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Under Water, Over Land
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Old January 8th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #1
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sports training - help please

Hey folks, I'm looking for a bit of advice. I'm a ski instructor who has decided to produce a series of instructional DVD's. I used to have a video business way back when (early 80's), but I quickly went on to other things and haven't done much with it since. Digital is a whole new game, and I'm busy trying to educate myself.

My plan is to get the footage I need over the winter, and spend the summer editing, and getting finished product ready for next season. I've purchased a GL 2, and am about to place an order for the updated mac pro that was just released today, and final cut software. It will be my first mac, and my first experience with digital editing. Should be a fun summer.

Anyway, my question relates to making sure I get good footage this winter for working with over the summer. I bought a decent tripod, and an assortment of filters to experiment with. I'm assuming, as I'm going to be filming on snow, that the internal neutral density filter will/should get heavy use. A few things I'm unsure about are:

1) What aspect ratio should I film in?

2) Should I set the audio at 16 or 32 bits?

3) Should I film in frame mode?

Please keep in mind in addressing these questions that my final product will be DVD's for sale to the public, and they will include numerous frame captures and slow-mo clips. Also, if you can think of any issues I should be considering, but may escape the attention of a currently very green videographer, I'd much appreciate any and all tips/heads-ups you could provide.

Last edited by Janis Williams; January 8th, 2008 at 11:12 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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I can't give you any specific advice on final cut because i'm a pc user. However, personally I'd film in 16:9 as this is the most preferred aspect ratio for dvd, in my experience any dvd brought in a shop is formatted that way.

Unless you want to do in camera audio dubbing don't use 12-bit audio. My advice here would be to shoot audio in 16-bit and use an external mic if sound quality is important to you. The built in mic in the GL-2 is fine for most things but you'll never beat the crispness of a directional external mic. My personal choice is the rode videomic which will not break the budget and truely produces a very good sound.

You mention finally that you will be including frame captures and doing slo-mo stuff. If this is the case then definately shoot in frame mode. Frame mode, or progressive, shoots 30 still photographs per second, whilst normal mode, or interlaced, shoots 60 half frames per second which, when used as a screen capture or slowed down, will not look as crisp as a single frame.

You sound like you've got the basics to do what you need to do; which again in my opinion is the right choice. I know a few people who go out and buy one of everything just because they think they need it. You have thought about it first. Digital video should come naturally to you if you've worked with analog - well, learning to use the new software will be the most challenging thing but final cut and premiere and similar editing packages are designed to make the transition to digital less stressful. Using your camera will become second nature pretty soon.

I wish you good luck, it sure sounds like an interesting project, I just wished it snowed in this end of the world :)

Best wishes,
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Old January 31st, 2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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OK, this might sound a bit harsh, but having been down the road (I've shot with an XL1s, then a GL2, then a PD150+170, then an HV10, then an HC7, then an HV20, and finally a V1U), I gotta ask: are you for sure 100% set on the GL2?

It's a native 4:3 chip, so unless you buy a Century quality anamorphic adapter, going 16:9 will hurt your resolution.

Have you looked at the HV20? It's an amazing value. You can shoot SD, widescreen SD, HD, 24p HD, all on a native 16:9 chip. It has external audio input and monitoring. Accessories like batteries, filters and lenses are not too expensive. Plenty of manual adjustments. (BTW that's a highly technical and subjective industry term, 'plenty'...)The forum is red hot with users leveraging the lil guy to the max. It's small and lightweight, making it highly transportable out on the slopes.

We're in a unique and fun time, shooting in HD and delivering in SD. The color and depth of field produced by the HV20 are stunning, and fully transfer to the DVD screen. Plus, due to the large difference in resolution, post-production framing adjustments ie cropping, is accessible like never before. Not sure how your new Apple would do with HD on the timeline, but the beauty of HD on an SD timeline invites me to invite you to consider it.

In terms of audio, are you planning on talking while skiing? Will someone else be operating the camera while you do the moves, or will you be behind the cam shooting someone else? I would've thought voiceover in post would be the way to go. But if you're aiming to get audio in the field, have you considered an entry level wireless rig? One key to good audio is getting the mic as close to the source as possible.

Well, enough said for now. Food for thought....

[edit] just re-read your post and saw you haven't gone down the Apple road just yet, so, might as well really stir up the pot...have you considered Vegas for editing? It does great work with HD....OK, I clamp it shut now.

Happy Skiing,

Last edited by Scott Brickert; January 31st, 2008 at 05:06 PM. Reason: more rabble-rousing info
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