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safety area?


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#1 Demian Barba

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 04:02 AM

Hi,

I've noticed that the viewfinder and LCD of the DVX-100a shows a smaller frame than what the camera records. Like the one you see in a monitor set to underscan the image. Is this some kind of safety area that i won't see once projected or viewed on a t.v? or should I do something in post to get rid of it?

The editor of one of the last projects I shot with this camera. Has pointed out that he sees equipment at the edges of some shots. Equipment that I did not see on the camera while shooting. We did had a field monitor though I decided to pay no attention to the underscaned image. Did I do wrong?


Thanks.

Edited by demian barba, 09 November 2005 - 04:06 AM.

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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 06:27 AM

If you are just planning on TV veiwing you are fine. Every NTSC monitor has about 10% saftey area, depending on the setup at the factory and TV wear.

If you do plan to project it or print it to 35mm then your framing will be different than what you saw on set. If that is the case you should turn the monitor to underscan and frame with that. beware though if you use underscan and then have a DVD release a portion of the image will be cropped.

If it is for projection and the framing is off a little, you can import the footage into Affter Effects and 'pan and scan' to get the frame right. be careful wit the pan though, done poorly it will be more jaring that the empty space around the picture.
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#3 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 07:06 AM

Hi,

I've noticed that the viewfinder and LCD of the DVX-100a shows a smaller frame than what the camera records. Like the one you see in a monitor set to underscan the image. Is this some kind of safety area that i won't see once projected or viewed on a t.v? or should I do something in post to get rid of it?

The editor of one of the last projects I shot with this camera. Has pointed out that he sees equipment at the edges of some shots. Equipment that I did not see on the camera while shooting. We did had a field monitor though I decided to pay no attention to the underscaned image. Did I do wrong?
Thanks.


For TV, the only problem is that u will loose some image left and right of the frame, and for the equipment in the frame u can just zoom it in post if u can, but not more than 10% of the actuall frame.
For a theatrical release u should mark your viewfinder at 1:1,85 aspect.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:27 AM

You really should keep the whole signal clean of equipment; overscan is not consistent and many broadcasters don't want anything unintentional in the TRANSMITTED area, which is the whole signal basically. Overscan framelines / TV cut-off guides are meant to protect you in terms of keeping important information INSIDE the overscan area, like titles, but you have to assume that things might appear OUTSIDE the overscan area on some TV sets.

In other words, in the future you need to monitor the whole signal and FRAME with some overscan cropping in mind.

I've been burned before too by consumer DV LCD screens not showing the whole image, when shooting DV shots for a feature to appear on TV monitors later.
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#5 Demian Barba

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:46 AM

hi,

thanks for answering my question.

i wonder if it would be a good idea to create a black matte to crop out the overscaned image. is that possible? i rather end up with a frame that looks a little small for certain displays (meaning with small black bars to the sides)
rather that having to wonder if every time they show the film the audience will see equipment.
i am aware too that this is something easily solved with power windows, since the equipment is really only in that little safety area. though i imagine that taking care of it in a shot by shot basis will be more expensive than just applying a matte or zoom-in equally for the whole project.

any thoughts on this?


thanks again.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:57 AM

Again, many broadcasters won't take something with mattes in the overscan area, except maybe for title sequences -- if they buy a 4x3 full-frame video, they expect it to be full-frame for the whole transmitted area.

You see old 1.37 Academy movies that are "windowboxed" for credit sequences, after which they go to 4x3 full-frame.

You may get away with it, or you may get away with doing nothing and letting the equipment appear in overscan -- just depends on how much the quality-control person at the distributor or broadcaster is paying attention. But technically, you are supposed to deliver a 4x3 full-frame image that is clean of mattes and equipment, mics, etc. in the whole 4x3 signal. But obviously some people get around this requirement.

Remember that not everyone watches video on a 4x3 CRT monitor. Some might have digital projection, or upconvert to an HD monitor, or watch on a computer, etc. So you can't count on overscan saving you.
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#7 Demian Barba

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:38 PM

Just a thought:

Why does the camera does not show you the full frame. It is made for the indie low and micro budget semi-professional market, right?
Like the kind of productions I work on, with small crews and tight schedules. The kind of sets that not always have a field monitor and even if we do I cannot be checking the monitor all the time to see if the dolly tracks are in or not.


best.

Edited by demian barba, 09 November 2005 - 01:39 PM.

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#8 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:55 PM

... What would you recommend me to do?


Video safe areas should be respected. They exist for a very good reason.

TVs & monitors, even many modern ones, underscan & overscan in varying amounts, have various kinds of plastic/metal frames around their screens, or are out of adjustment. It's quite random. This is why safe areas exist.

In future shoots you should reference a pro monitor which has a proper underscan feature enabled to determine correct/safe framing. Some cameras can display safe area frame lines superimposed on your "monitor" (not recorded) video. There are also frameline generators available you can connect between your camera and monitor.

In cases where this isn't possible, you need to leave ample room (>10%) all around the edge of the screen and your subject while shooting to more than accomodate TV safe area. Obviously this may result in less than ideal framing, but the alternative (undesireable elements within frame) is worse.

For material you've already shot, you can usually blowup/magnify video 5-10% or so in post to push undesireable elements off-screen without overly degrading the image, but results will vary depending on the quality of the original recording & format and the capabilities of your post environment. This approach is the least desireable because it may result in your subject being cropped and the image being degraded.

Clearly the best approach is to frame your footage correctly to begin with, allowing for TV safe areas. There are alternatives, but they typically involve compromises.

Just my $0.02 US.

All the best,

- Peter DeCrescenzo
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 02:04 PM

It may be cold comfort, but the just-announced DVX100B will sport an LCD that shows the entire 4:3 frame with no overscan. I am a firm believer in ALWAYS framing with underscan and overscan in mind. No two TVs show the image the same and certainly if one watches on a computer then the entire image will appear. There is no such thing -- in film or video -- as an exact frame. So presentation setups show more, some less. You have to frame to accomodate them all.
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