View Full Version : Making DV Video look like film.
Jul 19, 2005, 08:56 PM
I'm looking for tips, advice, programs etc. on how to make DV Video look like film. I was hoping that some of you guys could point me in the right direction.
I've been filming in DV Video (PAL) for a short movie, and really want to give it more depth and film feel and a more professional look. I have Final Cut Pro Studio and After Effects and have a budget for plug ins, the problem is I don't know where to start I have googled a bit but it really hasn't helped me much and I'm kind of stuck in what I need to do etc.
Thanks for any help.
Jul 19, 2005, 09:20 PM
1. Turn off electronic enhancement
2. Expose for highlights (ie. protect your highlights)
3. Open aperture as wide as you can, use ND to open iris, recompose shots to maximize zoom/depth of field
4. White balance for neutral grays.
5. MANUAL EVERYTHING ie. manual WB, manual focus, manual exposure.
1. De-interlace (CGM plugins, Tinderbox 3, Magic Bullet, RevisionFX deinterlacer- used for non-film outs, right?)
2. Tiny amount of diffusion. (use Magic Bullet Looksuite)
3. Up or lower contrast according to tastes. (do not blow out highlights)
4. Adjust gamma for overly dark or overly bright scenes.
5. Last but not least, a good film is only as good as it's soundtrack.
Jul 19, 2005, 09:27 PM
thanks for the advice lacero
Jul 19, 2005, 09:31 PM
I have heard fantastic things about Graeme Nattress' filters (http://www.nattress.com)
Jul 19, 2005, 09:35 PM
It has been said that lighting is the single most important element to getting a film look but there are other elements like the film grain and depth of field.
Also 24p has a look to it that is more film like so if you can use that, if not nattress' film effects give you a 24p look and has been used by pros with great effect.
Jul 19, 2005, 10:41 PM
The fact that you are shooting on PAL will help too because you have a better looking image than NTSC (a bit more leway when manipulating the footage in post) and the 25fps looks much more "filmic" than NTSC's 30.
You might want to check out www.dvinfo.net (http://www.dvinfo.net). Their forums have a specific "make DV look like film" section.
Also, something to go along w/Lacero's list, keep yer finger off the "Zoom" button. Instead of zooming physically move the camera closer/farther away from your subject.
And I second Graeme's filters, they are awesome.
Jul 22, 2005, 03:05 AM
Theres some excellent advice in this thread, I'll be checking out some of those filters, cheers guys
Jul 22, 2005, 03:35 PM
Lacero what do u mean recompose shots to maximize depth of field. Also I like to shoot in a bit over exposure because dv needs light and it is easier to darken an image and keep the quality than to brighten one up. You might want to try to either desaturate or saturate your image just a bit i forget which one film is like.
Jul 22, 2005, 04:56 PM
Lacero what do u mean recompose shots to maximize depth of field.
He's talking about shooting in ways that allow you to keep your subject in focus while keeping the background out of focus. I won't go into the technical, but shooting video gives you a deeper depth of field as opposed to shooting film. Which is bad if you are trying to get a cinematic look. The widening the aperture of the camera creates a shallower depth of field so does zooming in.
Also I like to shoot in a bit over exposure because dv needs light and it is easier to darken an image and keep the quality than to brighten one up.
Overexposing video is bad because once picture info in a highlight is overexposed on video it's gone forever. If you are in a situation where your subject looks good, but your background is blown out you either need to add light to your subject or decrease the light in the background. This is one of the harder aspects of shooting video (especially no-budget video where you don't have much lighting equipment) as opposed to shooting film because film has a much greater latitude than DV.
Assuming you have color correcting software (such as what's in FCP 3 and up) you can actually underexpose the video slightly in production, bring it back up in post and that also helps give the footage a less "video" look.
Jul 22, 2005, 05:40 PM
Interesting it makes sense tho lethal. I figure that trying to brighten something usually looks pixelated and bad rather than just darkening and image. So i figured shoot with a little more like because in my experience if I see something on set looks good with my eyes, it's always a little darker when its on the computer/tv screen after its shot.
Jul 22, 2005, 06:51 PM
Interesting it makes sense tho lethal. I figure that trying to brighten something usually looks pixelated and bad rather than just darkening and image.
I've never been part of a production that's done it, but I've seen it mentioned a few times over at dvxuser.com (http://www.dvxuser.com). I could be something that works better/worse depending on what camera you use. If it's not underexposed by much you can use the 3 way color corrector in FCP (or any app that performs the same function) to tweak the whites, mids, and blacks separately to get it looking good. But applying the brightness/contrast filter and just upping the brightness will make it look like crap.
So i figured shoot with a little more like because in my experience if I see something on set looks good with my eyes, it's always a little darker when its on the computer/tv screen after its shot.
That's part of the "magic" is learning what will look good on tape as opposed to what looks good in person. Although I think we might be crossing terms here. Adding light to brighten the subject up, but keeping proper exposure is good. But overexposing parts of the image so the subject will we properly exposed is not so good.
And you have to keep in mind that in this thread we're talking about how to get a more cinematic feel out of DV and not necessarily shooting DV in general.
EDIT: kenstone.net (http://www.kenstone.net) has a number of very good FCP tutorials.
Jul 22, 2005, 08:40 PM
i just boost up the saturation in the final cut 3 way color corrector. Messing with the color tools can give your film a very rich and correctly toned look.
Jul 22, 2005, 08:44 PM
Make sure you have the vectorscope open to check for proper black and white levels. Generally in films, there is less contrast in the final image, but more dynamic range captured. The biggest giveaway with video are blown out highlights and shimmering edges. Film has a very clean, smooth look.
Jul 22, 2005, 09:32 PM
DVinfo.net (http://www.dvinfo.net) forums have some great info. Of particular note, this thread (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=40437) has helped me immensely in going for a film look with my GL-2.
The trailer in the above thread looks phenomenal (IMO) and the guy that made the movie is very open and willing to share information about lighting, Magic Bullet settings, etc.
Jul 23, 2005, 04:53 AM
SumDumGuy what trailer are you talking about?
Jul 23, 2005, 05:23 AM
SumDumGuy what trailer are you talking about?
His 2nd link links to a thread on another board with the link to the trailer he's talking about.