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Old February 23rd, 2009, 04:43 PM   #16
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Dale,
Thanks for that advice. Shooting flight at low shutter speed sounds counter intuitive, but on the other hand, high shutter speed gives just the result you describe. I'll try it
this weekend. One problem is going to be that my Canon 100-400 is not at its sharpest at f-stops higher than 11. Probably will need to add a ND filter. If it's not any trouble, I'd love to see an example.

Thanks again,

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Old February 23rd, 2009, 04:57 PM   #17
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good start, dang look at all those birds...flock footage is crazy!
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 08:07 PM   #18
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Steve,
Here you go.

Secret Waters on Vimeo

If go to this site I made this short clip for a friend to look at. It is snow geese and swans in DV well compressed. However, at 1:39 on I have snow geese framed and shot at 1/60th of a second.

It was shot on an xl2 with a 100 -400 @ the long end in farely low light

It took me quite awhile to get my head around shooting at slower shutter speeds as I came from the slr world of distant past!!!

It is all about impression. Our eyes do not see crystal clear images in flight. there are also numerous other clips on my page that have Flight and they are all shot at 1/60 to
1/90. Of course there is always Twixtor, if you have the bucks to spend.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
Oh yes, one more thing. The watermark, a necessary nuisance, really is necessary. I have already found some of my stuff on some kid's Facebook page. Who knows where else all of our videos are going to.
Yes, I can confirm that this happen all the time with my videos too! I do a search/scan on the internet from time to time and there's dozen of sites linking my stuff, others use some of my pics at their own sites without any reference :-(
I was quite shocked when I discovered one of my musox-films put up on a world wide and well-known organization site without my knowledge! At least they should have ask me in forehand before linking!
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Old February 24th, 2009, 03:18 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dale Guthormsen View Post
I would recommend shooting 1/60 to 1/100 and no faster, then when you time stretch you do not have to go so far and the wings will smooth out and appear as we would see them.
In the next couple of months I'll investigate some settings of flight scenes of birds. Even though our qear is limited in a way, as the frame rate can be at 50 (PAL) or 60 fps at most there should be some way of doing motion smooth and nice to look at!

To show what I'm saying here's two examples of Mute Swan taking off from Lake Østensjøvannet in Oslo a couple of years ago. Note that this shoot was recorded in interlaced mode 1080i50! I've not used any special in the editing process, just captured the clip, reduced speed to 25% in timeline and exported as a QT-file. At that time I was editing in Avid Liquid 7 on PC and WinXP.
At this shoot I increased shutter speed to 1/210. You can see a small amount of wing blending but not so much even in the original speed clip. What about reducing shutter to 1/100 - 1/120 would it be better? Or even lower? What about increasing shutter to 1/250 - 1/300? What do you think?


Please Save as.. and download before viewing!
http://www.video-film.no/snutter/grace-realspeed_lg.mov (13MB of filesize) A pair of Mute Swans take off from Lake Østensjøvannet - original speed
http://www.video-film.no/snutter/grace.mov (15MB of filesize) Same as clip above, reduced to 25% of original speed

I will not hijack Steve's thread, so we might make a new thread regarding this subject as I will make some more reports of my findings in the next couple of months or so. Steve what do you think?
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Old February 24th, 2009, 09:27 AM   #21
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so mo link

Morning,

Here is a video comparison I spent this morning putting together to show the options and effects.

Slo motion comparison on Vimeo

First interlaced is bad news in my opinion, I usually shoot in Progressive but of late I have been shooting in 60I deinterlacing via interpolation, that gives the 60 full frames, then change the play rate to .5 to .66 depending on the shot. If you look closely at them all the .5 play rate is the best which only makes sense as it is using all 60 frames building 30 half frames.
time stretch in most is adding frames of the same images, ie premiere as an example.
Vegas interpolates entire frames which is actually better.
.5 play rate only builds half frames via interpolation when deinterlacing!!

The clips are not the best in the world but they will give one the impressions.

Faster that 100th and you get multiple wing position wing flicker unless it is a real slow wing beat. You can see this in the 180th of the gyrfalcon flying right in the beginning.

Also it is a balancing act determining how much slo mo to put in and give the correct impression of a single wing stroke.
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Last edited by Dale Guthormsen; February 24th, 2009 at 11:07 AM. Reason: add link
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Old February 24th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #22
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Dale,
Thanks for putting together those clips. I saw wing-flicker (which I call "ghosting". Is it the same thing?) in only one of your clips, the one "time-stretched" to 52% (which is probably the same as Premiere Pro's speed=50% setting). All the rest of yours had discrete wings, no matter what you did to them. What I don't understand about your explanation is the idea of reducing flicker by reducing the shutter speed. Using a low shutter speed will blur the image a bit, but it won't affect where wings appear in subsequent frames.
I went back to my own clips and lo and behold, no ghosting or flicker at all. I have put together a Photoshop collage of sequential frames from swan and goose clips to show this.

Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket

The top row is 5 sequential frames. There is no flicker. If you choose to slow it down to 50%, Premiere simply displays each frame twice. There is still no flicker, you only see each frame twice as long. This is what I did in the video. If on the other hand (second group of stills), you choose "frame blending" and then set 50% speed, Premiere interpolates by showing a composite of the fore frame and the after frame in between the two. Full of flicker. I just recently learned this, all my previous videos were frame-blended, and flickery, but I don't see any in this one.
Even though there is no real flicker in the clip, I still can see what you are talking about. It is easy to sense the wingtip still at the top of the stroke, even though the wing has moved down. Since this is not double imaging in the clips, it must be something in how we perceive the motion. I looked again at your gyrfalcon (jeez, I need that for a lifer) you can see flicker, but by starting and stopping quickly to freeze individual frames, none of them have four wings. I wonder then if seeing flicker has nothing at all to do with shutter speed, or frame speed and everything to do with our brains. I notice all the time that live grackles or cormorants flying across a clear sky seem to have four wings. It's simply a perception thing. Of course that raises the question, if you can see it in nature, is it acceptable in video or not?

As another investigation, since there is a question as to whether 60i is better than 30p for flight, I went to a set I shot in 60i last year of a hovering Kestrel, and looked frame by frame. Whether deinterlaced or not, frame-blended or not, 100% or 50% speed there was unacceptable flicker showing as ghosting wings in every frame.

It seems that Per Johan's solution, slowing the motion to 25% solves the flicker problem because everything is so slow. The difficulty I have with that is that the audience will accept 50% speed as real because so few people actually pay attention to bird flight, but 25% is obviously slomo, and not appropriate in all situations.

Per, Thanks for the clips. I agree that a separate thread about slow motion bird flight would be a really good idea.
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Old February 24th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #23
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I started the thread in regular UWOL this afternoon. 60 I is a definite issue.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 07:25 AM   #24
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Great footage, but it is a shame about the strobing effect. Definitely use a slower shutter speed, it's more natural to the eye.

I look forward to seeing how your story develops.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #25
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Steve
All I can say is Wow! Wonderful footage and story. What an experience that must have been - 60,000 birds in one place!

I must say that I have learned a lot from this thread - and its continuation on the general UWOL thread. Thanks Steve, Dale and Per for your insights on filming birds flying.
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Old May 17th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #26
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Sorry for the late upload. We have been having some business and health problems around here.
In Part 2 I will continue with the theme of migrating birds and take it from the wintering of geese to the migration of small birds, which is a really big deal in North America, as it is the time when most people go out to see some of our most colorful creatures. I will try to weave in the final version some of the history of the two artist/scientists who took these birds out of the realm of ornithology and hunting, and made them accessible to the public, John James Audubon and Alexander Wilson. The Part 2 entry is little more than a collage of bird clips and stills. The titles will eventually be replaced by a narrative. I am especially interested to hear what you think about the length of each clip, and if it's boring to see a series of unrelated birds.
Please watch this Exposure Room version. To upload to UWOL at under 60MB, I had to make the frame so small that you can't even read the words.
Hope you enjoy.

UWOL Long Form Contest II Spring Migration By steven siegel On ExposureRoom
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Old May 17th, 2009, 08:39 PM   #27
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Steve,

Nicely done segment. If I were to make one suggestion I would use a font without little edges and points and such. curiously, did you dull the white down by 10 % or so? sometimes the letters seem to bright on my computer.

A friend of mine owns a couple original wall sized audabon paintings of raptors. If I can get a picture of them you could legally use them if your work needs to be copyright free for TV, if you arre interested.


dale
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Old May 17th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #28
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Please use this link

UWOL Long Form 2 Spring Migration on Vimeo

The Exposure Room one isn't working.

Dale, thanks for the offer, but I have sufficient Audubon images in book form that work fine. All of his stuff is fair use because it is so old. Any recent reproductions are simply derivatives, and have no rights.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 04:54 AM   #29
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Hey Steve

Well I missed you last time around. So, your first round footage - Well there was some great awe inspiring shots in this, filming huge gatherings of birds is always impressive but to get such a huge volume of big birds...well that is something else! You also build and pause into that 'money shot' nicely. I did pick up on a number shots where you seemed to be using very high shutter speeds, making the footage very choppy. Maybe you were thinking of slowing the footage down after ward and changed your mind. But I would say without the slowing out it looks odd and not visually pleasing.

Your second section is full of colour a lovely song. A lot of those species I can only guess at species wise but it was nice to see them anyway. What I would say is a lot of the shots were similar portrait mid/close shots, so maybe more thought on building sequencing and shot structure would help. You may be building more of a sequence to things further along but I'd take half the species and double the detail and behaviour! Also think about reveals, details and cut aways to build these sequences. You did go some way to answering this at the end of this section, bringing in the nest shot. This was good and did leave me more satisfied, but I thought I would add this by way of a critique all the same.

I like your narration in round one and missed this in round two. I'd also like to know more about the overall story and plan. If you have got this written up then be sure to post it.

Nice work
Mat
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Old May 18th, 2009, 03:30 PM   #30
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Steven,

What a colourful selection of birds! Was very enjoyably to watch and the background audio was lovely and crisp. I do agree with Mat, in that a variety of shot sizes would spice things up a bit. I also think some narration with species identification is a good idea.

Good stuff.

Mihali
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