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Lighting to affect digital quality

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anandabrata
Lighting to affect digital quality
on Sep 30, 2007 at 8:18:28 pm

Hi,

I shoot my films digitally.I have noticed that with interlace reductions etc. the digital quality was still prominent (I understand that it will never match film.) But the idea is to make it look as close as to film.

Hence I was wondering if lighting could make a difference. Lets say if I increase the key to fill ratio and lots of dimmers and filters would it help.

Also looking for opinions/suggestions from you all.

Thanks,
Anand


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Lighting to affect digital quality
on Sep 30, 2007 at 11:04:06 pm

The "filmic" quality of any footage is far more dependent in the basic arts of cinematography than format.

If your lighting, composition, and movement are excellent, your footage will look filmic, especially if you can shoot at 24p/180


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anandabrata
Re: Lighting to affect digital quality
on Oct 3, 2007 at 7:19:48 pm

Hi Leo,


Thnx for the inputs. Let me look up and see what I can find.

Regards,
Anand


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anandabrata
Re: Lighting to affect digital quality
on Oct 4, 2007 at 6:07:04 am

Hi All,

I just started my read about the elusive(at this stage for me) film look. I read the posts like
a) Film Look
b) Professional look ,etc.

The bits I have gathered from there are which will result in the film look are as below:

1) Exposure Latitude
2) Lighting
3) Telecine process
4) Frame speed
5) Film and Camera quality
6) Talent , rated as high
7) Unreplaceable - Experience
8) What you want, is how you shoot?

As a novice, if you ask me I am thouroughly confused. I am reading and doing hands on just to gather the experience. But lets rule out the high end stuff which costs a lot for a moment. I don't have exposure to that , atleast as of now.

I am looking for help and views from all with regard to low end handycam which records say in mini dv. I do not have choice of shutter speeds , I have very few options of say 24/30 fps, frame speed.

Now things that I can work with are lights and post production AE and Premiere Pro CS3. Hence I am looking for basic suggestions , like Leo provided.

Frame speed: 24fps
Exposure : 180
Lighting : ????
Post Production : De - Interlacing and ????
Any other suggestions : ????
Any other posts/links that I should do a read on : ???

Please understand that I am looking for is little direction from the experienced. I am still learning , so I am writing in capacity of my knowledge only.

Regards,
Anand


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Leo Ticheli
the Seven Sins of Cinematography...
on Oct 4, 2007 at 1:08:59 pm

OK, let's review the usual list:

1. You're using a camera with a tiny sensor so your depth of field is terribly deep. To overcome this liability, use as long a lens focal length as possible consistent with the aesthetics of the shot. In other words, move as far back from the subject as you can and zoom in as far as you can keeping the action in the frame.

2. Move the subject as far from the background as possible and try to choose backgrounds that are as homogeneous as possible so they will not detract from the attention you want to give the subject.

3. Shoot wide open aperture, also to reduce depth of field.

4. Control your background lighting so you don't call attention to it. If appropriate, drop the light level on the background a bit.

5. If your camera allows it, always shoot progressive instead of interlaced. If possible shoot at 24 fps with a 180


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Anandabrata
Re: the Seven Sins of Cinematography...
on Oct 4, 2007 at 4:25:09 pm

Leo,

Awesome post. Just what I was looking for basic and simple. very valuable information and must say that , with will my searches I couldn't beat these experinced tips.

Thanks again.
Anand


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Ryan Santos
Re: the Seven Sins of Cinematography...
on Oct 10, 2007 at 4:28:11 am

What is "180" exposure? Is that the shutter angle? I have an XL1 and upon checking the manual, I think I can only adjust the shutter speed (minimum of 1/60; I can go lower than that but it's a "digital effect" and will disable the progressive mode) and the iris (max of opening of 1.6). I always shoot at f 1.6 and shutter of 1/60 to get the shallowest depth of field the XL1 can allow. What will I do to achieve the motion blur that you mentioned in "rule #5" without any control of the shutter angle? Thanks.


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Leo Ticheli
Re: the Seven Sins of Cinematography...
on Oct 10, 2007 at 11:46:39 am

24 fps/180


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Jeffrey B.
Re: the Seven Sins of Cinematography...
on Oct 10, 2007 at 1:52:34 pm

Just set your shutter speed to 48fps, or as close to it as your camera allows. The "film look" is less about frame rate and more about professional-looking lighting, camera work, and production design. I just stumbled on an article that will help you with those basics:
http://finalcutpro.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=91973-0


The XL1 doesn't have an enormously shallow depth of field, but no comparable camera really does until you get into more professional 2/3" cameras. The easiest way to soften the background is to get really far back and zoom in.


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P. J. in Hollywood
Re: the Seven Sins of Cinematography...
on Nov 11, 2007 at 7:15:59 am

Thank you for your most excellent post with lots of fine advice. If I may, I would like to add something I never read about in forums regarding the "film look". It's called perspective. This is a subject tought in basic 35mm still photography and is used heavilly in 35mm film work.

Prospective is the perceived relationship between subject planes in the image and has to do with the focal length of the lens. A normal length lens (say 50mm for a 35mm SLR)sees the image as one's eyes do, in a normal prospective. A long (telephoto) lens compresses the subject planes closer together. A wide angle lens spreads the subject planes farther apart. Both the long (telephoto) and the short (wide angle) lenses create forced perspectives. This subject is the normal stock in trade of a cinematographer when using prime lenses. For some reason, I never see this discussed in videography forums, but directors in feature films use it every day.

Here's a link to an informative article on the subject:
http://www.videomaker.com/article/1375/

I would submit that this is a tool to be experimented with and understood, on the part of a videographer who has a zoom lens on his/her camera, as an aid to direct the viewer's attention where he/she wants it to go.

As you have stated, a zoom shot is rarely used in motion picture photography in place of camera movement.



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