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#1 David Edward Keen

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 10:48 AM

Is resolution the same as definition? If I say i want it low-resolution is it the same as saying low-definition?

 

We're making a funny little short in the style of early cinema. HD of course looks out of place. Can i set the thing to a lower number definition/resolution in FCPX?

 

Is this gonna work or will the video simply look pixelated?

 

thanks! this is wacky fun this project.

 

 

 


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:26 AM

 

When I go for the look I -think- you're going for, I throw on a moderate to slightly heavy pixel filter, then follow it up with a light gaussion blur and it gets that "photoshop blew it up and tried to correct it" look. If you mean a VHS effect, I'd recommend going for the real thing. Purchase a used DVD-VHS recorder, burn your footage onto a disc, record it over to your tape, and use a capture card to get the colorized footage back to your NLE.

 

We live in the microwave generation so if that sounds like a hassle, a program called "VirtualDub" has some VHS mod for it that's pretty decent (still does not hold a candle to the real thing).

 

Now if you wanted low quality FILM emulation, I'm still trying to figure that one out myself. If someone could reveal a plug-in technique or a cheap hardware workaround I'd also appreciate that.


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#3 John E Clark

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 12:43 PM

Is resolution the same as definition? If I say i want it low-resolution is it the same as saying low-definition?

 

We're making a funny little short in the style of early cinema. HD of course looks out of place. Can i set the thing to a lower number definition/resolution in FCPX?

 

Is this gonna work or will the video simply look pixelated?

 

thanks! this is wacky fun this project.

 

 

 

 

For that 'old time look' you need to crop your media to a 4:3 aspect ratio. This was the traditional rectangle one sees in most 'old' movies before the 50s and on Televisions, until the advent of HD displays. Letter boxing was used for a while to give the original aspect ratio of a film, embedded in the standard TV 4:3 rectangle.

 

When shooting for 4:3 on a camera that is only HD, you would have to make marks on the LCD display to compose the shot correctly.

 

I don't know what cropping tools are available in FCPX... there was such a tool in Final Cut and Final Cut Express...


Edited by John E Clark, 08 March 2016 - 12:44 PM.

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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 12:55 PM

We're making a funny little short in the style of early cinema. HD of course looks out of place.

 

You’d be surprised by the picture quality of early films once you get to see an original print or a fresh print off an original negative.

The Lumière shows flickered but their operators were trained people who could produce good photography. Eidoloscope shows had

a marked photographic quality. Orthochromatic sensitivity and lack of natural colours set aside, these folks knew how to use Tessar-type lenses. Mutagraph made excellent pictures in 1900 and Essanay produced technically outstanding films at the time.

 

I think you won’t be able to do anything “in the style of early cinema”.


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#5 Carl Looper

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:28 PM

Yes, I saw a remastered 35mm print of a Charlie Chaplin film quite a few decades ago, and I was completely blown away by how clear and vivid it was. It was a revelation. It was as if I were watching a brand new film. And it was so youthful and playful. Not old in any way at all.

 

C


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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 07:16 PM

The quality of those early films is extremely good when you get new prints from close to the orginial negatives. I saw "Sunrise" and it was amazing..


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:22 AM

Prints of "The General" are also very sharp.

 

But by the mid-1920's through the 30's, diffusion was very popular with movies, often nets on the lens, which is why some of those movies always look soft, that's the way they were shot.  It wasn't really due to the limitations of stock and lenses, at least not for day exterior scenes where there was enough light.


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#8 Carl Looper

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 04:19 AM

I've often wondered at what the difference in meaning would be between the terms "resolution" and "definition". They are often interchangeable. I think the term "definition" was introduced to avoid abuse of the term "resolution". For example, one will often find references to resolution in terms of the number of pixels in an image. And while the number of pixels is related to resolution, it's not really what resolution is essentially about. Resolution is more about the sensors involved in some system (including lenses), rather than a display system.

 

However the use of the term "resolution" in relation to a display systems is widespread, so even if it is an abuse it has acquired that meaning and so can be used in that way. It was used in the early days of digital - before there were digital cameras. One will find terms such as "hires" used to describe a display that might be 640 pixels vs a "lores" display that might be 320 pixels.

 

I suspect the "abuse" of the term eventually annoyed someone enough for them to scribble out the term "resolution" and replace it with "definition".

 

C


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#9 Simon Wyss

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 04:43 AM

If it helps in any way, I should state that there are films available with a resolving power of several thousand line-pairs per millimetre. They’re not intended for camera work, too slow, but for archival purposes well usable.

 

Resolution is perhaps the female term while definition corresponds to the male side of the same thing.


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#10 John E Clark

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:50 PM

I've often wondered at what the difference in meaning would be between the terms "resolution" and "definition". They are often interchangeable. I think the term "definition" was introduced to avoid abuse of the term "resolution".

 

 

My working with people in 'optics' is ancient... but to me 'definition' is a marketing term to avoid any connection with 'real' resolution...

 

But then MTF and line pairs per <unit of measure>... are probably the more technically correct measures of goodness in regard to fidelity of detail...

 

But for humans... just make the image more constrasty and it will 'look' sharper...


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#11 David Edward Keen

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 12:27 PM

thanks all, eye openers. It was an artistic choice to soften it up in the old days puts it all in a new light maybe i'll look at optics, math needs work though. thanks for the responses all


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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 01:43 PM

It really depends on what kind of camera you have access to. Most of the lower-end digital cameras have white clipping issues, which makes them look very non-filmic. So no matter what you do, making it look like film can be a real challenge. Once you increase the dynamic range of a digital capture device and push that increased dynamic range through the post process, ALA RAW capture and full bandwidth finishing, you can simply add a film look LUT AND film grain to your source and it will look pretty good. Will it look like old film? Well... if you sample film grain from an old film and comp it in, you'd be surprised by the results.

I shot a short film 6 years ago on an 8 bit 4:2:0 HDV camcorder. It looked so horrible, I shelved it. Last year I was messing around with film grain and film LUT's, I was able to bring it back to life with a lot of post work. It's not amazing or anything, but it has a filmic look...


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#13 Carl Looper

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 10:50 PM

Resolution is perhaps the female term while definition corresponds to the male side of the same thing.

 

That's a good way of putting it.

 

C


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#14 Carl Looper

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 01:47 AM

It really depends on what kind of camera you have access to. Most of the lower-end digital cameras have white clipping issues, which makes them look very non-filmic. So no matter what you do, making it look like film can be a real challenge. Once you increase the dynamic range of a digital capture device and push that increased dynamic range through the post process, ALA RAW capture and full bandwidth finishing, you can simply add a film look LUT AND film grain to your source and it will look pretty good. Will it look like old film? Well... if you sample film grain from an old film and comp it in, you'd be surprised by the results.

I shot a short film 6 years ago on an 8 bit 4:2:0 HDV camcorder. It looked so horrible, I shelved it. Last year I was messing around with film grain and film LUT's, I was able to bring it back to life with a lot of post work. It's not amazing or anything, but it has a filmic look...

 

Yes, the clipping in the highlights is horrible eh? But it doesn't really matter. One of the great things about making a film/video is that it really doesn't matter what you use. You can make a work with anything really. You just work with what you have, and get the most out of it that you can.

 

I can't say I "enjoyed" the video (it's a bit bleak) but I couldn't stop watching it, so in my books that's a success.

 

As for the look, it doesn't look anything like film at all, but whatever you want to call it, it is a particular look, and that's all it needs to be. Who cares if it looks like film or not. As long as one is happy enough with it, that's all that really matters. And if not that happy, (are we ever happy?) there's always the next film.

 

C


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