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HD stills project for projection and web

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Kat Dalton
HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:31:17 pm

I'm working with still images in FCP 7 with my laptop (2.33 GHz Intel core 2 duo). In a ProRes 422 (HQ), 1920 x 1080 sequence, the images look very good on my Eizo monitor which I bought for still photography (it's not an HDMI Eizo) and my laptop monitor. After I deal with the occasional gamma issue, they look as they do in Photoshop.

I understand that RGB and YUV color spaces are different, that something looks different on a computer monitor than it does on a tv. But if the movie will not be broadcast or viewed on a tv, can I avoid getting an HD monitor for working in FCP?

Is it possible to burn to BluRay and project without running into color problems? I've never burned to BluRay or worked with HD projectors before. I briefly looked at specs for projectors and see they can have many possible types of output (interlaced, progressive, various resolutions).

What about web? That's probably opening another can of worms -- how something looks on a PC vs how it looks on a Mac (gamma issues). But you're looking at the movie on a computer monitor, so no need to view on HD monitor in FCP, right?

Thanks for any input.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:43:41 pm

The answer lies not just in the type of monitor, but in knowing that your monitor is properly calibrated. If you're delivering for the Web only there's not need for a broadcast monitor, but you still have to know the monitor is calibrated to a known reference, otherwise you will be color correcting to an unknown baseline, which is like flying blind.


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Kat Dalton
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 7, 2010 at 8:04:38 pm

Hi David. Thanks for your reply.

I'm used to working with still images in Photoshop. I calibrate my Eizo monitor with Monaco Optix/XR colorimeter with the Eizo calibration software. In Photoshop, I work in Adobe RGB 1998 and keep everything in that color space all along the line.

But I am confused about what I am doing with the still images in FCP. They are looking good on the Eizo (and even on my laptop which cannot be calibrated with the Optix) when I use "Digital Cinema Desktop Preview - full screen."

But I am wondering what happens when movie burned to BluRay and projected. Am I going to see something different? As I said, I have never burned anything to BluRay or projected HD. I have only projected SD when I made videos using my old Aurora system. In that case, I was using a high quality Sony video monitor while working in FCP.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 7, 2010 at 8:15:46 pm

If the output of FCP looks good on your RGB calibrated monitor, then all video you output should look pretty good too despite the fact that it was edited in another color space. You can verify this by making a SD DVD that contains color bars, known skin tones, and other known colors.


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Kat Dalton
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:26:07 pm

Hi David. I will make a test SD DVD as you suggest. But I am wondering:

1 - From what you're saying, it sounds like the color space for SD video, YUV, is the same or really close to HD's YCbCr?

2 - If a calibrated computer monitor (calibrated as I described, for work in Photoshop in RGB) can be trusted for SD or HD video work, why do people buy expensive HD production monitors? Is it that this scenario is good enough for projection or web but not accurate enough for broadcast?

Thank you very much for your help.

Kat


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David Roth Weiss
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 8, 2010 at 2:03:58 am

[Kat Dalton] "If a calibrated computer monitor (calibrated as I described, for work in Photoshop in RGB) can be trusted for SD or HD video work, why do people buy expensive HD production monitors? Is it that this scenario is good enough for projection or web but not accurate enough for broadcast?"

Your calibrated computer monitor is absolutely good enough for the Web, and in many cases good enough for projection, unless by projection you mean feature film quality or very high end projection.

The bottom line is, if your monitor is calibrated to RGB and the output of FCP's YUV looks good to you on it, you're not gonna be surprised in a big, big way like you would if you were color correcting to a completely uncalibrated monitor that had no known reference to anything.

Keep in mind that fields can trick you if you cut on a computer monitor and then project on a monitor that doesn't agree with your video. So, you'd best make sure you be certain you have the interlace thing nailed down tight before any big screenings, cuz field issues seldom reveal themselves on computer monitors.


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Kat Dalton
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 8, 2010 at 3:38:50 pm

Hi David. Thanks so much for your advice.

I remember when I made videos for projection with my old SD system (using my Sony production monitor while editing), I had to make adjustments in projector's lightness/darkness settings to get video to look the same as it did on my monitor. So, never any guarantees. Glad to hear you think I'll be in the ballpark with current setup for HD projection.

Kat


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David Roth Weiss
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 8, 2010 at 7:46:15 pm

There's no substitute for checking out the projection system in every venue you can before a screening. You may have been meticulous in every detail, but it doesn't mean the projectionist has a clue how to properly setup the projection system. When I was the technical director at a huge film festival we premiered several big studio movies, and I can assure you, the directors of those movies always came in early and tweaked both picture and audio until they completely satisfied their movie was being shown as intended.


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Kat Dalton
Re: HD stills project for projection and web
on Oct 9, 2010 at 3:08:06 pm

You are so right, David. I did a tour in Europe with a musician a few years ago. The videos were shown in between sections of his performance and had their own sound. We were in a different venue each night for ten days. Despite as much pre-tour prep as possible -- contacting venues about space and equipment -- there were always surprises! I did bring my own DVD player, projector, and screen, though I often used the venues' projectors and screens, and I always used the venues' sound equipment. Each night was a whole new scenario and very nerve-wracking. But it was very exciting when it all came together, and I realized what gets performers hooked on performing: the applause!

Kat


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