FORUMS: list search recent posts

shooting cells phone screens

COW Forums : Cinematography

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Tony
shooting cells phone screens
by
on Oct 23, 2007 at 4:09:57 pm

I am shooting new yet to be released cell phones for a client. I


Return to posts index

Tim Wilson
Re: shooting cells phone screens
on Oct 23, 2007 at 4:44:30 pm

Fake it.

Create the images you want in Photoshop, After Effects or Flash if they need to be animated, and composite with your favorite corner pinning tool.

It might sound like I'm dismissing your question, but I'm really truly not. There's a reason why every cell phone commercial that shows a screen also says "Screen images simulated."

They're not trying to be deceptive, and you wouldn't be either. People want to see what they'll see, as clearly as they can. I know you asked a shooting question, but simulating your images is the best way to do that.


Return to posts index

Tony
Re: shooting cells phone screens
by
on Oct 23, 2007 at 5:08:42 pm

Thanks for the response Tim. It is not practical to fake it for this project,

Tony


Return to posts index


jjbutts
Re: shooting cells phone screens
on Oct 23, 2007 at 7:52:03 pm

I agree with Tim that compositing this into the shot in post is by far the best way to do this. There are more factors involved than just the scan line problem. Shooting the screen directly, scan lines or no, will give you pretty poor screen quality, which, I imagine, will not thrill the client. I would tell them that it is in their benefit to pay slightly more for significantly higher quality.

But if you must, the In-Camera solution is this:

Look for a Synchro-Scan function on the camera. Play with the settings until you find the one that that eliminates the scan lines. This works for shooting most TV, Computer, and mobile device screens.



Return to posts index

Leo Ticheli
Re: shooting cells phone screens
on Oct 23, 2007 at 8:06:50 pm

I believe that Tony stated that he had tried "clear scan" without success; same thing as Synchro-scan.

Tony, are you shooting interlaced or progressive? I got very good results shooting mobile phone screens for a little CNN spot at 24 fps progressive. I don't remember having to resort to changing the scan, but it was a few years ago. You'll just have to put the phone in front of the camera and see what works.

It is possible to get good results without compositing and tracking, but you've got to be in control of all the elements, light levels, etc. The screen on the phone certainly won't be bright enough to compete with daylight in most cases, so be prepared with light control kit.

I don't see any value in maladjusting the back focus. This should have nothing whatsoever to do with the presence of scan lines. Further, if you're desiring a soft focus, just turning the focus ring with do the job without throwing the various focal lengths out of whack.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo




Return to posts index

Todd at Fantastic Plastic
Re: shooting cells phone screens
on Oct 23, 2007 at 9:07:43 pm

My suggestions might seem radical (or expensive, depending on the budget of the project), but they would work. Some of these would probably be immediately duscarded due to the specifics/nature of your shoot, but we don't have any details as to exactly what the shots are, so this is just a guess...

My first suggestion also would be to "fake it," but if you can't do motion tracking mattes, fake it practically on location...

You might consider making a little backlit image (kinda like the world's smallest Duratrans... you could do this with a color printer and overhead transparency film) that represents the phone's screen. Take apart the phone and gut it, so you just have a shell... put the tiny transparency in where the screen would go, create some kind of small backlight with LEDs or whatever. Disadvantage: a little bit difficult to rig.

OR...

If you need moving video in the screen but you can get away with closeups only, you could build a much-larger-than-life prop phone identical to the small real phone, but using a larger LCD screen that you feed video (and one that you know will shoot correctly). I recently saw an iPhone display in a store that looked like a five-foot-tall iPhone... but it was really just a plasma monitor turned on its side with a big fake iPhone case around it. Disadvantages: stuck with closeups, might be difficult and/or expensive to build depending on your modeling skills and whether or not you have to sub out the model creation...

OR...

Instead of clearscan (which usually is somewhat faster than a "normal" shutter), try using a slower shutter... if 1/48th doesn't work, try 1/24th, or 1/12. Disadvantage: can't really use this if an actor is holding the phone and playing with it, or you will choppy/blurry motion.

OR...

Shoot film, not video. If you are usually only a video shooter, beg/borrow/steal/rent a 35mm camera just for the product shot. If you are not comfortable doing that, hire a cinematographer for the shoot, preferably one who owns his own camera/lenses to save costs. Start with a 180degree shutter and shoot a few alternate takes with progressively wider shutters... one of them is likely to be clear. If you are worried about depth of field matching, shoot 16mm instead of 35mm... the DoF will be much closer (deeper) to video. Disadvantage: footage might not match that well (although if you are a really good HD shooter it can), might be more trouble than you want to go to.

Just some ideas... nothing is easy, is it?


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index


Rennie
Re: shooting cells phone screens
on Oct 23, 2007 at 10:58:53 pm

From the wavey line description it sounds like a moire pattern which forms when shooting certain grid patterns (the pixel array on the cellphone) and reproducing it on another different grid pattern. I've seen these on fabrics like silk also. Try different things like was sugested - progressive scan or 720 vs 1080 etc. Google moire pattern.


Return to posts index

Rick Amundson
Re: shooting cells phone screens
on Oct 24, 2007 at 12:44:59 pm

I shoot a LOT of cell phone screens. I agree that post is the best, however, the way I shot the screens in camera is with a Varicam or HVX 200 at 60fps (our phones are always rotating and we like the extra frames in post). Progressive is the way to go, you can not get a clean image with an interlaced camera. I use a small lighting tent, dial the screen's backlight as high as it will go and light the tent to taste.

Best of luck!


Return to posts index

Emre Tufekci
Re: shooting cells phone screens
on Oct 26, 2007 at 1:37:09 am

Just add to the great suggestions above;

If you have to go in post as a final option try something like Mocha from imagineer systems. Since it's a planar tracker you can get the cleanest results even if the phone is obscured or moves out of the shot. With their release Mocha AE you export directly and composite easier.

good luck with your shoot,

Emre
http://www.productionpit.com
Boxx Tech PC, dual-dual AMD 2.0,4BG ram,Avidexpress HD w/Mojo,UVW-1800,DSR-25, Adobe production studio.

"Creative cow is udder madness."


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]