"Movie-like" look of footage

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DanKick
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Joined: Jan 16 2001

Can someone tell me, what lenses I have to use to have a movie-like picture (colorful, contrast, "warm" colors, ...)?
I also wonder if there are any filters (in Ulead Media Studio 6.0 or any other program), which are able to make such a movie-like picture in post-production?
Can someone tell me the names of these post-production filters?

Thank you.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

None of the effects you specify need optical filters, they are all to do with the electronic setting up of the camera, and can be achieved in post-production with nigh-on any NLE.

The one thing you can't normally get in a video camera, that's crucial to getting a "film-look" is the handling of high contrast scenes. Film compresses contrast over a larger range than does conventional video, but you can get close to it by using contrast tweaking settings in the camera. At the high end (broadcast/pro), you set as much black-stretch as you can live with, and knee to cut in at about 85% with up to 4:1 compression. Then you can record 2 stops overexposure and 1 stop under, in the normal video range, and that gets you within spitting distance of film. It also modifies the colour handling in the same way that film does.

Broadcasters and film-makers have been doing tricks like this for some years, to the extent that you'ld now be hard pressed to say with any certainty, just by looking at pictures, whether they came from video or film. The only three remaining effects needed to complete the illusion that film-like footage came from video are:

1 24/25Hz exposure (either in the camera or by very sophisticated electronics in post) to give characteristically jerky motion.
2 Resolution limiting. In the video bandwidth, film is soft. It has resolution way beyond video but that helps little expect when film weave causes aliasing. So wind down, or even off, the aperture corrector.
3 Noise/grain. Modern video (high end) cameras have the noise performance of 35mm movie film, and better sensitivity. So, to make video look like fim, you have to degrade it a little, white noise isn't quite right, the spectrum has to be tailored in the direction of high noise at low frequencies, lower at high frequencies, and has to be added in the pro-scan signal, not when interlace is still active.
4 Depth of field (nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition). Film formats are bigger than video; 2/3" 16:9 video is slightly smaller than super16 but can outperform 35mm when handled correctly, so lens DoF can be much greater in video. Film-makers usually want shallow DoF to isolate fore/background, apertures of f2.8 are typical in studios for drama, to get the same DoF in a 2/3" video camera as in 35mm, you would need a lens at f1 or wider. To get the same with 1/3" sensors you have to go to f0.5, and at that point the image is inside the lens, so you can't do it.

Hope some of that helped.

------------------
alan@mugswellvillage.freeserve.co.uk. Delete village for a spam-free diet.

DanKick
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Joined: Jan 16 2001

Uf, well, that was really a detailed answer.
But, I still wonder, which program or filter I have to use to make a picture from my Digital8 camcorder more colorful, highest contrast, etc.

Gladders
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Joined: Apr 28 1999

This is a recurring question on video related BBs. There are many ways, but I have seen a suggestion from Alan (Roberts, not sure if at work or home ) on a previous thread saying that increasing Gamma helps, up to a maximum 1.5. I can vouch for this, although you may then need to increase the brightness a bit. Depends how far you want to go, this is certainly a quick and easy method.

Did anyone see the trailers for "In a land of Plenty"? The saturation was intense. Was it film or video? Maybe Alan knows.

Paul

Paul

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

I seem to recall saying something like that, Paul. Certainly it makes sense, up-gamma will increase saturation. Play with the colour controls you've got and see what happens.

I don't know "In a land of plenty" so can't comment. But, it's getting very hard to tell whether a programme was shot on film or video these days, I've been fooled lately. Drama producers seem consistently to want to work with a film-look, even if they can't afford to use film. There's a lot of work gone on/going on concerning just this (and I've been doing a lot of it). But it isn't specifically the colour effect of film they want, consistently they say they want to "distance the viewer from the experience", to remind them that it isn't reality. Make of that what you will.

Christian Lett
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Joined: Apr 26 1999

You could shoot 16:9 which might help (better to get an anamorphic lens than use the built in digital compression) or even lose a scan-field in post to give a frame-based effect.

However I did read on a mailing list a post from a pro. editor who suggested people should concentrate on the important things like story, rather than what it looks like. Of course, good composition and lighting is vital but nowadays video is a recognised and respected medium for new film-makers. People should exploit video's features rather than emulate other formats (where the end result will be inferior due to excessive post processing of the picture).

My advice would be to concentrate on producing a well shot (and lit) movie & produce a tight edit with a great soundtrack (sound effects, music, etc.)

Good luck,

Christian.

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

That's good advice from Christian.

gfactor
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Joined: Aug 24 2000

I would like to know whether the contrast handling can be modiefied on the TRV 900 or
is this only possible on high-end cameras?

Also could someone explain to me if non-interlaced recording vs interlaced recording has any bearing on a film-like look?

What shutter speed should be best used at 25f/s to achieve film look?

Thanks in advance.

Berend

Berend Rah

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

No contrast controls on the 900. Film is shot generally with a 180 degree shutter, meaning that each frame is exposed for 1/48th sec. On replay at the cinema you see a full resolution frame projected twice before the pulldown, each frame having a combined projector shutter speed of something like 1/30th sec. Trying to replicate this odd state of affairs with video is not easy.

tom.

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

And it isn't even as simple as that, because the shutter opens/closes as an out-of focus wipe. It's only the integrated duration that's 1/48 second for a 180 degree shutter. Many experiments later, I have to conclude that simply shooting at 25fps (or even 24fps) and using a 1/50 or 1/48 sec shutter, doesn't exactly replicate the effect of film on tv. I'm still trying to find out exactly how the shutter moves across the image to calculate what goes onto the film. When I've doen that, we'll be able to replicate film exactly in video.

DanKick
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Joined: Jan 16 2001

Well, can be done anything useful in that way with "Boris RED" program, which offers also colour/contrast/brightness correction?
Has anyone already tried improving footage quality with this software?