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Old April 16th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #1
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Out of Focus Video

This weekend I shot a one time event (a Concert for a High School Theatre/Choir group) with my Sony FX7. I was the ‘Official’ Videographer for the event and volunteered to edit and make DVD’s for the Parents and Performers. The event was in low light. The FX7 tends to focus hunt when in very low light. So before the event I set the Focus to Manual. I thought I manually focused correctly before the event started. Without going in to what I should have done to ensure the correct focus (I’m still learning), suffice to say that the entire event is out of focus. Not by a lot. But it definitely looks out of focus. I have searched this Forum and the Sony Vegas Movie Studio/Vegas Forums. I’m using Vegas Movie Studio Platinum. I did find a couple of ideas on trying to correct the focus in Post:

1): Layering the footage with itself, sharpening the top layer, and then adjusting the opacity of the top Layer
2): Applying the Unsharp Mask Filter along with gently applying the Sharpen filter.

I get just OK results. The first Option (Layering the footage with itself and Sharpening the top layer) seems to get the best results, but it looks too harsh. Maybe it is too grainy. I’m not sure what the correct word is to describe it. The Second Option (Applying the Unsharp Mask with a touch of the Sharpen is ok, but begins to look Cartoonish. The Colors start to look Surrealistic.

In either case, it looks like something has been done to the video. Obviously I would like to get the footage to look like it was all shot in focus without looking like something was done to it. Am I asking for too much? Any help or suggestions anybody can provide would be greatly appreciated!! If I need to post a small example, Please let me know. Thanks!!
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Old April 16th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #2
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posting an example would help
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Old April 16th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #3
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Have you got your Vegas Project Properties set to match your footage properties? That tripped me up a week or two ago. I looked at some footage and was like....argh!!!!!! Than I took a breath and thought it through, checked the properties, they were wrong on that PC, changed them and phew!

Just my two cents worth.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #4
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I have been trying to up load some example files for the past few days now. I keep getting the message: “A communication error occurred”. Is there a trick to uploading files?
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Old April 18th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #5
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Can you atleast get screen shots out of vegas without an error?,

If you post a short raw avi, I'd be glad to hack away at it for you.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 06:21 PM   #6
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Steven, Thank you for the offer to take a look a my video. I can not upload a file. It keeps getting an error when I try to attach a file to this post. Is there another place I can either send or post a sample clip?
Thanks!
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Old April 20th, 2007, 06:06 AM   #7
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I have finally been able to up load a couple of Screen shots. I don’t know how helpful this is vs. a short avi clip. But any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Attached Thumbnails
Out of Focus Video-out-focus-1.jpg   Out of Focus Video-out-focus-2.jpg  

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Old April 20th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clement View Post
I get just OK results. The first Option (Layering the footage with itself and Sharpening the top layer) seems to get the best results, but it looks too harsh. Maybe it is too grainy. I’m not sure what the correct word is to describe it. The Second Option (Applying the Unsharp Mask with a touch of the Sharpen is ok, but begins to look Cartoonish. The Colors start to look Surrealistic.

In either case, it looks like something has been done to the video. Obviously I would like to get the footage to look like it was all shot in focus without looking like something was done to it. Am I asking for too much? Any help or suggestions anybody can provide would be greatly appreciated!! If I need to post a small example, Please let me know. Thanks!!
Greg,

I think your asking too much from technology here. It's either time to get real creative, or bail out.

It looks like your focus was way off. You're looking at a WHOLE lot of work to even get this to sub-par. There is a soft fx filter in ultimate S 3.0 (free fully functioning download trial at VASST) you can try. It would make the whole thing kind of dreamy. The big Problem you've got here as I see it is that the girl (in this shot) is the only thing way out of focus. No matter how you slice it, it's not going to look good. I'd also think about using the audio only (assuming the audio is good), and setting it to a video montage from the school.

Note: I just reread your post. I think the Ultimate S will only work with the full Vegas program. Good Luck
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Old April 20th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #9
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I agree.... the focus is out quite a bit. I would go for the dreamy look as well. If you have any close-up shots, you may be able to rescue them SOMEWHAT with a sharpen filter ever so gently backed up with a noise filter (the sharpening will cause noise which will stick out pretty good against the darker background you have there).... but for the most part I think Ken is right.... get creative with this one or go bust.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:31 PM   #10
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I don't know really anything about movie studio and the best I was able to come up with was okay results, that you previously mentioned.

Basically, I tweaked the sharpness a little and used the bump map filter with a directional light source directly beneath her. Turn the bump all the way off.
The idea for moving the lighting source below her is that it darkens the area where her head and shoulders are against the backdrop, so it tones down the contrast a tad. What people will notice most is an out of focus face, not so much on a dress that's moving.

If you just use a darkness filter then everything gets too dark because of the background etc.

I think "okay" is about the best you can hope for though. Sorry.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:57 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond to my post. Of course, none of the answers is what I wanted to hear…. But, you gave me some alternatives to consider, which I appreciate. Time to get to work on this project and try and salvage what I can. Thanks again for all your advice!!
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