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Black Flare ( on video )?


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#1 oscar jimenez

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 06:14 PM

I have a Sony DXC-D50 Camcorder. I was going trough the paint menu, and in the same page of Master Black Setting, there is a "Black Flare" function, I dont know if it is my lousy english ( not my native language ) but does somebody knows what this refers to? Im quite intrigued and maybe it is a helpful function that I can play around with when shooting. Thanks so much for any info.
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 06:32 PM

I think it's a way to emulate old tube cameras. When a bright source was filmed with those it clipped, but instead of going white it clipped negatively, i.e. going black. Old live shows and taped shows from the 70's and early 80's are full of those artifacts, I'm sure you've seen it. It looks quite cool - I tried to get an old tube camera for a music video once to get just that effect, but we couldn't find one in working condition.
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#3 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:21 PM

I think it's a way to emulate old tube cameras. When a bright source was filmed with those it clipped, but instead of going white it clipped negatively, i.e. going black. ...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Interesting. I see the following briefly described in the user manual for my on-order Sony DSR-450WSL (which I'm now told should be delivered to me by the end of next week).

Is this the same/similar setting? In the DSR-450WSL manual it's listed as "Black/Flare" (with a slash "/"). There are menu settings for "Master Black", "R Black", "B Black", "Master Flare", "R Flare", "G Flare", and "B Flare" (all adjustable -99 to 99), and "Flare" (off/on). (But no "G Black").

It'll be interesting to see how these settings affect the video output.

Luckily for me the manual lists the default setting for all of the menu settings, so if I mess things up too much I can revert the cam back to the defaults. First thing I'll also save a settings file to the memory stick which contains all the defaults.

Sorry if the above is old news to long-time video pros, but this'll be the first time I'll have fulltime access to a pro cam. Fun!

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#4 oscar jimenez

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:15 PM

Is this the same/similar setting? In the DSR-450WSL manual it's listed as "Black/Flare" (with a slash "/"). There are menu settings for "Master Black", "R Black", "B Black", "Master Flare", "R Flare", "G Flare", and "B Flare" (all adjustable -99 to 99), and "Flare" (off/on). (But no "G Black").
Yes, it is the same setting, though cam manual does not explain that much about it.

Its quite funny, I'll run some tests tomorrow. I was quite used to the DVW700 Op Settings but I cannot recall seing Black/Flare settings, just the M. Ped and Master black settings and hue of M black Matrix ( RGB ) to directly affect wanted hue of blacks, to the color you'd wish them to be, anyway since I used merely the remote Ctrl most of the "useful" settings ( knee, gamma strecthc, detail levels ) are all condensed there
.
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#5 Tim J Durham

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:46 PM

Is this the same/similar setting? In the DSR-450WSL manual it's listed as "Black/Flare" (with a slash "/"). There are menu settings for "Master Black", "R Black", "B Black", "Master Flare", "R Flare", "G Flare", and "B Flare" (all adjustable -99 to 99), and "Flare" (off/on). (But no "G Black").
Yes, it is the same setting, though cam manual does not explain that much about it.

Its quite funny, I'll run some tests tomorrow.  I was quite used to the DVW700 Op Settings but I cannot recall seing Black/Flare settings, just the M. Ped and Master black settings and hue of M black Matrix ( RGB ) to directly affect wanted hue of blacks, to the color you'd wish them to be, anyway since I used merely the remote Ctrl most of the "useful" settings ( knee, gamma strecthc, detail levels ) are all condensed there
.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The "flare" settings compensate for what the light entering the lens does to the response of the imagers to black. As opposed to doing a black balance which is done with the iris capped ie: no light entering the lens.

On your vectorscope (if you had one) anything black in your picture should be registered exactly in the center. When you black balance your camera, among other things, this creates a centered reference point for any black in your picture. When you actually let light into the imagers thru your lens, however, the centered black reference point will move off center depending on your lens glass and lighting conditions (which were not applicable when you black balanced). This is called flare.

So the black/flare setting compensates for this movement off of the center reference point. You NEED a vectorscope to set the flares and it is NOT a substitute for doing a black balance. You also need to reset the flares each time you change lenses...That is, if you want perfect (or close to perfect) black response.

So to finish:

You should black balance with the lens/iris capped, then open the iris onto the chip chart (or anything you know has black) and set the flares for that lens in controlled lighting. In the field, the flares will move around if you don't properly hood the lens. But don't lose sleep over it. In 18 years at CNN, I never once heard ANYONE mention setting flares on a field camera, and you can see how great CNN always looks. I do it, but that's me.
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#6 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 11:48 PM

Hi Tim: Much appreciated. Learning this kind of "inside" information is a big part of why I decided to make the huge investment (for me) in a new DSR-450WSL camcorder ... because it's going to be great learning about how to use and properly adjust a pro video camera.

I'm hoping the waveform & vectorscope windows in Final Cut Pro are accurate enough for me to use for the kind of adjustment you describe. FCP's scopes might not sample every line, so they may not be as accurate as a real scope, but it's currently all I have frequent access to.

In addition to the user manual for the camera, I'd appreciate suggestions for a good book which contains similar information about pro video camera set up & adjustment, especially if it contains the sort of the why, wherefores and "reality check" info which Tim includes in his post.

Thanks again, Tim!

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#7 Tim J Durham

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 06:55 AM

Hi Tim: Much appreciated. Learning this kind of "inside" information is a big part of why I decided to make the huge investment (for me) in a new DSR-450WSL camcorder ... because it's going to be great learning about how to use and properly adjust a pro video camera.

I'm hoping the waveform & vectorscope windows in Final Cut Pro are accurate enough for me to use for the kind of adjustment you describe. FCP's scopes might not sample every line, so they may not be as accurate as a real scope, but it's currently all I have frequent access to.

In addition to the user manual for the camera, I'd appreciate suggestions for a good book which contains similar information about pro video camera set up & adjustment, especially if it contains the sort of the why, wherefores and "reality check" info which Tim includes in his post.

Thanks again, Tim!

- Peter DeCrescenzo

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi Peter,
You're quite welcome. The DSR-40WSL is the camera that replaces the DSR-570WS (if I'm not mistaken) and includes 24p and 30p, yes? I've done alot of shooting with the 570 (always in 4:3-bummer) and it's a good camera so the 450 should be as well.

A book I'd recommend as a sort of walking tour through the Sony menu system is, "Digital Cinematography" by Paul Wheeler. It was written with the DVW-700 & 790 in mind (digibeta)
but the Sony menus are all layed out similarly and if you find diffferences, you can probably get someone on the phone at Sony to find out how they do/don't relate. In the back, he gives his settings for getting the most "filmic" look out of those cameras, if that interests you.

Another good book, although it is written specifically about the Pana SDX-900, is, "The Goodman Guide" available from Abel Cinetech in NY. It goes into alot of useful USER-FRIENDLY video reference and deals with the proper ways of shooting in 24p which you will need to know.

As for setting the flares on YOUR camera, I'd suggest doing it in a proper shop with good scopes.
You only need to do it once (in a while) for each lens as long as you record the settings and keep them handy for lens changes. That's the great thing about menus (as opposed to the old days of opening the side and greeny-tweaking) in that everything is operator-handy and easily repeatable if you keep notes.
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#8 oscar jimenez

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for all the info on video flares. I used to work in a Production Company that was the first indeed to acquire a DVW 700 in all Central America, Sony Broadcast Export ( SOBEC ) based in Mia. Sent a Chief Engineer who gave us a 1 week course on how to get the most out of the cam features and getting to know the possible effect by this features on the menu. I remember that Sony gave us 3 set up cards programmed with what they called film look 1, 2 and a special one with parameters for working green / blue screen stuff. Since Ive bought this DXC D50 Ive been trying to find some preset stuff on the web with no luck, Do you happen to know if there is any website on which I can download presets programmed for this kind of cameras or its equivalent? since not all DVW features may be compatible with DXC models. Thank you for all the incredible and useful info. It's surely great and useful.
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#9 Tim J Durham

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 10:54 AM

Thanks for all the info on video flares.  I used to work in a Production Company that was the first indeed to acquire a DVW 700 in all Central America, Sony Broadcast Export ( SOBEC ) based in Mia. Sent a Chief Engineer who gave us a 1 week course on how to get the most out of the cam features and getting to know the possible effect by this features on the menu.  I remember that Sony gave us 3 set up cards programmed with what they called film look 1, 2 and a special one with parameters for working green / blue screen stuff.  Since Ive bought this DXC D50 Ive been trying to find some preset stuff on the web with no luck, Do you happen to know if there is any website on which I can download presets programmed for this kind of cameras or its equivalent? since not all DVW features may be compatible with DXC models.  Thank you for all the incredible and useful info.  It's surely great and useful.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oscar,
If I were in your shoes, I would take my appeal to SOBEC. I suspect they have the same cards for each camera head they produce. If not, then the menu system will be similar enough that you should be able to adapt the DVW-700 settings to the DXC head with some minor trial and error.
As an owner, they should be helpful to you.

However, books like the ones I mentioned previously only happen when the companies fail to offer this sort of support in the first place. That was Robert Goodman's raison d'etre for writing his guide to the SDX900. So who knows? But call them first, then if you hit the wall, get a copy of "Digital Cinematography" which can be obtained through Amazon.com.
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