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RED footage looks very video-ish

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Daniel Stone
RED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 16, 2011 at 3:53:35 am

We have a RED One with the RED primes and the Mysterium X sensor. For the life of us, we can't get a film-like quality out of that camera. The picture looks great: clean, crisp, shallow depth of field... but still like video.

When we compare our film spots to our RED spots they just don't look the same. The film looks like film and the RED looks more like what you'd see on a 'behind the scenes' special. It usually takes quite a bit of wrestling in post to get our RED footage to not look like video.

I can't really put my finger on it but the best way I can describe it is like this: when we light a scene for film, it looks natural like it's not lit. When we shoot that same scene with the RED, it looks artificially lit.

Are you guys having the same experience? What are you guys doing to give your RED footage a more film-like quality?


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Noah Kadner
Re: RED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 16, 2011 at 4:14:03 am

Post some example stills of your footage so we can see what you're talking about please.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: ED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 16, 2011 at 6:42:10 am

What method are you using to post?


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Uli Plank
Re: ED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 16, 2011 at 8:50:31 am

Are you looking at REDfilmLog or Rec709?

In my experience REDfilmLog with color space 2 is very close to a scanned negative when you are grading.

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Daniel Stone
Re: ED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 16, 2011 at 5:48:58 pm

Hmm... good thought on the color space. I'll take a look at that.

I can post a still but it's not really something you can clearly see from a still. Another great example is from the show "Scream Queens". They filmed the short sequences with the RED. When they'd show them back they looked more like a soap opera than a film. It was 24p with a really shallow DOF but otherwise nothing like film.

Our post process goes something like this: FCP proxy edit > transcode to ProRes via RED software > relink files in FCP > send to Color > return to FCP > output via Compressor.

Thanks for the tips, guys.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: ED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 16, 2011 at 6:34:18 pm

So you are talking more color than motion characteristics, yeah?

From what i can gather, you are accessing raw in Color, correct?

Follow what Uli says. There's a newer red fcp installer (within last month or so) that allows access to the new color science.

https://www.red.com/support/9/release_history


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Ryan Walsh
Re: ED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 17, 2011 at 4:08:01 am

Also, have you tried accessing the RAW .R3D's when grading in Color? Apple's post workflow allows for this, and gives you access to adjust the RED camera settings in Apple Color.
Rather than onlining to transcoded ProRes files, you can export an XML from FCP (or just Send to FCP direct) and import to Color, specify the location of your .R3D's, and BANG, you are grading the raw RED camera files with greater bit depth, color information and flexibility.
As Jeremy said, you will just need the latest RED for FCS Support installer. This will allow you to adjust color / gamma space as well as native color temperature and exposure of the .R3D's within Color.

Best!

-----

Ryan Walsh
Sim Video China
Post-Production Engineering / Workflow Solutions


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Graeme Nattress
Re: RED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:44:12 am

The REDs are about the most flexible cameras available for achieving just about any look you want. For the most "filmic" of looks, I'd suggest a few things:

Make sure you're shooting with a 1/48th second shutter. Going to 1/24th will give a very videoish look.
Colour / gamma choice is REDColor2 / REDGamma2 or REDLogFilm.

Beyond that, there's nothing else to do in camera to achieve the look you want - the rest comes down to how you light the scene, how you expose the scene and how you set the lens and move the camera.

Graeme

- http://www.nattress.com - Film Effects and Standards Conversion for FCP


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Uli Plank
Re: RED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 17, 2011 at 8:38:23 am

And if something looks like soap, it was probably lit like soap…

I had the chance to compare RedColor2/RedLogFilm to Arri Alexa (which is considered very cinematic around here in Germany) and got very similar results, just a bit more resolution from RED. But you can always knock down resolution if you want to…

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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David Battistella
Re: RED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 17, 2011 at 8:35:46 am

Daniel,

Are you capturing all of your footage at a 23.98 time base? The RED can look tack sharp and have a video quality when the timebase of the camera is set to 29.97 or 59.94.

If set to 23.98 time base the motion blur is very similar to film at 1/48th of a second and the registration is solid.

What glass are you using with the RED?

Also, RED does no sharpening in Camera so is there any sharpening being added in post or when you are transfereing your daillies, It might be there...

I find that adding some film grain on your final grade (you are right the images are very crisp compared to 35mm) then you can certainly intercut it easily with film, as many have had to do with FX shots or pickups later on.

It feels to me like it might be the timebase thing though. Make sure it is at 23.98

Remember, not FRAMERATE, TIMEBASE

Peace



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Daniel Stone
Re: RED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 25, 2011 at 8:07:48 pm

Thanks for all the tips, guys.

I think our drivers were the problem - oops. I realized we hadn't updated any of our drivers and software since getting the MX chip so that's what I did and HOLY SMACK! It looks really, really good. The old drivers were giving the footage a purple tinge and a muddy look. Shot some interviews in a dark room which look super clean. Pushed it to 1600 ISO for a couple of shots and it's still ridiculously clean.



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Kacey Baker
Re: RED footage looks very video-ish
on Apr 27, 2011 at 4:19:07 pm

Hi Daniel

If you are like me you have seen a few hollywood films shot on red and even watched the Pirates of the Caribbean trailer, maybe even Lincoln Lawyer, and thought if I buy this camera I'll get the same results. I know thats what I am hoping for.

Yet, when I search vimeo for red one footage 99% of it looks similar to 5D footage.

I put it down to 2 things, experience, but more so the lenses.

When you watch the Red promo video, the mechanic scene shot by professionals even looks cheap and 5Dish, i mean cmon this should scream hollywood, its the RED PROMO for gawd sake, but it appears everything still looks video ish, other than what was shot by a studio, which boils down to experience.

However, I have found some outstanding FILM looking footage using Zeiss Super Speed Set Lenses - infact everything shot using these lenses looks like film... now before I get attacked from puriests for that statement, please dont bother, Im merely suggesting that these Zeiss Super Speed lenses used the right way looks like film, yet red primes used the right way still looks like video.

Dont bother with the Red primes.. you only end up with hi res 5D footage.

Get yourself the Zeiss lenses and you will find with the right set up your footage wil be hollywood ready, oh and some experienced lighting etc.

Here are perfect examples to get you excited in your pants using Zeiss.




hope that helped.


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Richard Crook
Re: RED footage looks very video-ish
on Jan 25, 2012 at 2:05:18 am

It comes down to dynamic range, shooting for post grading, and finally the color grade itself. Cameras with limited dynamic range like RED (11-13 stops) need alot of tricks while shooting and in post. film (20-22 stops) doesn't need a lot of crazy work because it's 20-22 stops already...and even just adding basic contrast creates a pleasing image. Doing the same for RED further separates the shadows and highlights from the mid tones rather than contrasting the whole image. Kind or hard to explain, but with lower dynamic range cameras you need to light to keep the shadows closer to the mids, nd/net/flag the highlights. You need to optimize the camera to get the most info off the sensor, (like LOG or whatever) so you don't crush/blow out shadows and highlights. Finally the grade is done to further help bring down highlights, bring up shadows, micro contrast, etc etc etc.

One thing ppl think with a RED is that because it has ridiculously good resolution, RAW, etc that it will look filmic without much work, which is far from the truth. You need to do ALOT to get it that way, RED is great though because it shoots raw and LOG to make that process nondestructive to the image.

What people SHOULD get excited about are cameras that offer higher dynamic range like ALEXA and the new breed of sensors Sony is developing to get film dynamic range, THAT will really be something. I for one would prefer a sub 10k 8bit camera at 1080p that matches film DR over a 16bit 4k 13 stop DR camera any day of the week.


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