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Author Topic: zacuto 2011 test #1  (Read 14264 times)
Bern Caughey
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« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2011, 11:23:33 AM »
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Grads are useful, & I carry full sets of soft, & hard, cuts, but they're often not practical, especially when handheld, or panning, & tilting.

One thing the Canon dSLRs do right is clip highlights. The AF100, FS100, & F3, all do it in an ugly way. What they need is feature that causes all the color channels to clip equally. Instead they clip independently of each other, which sometimes leads to ugly highlights, most often yellow. These color casts can be corrected in post, but shouldn't need this extra step.

The RED One is a remarkable camera, but can be slow to fire up, & is best treated as a full on cinema camera. Just like Cooter I love using the new generation of small cams, in my case the AF100. All of my work is fast paced, much of it on the road, & without camera assistants, so being able to work, & travel, stripped down without a matte box, NDs, & rails, is a luxury. More often than not the dynamic range is fine, but occasionally not, & on those days I long for RAW.

The Alexa is another great camera with a great look, & many DPs love it's simplicity, & familiarity. These same DPs hate menu driven systems, but there's no arguing with the higher resolution of the RED, & ARRI will eventually respond.

Having seen the SCCE on the big screen I'd happily use all but one of camera's tested. I'm no longer a huge fan of filming on dSLRs, due to form factor, & looking positively soft on the big screen, but I've got some great 5D footage, & will continue to use them when they fit the bill.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2011, 11:35:26 AM »
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I have a list of favorite where I put the photographers I like most, regardless of the time.
Probably the most usefull internet link I have. When I'm on a blank, when inspiration or tech don't want to work, I stop and look inside those favorites and it always work.

Among the current photographers, and again talking about artists I admire, very oftnen there are those film takes, and to proove or make sure that the person used real film, they put the slide contour. It seems that the more dirty the best because it looks authentic and sort of transmit a craft that has been lost and the values of the tech cameras versus the naughty cold tech. That also happens with cineasts.

Before I used to like that but now I find that behind the image that can truly be beautifull, there is also a pose.
And if they make sure the slide contour is there is that any good retoucher can emulate those film look from a digital "flat imagery". I don't get the point because if it's not the final image, it's then the process that attract them.

What I like with Cooter is that he is pragmatic being a great artist. "I love my Red and if tomorrow Sony or X comes with the same at 5000bucks I'll change".
There is no snobery there, nor nostalgia or wired processes. The goal is the image and we know that almost any look can be acheived from a single based image. That's the magic of digital.
I'm not sure that if Lang or Avedon where alive today if they would be interested in trying to keep the tradition alive with mediums that are completly different. They would look forward and probably create new looks never seen before instead of swimming in vintage ponds.

I know some photographers and cineasts who if they don't get the exact look they wanted on set, they consider it a failure. That's the old (and expensive) way of working. Now the work on set is the draft base from wich the real esthetic work is created in post. That is shocking for most photographers, but if you come from painting like me, it is a very natural workflow.

What I'm seeing in motion even much more than is stills, is how dramatic the post prod plays. Take any color artist show-reel or compositing softwares and you see the original footage as a non-sense flat and boring image. All the look is done in post prod. It's really impressive how those people dare and create magic where all that was was flatness.

In that sense I'm more than happy because this sort of workflow has much more to do with the painting process that the photographic process if you think about it. The original footage is the based drawing, then the pp is the painting itself.
I think that we have now real painting tools and cameras are pens. People like Caravagio would have liked to live now. It's the end of the frontiers and orthodoxy, heavy crafts societies. Space and freedom.

I remember Mario Testino, I think it was in an Hasselblad stuff, stressed that the post-prod is by far the most important and critical and the least was the cameras. I beleive this to be true.

In that sense, cameras today are probaly the weakest part of the chain and when differences are close it could be admitted that those differences don't play any role at all bcause every original is heavily transformed.

Someone with Red can get exactly the Arri footage without any expert could recognise the trick. Just softnen the image shooting open or in pp, keeping the levels at zero to get the flatter possible image and correct in Avid without even needing a high-end grading to get the Alexa curves and you're done.

Anyway, nice to see Cooter in action in Bangkok. All the best over here.


 
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 12:00:06 PM by fredjeang » Logged
feppe
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« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2011, 01:20:44 PM »
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In fact the Arri seems to be the best of the bunch in terms of traditional film look, at least to my eyes.

Note that you are seeing a different version of the clips than the reviewers, ie. a highly compressed 720p flash video compared to whatever they were seeing in the screening rooms. The compression itself plays a big part, even if/when Zacuto guys took steps to minimize its impact. In my view the look translates well, though, see below - I've seen many of those movies in the theaters and at my home on my 86" projection screen, and they look as bad or good in both.

Quote
But past the technique, the camera use, the size, to me of all the cameras I own, including still cameras, the RED is the most filmic and I know the term film covers a wide swath of territory.

That's my movie buff experience as well. Michael Mann's Public Enemies, Miami Vice (the movie) and Collateral look like video with (mostly) Sony digital cameras, while Gamer, Social Network, Jumper and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean had a very solid filmic look, and all were shot on RED. The video look entirely ruined my viewing experience of Public Enemies, as the look doesn't fit a period piece at all.

What's your view on why such a big difference? Is it the camera or the entire filming process from shooting to post? The sensor sizes of all those cameras are very close to Super 35mm AFAIK, so that can't be it. Is it the lenses, or post-processing, (over-) use of jerky handheld, (over-) use of deep DOF, or something else? Just curious as I can't point my finger at it. Compare the trailer of Public Enemies to that of Gamer, for example.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2011, 01:52:57 PM »
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Maybe some answers here,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivREd2xX3qo


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMgDcTO9XiE


http://vimeo.com/7710830
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 02:00:28 PM by fredjeang » Logged
feppe
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« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2011, 02:32:49 PM »
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Maybe some answers here,

Answers to what?
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fredjeang
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« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2011, 02:48:09 PM »
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to this quote: Is it the camera or the entire filming process from shooting to post?

I think it is all to post and post is dramatically key whatever the previous steps might be like.
At least this is what I'm seeing and experiencing within the learning with the pros.


IMO the choice of lenses matters a lot. But in motion post is much more powerfull than in stills.

Most of the new generation guys I know who are filming, are trying to get the wider dr and the flatter possible look. They put their attention on the action, the composition, the story, the elements disposition but
not on the atmosphere. In fact, the filming are done having in mind the post-process stages from the begining and the PP is really really heavy, as those videos show.

No need to say that the traditional cine guys are pulling their hair off when they see that.

The color artists and fx like to start from the most neutral and flatter possible footage because they want room to work. This is the opposite technique as traditional cinema. The photo director is now in part the operator on a specific software.

This sort of workflow is tending to generalize, not only because of costs but because the softwares have done such progress that the camera is more and more a based sketch.

In fact you see more and "cheap cameras" like the 5D2 or GH2 but with heavy lightning and heavy post, you just don't know it (that the camera was cheap).

Thatc was my 2 euros apportation. Cooter will have more interesting experience to share for sure and hope he'll post.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 03:01:56 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Bern Caughey
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« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2011, 03:01:55 PM »
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I don't believe there's any more post processing in film then there is in stills, & good photographers in either medium strive for their best.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jul/28/airbrushing-loreal-adverts-jo-swinson

There's nothing wrong with shooting a flat file when you know it's going into post, & while it's possible to burn in a look (I occasionally do) that can jam the editorial process, & likely shorten your career.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 03:03:53 PM by Bern Caughey » Logged
fredjeang
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« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2011, 03:14:16 PM »
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Well, I'd like to react at this article because I think it's old like the world and the content is really driving me nuts.

We should learn to the people to get adult, and think by themselves.

What is that that the girl is depressed and wants to do plastic surgery because she saw a model? What kind of people we want to have? inmature people unable to think by themselves so we have to get rid-off campaigns because they suicide if they don't look like the magazine people?

When I see the males used in advertising and I look at myself in a mirror, I obviously understand that I'm not like that. Will I get dpress, try to do surgery? Jump from the window because mother nature didn't make me Bond like? And of course, as I don't want to take any responsability to be an healphy and independant person and thinker, I will demand that they get rid-of those campaigns so I can sleep in peace.

This is completly inmature. Tomorrow, the fashion will be the curved women, so we will have the skiny ones suicide instead of the chubbies...this world is completly absurd.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 04:23:13 PM by fredjeang » Logged
feppe
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« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2011, 03:31:59 PM »
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to this quote: Is it the camera or the entire filming process from shooting to post?

I think it is all to post and post is dramatically key whatever the previous steps might be like.

Post might be the answer, but the links you provide don't support your argument: Iron Man 2 and Watchmen have both a decidedly cinematic look.
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bcooter
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« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2011, 09:16:28 PM »
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Post production in still and cinema/video has gone on forever and effects, retouching, etc. will continue regardless of what any country or person wants, because in commerce, (and virtually all imagery is produced for some form of commerce) the object is to make interesting visuals and post production is a usually a large part of that.

Any person over the age of 6 that looks at a cosmetic ad (either still or motion) and believes the subject looks just like that without serious post production must be living under a rock and if people are unhappy with their looks or body shape, it's very hard to lay that on modern advertising, because models and handsome/beautiful actors have existed forever.

The thing about shooting motion, especially for still photographers is I have found that clients and the general public are very demanding in what they expect.

The general public is quite savvy to moving imagery because every evening when the consumer turns on their television they are shown many millions of dollars of production for virtually free. . . very good production at that.

The issue is estimating and pricing.  What seems absurd for a $225,000 effect for a web video, can be a drop in the bucket for a Michel Bay film and like all areas of image production, the prices are all over the board.

Estimate a simple effect and you will see prices from $18,000 to hundreds of thousands depending on the artist, production company and market.

The web is such an interesting medium because the media buy is virtually free, though the consumer expects to see the same quality on their computer that they do on their television.

Right now the pricing is in flux, but everyday there is more understanding that a web video can have great reach and the result is takes the same production values as a media buy commercial.

Right now I see web video as more a multi media experience than I do a timed 30 second spot or an entertainment vehicle that is 45 minutes long, though the lines get crossed more everyday.

TV spots look more like flash web pages, web spots are either reconstituted commercials or a mixture of new production and legacy production.

It's slowly becoming all the same so when you plan to estimate, produce, shoot and deliver a web video the prices can high very quickly, just like in any professional production.

The thing I love about motion imagery vs. stills is you have many more frames to tell a story.  The thing I don't like about motion imagery vs. stills is you have a much more complex vehicle to get approved and produced.

You have sound, movement, dialog and effects and every time you add an element, you essentially double the effort.

If still photographers think that shooting tethered has slowed them down, wait until they commission an original music score or throw a teleprompter in front of the lens.

The project we currently have in production has music, dialog, multiple country locations and most of it is in a foreign language (foreign to me), which means I must have a translator by my side with a set of headphones.

Add to that a multiple 3 camera shoot and the day is very, very, very busy.

The upside is I'm learning and moving forward all the time.

The downside is after shooting I know I'm looking at 30+ long days of work before we finally deliver.

But when I look at the Zacuto tests, I find the process somewhat antiquated. It seems to based around traditional dp's and film crews who work large and compared to stills usually much slower.

Since my background is stills, I see production in a different light.  I don't believe I always need dedicated crew that only can function in one task.  I hire people that can multi task and aren't afraid of working damn hard, because lighting and running 3 cameras on location is hard work if it's done right.

That doesn't mean the crew is less talented, or even less talented or job specific, but it does mean that everyone must be on their A game at all times.

One slip in motion gets very expensive to fix.




IMO

BC
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2011, 12:21:05 AM »
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Cooter

Spot on - every word - golden

I could not agree more

S

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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2011, 09:33:59 AM »
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Note that you are seeing a different version of the clips than the reviewers, ie. a highly compressed 720p flash video compared to whatever they were seeing in the screening rooms. The compression itself plays a big part, even if/when Zacuto guys took steps to minimize its impact. In my view the look translates well, though, see below - I've seen many of those movies in the theaters and at my home on my 86" projection screen, and they look as bad or good in both.

That's my movie buff experience as well. Michael Mann's Public Enemies, Miami Vice (the movie) and Collateral look like video with (mostly) Sony digital cameras, while Gamer, Social Network, Jumper and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean had a very solid filmic look, and all were shot on RED. The video look entirely ruined my viewing experience of Public Enemies, as the look doesn't fit a period piece at all.

What's your view on why such a big difference? Is it the camera or the entire filming process from shooting to post? The sensor sizes of all those cameras are very close to Super 35mm AFAIK, so that can't be it. Is it the lenses, or post-processing, (over-) use of jerky handheld, (over-) use of deep DOF, or something else? Just curious as I can't point my finger at it. Compare the trailer of Public Enemies to that of Gamer, for example.

When you test cameras, you've got to be careful.....

Arri does indeed look soft/glowy which can be interpreted as filmy, but there's two factors - one is that the log-c curve used is very low contrast, even lower contrast than standard cineon log which automatically makes things look flatter. Once you get the image up to a decent contrast it nulls out this difference, but for accurate match grading you've got to be aware of this different starting point. Second is that the sensor OLPF incorporates a lowcon style diffusion effect that can be easily seen when you shoot into a hard light and compare to other cameras. On the Arri the light glow flares over a good proportion of the image. Of course, you can add such an effect should you want it with a 1/4 soft or the like, but you've got to be aware such an effect is "built in" if you're doing comparisons.

As for what makes an image "filmic" there's a number of factors:
1) lighting. You've got to light well. That's the key skill of the DP.
2) motion. That implies using 24fps, 180 shutter (not 360 like Public enemies) for the most part. Fully open shutter is a very "video" look giveaway.
3) resolution - film is high resolution, but it's not artificially sharp. If you sharpen excessively (to make up for low native rez) as most "video" cameras do, you'll get "video edges"
4) clipping - video tends not to clip gracefully, but film and good digital cinema can clip nicely. It's a factor of dynamic range combined with good lighting.
5) grading - good grading will sell the final "look"

Graeme
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« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2011, 10:24:20 AM »
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4) clipping - video tends not to clip gracefully, but film and good digital cinema can clip nicely. It's a factor of dynamic range combined with good lighting.


I think this is one place the canons (and nikons) are real winners - maybe not compared to a Red or Arri, but I see more horrors with the Sonies and Pannies

S
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« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2011, 10:47:38 AM »
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Two aspects to clipping are the dynamic range of the sensor itself, and the image processing itself. Got to have both aspects right.

Graeme
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« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2011, 11:37:21 AM »
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I dont see what clipping has to do with DR

Its what happens when you hit the top of the DR and transition to white

We see with the Sonies and Pannies that the colour channels clip at different light intensities

Creating colour artifacts.. plastic

From the zacurto tests I much prefer the look of the DSLRs compard to the F3 and AF in that dept

The arri and the red actually hold the highlights.. to my eye

S



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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2011, 11:42:40 AM »
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Clipping only occurs if you don't have enough DR to capture the scene. The more DR you have the more gracefully you can roll-off the highlights and still see good shadow detail.

Graeme
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« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2011, 01:01:41 PM »
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indeed.. but to me many many many scenes clip, ones with the sun in frame for example

the likely hood of holding the full tone (without something like HDRx in motion or multiple exposures in stills) is minimal unless you are followed by a bus full of HMI

therefore the clipping character is important and IMO both seperate from DR and more impressive in the DSLRs than other 'narrowband'* cameras

IMO something like the F3 has wide DR then clips in a horrid manner, a 5d clips wonderfully at the top of its narrower DR.. to my eyes

Edit

To me one of the weaknesses of this (Z) test and a lot of the guff (IMO) thrown out by Abel is that they investigate when cameras clip but  not how they clip

S


* I would probably define narrowband as less than 50MBS
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2011, 01:12:31 PM »
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How should I expose this, let the highlights blow.. or light 200m of wooded track to the brightness of the sky?

S

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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2011, 01:19:12 PM »
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As for what makes an image "filmic" there's a number of factors:
1) lighting. You've got to light well. That's the key skill of the DP.
2) motion. That implies using 24fps, 180 shutter (not 360 like Public enemies) for the most part. Fully open shutter is a very "video" look giveaway.
3) resolution - film is high resolution, but it's not artificially sharp. If you sharpen excessively (to make up for low native rez) as most "video" cameras do, you'll get "video edges"
4) clipping - video tends not to clip gracefully, but film and good digital cinema can clip nicely. It's a factor of dynamic range combined with good lighting.
5) grading - good grading will sell the final "look"

Thanks for this.

I didn't know Public Enemies was shot with a 360 shutter. I believe that's probably the biggest factor.

I wonder if it's possible to have a similar look as 24 fps film with the upcoming much-hyped 48fps, or whether we will have to adjust to a cheap-looking video effect.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2011, 02:12:18 PM »
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How should I expose this, let the highlights blow.. or light 200m of wooded track to the brightness of the sky?

S



That's an esthetic decision. I would certainly blow that.
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