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Trying to imitate look of lower-end camera with Red


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#1 Rob McGreevy

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 03:07 PM

I'm shooting a short the features a segment of a fictional youtube cooking show...I included a sample of one with a similar look that's in the ballpark of what we're going for - basically the idea is the host can afford decent prosumer stuff and knows basically how to use it, but definitely isn't a professional with high end stuff.  We'll be shooting the rest of it with a red dragon and I'm wondering if I can get a cheaper more video look with that camera. My thinking is down res to HD, up the fps for more of a news-video look, record at a smaller color space and use a cheaper lens and overlight it. Is that enough to make it look lower quality? Anything else I can do in camera to achieve that look? Or would I be better off trying to use a cheaper camera that shoots that way natively? 


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#2 Rob McGreevy

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 03:08 PM

Sorry, forgot to post link:


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#3 Albion Hockney

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 06:46 PM

That example looks like it could have been Red to me - but who knows maybe C300. If that is the look your are trying to achieve you can certainly do it on a Red. Its just the lighting and production design...which is certainly not Pro-sumer looking at all. It also is not shot at a high FPS. that looks like 24 or 30P


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 09:31 PM

Cooking shows come in all sorts of quality variations and looks -- I think the more important question is how much does this section have to look different from the surrounding short film?  If your short is going to look like it was shot on a 35mm sensor camera, for example, then perhaps you should crop your sensor for the cooking segment to look more like a smaller sensor camera was used, for example.  You should do whatever creates an opposite texture, to create a bigger difference.  Shooting at 60 fps might help, but I'd combine that with using a 360 degree shutter since classic NTSC interlaced-scan 60i video was usually shot at 1/60th per field exposure, i.e. no shutter.  Or if that is going to screw-up your editing timeline, you can try 24 fps with no shutter at least -- I think it's that smeary motion that helps sell the old interlaced-scan look.  Cropping to a smaller sensor area at lower resolution and then over-sharpening to compensate will also give it more of a video look.


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#5 Rob McGreevy

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 04:56 PM

Thanks David, that was kind of the answer I was looking for...yes, we want the video to look professional-ish, but it should contrast with the short that surrounds it and be of lower quality...the link i submitted was just a sample the director gave me and maybe not a great one, it's a little more slick than what we're going for. 

Shooting with a 360 degree shutter is a great idea, what I really wanted to try to do was get it to look interlaced and I wasn't sure how to do that.

When you say crop down the sensor are you saying shooting a lower res to use less of it? Or to crop the final image in post? Just wanted to be clear on that, I was already planning on shooting it at HD.


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 December 2015 - 06:29 PM

On the Red camera, lower resolutions are recorded in raw by cropping the sensor, so when you say you are going to shoot it in HD, do you mean cropping the 6K Dragon sensor to 1920 x 1080 pixels?
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#7 Daniel Meier

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Posted 14 December 2015 - 07:20 AM

Easiest way would be to use a cheap camera. You can't get as close to this look by just using VFX.

 

 

However If you keep sticking to the RED, I would shoot in a lower resolution, as David suggested already.

 

Then, what else is there that makes a handycam-look?

- oversharpening

- moiré might be present (maybe just shoot without an OLPF at all? Or do it in post)

- smear (if it's an older CCD-Look you wan't to achive)

- blooming

- small dynamic range (lower the black and raise the white level until they start to clip in the DI)

- 60 FPS (as already mentioned) and staccato (higher shutter speed)

- chromatic abberation (also easy to achieve in post)

- heavy VBR-compression artifacts (happening when there's a lot of motion)

- and last but not least: the crappy sound quality


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