The important thing for me is the colour difference. Let me explain: when for example a german tv-team make a special from the oscar-event and they don`t use their own cameras (they rent a few in LA), you see that`s filmed in the usa in less then one second because of the diffrent colours. Sorry I wrote a lot without asking a question... the question is: What kind of Software need I (god what a setence:) to use ntsc footage for pal tv`s. Can I do that with Premiere, FinalCut or After Effects?

Ok that was my first question, hope you`re waiting for my other 999 questions;)

Thx`n greez
sandro
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Old January 26th, 2005, 03:29 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard DVInfo.net Sandro! Usually it is better to post
your question in a forum (this particular one in Open DV Discussion),
however I will take a stab at it here for now.

I would stick with the camera standard in your country. There are
lots of problems (converting between standards being a big one)
with PAL in NTSC country or the otherway around.

Your remark about how it looks better is a first. I've never ever
heard of someone say that before. In my opinion this isn't true
either. Yes NTSC may look a bit different than PAL, but I'm 100%
sure the most difference is in the camera model and more
importantly who operates it.

Color is a relative easy thing to tweak. Outside the camera with
lights and filters (both on the lights and on the camera), inside
the camera with white balance and color shifts (depending on
camera model), and inside a computer through color correction
processes.

In my opinion this is the way to go forward, not shooting NTSC
in a PAL country. I doubt this will give you the look you are after
(which I'm not sure of what it is exactly).

I think the main reason it looks perhaps different (especially with
the oscars!!):

- different camera model
- america perhaps wants (especially oscars) more glossy than the harsh news looks and tweaks their stuff accordingly
- germany was shooting more gritty, real, news look
- one of them did not know what they where doing :)

In the end the camera is just a tool. The importance is with the
story, acting, music, lighting etc. Personally I would never buy
an NTSC camera in PAL land or the otherway around.

As you know, PAL has a higher resolution (can only benefit from
that) and is 25 frames per second which is much closer to a filmic
look (this may be a difference that you saw).
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Old January 26th, 2005, 07:16 AM   #3
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Hey thank you Rob

Thank you for your reply Rob

I agree with you for most things you say (Cam=Tool, Lighting, Actors, Story), but I still believe that the diffrence between ntsc and pal colours is bigger than you think. It`s not especially when a german camera-team make a special about the oscars, it`s everything filmed on ntsc countrys. That means also footage from columbia, hawai or cuba. Last year (I think) was in germany a flood disaster on a river called "oder" and there was a news-team from cnn on location. The coasts of the river (can I say coasts for a river? or is it border?) looked to me like they were from the colorado river. EVERY stuff who comes from ntsc-countrys filmed with their cameras have that colour range. Simple: German cam=german look / us cam=us look. It must come from the ntsc thing, or they have all a "master-secret-of-lighting" in all ntsc countrys. I wish i could show you this diffrence with example pictures. To me it`s a big diffrence.

Anyway. I want to test it before i decide to buy a cam. You wrote that it would be a challenge to use ntsc stuff for pal countrys. Can you explain me more exactly what i need for this challenge, because I don`t know how difficult it would be and that`s really important to decide me to a camera. Can I do this at home with some software (apple) or is some special hardware needed? What about Photoshop? With Photoshop it isn`t a problem with the ntsc colour, but one with the diffrent framerates and the export from premiere or finalcut or whatever (holy lot of bytes). If it would work with Photoshop, I go this way cos there can I get every look I want. (except the original 35mm-look naturally;)

I know it`s a bit stupidly what I want to do, but hey, here are so many opinions to reach the optimal look. there is my try just one of a hundred.

greez sandro
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Old January 26th, 2005, 08:56 AM   #4
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I wouldn't use Photoshop since it isn't optimized for multiple frames
and this is one of your main problems, let's look at the differences
first:

PAL:
- resolution: 720 x 576
- framerate: 25 frames per second / 50 fields per second
- electrical system: 50 Hz / 230 volts
- color sampling: 4:2:0

NTSC:
- resolution: 720 x 480
- framerate: 29.97 frames per second / 59.94 fields per second (aka as 30 / 60)
- electrical system: 60 Hz / 110 volts
- color sampling: 4:1:1


The problems with WORKING with an NTSC camera in PAL land:

- power adapter issues (see different electrical systems above)
- might not be able to watch the NTSC stream on a TV (depends on TV)
- cannot use the camera to preview a PAL project on TV/monitor when editing
- different electrical systems can cause the camera to see the electrical cycle in lights (you see lights flicker because the lights operate at 50 Hz and the camera at 60 Hz)


The problem with USING NTSC footage in a PAL land:

- you need to UPSCALE (worst situation you can be in!) the resolution from 720 x 480 to 720 x 576
- you need to change the temporal resolution (framerate) from 29.97 fps to 25 fps
- you can only preview your footage through your camera on a TV if you edit in an NTSC project and your TV/monitor understands NTSC


Again, this is the first time I've ever heard of wanting to use an
NTSC camera in PAL land. The other way around has been asked
a zillion times (since 25p is much closer to film's 24p and PAL has
a higher resolution than NTSC).

In the end I'm not exactly sure which look you are after, but again
I doubt using a different camera for this reason is a bad idea.

One other reason this is so: you don't know with what kind of
equipment they are shooting. It might be $3000 pro-sumer
camera or a $50.000 or $100.000 broadcast camera. You don't
know what happens after the recording phase (in editing, post
work [color correction], compression, broadcast etc.). What you
are seeing on the TV in the end doesn't have that much todo
anymore with the camera it was shot on.

There is no garantuee that the NTSC camera you are thinking
about will produce the same look (very doubtfull!) you are after.

In my opinion it is far better to get the best camera (AND ACCESSOIRES)
you can buy and create your own unique style and palet. As I
said earlier, changing the look is relative easy with production
and post-production stuff available.

What garantuee do you have that the NTSC camera you want to
buy gives you this look you are after?
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #5
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Location: Hampshire, England
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Hi Sandro,

Welcome to DVI!

That is an extremely strange thing to be doing. Rob has mentioned many reasons why you don't find many people doing it over here in PAL land, but if you feel the need to do it, feel free to do so but at your own risk!

Most people including the guys in NTSC land would rather be shooting with PAL simply because of its higher resolution and lower frame rate. Most people call NTSC "Not The Same Colours", simply because the colour rendition is not always the same.

Whats to say that the footage you saw was not already shot with a PAL camera, or gone through some kind of post production?

Good luck with your project!

All the best,
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Old January 27th, 2005, 01:46 AM   #6
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ok guys thank you. I see now more exactly what the problems are. Now it`s on me to decide if it`s worthwhile to challenge this problems or not. I mean it`s quite possible to solve this problems I think...

The cam-power-problem:
I buy a adapter for the electrical system (like you go to holydays and want to use your own electric razor)

The preview-while-shooting-and-watching-on-monitor-in-post-problem:
I think you also know that here (or there in your countrys) it`s not unusual that the monitors can go with both systems (pal and ntsc). I think I have even one!?!:)

The resolution-problem:
As a graphic designer and reprographic artist I see the problem very clear. One solution would be to become the 576 pixel height is maybe simply add a letterbox of 96 pixels?

The frame-rate-problem:
That`s not really a problem isn`it? In ntsc is the framerate higher than in pal. Is that a real problem to change them down? (please understand, at the moment I have too less experience with premiere or finalcut to know this 100%... but I believe that would be possible)

The Light-Flicker-Problem:
Yes that is a problem;) Flicker the Lights only when you see the Lighting himself (the source) or also the light without seeing the source on screen?

I don`t know if these are "real" solutions for the problems, but I hope so. I still haven`t decided me to one system, but I`m now closer to pal again. thank you.

Oh... the photoshop discuss: Excuse my ignorance, but you wrote that Photoshop isn`t optimized for multiple pictures... what`s in your meaning the definition of "optimized"? Correct me when I`m wrong: If I know you can export and import single frames of footage in premiere or finalcut isnt`it? Like that it`s no problem to do the colour corrections and all the other stuff in Photoshop with the automation-tool in the software.

greez sandro
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Old January 27th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #7
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1. Shoot PAL. There are too many variables against you, especially being a beginner.
2. You can't really crop out the extra pixels per se'. The pixels are completely different SHAPES as well! ( see number 1 above)
3. The Frame rates are completely different NTSC-29.97, PAL-25 per second. Not really a smooth transition between the two.
4. Photoshop is a STILL image program. (see number 3 above) Do you really want to export 25-30 frames for each second of video, one at a time to touch them up in photoshop? For a 10 minute NTSC film you would need to do this 17,982 times!! AND that still isn't going to fix the frame rate conversion.
5. The flicker problem can be gotten over but you need to know it's there and you need to fully understand WHY it's there and HOW to get away from it. Too many variables for right now.


Just shoot PAL! It's better, it's easier for you, it's readily available where you are, and it just makes good sense.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 03:31 PM   #8
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Location: Honlululu, Hawaii
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Why the footage from the US looked good

Perhaps the footage from the event in the US looked so good was because they did not use ENG production techniques. It is common on big live events and sporting events to use a production van with Camera Control Units for each camera. In the van an engeneer or a team of them carefully tweak each camera to look its best and to match the camera that is on the air just before a camera is selected to go to air.

Nothing to do with NTSC (Never Twice The Same Color)

Grayson
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Old January 28th, 2005, 03:31 AM   #9
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Location: vienna austria
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NTSC isn`t your best friend isn`it?;)

Thank you all for your very helpful posts. I think you convinced me to work with pal.

@Rob`n Rhett: You`re right with all yours points. It`s not really worthwhile to shoot with ntsc. Rhett: I wouldn`t touch up 17982 frames for 10min footage in Photoshop. I would do this for 1 time and the rest make Photoshop automatically itself. (produce a batch) I think it takes not much more time then doing colour corrections with aftereffects including render-time. anyway I go testing this way and post my experience.

@Grayson: Wow you`re from Hawai! When I go into pension in 40 years I will come to Hawai too for some drinks with a "drink-umbrella":) (I don`t know the word but you surely know what I mean)

THX&GREEZ Sandro
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Old January 28th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #10
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Depending on what program you end up using for editing, most of them have very decent color correction tools built in and they are very quick. Much faster than any batch processing you could do in Photoshop. The color correction tools in FCP are very good and even have real-time preview, so depending on what other processing you do to the footage (that need's to be rendered anyway) you can just wait until the last minute to render it all at once. (in theory anyway).

Good choice to stick with PAL.

The other option you may be overlooking concerning TV broadcasts that look so nice, they are usually using VERY expensive cameras!
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Old January 30th, 2005, 04:08 AM   #11
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Sandro: sounds like you made the right decision <g>

Others have also commented on the Photoshop issue, but let
me add the following.

I've done color correcting on shots where the lighting etc. was
changing (due to camera, people or light movement). This required
actually animating the color correction (which was easy to do in
my NLE (Vegas) because it has keyframes) which you cannot do
with a batch process.

That's what I was talking about with optimized. The NLE's or any
video processing application is made to work with multiple frames
a lot better (usually).
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Old January 31st, 2005, 07:28 AM   #12
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Yesterday I try doing colour corrections with Photoshop, exported from AfterEffects as a "filmstrip". It works, but you`re right guys. In AfterEffects or some other software, there are almost the same tools to do the corrections. I thank you a lot for washing my head in these things. I go now to another Topic in the forum to ask my other stupid questions;) hope see you there.

thx sandro
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