Newbie looking for some advice

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by peeaanuut, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

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    #1
    So I have begun to get into video editing. I always did some small stuff along the way but nothing major and now with HD video I want to do more. My limited experience is with iMovie but I do own Final Cut Express. It was gifted to me by my parents but I really dont know how to use it. lol.

    So my equipment list is this:
    Computer: 2011 iMac base. 2.5 i5 quad 4 gb ram.
    I have plenty of HDD space internally and externally as the computer is new, but I am trying to do this with an external USB2 drive.
    Cameras: 2x Kodak ZX3 hi def cams. SHoots 24,30 and 60 fps. 60 is only at 720p but I am filming a lot of car stuff so frame speed over full HD is better for me. I also have access to a JVC averio. With iMovie I am able to convert the AVC-HD to .mov as well as the Kodak shoots to .mov but the file sizes are smaller so I am guessing compressed. I also have a Canon T2i which of course shoots full HD as well as 60fps at 720p.

    My first basic question is, how do I achieve that TV/Movie look vs a home movie look?
     
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Lighting of your scene, selective focus (controlled DOF), frame rate (FCE doesn't work with 24p!), camera angles, shoot with lower contrast/saturation, color grading in post could be a start.
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

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    #3
    Also know that storing video footage on an external HDD connected via USB will be quite slow, a Firewire 800 HDD might be the better choice in your case.
     
  4. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

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    melbourne.au
    #4
    It's 95% about frame rate. Perhaps you've seen some video cameras with 'progressive' capture? That means they do 30 frames per second instead of 60 fields per second (thanks to the legacy of 1950s technology, TV pictures were ,and still are, interlaced). The frames are then separated into fields for TV compatibility, but what matters is how the image is captured.

    Please note that I'm using rounded numbers for simplicity. Also note that interlacing per se does not create a 'TV look'. It's the frequency that matters. I hope that I haven't confused you!

    Nothing else has much influence on the 'film look'. Depth-of-field, grain, frame 'float', shutter speed etc. have almost nothing to do with it whatsoever.

    I did not know that FCE doesn't work with 24p! Anyway in that case the choice is obviously 30fps.
     
  5. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    This isn't true. But frame rate is a big part of it, in combination with shutter speed. Shoot 24p with a shutter speed of 1/48 (or as close as possible). Do all you can to shoot with as wide an aperture as possible and to never overexpose.

    Search the forums as this has been covered in fair detail before.
     
  6. peeaanuut thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    thank you all for the info. It has been helpful. Also thanks for the tip on the FW800 drive. I had been concidering one. I am hoping to find an external case as I already have tons of drives, no need to get another one.
     
  7. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I completely disagree with this. More often than not when people talk about the "film look" these days they're talking about dof. 24p and 30p have been available in consumer cameras for years now. However, I would say they are both equally important for getting the "film look."

    Having said that, both are much less important than getting quality lighting and capturing good clean audio. If you don't have either of those down, then you'll just end up with a "film like" turd.
     
  8. peeaanuut thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Im just looking to make some of my videos look more TV Show vs nightly news.

    My hand held cams that actually shoot at 60 Frames per second vs Fields look very good for the action stuff, but only because I want some slow mo out of them otherwise I am shooting at 30FPS.

    Also, if I mix videos from a 30FPS source into a 60FPS source, will the 60FPS source actually be faster or slow? Or is 1 second, 1 second? Does that make sense?
     
  9. kevinfulton.ca macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2011
    #9
    Ok, frame rates are tricky and there are a ton of them (i worked in post production and a tape room for a while). My first question would be, what model is your hand held. I ask because theirs very few that actually shoot true 60fps. Most shoot 60i (I means interlaced) even though they claim 60fps. If it is truly 60fps it SHOULD play slower, but 60i will usually be previewed as 30fps, but you may need to convert this footage to progressive to get rid of interlacing. Maybe do some test shots with pans and such to try it out. It's always great to read up on you camera to learn it's limitations. I find that my results become way better once I know my gears limitations.

    Also, the "95% of it is frame rate thing" I completely, but respectfully, disagree with. Frame rate ONLY affects the look of motion. Less fps more blur, higher frames, sharper motion. Everything else is lighting, exposure, DOF, etc. Just like still photography. Good luck buddy!
     
  10. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

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    #10
    So, all those movies with large or infinite DOF which were shot on film don't have the 'film look' then?

    I don't want to hi-jack the thread so I'll let it go, but what I have said is correct. ;)

    EDIT:
    You forgot shutter speed. :)
     
  11. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Would you mind showing your working and detailing how you'd divide that remaining 5% between dynamic range, crushed blacks, film grain, lighting, colour grading, cranes, dollies, Steadicams, makeup and skilled crew?
     
  12. peeaanuut thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12

    The handhelds I have are the Kodak ZX-3. I looked into the frames vs fields on this camera and everything I can find says frames. So it says 720p/60 Frames per second and 1080p/30 Frames persecond. The main bonus about this camera is its rugged. I lost one off a race car going into a turn at 60mph, it rolled for a little bit and kept recording then it stayed there recording till it ran out of battery. Luckily noone hit it.
     
  13. CaptainChunk, Oct 4, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011

    CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #13
    As mentioned before, do consider getting a FW800 hard drive to use as an external. When editing HD material, USB 2.0 drives can be pretty limiting (a lot of them will top out at 35-40MB/s, depending on the speed of the actual drive under the hood (and more often than not, these are going to be low-end 5,400-rpm disks). As an interface, USB 2.0 isn't as robust as FireWire overall. FireWire uses dedicated processing versus host CPU and despite USB 2.0's published top rate of 480Mbps (60MB/s), it's almost never as fast than even FW400 (50MB/s) in practice.

    Several manufacturers (WD, Seagate, LaCie, etc.) make external FW800 drives. You can either get one of those or go for a somewhat cheaper route buying a FW800 enclosure like this one and throwing in a good 7,200-rpm drive of your choice. I'm kind of partial to WD Caviar Blacks, but I also know a lot of people that are happy with Samsung F3s (fast and cheap) as well.


    Your current copy of FCE 4.0 should give you a good start, despite some of its shortcomings. If you feel you want more advanced tools down the line, there's always FCP X for $300.
     
  14. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

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    #14
    It isn't complicated. The question was about the 'film look'. A production can have the film look but at the same time can also be poorly lit, acted, funded, managed and photographed. The film look is one aspect of the footage's appearance and it has a simple answer which I have given already.

    A simple experiment:

    1. Shoot film at 24fps and project at same.
    2. Shoot film at 48fps and project at same.

    You will notice that 2. will 'feel' like interlaced video.*

    (I promise this is the last post about it).

    * Again, not because it's interlaced, but because its image frequency is significantly higher than 24Hz. Also note that projector frequency is irrelevant - e.g. a film projector projects each frame 3 times to avoid flicker. Modern TVs are 100Hz+ to also avoid flicker. But film transfers (e.g. a VHS copy of Blue Velvet) will not lose the film look on those TVs unless frame interpolation is used. And that looks atrocious.
     
  15. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    But that's never what people are referring to when they ask about the "film look". The image they have in their head is of a typical Hollywood movie or high-end narrative TV. They know a camera can't conjure up exploding buildings or Robert De Niro, but often mistakenly attribute what has come from good lighting to be a product of the camera, and miss altogether what a creeping dolly has added to the feel.

    Nobody's contesting that frame rate and shutter speed are integral, but it's certainly not 95% of it.

    You may not post again but I know you'll be reading this.
     
  16. smokescreen76 macrumors member

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    #16
    I would argue that filming at 24fps is only one of many equally important requirements necessary to get the "film look". It's a mixture of many things. Lighting, makeup, set design, lenses, camera movement, shutter speed and grading probably are all as important as frame rate.
     
  17. peeaanuut thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    what about a NAS vs a FW800 drive? I have been looking at enclosures as I have tons of drives laying around.
     
  18. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #18
    With a NAS, you do have the theoretical throughput to rival a FW800 drive, although that's hardly ever the case in practice. There's always going to be some throughput loss when passing data over a TCP/IP stack, versus FW800.

    But I have read about setups where you can bond two or more Ethernet ports together (e.g. on a Mac Pro) using an appropriate enclosure and a gigabit Ethernet switch that supports link aggregation to increase throughput (especially useful for RAID setups). It's a poor man's fibre channel of sorts.

    However, since the iMac is limited to one Ethernet port, that wouldn't be possible in your case.

    It's probably cheaper just to stick with a FW800 enclosure. You can also get ones that will carry multiple disks and (some models) hardware RAID, but also understand that even FW800 will bottleneck on two relatively modern striped disks.
     
  19. peeaanuut thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    i figure I will just get a 1TB 7500 drive and put it in a fw800 enclosure. It will mainly be a work drive and not a store drive, so I might be able to get away with a 500GB drive, but dont want to chance if I end up doing something with a lot of large files.
     
  20. peeaanuut thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    so an update if anyone is interested. I was able to get a hold of FW800 enclosure for free and I thought was all good. It even included a 500GB drive. Well come to find out its parallel. So not as fast as SATA but still pretty fast and its 7200rpm. I also picked up an Iomega tri mode 1TB drive for $75. Bus powered 800 and 400 as well as USB2 but I wont be using USB. So now the 500GB is my work drive and the 1TB is my storage drive. I am hoping it works out good in the end, so far it seems pretty fast compared to the USB2 drive I was using.

    So now time to do some real work. lol
     
  21. karlaprieto, Nov 7, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  22. mdcuk macrumors newbie

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    #22
  23. mdcuk macrumors newbie

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