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A Matter of Life & Death


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#1 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:46 PM

Hi Everybody.
My name is Milad and I’m an Iranian student Cinema in Italy. In few days I’m going to shoot a long film.
This is the only chance that university is giving me and I’m putting all my life into this project: my money, my academic career and my staying in this country. This project is matter of life and death to me. The university is giving me canon XH A1. I have read all the things about this camera here and there. But I got very important questions to ask.
My film will have some very important close up shots. (Mainly close up of faces).
Here are my questions:
1. I know that for that film look it’s better to shoot in 24p (which in this canon is called 24F). but I read that in 24p you will have jerky slow motion. Is it possible to shoot all the normal scenes in 24F and the slo motion scenes in 60i and then have it slowed down to 24p? will there be obvious difference between these two when you see them in the final result?
2. some people say 60i is the best for the slow motion…but some other tell me interlaced is not good for this purpose…
3. They tell me that working in post in 24p is hard even for normal speed shots…
4. for the film look they suggest double of the frame rate. (24p with 1/48 or 1/50). But also they tell me higher shutter speed is best for slow motions…
Please help me… what frame rate and shutter speed should I use for ALL this film… THIS IS AS IMPORTANT AS LIFE TO ME…
(P.S. this camera is bought in Europe so it also has 25f/50i option, a editor here told me to shoot all the film in this mode…)
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#2 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:10 PM

Buzz kill, Milad. I don't care what your problems are- if you word things "life and death", "only chance" and "My,my,my"- it's all hostile and vaguely threatening which turns people off.
You're turning me off right now- did you know that?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:09 PM

You convert 60i to slow-motion at 24 fps by making each field into a whole frame of video, so the look is the same as if you shot at 60 fps, there are no interlaced-scan artifacts because you aren't creating a frame from two temporally-sequential fields, you are creating a frame from a single field. Trouble is that the field of video only contains half the lines of a whole frame, so converting it to a whole frame means that you lose resolution: the shot will be a bit softer than the 24P material around it. But the slow-motion effect will be fine because you sampled reality, the motion, a 60 times per second by shooting at 60i. You are just playing it back at 24 fps and thus it looks slow-motion.

Standard shutter angle for 24 fps film is 180 degrees (shutter is open 50% of the time) so the shutter speed is 1/48th of a second, but the truth is that the shutter look is dependent on the amount of motion in the frame, so you can shoot anywhere near 1/48th (like 1/50th, even 1/60th) and it will look similar to what a film camera gets at 24 fps.

Since a 180 degree shutter angle at 60 fps gives you a shutter time of 1/120th of a second, you should shoot any 60i material to be slowed-down at a shorter shutter speed, something at least at 1/100th of a second, or 1/120th if you want to be precise, but again, you just have to be in the ballpark since the look is also affected by the amount of motion in the frame.
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:32 AM

(P.S. this camera is bought in Europe so it also has 25f/50i option, a editor here told me to shoot all the film in this mode…)


Hiya Milad,

Go with 25f for the main scenes. Italy is in PAL land so the 25f option will be a lot easier for you, because of avoiding lighting frequency issues and because that is what everyone there will be used to working with and lastly because working in 24p can be a lot more messy and gives few advantages for the most part.

As to slow-mo, yes you can do this in 50i or even 60i but you need to be sure that you are up to doing the post process for this. A lot of editors often can't cope with it if you supply interlaced footage.

Are you editing this yourself? Even if not it might be worth borrowing a video camera (anything that can shoot interlaced it doesn't need to be anything special) and then try doing the slow down yourself.

Theres a fantastic article about how to do this by a guy called Thomas Worth here:

http://rarevision.co...slow_motion.php

If you aren't up to doing all that then you are better just shooting it all in 25f and then either repeating frames or using twixtor. If you really want a great slow motion result tho I recommend following the instructions Thomas gives. Try it in advance and see if it works for you.

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 06 May 2012 - 09:34 AM.

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#5 Mark Dunn

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:53 PM

I was looking forward to a discussion on the Powell/Pressburger film of the same name.
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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:44 PM

I was looking forward to a discussion on the Powell/Pressburger film of the same name.


heh heh! Same here! :)

love

Freya
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#7 Tom Jensen

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:29 PM

I like the sense of urgency.
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#8 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

I like the sense of urgency.


I'm ok with it, thankfully there was no mention of Kim Kardishian.

My own personal opinion, never make the most important film of one's life so early on, but more importantly, don't make it early on, and long. Any experience making anything, and completely completing it, creates such a huge learning curve that the next project, even a long project, will benefit in so many ways from the experience of having completely completed the first project.
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#9 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:20 PM

Thank You very much Mr.Mullen
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#10 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:23 PM

Buzz kill, Milad. I don't care what your problems are- if you word things "life and death", "only chance" and "My,my,my"- it's all hostile and vaguely threatening which turns people off.
You're turning me off right now- did you know that?


Chris I don't care if you are turned off. and from the responses below it seems you are only the only person that got turned off...so do not talk as you ARE THE PEOPLE...cause you are not!
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#11 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:29 PM

Hiya Milad,

Go with 25f for the main scenes. Italy is in PAL land so the 25f option will be a lot easier for you, because of avoiding lighting frequency issues and because that is what everyone there will be used to working with and lastly because working in 24p can be a lot more messy and gives few advantages for the most part.

As to slow-mo, yes you can do this in 50i or even 60i but you need to be sure that you are up to doing the post process for this. A lot of editors often can't cope with it if you supply interlaced footage.

Are you editing this yourself? Even if not it might be worth borrowing a video camera (anything that can shoot interlaced it doesn't need to be anything special) and then try doing the slow down yourself.

Theres a fantastic article about how to do this by a guy called Thomas Worth here:

http://rarevision.co...slow_motion.php

If you aren't up to doing all that then you are better just shooting it all in 25f and then either repeating frames or using twixtor. If you really want a great slow motion result tho I recommend following the instructions Thomas gives. Try it in advance and see if it works for you.

love

Freya


Freya thank you very much for lovely and caring response....
yeah you are right they are in PAL... so you think I MUST shoot it in 25p; hum?
I thought I'd be losing the look by not shooting in 24p....
to be honest I did not understand the conflict you mentioned about lighting frequency issues...

Love
Milad
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#12 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:34 PM

I was looking forward to a discussion on the Powell/Pressburger film of the same name.


hahaha... Sorry to disappoint you!
that's a great film. not my favorite from P/P; but still great...
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#13 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:40 PM

I'm ok with it, thankfully there was no mention of Kim Kardishian.

My own personal opinion, never make the most important film of one's life so early on, but more importantly, don't make it early on, and long. Any experience making anything, and completely completing it, creates such a huge learning curve that the next project, even a long project, will benefit in so many ways from the experience of having completely completed the first project.



very good point Alessandro
but you know I'm putting my little money into it and I'm risking my university career and also the trust of the people who believe I can come up with something good...especially myself!!

about the learning for future projects I completely agree with you...
and thanks for the advice.
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#14 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 03:42 PM

I like the sense of urgency.


thanks for your comment
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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:03 AM

Freya thank you very much for lovely and caring response....
yeah you are right they are in PAL... so you think I MUST shoot it in 25p; hum?
I thought I'd be losing the look by not shooting in 24p....
to be honest I did not understand the conflict you mentioned about lighting frequency issues...

Love
Milad


No most people can't tell the difference between 24 and 25p anyway. Most Hollywood movies are sped up to 25 frames per second for DVD's and videotape TV etc. 25p is normal in Europe etc.

What I meant about lighting frequencies is that the mains in PAL based countries runs at 50hz as opposed to 60hz in the states. For some kinds of lighting you can get flicker effects in the lighting if you are not shooting at 25p, thus 25p is safer in terms of knowing your lighting will look correct. It's also of course what everybody editing will be used to.

love

Freya
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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:10 AM

very good point Alessandro
but you know I'm putting my little money into it and I'm risking my university career and also the trust of the people who believe I can come up with something good...especially myself!!

about the learning for future projects I completely agree with you...
and thanks for the advice.



I think it's really good advice actually.
If theres time you should try and throw together a smaller project in advance as a bit of a test run before you attempt the all important shoot. It could be anything. A fake advert, a music video whatever. Just so you can start getting a little idea about the basics. Then you will be on more solid ground for the big project!

love

Freya
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:26 AM

Hi,

Thomas is a friend of mine; that article is now pretty old, but it's still relevant. The only reason it talks about PAL is that PAL video has higher resolution than NTSC. This is no longer relevant with high-definition cameras like the XH series. For slow motion scenes, you should consider shooting 60i if the camera will do it, but you should understand why first.

First, understand interlacing:

In a progressive frame (or a Canon 24F frame, which is similar) you get a picture taken at one point in time; all of the pixels are exposed at the same moment.

In an interlaced frame, odd rows of pixels (row 1, 3, 5, 7 etc) are exposed at one moment; even rows (2, 4, 6, 8) are exposed slightly later. Each of these exposures is referred to as a field.

Don't worry about why this is; the reasons are historical. The reason it is useful is that you can take one interlaced frame and separate out the two fields, so you have twice the number of frames per second, which is true slow motion. Of course, each of the fields has only half the number of rows of pixels, so you need to scale them back up vertically, so they're the right shape.

This technique, as a whole, is referred to as "bob deinterlacing". If you shoot 60i, you will end up with a 60fps shot. Used in a 24 or 25fps project, that's slightly slower than twice normal time.

That aside, you still need to shoot nice pictures!

The Canon XH series are quite nice if you overlook the fact that they don't do proper progressive scan. The 24F mode is not perfect and there is a loss of vertical resolution. The cameras are otherwise quite sharp, though, so it's quite possible to get nice pictures out of them. They use small 1/3" CCDs and don't have great dynamic range, so you need to be careful about excessive contrast in the scene - use production design, shot choice, lighting and filtration to avoid the problem. I have used the XLH1 and found that the default setup was quite contrasty and you should examine the settings in the camera's menu to see if you can make it look nicer - but be careful, and test thoroughly. Don't shoot anything until you're happy the camera is set up right, and that you know how to postproduce what you're shooting, especially if you use 60i modes for slow motion. Freya's right; there may be some lighting flicker problems, but it's often subtle. Test first.

It isn't necessarily the case that everyone will be used to editing 25p, since most people will be able to handle 24p these days, but again, the lighting flicker issues may be simplified by shooting at 25.

P

PS - If Mr Tangshir is relying on academic success to avoid being forced to go to a country he doesn't want to go to, I wish him every success.
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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:03 PM

Thomas is a friend of mine; that article is now pretty old, but it's still relevant. The only reason it talks


It's a really good article and time hasn't stopped it being useful. :)

The Canon XH series are quite nice if you overlook the fact that they don't do proper progressive scan. The 24F mode is not perfect and there is a loss of vertical resolution. The cameras are otherwise quite sharp, though, so it's quite possible to get nice pictures out of them. They use small 1/3" CCDs and don't have great dynamic range, so you need to be careful about excessive contrast in the scene - use production design, shot choice, lighting and filtration to avoid the problem. I have used the XLH1 and found that the default setup was quite contrasty and you should examine the settings in the camera's menu to see if you can make it look nicer - but be careful, and test thoroughly. Don't shoot anything until you're happy the camera is set up right, and that you know how to postproduce what you're shooting, especially if you use 60i modes for slow motion. Freya's right; there may be some lighting flicker problems, but it's often subtle. Test first.


God that's another thing. I've shot on this series too I think it was the XLh1 as well, and the menus were a nightmare. There were two of us stood there for ages and I was going "I know it can do it" to this poor fellow who was feeling very skeptical. (he was nice tho as opposed to the kind who just tell you, you are wrong) We even had the manual. In the end I just spent some time going through the menus in turn and finding where everything was. Really recommend you do this too. You don't want to be trying to familiarize yourself with the camera on the shoot. Some settings are in strange places on that camera in my opinion.

So yes, Phil is spot-on about getting the camera set up right first and looking carefully at all the settings!

It isn't necessarily the case that everyone will be used to editing 25p, since most people will be able to handle 24p these days, but again, the lighting flicker issues may be simplified by shooting at 25.


Don't think I'd want to be sure of that on a little student production. Also in my experience there can be some variance in how pull down is handled in different cameras (and sometimes even different settings in the same camera). It's just going to be easier to shoot 25p tho so why make anything more difficult especially when you are inexperienced.

I think the best setup in this situation would be 25p for the main part of the video. (Keep it simple) and then maybe 60i for the slowmo. Especially if the slowmo is daytime exteriors (the sun isn't electrically powered and is the same sun all over the world) and perhaps 50i for lit scenes with slowmo or 60i if you are feeling sinister and want to wing it. I'm assuming most of the film isn't slow-mo, so it won't be as big a disaster to shoot 60i for all the slow-mo. If it goes wrong it's just a little bit. Stick to 25p for the main part tho, not worth the risk to shoot anything else.

(Where I say 25p I mean 25f in this case of course)

love

Freya
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#19 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:27 AM

Hi,

Thomas is a friend of mine; that article is now pretty old, but it's still relevant. The only reason it talks about PAL is that PAL video has higher resolution than NTSC. This is no longer relevant with high-definition cameras like the XH series. For slow motion scenes, you should consider shooting 60i if the camera will do it, but you should understand why first.

First, understand interlacing:

In a progressive frame (or a Canon 24F frame, which is similar) you get a picture taken at one point in time; all of the pixels are exposed at the same moment.

In an interlaced frame, odd rows of pixels (row 1, 3, 5, 7 etc) are exposed at one moment; even rows (2, 4, 6, 8) are exposed slightly later. Each of these exposures is referred to as a field.

Don't worry about why this is; the reasons are historical. The reason it is useful is that you can take one interlaced frame and separate out the two fields, so you have twice the number of frames per second, which is true slow motion. Of course, each of the fields has only half the number of rows of pixels, so you need to scale them back up vertically, so they're the right shape.

This technique, as a whole, is referred to as "bob deinterlacing". If you shoot 60i, you will end up with a 60fps shot. Used in a 24 or 25fps project, that's slightly slower than twice normal time.

That aside, you still need to shoot nice pictures!

The Canon XH series are quite nice if you overlook the fact that they don't do proper progressive scan. The 24F mode is not perfect and there is a loss of vertical resolution. The cameras are otherwise quite sharp, though, so it's quite possible to get nice pictures out of them. They use small 1/3" CCDs and don't have great dynamic range, so you need to be careful about excessive contrast in the scene - use production design, shot choice, lighting and filtration to avoid the problem. I have used the XLH1 and found that the default setup was quite contrasty and you should examine the settings in the camera's menu to see if you can make it look nicer - but be careful, and test thoroughly. Don't shoot anything until you're happy the camera is set up right, and that you know how to postproduce what you're shooting, especially if you use 60i modes for slow motion. Freya's right; there may be some lighting flicker problems, but it's often subtle. Test first.

It isn't necessarily the case that everyone will be used to editing 25p, since most people will be able to handle 24p these days, but again, the lighting flicker issues may be simplified by shooting at 25.

P

PS - If Mr Tangshir is relying on academic success to avoid being forced to go to a country he doesn't want to go to, I wish him every success.



thank you very much for all your words... they are massively useful.
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#20 Milad Tangshir

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:31 AM

It's a really good article and time hasn't stopped it being useful. :)



God that's another thing. I've shot on this series too I think it was the XLh1 as well, and the menus were a nightmare. There were two of us stood there for ages and I was going "I know it can do it" to this poor fellow who was feeling very skeptical. (he was nice tho as opposed to the kind who just tell you, you are wrong) We even had the manual. In the end I just spent some time going through the menus in turn and finding where everything was. Really recommend you do this too. You don't want to be trying to familiarize yourself with the camera on the shoot. Some settings are in strange places on that camera in my opinion.

So yes, Phil is spot-on about getting the camera set up right first and looking carefully at all the settings!



Don't think I'd want to be sure of that on a little student production. Also in my experience there can be some variance in how pull down is handled in different cameras (and sometimes even different settings in the same camera). It's just going to be easier to shoot 25p tho so why make anything more difficult especially when you are inexperienced.

I think the best setup in this situation would be 25p for the main part of the video. (Keep it simple) and then maybe 60i for the slowmo. Especially if the slowmo is daytime exteriors (the sun isn't electrically powered and is the same sun all over the world) and perhaps 50i for lit scenes with slowmo or 60i if you are feeling sinister and want to wing it. I'm assuming most of the film isn't slow-mo, so it won't be as big a disaster to shoot 60i for all the slow-mo. If it goes wrong it's just a little bit. Stick to 25p for the main part tho, not worth the risk to shoot anything else.

(Where I say 25p I mean 25f in this case of course)

love

Freya




thanks you very much Freya... got it all.
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