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IRE values on the waveform monitor

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clyde villegas
IRE values on the waveform monitor
on Jun 11, 2019 at 10:17:59 pm

Hello friends!

On the waveform monitor, I know that the y axis is for luminance values and x axis is the representation of the image from left to right. I can spot which on my shot is over exposed or underexposed. But for those in between, I don't know where they are on the waveform. For instance, how do I judge the lighting ratio of the face just by looking at the waveform. Or how do I know that the IRE value on the monitor is for the subject's forehead and not his chin. Right now, I just "guesstimate" the vertical axis, like which IRE value falls where. I have a false color lut on my camera which I use now more often than the waveform but I'm just curious how pros identify quickly which is which on the waveform's vertical axis. Thanks!

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Andy Zou
Re: IRE values on the waveform monitor
on Jun 19, 2019 at 2:50:02 am

There's no real way besides yeah, eyeballing it.
False color, also, is a way of seeing exactly what levels every pixel is at.
Pros are also using light meters so they can actually know how much light is falling on every part of the frame. Before waveforms and digital readouts existed, the light meter would tell them their ratios and exposure. You want the face a stop brighter than the fill? Use the light meter. The hair light should be a stop brighter? Use the light meter.


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clyde villegas
Re: IRE values on the waveform monitor
on Jun 19, 2019 at 3:12:24 am

Thank you, Andy. I saw someone on Youtube showing where every part of the subject falls on the waveform. He's saying that it's easy to see on the waveform monitor. I wrote a comment asking him how he does it but never received an answer. So I thought that maybe he's just eyeballing and making estimated guesses.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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Andy Zou
Re: IRE values on the waveform monitor
on Jun 19, 2019 at 3:15:38 am

Yeah, it's just intuition. The bright stuff will be above the darker stuff; it helps if the subject can move, then it becomes very apparent. It could also help to be able to mask the subject, or on-off the lights, or anything that makes clear what part of the waveform it is.


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clyde villegas
Re: IRE values on the waveform monitor
on Jun 19, 2019 at 3:24:59 am

I think I will have to rely more on zebras and false-color. Do most people now use false-color than waveform monitors on set? It's faster. Now I'm using waveform only in post-production because I can isolate anything by masking so that only my chosen area appears in the waveform.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


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