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Flat profile or not?

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Casey Petersen
Flat profile or not?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 7:02:53 pm

I am a little conflicted when using a flat profile with my 60D.

I film weddings, and the client typically gets a short form edit, but also receives the rough footage.

I am having a hard time justifying using a flat profile when the majority of the footage won't be edited.

I haven't been having trouble color correcting footage that has the standard profile...I have it figured out pretty well in fact. With the flat profile, I have had a heck of a time figuring out how to color correct my footage (using FCP7's 3-way color corrector) in a way that looks as good as what I have been getting with the standard profile.

And as sharpening a flat profile goes, I have been getting a little bit better at it, but overall it seems to be more of a chore than it is worth.

Is this more of a lack of experience and practice with a flat profile, or is it simply not necessary for every job...especially low-end ones?

Can someone share their experiences with using a flat profile?


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Flat profile or not?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 9:23:22 pm

[Casey Petersen] "Can someone share their experiences with using a flat profile?"

I can't actually, because I try to get the best looking image I can while shooting. Sure, sometimes I'll tweak the image, but I'd rather not end up with footage that requires color grading. I might feel differently if I were shooting with a high-end camera on big-budget projects.

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


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Peter Burger
Re: Flat profile or not?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 9:36:54 pm

For my work, I try to avoid using flat profiles (with DSLRs or any other camera) if I have to give away the raw-footage and don't know who's editing it... In this case, I try to get footage that needs as few adjustments in post as possible.

IMHO the best way would be to talk to the editor and ask him or her, what he or she wants/needs.

Even if I have to edit myself, I try to figure out how much time I have for postproduction and decide whether to shoot flat (and spend more time in post) for "110%" or shoot "normal" and do just a little tweaking in post to get "95%" - if you know, what I mean ;)

Just my two cents.

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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Casey Petersen
Re: Flat profile or not?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 9:47:31 pm

Thanks! That's basically what I'm wondering. I was afraid I was going to hear things like "I would never consider shooting anything without using a flat profile."

For 90% of my edits, speed is an essential factor...my clients have X amount of hours budgeted for editing in advance...before the shoot even happens, so I need to be really good at balancing my time...is my time better spent on the technical side -- color grading, or is it better spent on the creative side -- story telling.

Casey



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Peter Burger
Re: Flat profile or not?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:15:25 pm

[Casey Petersen] "is my time better spent on the technical side -- color grading, or is it better spent on the creative side -- story telling."

That's exactly my thought as well.
We do a lot of corporate video stuff (extremely budgeted). So most of the time we try to get the pictures we need for editing out of camera (no matter *what* camera).
We use flat profiles only on very rare occasions - mostly when being in extreme lighting conditions or if we plan to do something extraordinary with the footage (VFX and stuff like that).

With more artistic projects - yeah, you guessed right: no budget and no time pressure ;) - we do use flat styles (Technicolor Cinestyle) in almost all cases.

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton


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Errol Lazare
Re: Flat profile or not?
on Sep 1, 2011 at 4:56:09 pm

I am glad that someone brought this to attention because re-color correcting does take time and if you have hundreds or thousands of clips and have to edit a 2 hour wedding, this would take much much longer. My thought would be to shoot in standard and then like Peter mentioned, shoot flat when necessary: such as if you are doing a specific shot, or SFX shot, or shooting in very extreme and contrasting lighting conditions.

It's interesting but I find that if I compare an original 5D clip in standard mode to a flat clip that i have re-color corrected to look like the standard color mode, the clip in the original 5D standard mode still looks much crisper, cleaner, smoother and less grainy. Am i right? Also it is so much harder to make sure everything is sharp and in focus in flat mode because there is hardly any contrast to see the sharpness.

Cheers,

Errol X. Lazare
EXL Films
http://www.exlfilms.com


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