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waveform monitor and vectorscope

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mateobishopwaveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 6, 2006 at 6:29:29 pm

Hello all!

I have been in a business for a few years but have really been learning as I go and mostly self taught. I have started to really focus on my production quality and making things as good as possible. I have recently run into a few articles and such on waveform and vectorscope usage with video and am looking for more info. I basically know nothing about how these work with video and how I am to use them, what to look for, so on. What exactly do these do and how do you use them to get the best picture you can? Any tutorials, articles, info on this would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking for one that would work well as a software plugin. I'm assuming the external hardware monitors are very expensive. Any ideas, suggestions?

Thanks for any info!!

Matt


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mateobishopRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 6, 2006 at 6:31:16 pm

by the way I am on a PC using sony vegas and all adobe products.


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drumrobRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 6, 2006 at 6:58:05 pm

Tektronix is the major manufacturer of waveforms and vectorscopes. I believe they have some tech info on their website about how to use them. Other than that, I would just Google for tutorials. Btw, Adobe Premier Pro has a waveform built in so you don't need to get extra software plug ins for that one. Don't know about Vegas.

Have fun!

Rob


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Peter RalphRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 7, 2006 at 12:33:34 am

Very simply a waveform monitor represents exposure and a vectorscope color. Neither of them are essential on a shoot unless you have control over the lighting - although they can be useful to match cameras and maximize dynamic range.

Learn how to use them in post first - download the color finesse demo from synthetic aperture - play around with it and read the manual.


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BradbroRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 7, 2006 at 7:06:45 am

Hi Matt,
You should check into DV Rack, it's awesome, it has the scopes and much more like recording directly to your laptop, ready to edit. The scopes are very important at the shoot. You can tell instantly if anything is blowing out, you can adjust your shutter on the spot and not have to worry about it in post, where it's usually too late anyhow! Do yourself a favor and check it out!


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cowcowcowcow
Doug GrahamRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 7, 2006 at 1:43:49 pm

DV Rack is certainly a great product, and a highly useful field tool.

However, I do question its applicability to event video. It can be used in stationary shooting situations, for example at a dance recital if you're in the balcony on a tripod, or at a wedding ceremony.

But since it ties your camcorder to a laptop, it's not really useful for run and gun handheld shooting.

(Turning back to the original poster)--

Vegas has both WFM and vectorscope tools. I use the WFM mostly, to help correct exposure. I set brightness and contrast filters so that the blacks don't go below 0 IRE and the whites don't go above 100 IRE. That is, the "fuzz" on the scope is adjusted to remain within these limits.

Regards,
Doug Graham


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BradbroRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 8, 2006 at 1:37:01 am

Well Doug, you are right, recording to your laptop in an event situation can be limiting. For instance the most important aspect of a wedding would be the ceremony where you're usually on a tripod anyway, this would be ideal for using DV Rack to get the best possible footage. I filmed a wedding before I had the rack that I know would've turned out better if I had it. The bride came down an outdoor staircase in direct sunlight and when I got to my edit bay...surpise she was totally blown out! Then the alter was in the shade but the sun was setting overhead in our eyes. I over compensated on that one too. (it looked great in the lcd though) For the less crucial stuff you could go back to tape and run & gun. Sure we can all shoot okay video using the little lcd, but this guy sounds like he wants to take it to the next level, and DV Rack will get you there. I know I won't leave home without it!


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Peter RalphRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 9, 2006 at 2:29:36 pm

you can use zebra stripes to warn of overexposure. Histograms as found on DSLRs would be a great feature on a video camera.I can't think why they haven't included them.


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cow
Doug GrahamRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 9, 2006 at 4:21:31 pm

They're starting to. The Sony HVR-A1U has a histogram display option.



Regards,
Doug Graham


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cowcowcowcow
Peter RalphRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 9, 2006 at 4:41:53 pm

wow - that cam really is pretty revolutionary. Thanks for the info.


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BradbroRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 9, 2006 at 11:24:00 pm

I actually did use the zebra in that case, but I overcompensated. With DV Rack you can see what you're getting. Sorry if I sound like I work for Serious Magic, but I don't. It's just helped me produce great footage, as opposed to just decent footage.


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mateobishopRe: waveform monitor and vectorscope
by on Jun 8, 2006 at 1:30:35 pm

Thanks again for all of the very helpful information. I am looking into DV Rack and it does look like something that would help with a lot of shoots that I do! Always appreciate the feedback!!!

Matt


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