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Mike Fox
Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Dec 31, 2010 at 7:34:05 pm

Could anyone shed some light on there experience with the Vecterscope in Final Cut Pro? Every Final Cut forum on Vectorscopes I've searched for relates to color correction in the "Color" application instead of capturing video through Final Cut Pro. The company I'm working for recently switched from Media100 to Final Cut and I was asked about using the Vectorscope during capture process. I know how to locate the Vectorscope under video scopes but am curious to how or even if many professionals check on it prior to capturing. I'm aware there is a default setting but are there cases when one would need to make adjust adjustments?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Dec 31, 2010 at 7:50:01 pm

[Mike Fox] "I'm aware there is a default setting but are there cases when one would need to make adjust adjustments?"

How are you capturing?

If capturing via firewire there's no adjustment possible. If capturing via an I/O card or device there are proc amps built-in to the drivers for those devices.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Dec 31, 2010 at 8:24:43 pm

On capturing, the Vectorscope would be useful only if you have some Colors Bars and if you are able to adjust Hue and Chroma on importing, as David points.
i guess they want you to capture some old NTSC tapes or so.
Don't forget to look at the Waveform too :-)
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Dec 31, 2010 at 10:26:35 pm

I would imagine it would be a far more efficient workflow to bring it into FCP as it is and then only have to grade the shots you use (with the added ability to simply copy a grade to similar shots), as opposed to grade absolutely everything manually on import.

The end quality result would be the same.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Mark Suszko
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Dec 31, 2010 at 11:49:34 pm

I wonder if anybody here shares my view about this. Color bars on tape I think meant more in the analog days than they do now. In today's cameras, the bars are generated from a stored jpeg file in the camera, far as I can tell. They are handy for filling up the front part of a tape close to the leader, before the serious recording starts, and for having some video to look at while recording wild sound, and for making easy visual breaks between scenes... but that's moot if you're recording to non-tape media today. The camera bars today seem to me to bear little relation to what comes in thru the lens into the optical block to be captured by the sensors and compressed by a DSP. To my way of thinking, the way to do the job *right* these days is actually to go a step backwards, and shoot bars off of an actual color bars chart, thru the lens. At least that way, the bars you record along with your scene relate to the actual white balance of what was shot, are easier to measure and mark specific settings for correction, and you have a consistent standard of the chart to compare to when altering your colors in the grading process... Or am I off-base here?


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 12:03:19 am

[Mark Suszko] " Color bars on tape I think meant more in the analog days than they do now."

There's no doubt about it Mark, bars were much more useful in the analog days, as there's no longer any lining-up to bars necessary or even possible when capturing digital sources digitally. In other words, capturing a digital source as analog video still permits adjustments via proc amp on the way in.

On the other hand however, we didn't really have the same color correction capabilities in post we now have either. Think back to the ridiculously simple color correction in our old Discreet Edit* NLE. No wonder we adjusted things coming in via proc amp whenever possible.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 12:03:49 am

You are right Mark, this is why I think all is about recording Betacam or any other analog format.
Adjusting the on-tape Bars with the help of the Vectorscope would be the way to correct the historical NTSC hue problems.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Gissing
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 1:04:55 am

In the digital world, bars and tone are not needed. In the old days of film, test charts were shot to experiment with stock, processing and lenses.

I have never looked at the input scopes in FCP as I only capture digital tape formats and that has been the case for the past six years, so unless you have an I/O card with analog inputs and are capturing via analog component, vectorscopes and waveform monitoring is not important unless you are checking a camera fault.


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gary adcock
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 4:32:45 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Color bars on tape I think meant more in the analog days than they do now. In today's cameras, the bars are generated from a stored jpeg file in the camera, far as I can tell"

Thats the way all color bars work, they are designed to be a calibration so that each device can be tuned to an accepted standard. This is no different in digital- they are used the same way.

Without calibration standards there is no way to define or determine image "legality" for broadcast, you may not use it, but I can assure you that every TV and Cable station does use them.

gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/24640



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Mark Suszko
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 6:27:06 pm

I do understand that, Gary, and I've tried to always line everything up to bars. Thing is, these days, if somebody gives you a program with bars on the front, sometimes it has no relationship to the actual video for levels or hue, etc. People more into web video than broadcast are shading and grading their footage without reference to scopes, using the TLAR method*, then pasting a file of bars from the computer's files onto that. And a lot of the time now, files meant for server playback are spec'd by clients to just start on the first frame of actual video, without bars, tone, slate, countdown, anything. Where do you find a reference standard in that brave new world? Back in misty days or yore, bars were generated by an actual camera circuit and not just a playback of a jpeg from flash memory. I'm only saying that I would trust bars shot off a chart in actual video as perhaps more truly representational of what's going on with the camera, over a stored image file played off a ROM and run thru the camera's compression system. If they even do that anymore? I'm not an engineer, so I don't really know.






*TLAR: "That Looks About Right"


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gary adcock
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 2, 2011 at 2:50:27 pm

[Mark Suszko] "Thing is, these days, if somebody gives you a program with bars on the front, sometimes it has no relationship to the actual video for levels or hue, etc."

No dispute there Mark, As I said the bars were designed to calibrate devices to each other, to establish a baseline. Adding a color chart or having a calibrated guide on your Slate is the solution to your issue, then there is a calibrated source in your shot that can be used for more standardized color controls in your shot.

" Where do you find a reference standard in that brave new world? Back in misty days or yore, bars were generated by an actual camera circuit and not just a playback of a jpeg from flash memory."

it is my understanding that output of bars has been "jpeg playback" since digibeta came to the market, but the reference you speak of is attained using something like DSC Labs ChromaDuMonde chart http://dsclabs.com/chromadumonde1.htm to achieve accurate image calibrations.







gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/24640



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 2, 2011 at 5:51:25 pm

Gary, I know you know this...

Playback of "canned" charts is really primarily for setting up displays to a "flat" known reference rather than referencing video that's been captured in the camera, as canned bars clearly have no reference to anything that's been acquired. Shooting a chart with the camera would be the only way to achieve what Mark is looking for.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 3, 2011 at 10:17:53 am

Mark,
The "Colors Bars" are to video like the "periodic table" to chemistry.

[gary adcock] "Thats the way all color bars work, they are designed to be a calibration so that each device can be tuned to an accepted standard. This is no different in digital- they are used the same way.

Without calibration standards there is no way to define or determine image "legality" for broadcast, you may not use it, but I can assure you that every TV and Cable station does use the"


I fully agree with Gary.
People which experience on video is limited to working on a Computer, tends to say that Color Bars are not useful today (what to say about something you don't understand?).
As Gary said, you may use them or not but Color Bars are the "ABC" of video.
I consider a VIDEO ILLITERATE any body unable to explain the whys and hows of Color Bars.
Cheers,
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ian Liuzzi-Fedun
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 3, 2011 at 11:58:38 am

I understand where you are coming from but can you comment on the fact that most bars are generated by some still store of sorts and not by the camera circuitry today? If you are recording onboard material (on a camcorder) how accurately can one trust the bars that would be recorded at the head of a tape?



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gary adcock
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 3, 2011 at 2:06:05 pm

[Ian Liuzzi-Fedun] "but can you comment on the fact that most bars are generated by some still store of sorts and not by the camera circuitry today? If you are recording onboard material (on a camcorder) how accurately can one trust the bars that would be recorded at the head of a tape?"

People you are missing the point.

You have to calibrate the hardware on a known standard- ie: bars - So you need to make sure that each device is set at a known baseline and what that device is capable of. This is right up there with choosing a frame rate to shoot at. You have to be working to an established baseline to start. Bars were initially used so that an engineer could set in the back room and match all the cameras to each other for live broadcast under controlled studio conditions.

You are not working in that manner, so for you shooting bars and tone does NOT account for Lighting or other issues that may come up, that is what the ChromaDuMonde charts like those from DSC Labs are used for, to simplify the color correction process.

gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

http://blogs.creativecow.net/24640



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Ian Liuzzi-Fedun
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 4, 2011 at 11:53:57 am

Gotch ya. Thanks



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Ian Liuzzi-Fedun
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 1:18:54 am

As the other guy said-with an Io device it is essential. I do it all the time and it helps



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David Roth Weiss
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 5:56:11 am

[Ian Liuzzi-Fedun] "As the other guy said"

Jeeze, I'm just "the other guy" now. Guess 2011 isn't gonna be very special.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 5:59:56 am

See, they change the banner status and immediately, there goes all the respect for the top guys
;-P


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 6:04:48 am

There goes the neighborhood...

Happy New Year Mark!

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Ian Liuzzi-Fedun
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 6:13:15 am

I am sorry. I was on an iPhone and therefore could not readily go back to see the other kind soul who posted.



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walter biscardi
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 1, 2011 at 3:01:32 pm

[Mike Fox] " I know how to locate the Vectorscope under video scopes but am curious to how or even if many professionals check on it prior to capturing. I'm aware there is a default setting but are there cases when one would need to make adjust adjustments?"

You can open up the Vector / Waveform panel in the Log and Capture window as well, but it's just for show quite honestly. Unless you're running a capture card that allows for adjustments during ingest, all those panels will do is show you what the footage looks like.

With the wealth of color correction tools at your fingertips, it's much easier to simply ingest everything and fix later. I've used a TBC exactly twice in the past 8 years and both times was for a rental 3/4 VTR to at least get the thing to lock up to picture.

So no, with FCP we really don't make any adjustments on the way in. Just edit, and then correct the material you actually used.

FYI, I was on Media 100 for 6 years and still miss the incredibly easy offline / online workflow and the project based settings. The big thing you have to get used to in FCP is the fact that all of your System Settings (Capture Scratch for example) are global to the application. So if you have multiple projects on multiple scratch discs, you have to manually check that the project is being rendered to the correct capture scratch. I'm hoping at some point in the near future Apple will finally fix this.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" Winner, Best Documentary, LA Reel Film Festival...

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Mike Fox
Re: Vectorscope question regarding capturing instead of color correction
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:03:19 pm

Thanks for the insight everyone. The reason I posted the questions is because the on camera talent has dark skin and my supervisor wants to make sure the image is bright and contrasting. Obviously, proper lighting and white balance will allow the camera to capture the desired result. The previous editor used Media 100's iFinish to edit his programs and that may be why my supervisor has put a lot of emphasis checking the vector-scope prior to capturing into Final Cut. Just before I started, the company switched from iFinish to Final Cut.


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