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How to sharpen DSLR flat image?

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Trip Nixon
How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:21:09 am

Hey all. Just wondering what is the best method to go about sharpening DSLR flat image. I have my setting set to the flat USER 1 preset that is generally accepted as the best for shooting flat. I use premiere, and know I can use the sharpening tool...just wondering how much sharpening is general practice for DSLR video. A number would help. I know it would be different in different circumstances, but i'm looking for a ballpark safe amount of sharpening. Just wondering from some people who are experiences, what they would say is the ballpark levels they usually sharpen. Thanks!


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Noah Kadner
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:39:18 am

That's really entirely subjective and varies greatly from shot to shot. The only person who can answer how much if any sharpening to add to a shot would be you. Remember we can't see your footage from here...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:39:02 am

I never sharpen my footage. I prefer to shoot it in focus.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Trip Nixon
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:14:11 am

This is not the same thing. You have a sharpening setting in your picture style...normally if you are going to do post production, its best to set this really low...then do your color and sharpening in post. Since I shoot flat...I MUST do some sort of sharpening.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:16:08 am

Whatever works for you. I like to shoot with a nice field monitor to minimize the need to tweak the footage in post. I'd rather spend the time perfecting the edit.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Trip Nixon
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:35:48 am

I think we are confusing a different topic. Sharpening as in HOW FOCUSED you are, and sharpening as to what digital process being done inside the camera is, are separate things. Of course shoot in focus, I use a field monitor as well. But, if you plan to do post production like color correction...you dont want your camera putting artifacts that are not needed (ex. high contrast, or sharpness). This will only make the color correction and grading process more difficult as you are needing to fix artifacts that the camera made artificially. Hence why the kind of "standard" for shooting with canon DSLR is to bring the sharpness value down to near zero, and the contrast as well. When you bring it into post however, you need to bring them up to compensate for the camera not doing it...unless flat is the style you are going for.


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Trip Nixon
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:59:31 am

By the way Jason...cool website! I love that style. Very fresh!


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Jason Jenkins
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:20:14 pm

[Trip Nixon] "By the way Jason...cool website! I love that style. Very fresh!"

Thanks, Trip!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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John Frey
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:40:17 pm

Unsharp mask is one of the effects in Premiere. It is the tool most used in still image detail enhancement and works effectively in Premiere as well. Just be very careful not to overdo it.

John D. Frey
25 Year owner/operator of two California-based production studios.

Digital West Video Productions of San Luis Obispo and Inland Images of Lake Elsinore


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Paul Coleman
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Mar 29, 2014 at 9:40:43 pm

Hilarious, by being a smartarse.."I prefer to shoot in focus"...you have actually displayed your lack of knowledge. It is a valid question for a process common in post..it begs the question, if you can't contribute to the answer..what are you doing?


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Peter Burger
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:35:13 am

What picture style do you use, Trip?

With the canon cameras you can assign a "personal" style to the "user settings".

There are quite a bunch of "flat" styles around like "superflat" oder "marvels cinegamma" and they are quite nice to work with in some cases.
I personally prefer the "marvel" styles over "superflat". But those styles are hard to grade imho, so I tend do shoot with the built-in "faithful" style with reduced contrast, sharpness and saturation settings (just like you described it).

If needed at all (I don't think it is needed in _all_ cases for _all_ kinds of footage), I do sharpening in post with the "unsharp mask" filter.

I described my approach using the "unsharp mask" filer in this thread: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/280/5615

But just as Noah wrote, the only person who can decide, whether sharpening in post is neccessary and how much sharpening to do, is you!

Hope this helps!


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Trip Nixon
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:36:01 pm

Does the premiere built in tool "sharpen" do the same thing.

As for picture styles, I have a User setting with contrast and sharpness set to 0. There are countless tutorials stating this as the best for working with video in post (I use Looks)...so i'm in that boat. Still new to DSLR's tho. Thanks for the link!


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Noah Kadner
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 3:10:41 pm

Yeah personally I have the 'sharpness' (really I would call it Detail level so as not to confuse with lens focus) dialed in the camera as I want it to look. And flat generally refers to gamma/color not in-camera sharpening. So I think you're a little confused on your terms there.

Anyways- whatever the term everyone basically understands what it is you're talking about. But to ask for a standard number as if it's a formula is not really plausible. We can't see your footage and we can't speak for you as far as how much sharpening to do in camera vs in post. Especially as that is different on every shot. However you choose to do it in post is your art and personal style and anything we give you as a 'definitive standard' would be a complete shot in the dark.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Peter Burger
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:17:31 pm

[Trip Nixon] "Does the premiere built in tool "sharpen" do the same thing."

With sharpness you raise kind of the "local contrast". Results in a fringing or ringing effect if overdone. Same thing with "unsharp mask", but you have more control over what exactly is being sharpened and how much.


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Trip Nixon
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:23:42 pm

Thanks for all the answers. Yea...i was refering to sharpness just by the term in a settings, detail is a better word for sure.

So, if I am adding CONTRAST in magic bullet looks, would you think that using the unmask filter would be overkill then. Are they kind of one in the same...when adding contast, you get sharpness? Not SAME so to say, but contrast AFFECTS the sharpness?

My main worry is...yes...over doing it. I am a pretty HIGH CONTRASTY style guy, I like that look...

Thanks a million for all your help guys.


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Peter Burger
Re: How to sharpen DSLR flat image?
on Apr 23, 2011 at 2:01:45 pm

Again: There is only one person in the universe, that can anser this question. And that is you! You decide what you like and if it looks good to you, then it's right. (It's a different story, if you work for a client. Then he or she decides what's right ;) )

The sharpness filter works by darkening dark edges and brightening bright edges. If you look closely at a "sharpened" picture you'll see some kind of fringing around areas with high contrast.

Raising contrast by using a contrast filter darkens or brightens areas, so it doesn't do the same thing.

Play around with some footage and (for testing purposes) overdo each and every filter that you want to use, so you can see clearly what exactly does this filter do and what exactly is affected by the filter.

You have to see it for yourself and you have to get a feel for, what will happen, if I apply this or that filter or which combinations work, or don't work. This is something that can't be told. You have to see it for yourself.


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