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John Godwin August 5th, 2006 07:29 AM

Filmlook scene files
 
I have had my camera for a few weeks now and I'm starting to develop some looks I like. I have a major shoot coming up in about two weeks and I'd like to get some tips from those of you who have done more HD than me on how to get a good filmlook. I know that's an elusive and general term, but if anyone has any filmlook scene files they'd like to share I'd appreciate it.

This show will be 24p and I need a glossy, hi-tech look. Some shooting will be in fairly low light (control center type stuff) and some full daylight and lots in between. I've been shooting for years but haven't had a camera with the possibilities of the xdcam 'til now, so I'd like to use them effectively.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
John

Simon Wyndham August 5th, 2006 01:36 PM

Depends on what your workflow is. Whether you want to get the 'look' in camera or not.

For filmlook the most important thing is detail settings. See my other posts throughout DV info regarding this. Turn the detail off.

Now this is where I think a lot of people become confused between what 'filmlook' actually means. Often people don't want to turn the detail off. They think it looks soft (even though there isn't actually any less detail in the picture). However to get a more accurate filmlook you want that detail switched off to get rid of all those horrible digital edge enhancement outlines. Leave the Aperture Correction on though. Usually you would want to adjust the detail frequency to make the enhancement as subtle as possible, but with XDCAM HD I am not sure if that means going into the + region or - region.

For post grading and to get maximum range use Cinegamma 2.

Now, if you want an in-camera 'look' there isn't much I can say since that would be personal to you. It would entail adjustment of the RGB gamma settings, RGB black level settings etc, etc. This can't be done effectively without decent colour charts and waveforms to make sure everything stays within range and doesn't get too silly.

But for a Film Neg look, turn the detail off and use Cinegamma 2.

Speaking of settings, the XDCAM group here has had questions about creating in camera looks, and so has the XL2, XLH1, DVX, and HVX forums.

There is a really cool, and affordable program called Vidscope. The DV and HDV versions are quite reasonably priced. It is a realtime software vectorscope and waveform program that can monitor live signals as well as video files. More handily it is possible to save Overlay files for matching of cameras.

What might be more useful to people would be for looks to be created with the aid of either a DSC Labs chart, or a MacBeth chart, and then an overlay file saved. Then different users, no matter which camera they own, can hook up to their own copy of Vidscope, load the overlay, and adjust their camera settings until they matched.

Greg Boston August 5th, 2006 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
There is a really cool, and affordable program called Vidscope. The DV and HDV versions are quite reasonably priced. It is a realtime software vectorscope and waveform program that can monitor live signals as well as video files. More handily it is possible to save Overlay files for matching of cameras.

Are you referring to the program called Videoscope that's put out by Evological? I just downloaded the trial last week that I ran across by accident. If this isn't the software you are referring to, I'd like a link to the one you're talking about.


-gb-

Simon Wyndham August 5th, 2006 02:03 PM

No. Its by Hamlet, the well respected hardware scope manufacturers.

http://www.hamlet.co.uk/usa/products/software.htm

They do a 30 day fully functional trial too.

Greg Boston August 5th, 2006 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
No. Its by Hamlet, the well respected hardware scope manufacturers.

http://www.hamlet.co.uk/usa/products/software.htm

They do a 30 day fully functional trial too.

Yeah Simon, I just found it after I posted by Googling it. They make some nice hardware units too. The software I found before is for the Mac and is okay, but not as robust as the Hamlet offering. Sadly, Hamlet doesn't offer a Mac version of their software. Not a problem since I have both platforms at my disposal.

Thanks, will evaluate it.

-gb-

John Godwin August 6th, 2006 06:59 PM

Simon,

That's the kind of info I was looking for, thanks. The camera, in 24p, seems to have a nice look almost right out of the box. Except for tests everything I've shot so far has been shot in HD but downconverted to SD 4X3 for editing and finish, as those clients don't need HD at this point. Cranking the detail for that seems to help somewhat in getting a good look for SD. But the new show will be used as both SD and HD and I'm looking for a good compromise, probably favoring less detail enhanced HD and tweaking appropriately in SD on my new Avid Chrome system (when it gets here). I can edit in HD and supposedly downconvert to SD in real time. Hope so, anyway.

Best,
John


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