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Film Look Tutorial - Anyone interested in helping?

Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 4:24pm

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TAP2

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Hi,

I decided today that I'd start making use of my website that's been under construction for ages, and I thought that it'd be an idea to make a 'Film Look' guide, as it's a very frequent question from amateur film makers.

I've allready started, just to see what it looks like -
http://barking.freewebsitehosting.com/FilmLook.htm

I aim to cover all sorts of things including Saturation, De-Interlacing, Depth Of Field, B&C, Colour Adjustment, Focusing, and much more.

It's aimed mainly at newcomers and real amateur filmmakers, rather than semi-pros like many of you on these forums.

If you think it's a crap idea and no body would use it, please say now biggrin
If you're interested in helping me put the guide togethor please say now biggrin

You don't even have to write it, readers would be appreciated too.

It's also a great oppertunity to promote/advertise DigiGrade...

Comments please,
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 5:01pm

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NoClue

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Sounds like a great idea Tap2.

As you'll know from our chats in the chat room I have NoClue ( biggrin ) about these things and a site dedicated to helping us newbies would be really useful.

I don't know anything about this stuff, but I can read! Any help you need. just let me know.

NoClue biggrin

By the way, what is Depth of Field? crazy
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 5:17pm

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TAP2

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Thanks, I'm also looking for someone who'd be prepared to post a demonstration movie. One version with no alterations, and one version after applying the 'Film Look' stuff.

Depth Of Field is quite important for making video look good,
You can read more about it here, in this great picture-aided explanation tutorial. Of course, I'd be talking about applying it to video not images.

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/Glossary/Optical/Depth_of_field_01.htm

(Below is a typical example of how Depth Of Field can affect your work)
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 5:57pm

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Axeman

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Rating: +1

Sounds lika a good idea, Tap2.

One thing you should mention is that the most important aspect of getting your video footage to look like film is how you shoot it. If you shoot it like video, its gonna look like video, no matter what you do. Which isn't to say it can't look good, or that adjustments can't improve it a lot; they can. But if you shoot it to look like film, the results will be better.

A few basics of shooting for a film look:

Always keep your shutter speed at 1/60 sec for NTSC or 1/50 for PAL. Don't change it if at all possible.

Keep the digital Gain turned OFF.

Turn sharpening in your camera OFF if you can.

Zoom in a bit and use a high f-Stop to add depth of field.

Aviod zooms during a shot.

Avoid handheld shots. Handheld video shots are just way more jittery than handheld film shots, because video cameras are so light. If you want a handheld look, attach something to your camera to make it heavier. Use a good solid tripod and a dolly if you can.

Avoid fast pans unless you are following a moving object with the pan. (Not talking about whip pans, those are different.)

Use lighting to seperate your characters or other foreground from the background. Try to keep your character's faces lit (at least a bit) so we can see them.



These are general rules and of course are not the only way to do things, but if you want to get a film look, they are a good place to start and will help you get the results you are looking for.

Another popular technique is to use diffusion filters on your camera to soften the image.

I might have some footage you couls use for before and after stuff, I'll see what I can find.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 7:48pm

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TAP2

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Hi,

You mind if I add those to the tutorial?

I'll definitely add your name to the 'helpers' biggrin
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 7:55pm

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photogeek

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Lighting, Lighting, Lighting.

Video that was shot with no effort to light it correctly will never even come close to looking like film. No matter how many stupid "dust & scratches" filters you apply to it.

Take a look at a real film production and see how many lights they use, even for a night scene.

Video shooters, especially newbies, ignore this ALL THE TIME.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 8:04pm

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padawanNick

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Let me know what you're after for the demo video, TAP.
I'm looking for any excuse I can to play with my new GL2 smile

You can email me at nick@jushhome.com

Have fun.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 8:09pm

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Kid

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Wouldn't it be better to learn some of this stuff and try it out so that you can speak from experience rather than cutting and pasting everyone else's tutorials into your own?
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 8:18pm

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Xcession

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yeah can't help thinking this will result in a catalogue of tutorials which you'll get credit for - whether you like it or not - despite having done none of it. Seems somehow wrong.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 8:40pm

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TAP2

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Over the last few weeks I've learn't one hell of a lot at fxhome.com, I've learn't all sorts of tips from loads of people. All I'm saying, is it'd be a great idea if we put togethor a guide with all these tips togethor...

Origionally, it was going to be an editing-only tutorial, but why not involve advice about filming aswell, after all it is a "film look" guide.

I never Cut and Paste, I'll re-write most of what people say into my own words. And to be honest, if I did copy and paste everything i'd still expect some credit for putting the time and effort into making a webpage and assembling a tutorial.

Now can the ingrates please go away and leave room for helpful people.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 8:57pm

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TAP2

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The one thing I know NOTHING about is filters, so if someone could do something on those that'd be great. biggrin
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 9:46pm

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NoClue

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Xcession wrote:

yeah can't help thinking this will result in a catalogue of tutorials which you'll get credit for - whether you like it or not - despite having done none of it. Seems somehow wrong.
Does it really matter who gets the credit? Having all of these skills and tutorials together in one place would be invaluable to someone like me or Slayer. Unlike a lot of people around here we haven't been to college or film school or have any kind of background or experience with this stuff. Having just one place to go and find tips and tutorials etc would be great. I work all day so I don't have time to be searching through 50 million forum pages that MIGHT mention the word "blue" or "codec", etc, but which don't actually have anything to do with what I'm looking for!

Tap, I say go for it. smile

NoClue wink
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 9:48pm

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otteypm

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Theres loads you could write up about filters, some very basic stuff though:

UV Filters:

Control haze caused by scattering of ultraviolet light by the atmosphere, video makes the haze appear heavier when shoting distant landscapes. No real effect on the image so can be left on the camera at all times, making useful to protect the lens.

ND filters:

Reduce the light getting through the lens but does not affect the colour, useful when filming in very bright light, or to reduce depth of field.

Grad Filters:

These are basically ND filters that fade to clear across the plate. You will need a matte box to use these so you can set the grad at the correct height for the shot you want.

They are used to darken a bright sky that would otherwise bleach out when the ground is correctly exposed, different colour grads are available, orange to emphasise a sunset for example.

Polarising Filters:

It's a tricky one to explain in a couple of lines, they are used to eliminate reflections from water or glass, when filming through a car windscreen for example.

Diffusion Filters:

These are soft focus filters, the same effect can be acheived by stretching silk stocking material across the lens. Useful for dream sequences of soft porn, eek

If I get chance I will find some stuff I have shot with filters on, problem is I don't think I have equivalent shots with no filters.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 9:50pm

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TAP2

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Thanks a lot guys, it'll take a long time tho before it's complete...

I've made great progress with it, I've decided to credit as I go along aswell... So I'll put underneath each section (special thanks to ....) etc

All I really need now is a Lense-Guide biggrin
Then I've got everything I can't do out the way.
Posted: Tue, 6th Jan 2004, 10:15pm

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Axeman

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By all means, of course you can use that stuff. Tap2. That's what I put it there for.

And when you say you want a lens guide, hwhat exactly do you mean? You want notes about the lenses different cameras use, or just general info about photography lenses? Because the Canon XL-1 is the only DV camera I know of where you can change the lens.
Posted: Wed, 7th Jan 2004, 2:18am

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Gibs

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You wrote "Consumer Cameras have a habit of capturing far too many colours, resulting in fake, unrealistic footage."

I know this has been put in many tutorials, but this is not entirely true. Some film stocks do capture much less color, but some are just as saturated (if not more than) video. It really all depends on the look you are going for. For example, if the scene is a cheery sequence with a warm feeling to it, you don't want to desaturate the footage.

This is a great idea, but I would recommend getting plenty of feedback from experienced people here before posting anything on the site (just to make sure you have it entirely correct).
Posted: Wed, 7th Jan 2004, 2:41am

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FiveIronFrenzy

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WE lovesss it, preciousss...
Posted: Wed, 7th Jan 2004, 3:59am

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Mr_E_Man

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I'd have to agree on that saturation bit. I don't really know much about it myself, but just from watching some different stuff, I've noticed that a lot of film, when first captured, is desaturated, but is later given a lot more color in post.
Posted: Wed, 7th Jan 2004, 4:54am

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elementcinema

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Tint is another thing you should alter a bit. you can take the tint down a little to make it more of that grey matrix look. Ive noticed that when i take the tint down and then bring it back up to its original state it seems a little yellow. try it out. another thing i havent notice anyone say yet. well i notived someone saying to use a tripod, but also a DOLLY!! every filmaker MUST have a dolly. it is the greatest thing you could ever ask for in making a movie. Wheelchairs work really well. i have made my own. another good way to film without using a tripod or a dolly for moving scenes..get a shoulder stand (i cant remember what its really called for some reason at the moment damnit!) but those work GREAT for following someone walking or running. thats my input....for now! biggrin
Posted: Wed, 7th Jan 2004, 5:21am

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Axeman

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I did mention using a dolly in an earlier post, but only briefly. But I totally agree with you. If you want a film look, a dolly of some kind is a necessity. You will be very hard pressed to find a film that uses no dolly shots. (I know there are a few)
Posted: Wed, 7th Jan 2004, 6:48pm

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TAP2

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I definitely won't release the full guide until some more experienced people have checked it through.
I'll probably PM people who are intrerested the guide to check through...

Thanks for all the comments/feedback.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jan 2004, 1:15am

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neo_man89

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There is an excellent plugin for Premiere called "Big FX Film FX" and it does REALLY well in that area of getting your video to look just like film.
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2004, 2:21am

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Axeman

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One other thing I just thoght of if you are shooting for a film look. Really just for any shooting in general too, I guess:

If you are doing a hand-held shot, if at all possible keep your camera zoomed all the way out. The farther zoomed in you are, the more every little bumb and jiggle of the camera is exaggerated. So if you are zoomed out you will get a smoother shot.
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2004, 2:44am

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Colincsl

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Great idea. I have just become interested in film making and I would deffinatly use this.