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Footage is dark and grainy.


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#1 Matthew F

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 10:34 AM

Some footage that I shot with the SDX900 last week had an unreasonable amount of noise in it when we took it into the comp. The gain was set at 0 while shooting and the mode was 3:4 50. If anyone knows this camera and has ever accidently done this or knows what might have caused this please let me know. The deck has been used on several other projects and has had no problems before or after this incident.

ALSO if anyone has any suggestions as to how to "salvage" the footage please let me know. Any plugins or editing tricks would be great.
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#2 John Ealer

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 11:13 AM

Some questions, the answers to which will help diagnose your problem.

Was this problem on all the footage you shot, just one specific tape, just some specific shots, or just parts of shots?

How dark is the image? Where does the noise appear, in areas of fine detail or uniformly across the image?

Did you have a monitor on the shoot? How did you judge exposure?

J
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#3 Matthew F

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 12:15 PM

The problem is on both tapes shot that day. The footage is definitely underexposed but not to the degree that you can't see what's going on. It can be lightened up in FCP but that just increases the problem of the noise. The noise is primarily in the dark areas. Yes the monitor was used as a reference for the exposure and is part of the reason why the footage was underexposed. Now why there is an excessive amount of grain/noise can't be determined.



Some questions, the answers to which will help diagnose your problem.

Was this problem on all the footage you shot, just one specific tape, just some specific shots, or just parts of shots?

How dark is the image?  Where does the noise appear, in areas of fine detail or uniformly across the image?

Did you have a monitor on the shoot?  How did you judge exposure?

J

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


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#4 John Ealer

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 12:37 PM

The problem is on both tapes shot that day. The footage is definitely underexposed but not to the degree that you can't see what's going on. It can be lightened up in FCP but that just increases the problem of the noise. The noise is primarily in the dark areas. Yes the monitor was used as a reference for the exposure and is part of the reason why the footage was underexposed. Now why there is an excessive amount of grain/noise can't be determined.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


From what you describe, the best reasonable guess is that you're simply looking at significantly underexposed video. I also suspect that the gain was up but your camera op was not aware of it. Take the footage into an uncompressed environment and use noise reduction tools to try to make the footage useable.

J
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#5 drew_town

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 10:44 PM

I had this problem with PD150 footage once. The previous user had turned the brightness all the way up on the lcd screen and I shot underexposed all day without catching it. What I did to fix the problem was an extensive color correction, composite, and softening in FCP.

Try this:

In FCP layer identical clips on top of each other. Then select the top clip and apply either the "screen" or "add" composite. That'll brighten it up for you. Do it more than once if you need.

Now nest the composites and color correct the nest itself.

Do any secondary color correction if you want to.

If there's a lot of grain duplicate the nests and place one on top of the other like in the first step. Add a gausian blur to the top clip set to around 20. Now turn the opacity of the top nest down to about 15 or so. That'll diffuse some of the noise.

This might not give you the look you were initially going for but at least it'll look exposed propperly. It should work for footage between 0 and 3 stops underexposed. Any more than that will likely be too dark to repair.

Good luck.
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