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What Happens in Vegas...
...stays in Vegas! This PC-based editing app is a safe bet with these tips.


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Old February 3rd, 2008, 12:41 PM   #46
 
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Clark...

Welcome!! I, too, have a long history in still photography. Over the years, as I've begun to learn video techniques, I've started answering many of the questions I had that relate to applying still photography techniques to video. In my opinion, unless one is ultimately going out to acetate film, there are not many common practices. Of course the physics of light collection are invariant. But video hardware functions differently from still image photography.

One of the most vexing problems in distribution and delivery of video images, is the fact that the last step in the display, the final display device, is highly non-standardized. End-users adjust color, hue, brightness and contrast to their hearts desire, so what you see on your editting workstation is not what the end user sees. To make matters even more frustrating, many display devices like DVD players are so non standardized as to have huge differences in setup levels, some apply them some don't. And the manufacturer rarely tells the end-user what he's getting in the product manual. In still image printing, black is a function of the printer inks and white is a base layer of the paper you're printing on. Blacks and whites, shadow and highlights, are widely varying values in digital video, depending on the display hardware and how the end user has set up their equipment...or not.

So, the editor has to adhere to the common standards, in the hopes that it will represent some RMS nominal value that is universally accepted by all the variants.

To this end, all monitors have some limited application. All the monitors should be calibrated to NTSC colorbars, REC 709 for HDV, Rec 601 for DV. Here's the best description I've found of a universal standard:

http://www.arib.or.jp/english/html/o...-b28v1.0_e.pdf

I use a combination of LCD and NTSC monitors. For final CCing, I rely on my JVC monitor. I feed this monitor via firewire fed thru a Canopus ADVC100 digital to analog converter. The advc100, in turn, is fed thru a Signvideo procamp, which serves as my final Levels and pedestal check, before feeding out to my JVC monitor.

The LCD monitors I use are all calibrated with a Gretag Macbeth Eye-1 spectrophotometer. While this works very well for still image grading, it's insufficient for representing colors accurately on an LCD monitor intended for video work. The NTSC monitor, setup to the color bar pattern I referenced above, is the most accurate reference for video colors. Caveat:with more and more end-users going to LCD displays, the LCD monitor may well become the defacto instrument for color calibration. Sadly, brightness levels on LCD's do an injustice to whites and blacks that you may be used to on a printed image.

For color calibration in-camera, the old Gretag Macbeth color chart is not sufficient. In the case of camera calibration, the best reference on the market is a DSC Labs color chart like their chromadumonde color chip chart. A waveform monitor and vectorscope are quite necessary tools in getting the images standardized. I use a SeriousMagic HDRack software for this purpose. Nowadays, the HDRack is available from Adobe.

Rather longwinded response, but, I hope I've helped some in your transition to video color standardizing.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 01:02 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Peters View Post
...acceptable end result if:
1) I use a higher quality LCD computer monitor. (not something as high end as an LCD broadcast monitor)
2) I spend the time calibrating it with a colorimeter, such as a Datavision Spyder.
3) I use a color scale, such as the MacBeth Color Checkers that I used when dialing in a new film emulsion, to compare what the camera is seeing and what the monitor is showing.

Or do I really need to go with a broadcast monitor...
Bill has provided some great info above regarding picture monitoring, and I'm using a very similar monitoring workflow.

A couple other points:
*Historically, video has not been capable of the color saturation and fine gradation that many still photographers strive for. This is slowly changing as hidef acquisition technology advances, and better viewing environments. However, for well over 95% of US consumers there is no way for the non-broadcast program developer to fully take advantage of these advances because we are still in an early-adopter stage for acceptance of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD technology. But this too is changing, and perhaps the viewer you want to reach has HD playback.

*Understanding and use of waveform monitor and vectorscope is primary to extracting every last bit of color gradation NTSC video is capable of. You can't go solely by the look on a calibrated pro monitor, especially as regards black level, peak white level, and color saturation. If you go on visual reference only and burn to DVD you run the risk of reds that bleed and blotch, electric whites, and other unintended looks.

*To effectively use the scopes also requires an understanding of the colorspace of the medium you're developing for, eg. the computer screen has a wider latitude than the TV, as Bill mentions the DVD player probably adds 7.5% to the blacks, DV originates in one color space, HDV in another, etc. There are some great posts on this forum, try this link to a search on "colorspace" in the vegas forum. Many of them written by Glenn Chan, who has some interesting articles at http://www.glennchan.info/articles/articles.html
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 04:54 PM   #48
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Thanks Bill, Seth, and Jeff.

It looks like the learning curve has become a little steeper than I had hoped. Oh well, if I can master control of E6 film processing, I can do this too.

I have been following the picture profiles thread on the EX1 forum VERY closely. I have tried each of Bill's profiles, but then run into the problem of not knowing if what I see on the monitor is accurate. One step at a time.

Thanks again.
Clark
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 05:42 PM   #49
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Followup question

DVRackHD is now bundled with Premiere. I like Vegas. Are the waveform and vectorscopes in Vegas adequate?

Thanks.
Clark
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 10:46 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Peters View Post
DVRackHD is now bundled with Premiere. I like Vegas. Are the waveform and vectorscopes in Vegas adequate?
Vegas' scopes are totally adequate for editing.

If you want to haul a pc/laptop to your next shoot OnLocation (nee DVRack 2.0HD) is a very cool tool. I have it and use it for studio stuff. For field, I find zebras are fine and a histogram, if your camera offers it (your EX1 does), is great. Of course OnLocation also gives you a cool hard drive recorder with good playback controls, and a pretty decent visual monitor for reference.

Although you can use Vegas as a hard drive recorder you'll only get monitoring, scopes and controls on playback.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #51
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Thanks Seth.

Except for trying to calibrate the camera initially (which I am depending on Bill to do for me :)), all my color balancing and contrast adjustment (is this what is called "grading"?) will be done post. If the Vegas WFM and Videoscope are accurate enough, then I should be good, at least once I get the hang of it.

Thanks for all the advice guys.
Clark
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