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Author Topic: shadow levels: motion vs stills  (Read 748 times)
stewarthemley
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« on: September 02, 2011, 05:21:23 AM »
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I'm slowly getting back into motion (camera wise!) and having watched quite a few tutorials on various grading software progs, I'm seeing a significant difference in the amount of detail in video shadows compared with stills. Most of the vids offered as examples of good grading show shadows blocked to an extent that I would not be happy with in my stills stuff. Having tried some software, eg resolve, colorista, motion, and the FCPX ones (good IMO) I can get more detail in than I am seeing elsewhere. I'm certain people with more grading experience in than me could easily get more detail in so I'm assuming it's a current look that people like. Any thoughts would be welcomed.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 05:35:48 AM »
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The first question I would have about blacks and whites is

"broadcast safe"

It seems to me, and I know nothing that TVs seem to operate in some sort of 'space' that works from 10-245 or something

While our computer monitors and web vid should be graded to 0-255

I have certainly seen my 5d work on my mates cheapo television (CRT)  via DVD and the footy was both clipping colour and very over saturated compared to viewing on my half decent LCD

S

 
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 06:12:12 AM »
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Crushing blacks is a method employed to emulate the 'film look' - when kept linear they look flat and video-like. This is a gross generalization, of course, but unfortunately, is most widely practiced. Some people might call it a 'style'.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 06:05:54 PM »
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Broadcast safe doesn't mean lack of contrast. It just constraints the limits in wich a good balance can of course be acheived. I think that you should grade using the scope always.

Depending on the export, you can expand (RGB) those limits to be "correctly viewed" on computers but if you work from a broadcast safe base, you'd have no bad surprise and the shift is minimum.

But IMO you shouldn't compare that much what works for stills and what works in motion. For ex, sharpness in motion is not as relevant as for stills and could even ruined totally the viewing experience. What would be considered as harsh contrast in still might help the story in motion. Avoid thinking the same way.

Let's say you have a haunted castle in a drama. In still you would try to get texture infos, sharpness but in motion you have the clouds moving, maybe a thunderstorm and some visual effects. The eyes won't notice details the same way, there are much more infos to process, sound etc...frames are moving so the possibility to apply more extreme gradings and erase detail info can even help to tell the story, it just depends. There are also movies with extremely wide DR and no crushing B or W but because it also fits the story. Here is one with great DR and no crushings, you'll notice that there are no blacks or whites: http://vimeo.com/23903637 it's on purpose. (ARRI look)

Try to capture the max DR possible in the footage so you have room but think climate, story etc...moving images aren't made to be viewed the same way, it's a different experience.


« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 06:18:03 PM by fredjeang » Logged
stewarthemley
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2011, 03:33:45 AM »
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Interesting replies Sareesh and Fred. I agree with both of you. Sraeesh, I think there's not much doubt it is the look of the moment, in mainstream Hollywood and most of the indies mimicking it. Which, IMHO, is the best reason for avoiding it, but that's just me. Can't see the point in doing what everyone else is.

Fred, absolutely agree: the content is king. Or queen. Whatever, it's all that really matters. To wit "Blair witch" et al. If you're audience is noticing/worrying about crushed blacks, or whatever, you've failed. And I like the eg you gave. Almost no highlights, even the sky was a controlled grey, but it had great atmosphere and really worked. Made the point beautifully that crushed blacks aren't essential and that the style, the way the things is shot and graded, add a lot to the content.

What a pity that someone gets a great/different look and the sheep have to follow.
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