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HVX-200: shooting 1080pa vs 720p, for a feature film.


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#1 Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 12:55 PM

I wish there were a clear cut answer, but here is what I conclude in regards to the hvx200, please correct anything that is incorrect, or if you feel may be incorrect, I am seeking the expertise of you all here, I dont care about file sizes, just the final result looking closest to that of film, so I must decide 720p or 1080pa So here it is;

p.s - I am shooting on several p2 cards.

720p;
- 720 lines
- 24 native frames no pulldown required
- excellent slow motion capabilities
- smaller file sizes than 1080 p.a
- closer look to film, does not have the hdv digital look, as it is not interlaced.

1080 p.a;
- 1080 lines
- 60frames but with 2:3:2:3 removal in final cut it is now 23.98 frames of un interlaced
footage
- much larger file sizes than 720p mode, only 4 minutes on 4gb p2 card, 8 mins on 8gig, etc.
- more of the dv blur, even after the 2:3:2:3 pulldown, so looks less like film and more like hdv, despite having more pixels.

Say I shot the film on both formats, (which I would never do, I really have to choose), and I dont care a bout bigger file sizes, but I really do care about it looking like film, and I do plan on doing heavy post production anyway, I have seen films which look like HDV because they have a certain type of motion blur which real 35mm film does not have.

Which will have less of the digital blur most cheesy HDV films have, 720p or the 1080pa option with 2:3:2:3 removal?

I want to avoid this at all means. Thanks a million!

Iam striving to have a native p look, but also want more pixels, so if possible with 1080 pa thats what Ill do, but not if i have more pixels that looks more like hdv than the 720p option.

Thanks a million!!!!!

I know many films were shot in 720p and look great, but If I can shoot in 1080pa with the removal in post, and it look better, than that is my goal. I really want to emulate the look of 35mm film, so obviously more pixels the better, but not at the cost at having a HDv cheesy look if the 2:3:2:3 removal doesnt work so good. Thanks!!!


Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez
Director
www.newelementproductions.com
Los Angeles

Edited by Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez, 20 October 2007 - 12:56 PM.

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#2 John Ealer

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 02:24 PM

I wish there were a clear cut answer, but here is what I conclude in regards to the hvx200, please correct anything that is incorrect, or if you feel may be incorrect, I am seeking the expertise of you all here, I dont care about file sizes, just the final result looking closest to that of film, so I must decide 720p or 1080pa So here it is;

p.s - I am shooting on several p2 cards.

720p;
- 720 lines
- 24 native frames no pulldown required
- excellent slow motion capabilities
- smaller file sizes than 1080 p.a
- closer look to film, does not have the hdv digital look, as it is not interlaced.

1080 p.a;
- 1080 lines
- 60frames but with 2:3:2:3 removal in final cut it is now 23.98 frames of un interlaced
footage
- much larger file sizes than 720p mode, only 4 minutes on 4gb p2 card, 8 mins on 8gig, etc.
- more of the dv blur, even after the 2:3:2:3 pulldown, so looks less like film and more like hdv, despite having more pixels.

Say I shot the film on both formats, (which I would never do, I really have to choose), and I dont care a bout bigger file sizes, but I really do care about it looking like film, and I do plan on doing heavy post production anyway, I have seen films which look like HDV because they have a certain type of motion blur which real 35mm film does not have.

Which will have less of the digital blur most cheesy HDV films have, 720p or the 1080pa option with 2:3:2:3 removal?

I want to avoid this at all means. Thanks a million!

Iam striving to have a native p look, but also want more pixels, so if possible with 1080 pa thats what Ill do, but not if i have more pixels that looks more like hdv than the 720p option.

Thanks a million!!!!!

I know many films were shot in 720p and look great, but If I can shoot in 1080pa with the removal in post, and it look better, than that is my goal. I really want to emulate the look of 35mm film, so obviously more pixels the better, but not at the cost at having a HDv cheesy look if the 2:3:2:3 removal doesnt work so good. Thanks!!!


Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez
Director
www.newelementproductions.com
Los Angeles


A technical note: 1080i/24pa PA uses 2:3:3:2 pulldown, 1080i/24p uses a 2:3 pulldown.

Once that pulldown is removed, there should be no difference in the motion blur characteristics of 720/24PN and 1080i/24PA. If a 1080i/24PA source is captured without the pulldown removed, you will see the difference in the pulldown cadence which could appear unusual.

Keep in mind that the HVX-200 camera has native 720 lines resolution, so you're upres'ing in camera to get to 1080 anyway.

Dollars to donuts, I don't think you gain that much by shooting 1080i, and you sacrifice a lot of time and effort with larger file sizes.

J
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#3 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 05:15 PM

A technical note: 1080i/24pa PA uses 2:3:3:2 pulldown, 1080i/24p uses a 2:3 pulldown.

Once that pulldown is removed, there should be no difference in the motion blur characteristics of 720/24PN and 1080i/24PA. If a 1080i/24PA source is captured without the pulldown removed, you may a difference in the pulldown cadence which could appear unusual.

Keep in mind that the HVX-200 camera has native 720 lines resolution, so you're upres'ing in camera to get to 1080 anyway.

Dollars to donuts, I don't think you gain that much by shooting 1080i, and you sacrifice a lot of time and effort with larger file sizes.

J



actually the sensor in the HVX is 960x540 and uses pixel shift to get to 720 and then upreses to 1080.
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 05:33 PM

Shoot 720P Native at 24fps and upscale/sharpen in post as desired. You'll have more precise control in post.

If you've observed motion blur from 24p video sources that doesn't look film like, it's probably because it was captured with a shutterspeed longer than 1/48 second, or wasn't displayed properly. I've seen two things happen. 1) People react to the stuttery motion they see in the viewfinder (and not the final 24p display or 60i display with 3:2 pulldown), and slow down the shutter so that it looks "better" in the viewfinder; and 2) The 24P sequence is output incorrectly and complete frames are added to reach 30P, rather than a 3:2 pulldown to reach 60i (burning a 24p sequence to iDVD does this, unfortunately).
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#5 Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:59 PM

Shoot 720P Native at 24fps and upscale/sharpen in post as desired. You'll have more precise control in post.

If you've observed motion blur from 24p video sources that doesn't look film like, it's probably because it was captured with a shutterspeed longer than 1/48 second, or wasn't displayed properly. I've seen two things happen. 1) People react to the stuttery motion they see in the viewfinder (and not the final 24p display or 60i display with 3:2 pulldown), and slow down the shutter so that it looks "better" in the viewfinder; and 2) The 24P sequence is output incorrectly and complete frames are added to reach 30P, rather than a 3:2 pulldown to reach 60i (burning a 24p sequence to iDVD does this, unfortunately).



So can I trust you when you not adjust the shutter speed even though it may look "cheesy" on the viewfinder, and just keep it at a maximum of 1/48 shutter speed despite of what I may be seeing on the field, and just know, and trust, that in post that "the non film look" will indeed look like film after the 2:3 pulldown, if I shoot in 720P Native?

Sorry for the long question but just want to be sure, p.s, I cant invest in a HD monitor for the field, so can I really take your word? I really appreciate the feedback, no where have I heard such an underlooked issue, thanks.

Also, I will be shooting with still Nikkon lenses, 28mm, and others, and all prime, using the M2 35mm lens adapter. The kit drops the cameras ftop one and a half, so if it was a 1.4 lens, I would really be capturing at 2.8 due to the converter, sucks but thats how it is, any comments on that? I know to leave the iris way open at all times, any other suggestions??
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#6 Pete Von Tews

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 12:35 AM

The HVX shoots 1080, then down-sizes the file to 720. If you want more technical info, visit dvxuser.com - but don't get too caught up in the "tech talk" of what the HVX shoots at, Its what YOU do with the camera, its a tool - a great tool.
The resolution is secondary to lighting, framing, acting etc.., and if you want the shallow Depth of Field that film typically has, you'll have to get a lens adapter. All that aside, shooting at 1080 IS better, but the 720PN mode is really good too and economical. I would suggest shooting some tests and decide based on that. But more resolution will not give you more of the film look.
Great design work on your website btw.

-p



A technical note: 1080i/24pa PA uses 2:3:3:2 pulldown, 1080i/24p uses a 2:3 pulldown.

Once that pulldown is removed, there should be no difference in the motion blur characteristics of 720/24PN and 1080i/24PA. If a 1080i/24PA source is captured without the pulldown removed, you may a difference in the pulldown cadence which could appear unusual.

Keep in mind that the HVX-200 camera has native 720 lines resolution, so you're upres'ing in camera to get to 1080 anyway.

Dollars to donuts, I don't think you gain that much by shooting 1080i, and you sacrifice a lot of time and effort with larger file sizes.

J


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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 01:33 AM

So can I trust you when you not adjust the shutter speed even though it may look "cheesy" on the viewfinder, and just keep it at a maximum of 1/48 shutter speed despite of what I may be seeing on the field, and just know, and trust, that in post that "the non film look" will indeed look like film after the 2:3 pulldown, if I shoot in 720P Native?

Sorry for the long question but just want to be sure, p.s, I cant invest in a HD monitor for the field, so can I really take your word? I really appreciate the feedback, no where have I heard such an underlooked issue, thanks.

Also, I will be shooting with still Nikkon lenses, 28mm, and others, and all prime, using the M2 35mm lens adapter. The kit drops the cameras ftop one and a half, so if it was a 1.4 lens, I would really be capturing at 2.8 due to the converter, sucks but thats how it is, any comments on that? I know to leave the iris way open at all times, any other suggestions??


You have to test for yourself. Shoot different combinations of frame rates, shutterspeeds, and resolutions for that matter, and decide what you think looks best. In my opinion, a 180 shutter at 24P looks fine. At faster frame rates a 144 degree shutter helps avoids video-ish motion blur.

You really do NEED an HD monitor if you're going to use an M2 adapter. You have to constantly check the backfocus (camera focus on the ground glass) with the adapter turned off, and you simply can't see the groundglass texture in the onboard LCD. Sure, you can shoot without it and try to second-guess that things are in focus, but I'm sure whoever is bankrolling the feature would not like the idea of paying for a bunch of soft shots. Quality results come from good quality control.

The exposure compensation for these adapters depends on a few variables like taking lens f-stop vs. camera f-stop, so there's no hard, constant figure. But they do eat up a bunch of light.
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#8 Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez

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Posted 21 October 2007 - 02:53 PM

Thanks Micahel, Pete, and everyone else, this has been a great learning experience with you guys, thanks for my website compliment too! Go watch Sarah Landon's Paranormal Hour", shot on hvx200, in theatres now, they say it was shot with a m2 35mm lens adapter, at 720p, Im going to check it out for sure because its so similar to what I am doing. I think its only in select theatres though.
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#9 Bill Totolo

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:22 AM

Thanks Micahel, Pete, and everyone else, this has been a great learning experience with you guys, thanks for my website compliment too! Go watch Sarah Landon's Paranormal Hour", shot on hvx200, in theatres now, they say it was shot with a m2 35mm lens adapter, at 720p, Im going to check it out for sure because its so similar to what I am doing. I think its only in select theatres though.

Well I just watched the trailer on their sight and was blown away that it was shot on an HVX.
I wish the DP would log in and discuss.
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#10 Allen Achterberg

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 03:01 PM

Well I just watched the trailer on their sight and was blown away that it was shot on an HVX.
I wish the DP would log in and discuss.


I was first assistant Camera for the feature. I'll tell Andy to get in touch with you guys if you have questions for him.
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#11 Bill Totolo

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 08:33 AM

I checked out the movie to do a comparison of the footage on the "Official website" vs. theatrical print. Unfortunately the reviews are right, it does look very miniDV.

I'm dissapointed that's all the technoloy allows, I had high hopes (not a criticism of the cinematography, the lighting was very good).
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#12 andrew kuepper

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 06:59 PM

I checked out the movie to do a comparison of the footage on the "Official website" vs. theatrical print. Unfortunately the reviews are right, it does look very miniDV.
I'm dissapointed that's all the technoloy allows, I had high hopes (not a criticism of the cinematography, the lighting was very good).


Well, you have your opinion, but I don't think any of the footage "looks DV".

Hi, I'm the D.P. of this movie. Although there was some 2nd unit footage I was not a part of shooting, all the footage I shot with Allen pulling focus looks amazing. The 1080 uprez, digital projection, and 35mm projection all look absolutely stunning to me and everyone in the biz who I've shown. Although some of the 2nd unit stuff I'm less than pleased with, I believe it holds up better than any digital format I've seen (aside from varicam's and F900 stuff in Star wars, Spy kids, etc.)

Bill, honestly, have you seen any DV-> 35mm lately? Or even 16mm-> 35mm? Everything I've seen in the past 10 years has been less than acceptable for my eyes. When coloring in Los Angeles at Plaster City Digital Post, everyone was amazed at how good it held up on the 26' screen (thanks to their up-rezzing). When I saw the 35mm print this last weekend I thought it looked as good as a digital projection I saw at the premiere.

As for why not shoot 1080, the short answer is our research showed that it wasn't any better when it all came down to the uprez, and it took a lot more resources. We shot this movie on 2 8gb and 2 4gb cards. We didn't have a whole lot of time to test, but the 720p stuff was looking so nice, we went with it. I'm not sure 1080 would have improved anything at all, it might have even "degraded" the image, as increased sharpness make it look to video-like. We were trying to smooth the image out and go with a more cinematic style, so 1080 was passed over.

I've posted a bunch of info on the Redrock Micro forum, and I have an article in next month's American Cinematographer and IGN Magazine, talking about the production.

Hope this helps!

Andy Kuepper
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#13 Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 09:10 PM

Well, you have your opinion, but I don't think any of the footage "looks DV".

Hi, I'm the D.P. of this movie. Hope this helps!
Andy Kuepper



Hey Andy how are you. I saw your film this past weekend because friend on another forum told me it was shot on the hvx and with Nikkon lenses. I was like, what? And its in the theatres? This was truely amazing work you did as the dp, excellent, this was quite inspiring. I did feel a little funny going to watch a pg movie though, but the story was great despite all the noise making teens in the room, I was one of them actually, ha.

This truely inspired me, I was was always aiming for theatrical distribution as I am preparing to shoot next month, but now my confidence level just went up by a whole lot. I told my sister I wanted to contact the dp on this film for perhaps a little guidance, and she said yeah right, thinking dps and filmmakers are untouchable. Which is one thing very cool about you, you are sharing your, knowledge, and secrets with the world.

3 questions Andy, or to Andy's Camera asistant constantly pulling the focus's.

1. The m2 flips the image. How did you deal with this? You used an external monitor and just flipped the monitor right?
Was it an HD monitor? Those run over $25,000 each right for a basic one? What type of monitor did you use? I heard you must use a HD Monitor.

2. And when people say an assistant must contantly pull focus, what does that mean? If the camera is steady, isnt it focused, therefore leave the focus alone? Or do they mean when the camera is in motion and the depth of field is changing, then you must adjust accordingly?

3. I bought the HD-m2 Nikkon bundle for 1295.00, M2 Cinema Lens Adapter

it comes with

Special M2 HD Achromatic lens

15mm Rod Support System - 18"

Nikon SLR lens mount

M2 Cinematographer's cap

besides the lenses, are there anything else I might need? Do you recommend a matbox, or one of those accesories to adjust the focus without taking off the matbox? What is the setup you guys used, thanks.

I also had a comment about the digital noise I saw in the film. It was there in the dark shadows, I have a trained eye, and it was also on their faces when lighting was low. And I was happy to see this, very happy. Why?

Because do distributors let this go? They overlook digital noise, here we are discussing how to get rid of it, when it does not matter to theatrical distributors? I was pleased to see it, and my sister who has an untrained eye, noticed it as well, but it was not distracting to the story, she loved the story.

My question is do you see that noise and pixelation on the monitor while your shooting, on the viewfinder, in the post house, after the 35mm print? Thanks... I only ask so many question because I wish to have success as you and your crew when I shoot my film entitled "One Story" next month.

P.S - Thanks for coming by Andy and discussing this with us to help us out, this is an excellent community of pros.

Clint Nitkiewicz Hernandez
www.newelementproductions.com
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#14 Bill Totolo

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 03:31 AM

Well, you have your opinion, but I don't think any of the footage "looks DV".


Bill, honestly, have you seen any DV-> 35mm lately? Or even 16mm-> 35mm? Everything I've seen in the past 10 years has been less than acceptable for my eyes. When coloring in Los Angeles at Plaster City Digital Post, everyone was amazed at how good it held up on the 26' screen (thanks to their up-rezzing). When I saw the 35mm print this last weekend I thought it looked as good as a digital projection I saw at the premiere.


Andy Kuepper


I have seen quite a few.

I've had filmouts of my own and check in pretty regularly to see what's going on w/ D.I.'s and film outs. This did not compare favorably to a digital projection.

Am I criticizing the DP? No. The print I saw looked unsatisfactory in my opinion. As an HVX owner, I had hopes of using this workflow myself.
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#15 Allen Achterberg

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Posted 24 October 2007 - 01:11 PM

I have seen quite a few.

I've had filmouts of my own and check in pretty regularly to see what's going on w/ D.I.'s and film outs. This did not compare favorably to a digital projection.

Am I criticizing the DP? No. The print I saw looked unsatisfactory in my opinion. As an HVX owner, I had hopes of using this workflow myself.


ignoring 2nd units opening shot, and few others later in the movie, I personally thought the print was more than satisfactory. You cannot expect it to look like a 35mm hollywood Budgeted project. It was shot with a prosumer camcorder and Nikon Lenses. Be realistic with what that can accomplish.
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#16 andrew kuepper

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 03:33 AM

I've had filmouts of my own and check in pretty regularly to see what's going on w/ D.I.'s and film outs. This did not compare favorably to a digital projection. Am I criticizing the DP? No. The print I saw looked unsatisfactory in my opinion. As an HVX owner, I had hopes of using this workflow myself.


Bill,

So you saw a 35mm print then? I supposed prints can also vary in quality depending on how many times they are run, it's strange that your opinion contradicts so many others. Where did you see it? Did the theatre appear ok?

When you say "did not compare favorably to digital projection", are you saying that the 35mm filmout is worse than the Digital Projection? did you see both? I'm a little confused here.

As for using an HVX for 35mm output, I think it's a little risky, even though I did it. If you have the budget to uprez and post properly it's one thing- But asking a 720p camera to magically jump 4x in resolution and look good is pretty out there. I felt we got real lucky, I was expecting much, much less from the medium.

Thanks for the comments,

Andy
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#17 Gary McClurg

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Posted 26 October 2007 - 09:21 AM

I saw the film the first day it was out...

I wanted to see how the image would hold up using the m2...

I thought in a few places it was soft... and it seemed like the interior night (in the school house house) stuff looked more noisey than the exterior night stuff...

I think what took me out of the movie at times was a weak story and weak acting... but hey it got a big screen release... so that counts for something...
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#18 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 30 October 2007 - 10:38 AM

I'm shooting a feature on the HVX / Letus combo this spring. Andrew - any pitfalls to watch out for? What was your lighting package?
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