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Old March 22nd, 2021, 10:49 AM   #31
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

Thank you everyone for all the great comments.

Back in 2009/2010 we actually did detach our cameras and pull a manual WB on stage with white light. But lights were different then and we only had 3 cameras.

The recitals I'm shooting now are still low budget and the results each year are good considering everything but I have to do matching in post which is what I am trying to get away from. I probably critique the colors more than any of them but it bothers me when the cameras don't match. 3 of the camera are identical Panasonic AG HMC150 models bought intentionally so they would match and the blasted things still do not match on presets indoors. They do match pretty good if we can pull a manual WB though but the indoor 3200K preset just doesn't match and it has irritated me for years. Problem is I don't know how to pull a manual WB nowadays in dance/theatre.
I also mix some other cameras too but I try to use my various Panasonics instead of my Sonys together

As far as distribution, we are still doing DVDs mostly as of last year. I have offered Blu-rays but DVDs outsell them and USB. Due to the CV situation all my income dropped so for one client I persuaded them to go to internet download delivery because the budget was so low I couldn't justify the Disk authoring and production.
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Old March 22nd, 2021, 11:16 AM   #32
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

It's been annoying me for years. A friend of a friend is a racks guy for broadcast and his job is harder now as the LDs push the envelope - and of course he also has to contend with the video screens which are very hard to make match with 1. the studio lights, and 2. the cameras.

Interesting your identical cameras perform differently. The manufacturers really should sort this out as so many people are shooting non-daylight and non-tungsten nowadays.
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Old April 7th, 2021, 12:55 PM   #33
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

I don't have just one single way that I approach white balancing for stage shows. When possible, I try to figure out who is in charge of lighting for the show and have a discussion with them about how they are handling the lighting, and explain what I am trying to accomplish with determining a color temperature for "white" light.

Depending on the results of this conversation, there any number of possible outcomes-

1) I'll be able to determine the precise white light color temperature of their lights and manually dial in a specific white balance level to each camera.

2) I'll end up manually white balancing the main center camera, then manually dial that level into the other cameras to match.

3) I'll learn that different parts of the show will have different whites, and will thus take notes and create presets to cover these different parts of the show.

Sometimes, such a conversation isn't possible. In that case, I will try to guess. If it looks like they are using tungsten lighting, I will preset the camera white balances to 3200K. Otherwise, if it looks like the primary lighting is LED, I will use 5600K.

What I don't do is white balance each camera individually. Even a slight difference in angle between the camera and white card can result in a different color of light being reflected. So, when I do have to manually white balance, I only grab that white from a single camera, and then manually set that value in the other cameras.

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Iím interested to see if you US folk have issues with child protection rules? Twice now Iíve been asked to remove a childís face from the video when itís been discovered they are subject to orders preventing ďtheir likenessĒ being published. Luckily both times, the lack of definition in the long shots has made only blobbing the closer shots required? Iíd not given much thought to the idea of increasing the wide shot resolution. Do you have this problem?
I have never once had this be an issue. For one thing, in the US, there really aren't any special child protection rules regarding video or photography. Individual schools or institutions may adopt their own policies, but from a legal point of view, there isn't much.

We have a first amendment right to pretty much photograph or record anything on video... There are some exceptions to this, like you can't record an image of someone if they have a reasonable expectation of privacy (like if they are in the bathroom). However, it would be really difficult for them to argue that there was a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are on a stage in front of a crowd of people.

If such a situation did ever come up for me, I would direct the parents to talk to whoever hired me to do the job to begin with. I would explain that I was hired to do a job, and if I am going to alter that job, that they need to take that up with my client. If the client then comes back to me and asks me to obscure a particular performer, I will happily oblige, but explain my post-production billing rates, and try to come up with a quote for how much it will cost to do that.
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Old June 17th, 2021, 10:08 AM   #34
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

Well on my last couple recitals I had them put on white lights (they still have old high power non-LED lights) and I took all cameras down to the stage and pulled a manual white balance on a white board on stage. They all matched excellent with no color correcting needed in post. So from now on at the location I intened to follow that technique.
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Old June 17th, 2021, 10:38 AM   #35
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

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Originally Posted by David Banner View Post
Well on my last couple recitals I had them put on white lights (they still have old high power non-LED lights) and I took all cameras down to the stage and pulled a manual white balance on a white board on stage. They all matched excellent with no color correcting needed in post. So from now on at the location I intened to follow that technique.
Good to hear you had success. That's the method I do and works well for me.
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Old June 17th, 2021, 11:53 AM   #36
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

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Doug - it simply doesn't work that way. I
David, are you sure it worked? That's exactly the method I suggested and then Paul said I was all wrong.
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Old June 17th, 2021, 12:24 PM   #37
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

No - we're safe. He specifically said they don't have an LED kit. White theatre light with no LED is a mix of 3200 and 3000K if they have a mix of tungsten and tungsten halogen. Few venues will still have tungsten, they're still around (I have ten 1 and 2Ks from the 70s that still work - but it only falls down when you start mixing LED fixtures - phew!

I'm just rigging a venue at the moment - we have loads of distinct different whites. Three cameras installed for the summer already - all set to the 3200K preset. That will do. All these lights, set to white are visibly different on face tones and white bits of set and costume. It's mad!
Source 4 750W
PAR 64 CP62 1K
Arri 1K Fresnels
Strand 1.2K Optiques
Strand tungsten Fresnels 1K
CCT Silhouettes
RGBWUA LED washes
RGBW LED washes
RGB LED bars
RGB LED uprights

The LEDs just mess the auto white balance up.
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Old June 17th, 2021, 02:10 PM   #38
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
I’m interested to see if you US folk have issues with child protection rules? Twice now I’ve been asked to remove a child’s face from the video when it’s been discovered they are subject to orders preventing “their likeness” being published. Luckily both times, the lack of definition in the long shots has made only blobbing the closer shots required? I’d not given much thought to the idea of increasing the wide shot resolution. Do you have this problem?

Reply, Adam:
I have never once had this be an issue. For one thing, in the US, there really aren't any special child protection rules regarding video or photography. Individual schools or institutions may adopt their own policies, but from a legal point of view, there isn't much.

We have a first amendment right to pretty much photograph or record anything on video... There are some exceptions to this, like you can't record an image of someone if they have a reasonable expectation of privacy (like if they are in the bathroom). However, it would be really difficult for them to argue that there was a reasonable expectation of privacy when they are on a stage in front of a crowd of people.

If such a situation did ever come up for me, I would direct the parents to talk to whoever hired me to do the job to begin with. I would explain that I was hired to do a job, and if I am going to alter that job, that they need to take that up with my client. If the client then comes back to me and asks me to obscure a particular performer, I will happily oblige, but explain my post-production billing rates, and try to come up with a quote for how much it will cost to do that.
While we in the US have the amendment right, it may happen that in spite of this, the lawyers may find some wiggle room (particularly if there is money to be had) to make this a grey area. Given the inability of law enforcement to reign in the pedofiles, blurring as a requirement, or even a desirability, might win out. In which case, a similar face tracking procedure that is used now for focus, might someday, be able to be used in the future with an edit feature in the NLE.

Enjoy the good ol' days while you can!

Last edited by John Nantz; June 17th, 2021 at 02:14 PM. Reason: added "feature": with an edit feature in the NLE.
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Old June 17th, 2021, 05:00 PM   #39
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

Thanks again everyone. I'm glad they don't have LED lights at that venue. Those identical Pansonic cameras don't match on presets so a manual white balance is the only way to get them to match without fixing in post. I still am not sure what to do at other venues though
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Old June 17th, 2021, 05:24 PM   #40
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

all the places I go have LED lights and like colour. I just set all the cameras at 4000 and accept fixing in editing. For me been this way for many years.
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Old June 18th, 2021, 01:32 AM   #41
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

David’s comment is what I wish they sort out. That’s why we started on the JVC 100 series, then 200 and 700. I bought a smaller one and was pleased it also matched. In honesty. My manual tweaking of images is pretty er, undeveloped and this is where I found the white issue a problem. I made sure I had a white from each camera but then realised all the whites were slightly different, and adjustments made on white skewed the colours so much between cameras. The method where you pick a colour temp on the cameras works with my JVCs but other brands don’t seem to match response between models which is odd and obviously hard got them to do.

As an aside, I have some imported flat panel LEDs in the studio and had a pile in the stockroom I was slowly selling. I fished one extra one out for a project last week. I hung it up and noticed the packing was slightly different, and the 16mm yoke socket had a different design. Obviously an older or newer version. Clearly the batch of 5500K LEDs was also different as it doesn’t match the others. Not like the 3200K version, but a sort of more clinical hospital like white. Yuk.

The other comment on vulnerable people here is protection orders. Crazily, you are not allowed to know a child has one. The court might dictate an abusive parent must have no link with a child, but that child’s ‘likeness’ cannot be published. They cannot be discriminated against so if they want to be in the school show, then nobody can take video, and of course people do. However, the legal publisher, and even that is difficult to define, is in in contempt of court if they put the video in youtube! So, you don’t know thy have protection, but YouTube could see you in court. Daft. I’ve just renewed my DBS (disclosure and barring service) licence. This gives other people, as in schools, duration and other people running services for vulnerable people access to my records. Police, teaching, background etc. If I get a job working in or around kids, I can be checked to see if I’m ‘safe’. I pay £13 a year to allow others to view my criminal history, as in there isnt any. It proves I’ve never been dodgy, never had issues so am probably ok to work with kids. Not foolproof, but a pretty good system. It keeps the odd higher risk person away, I guess.
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Old June 18th, 2021, 09:55 AM   #42
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

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all the places I go have LED lights and like colour. I just set all the cameras at 4000 and accept fixing in editing. For me been this way for many years.
I do a similar thing for venues with mixed 3200-5600k lighting. I preset halfway. I preset all cameras at 4400k which is slap bang in the middle and generally I have no client complaints. When you get those horrible LED over-saturated blues and magenta type colors in certain numbers I then selectively desat and tone those colors down in post until they are at the correct levels on the vectorscope. Rarely do I do a post white balance unless a certain numbers have a lot of white.

I had one lighting guy say to me "I'll put a low-level white 4400k wash for you through the entire lighting program routines which will help your video". Sure enough, it was one of the most consistent videos I shot that year because regardless of all the other programmed lighting colors, intensities, and mixes that he ran the 4400k white wash through everything kept the overall balance very consistent. Since then I've convinced a number of lighting guys to try that process and they have admitted afterward that the white wash does work pretty well both visually and for the video.

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Old June 19th, 2021, 05:43 AM   #43
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Re: How do you white balance dance recitals / stage shows?

I've seen huge bust ups too! One dance set in Hades - all the dancers in red Devil like costumes - red feathers with orange trimming - orange and black makeup, silk flame effects, smoke, pyros, beams of light. A three performance show, with video coming on the last performance. They arrived thirty minutes before audience doors were opened and while one guy did the setup, the other summoned the lighting operator from his meal break demanding a run through of the lighting states and on reaching Hades, said "no no, this is no good, we need to change it". The lighting guy rang the Lighting Designer, who had been paid to design the show. He was not aware of the video and told the lighting operator that as per his contract with the client, all changes needed to be approved and they weren't - as his name is on the posters and the programmes and he would not allow changes that he could not see. Lots of angry voices, talking into phones and bad feeling. My role was Production Manager and I had the job of explaining the lighting was fixed, there was nothing that could be done, and they simply had to make the best of it. We were very sorry the client had not asked them to be there for the plotting session, and they actually said they were invited but it was not within their budget. I left them to it. The client was actually quite happy with what they did actually. If a production, even an amateur one, decides to use professional designers, and pay their fee - then their contracts always include no changes with out permission clauses - they're standard where credits are everything. You're only as good as your last job. On numerous occasions I have sat down next to the LD during plotting of a scene, and reminded them that there will be a video made for production company archives, and this one might look bad on video. In all bar one cases, they pondered their future contracts and lightened things up a bit, and were grateful for the 'heads up'. If they get judged by the video, they want it good for the video, even if it's less good for the audience. That's the killer - audience on screen or audience in the seats? They both can't have the best. In the early 70s, lighting design was all wash, then it rapidly changed to area lighting, often very small area lighting - with lots of contrast, and now we're moving back to washes, but deep colours.

It's so annoying the manufacturers have just ignored all this over the years. Show videos are not a new thing after all.
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