Question: How do they achieve this look

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rhett7660, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #1
    Hello..

    Ok, I hope this makes sense. When you are shooting video, how do you achieve the look of film as opposed to say day time soaps or shows that are filmed in front of live studio audience? I have attached what I am talking about. Hopefully I am explaining myself.

    In other words I don't want it to look live. Does that make sense? Is there something I need to do this? Is it the actually camera that is doing it? Post production?

    Here is a clip from youtube of a daytime soap opera:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/liddlepeep?blend=3&ob=4

    Here is a clip from a movie trailer for terminator:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4Jo8QoOTQ4

    I have also include a screen shot of two and half men. See how it looks like it is live?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #2
    I think a LOT of the look has to do with lighting. Video cameras lack the dynamic range of film and TV sets lack the dynamic range of a movie projector. So when the light for brooadcast TV it s flatter with lower contrast. I don't know the exact ratios they set up but I'd geuss they don't even have a full stop on a daytime TV show set. The flat lighting alows them to move the camera around without needed to mess with lights, like shooting outdoors on an overcast day.

    Major motion pictures can affors the time and budgt to set up lights for every shot. Every time the camera moves they can adjust lights (notice how they like to do ALL the shots from one camera setup before moving. They do a lot of out-of-sequence shoting and can get away with it because the have continueity people taking notes. The live stuff is shoot in sequence and they can't stop and set up big reflectors and walk around wit a hand held meter

    The other "big thing" this the physical size of the frame. 35mm movie file is 24m wide. This means a naarrow depth of field compared to smaller video cameras. Yes there are large format video but the live stuff is shot on more afordable equipment
     
  3. McDughf macrumors regular

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    #3
    It Is mainly to do with the way a camera captures the light / colours of a scene, and Whilst I do agree somewhat with what ChrisA Has Posted, I Disagree on this being due solely on lighting.
    In an outdoor scene we have little or no control over lighting, and yet the footage we shoot on the large studio cameras give a completely different feel to the mini handhelds we use for the DVD extras, even though they are in the same environment and therefore subject to the same shooting conditions.

    When you buy a professional camera, it gives the light sensitivity rating ( Chroma SubSampling ) in the spec. Most consumer cameras have a rating of 4:1:1, - the higher the number the better the sensitivity. The numbers are divided into the three Chroma channels : Green, blue and red ( Y, Cb, Cr ).
    Cheaper Professional Cameras Are Usually Rated 4:2:2, Whilst The Top Of The Line Gear Is 4:4:4. Standard DV Quality Is Rated At 4:1:1 Usually.

    Also, The Camera's Sensors Involved Play A Great Role In The Final Quality Too. Three Separate Colour Chips ( CCD's -Charged Coupled Device ) Will ALWAYS Give Better Quality Then A Single Chip ( CMOS - Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor ), No Matter How Much Sony Pushes Their Inventions ( But Fair Play - They Do Do a Good Job, And Single Chips Mean MUCH Smaller Cameras - Can You Say A1e ;) )

    Finally, you can alter the colour setup in post - but it will always be an "almost", never quite the same. Some Cameras Have A "Film" Shooting Mode Too, So You May Want To Research This Also.

    Hope This Helps!

    Barney
     
  4. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    As ChrisA has said, lighting technique and grading are big differences in the examples you've posted. I think the other major difference is the amount of motion captured. I'm not sure where Two and a Half Men sits in all this but most soap operas and live TV use no shutter, meaning all motion occurring in frame is captured. Films, on the other hand, are almost always shot with a 180 degree shutter, which means only half the motion is captured. That detaches it from reality and I'd hazard a guess is a big part of your choice of the word "live" in your question.

    If you want to do a bit more research, your key search terms are (in no particular order): grading, dynamic range, shutter, set lighting, depth of field. This kind of question is asked reasonably frequently on this forum, so a bit of digging here might give you something.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #5
    As ChrisA said a lot of it has to do w/lighting, the differences in how different cameras capture and process light, and the heavy color grading you'll get on a typical movie that you won't get on a typical soap opera.

    If you google "film look" you'll get a billion and one hits on the subject.

    Light sensitivity (the lux rating) has nothing to do w/chroma subsampling, it is a ratio not a rating, and YCbCr does not stand for green, blue, red (YCbCr and RGB are two separate color spaces).

    I'm not sure what you mean by "cheaper professional cameras" when until recently no video camera recorded 4:4:4. 4:2:2 is pretty much the de-facto standard for 'professional' gear with 4:4:4 only coming into play on very high end and/or very post processing heavy projects.

    Again, not accurate in the least. Are you gonna tell me that a 3CCD handicam from Best Buy is going to give better image quality than the Red One, Panavision Genesis or the Arriflex D-21?

    Your enthusiasm is good, but your info is off.


    Lethal
     
  6. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #6
    Thank you all very much......

    So aside from having a "film mode" one can't really capture the "film" look of shot with consumer hand held camera's. Is this correct? I have done a few things in post and you are correct, it doesn't look the same. Something is just a tad off.

    Re: Two and Half Men, it looks like a soap opera (here in the states) when you watch it. It doesn't look like a movie. It looks like a game show etc. Doesn't have the feel of film to me. Same goes with game shows and daytime soaps. They all look "live" if that makes sense.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #7
    Film mode on a consumer camera isn't going to get your anything that you can't do in post (assuming you have the tools and the knowledge). Google "film look" and you'll come across dozens of different guides/tutorials about how to get more a filmic look from a video camera. Is it going to look exactly the same? No. If it did people would be shooting w/handicams from Best Buy not high end film or HD cameras.

    A great book to read, IMO is the DV Rebel's Guide because there is a lot more to getting a filmic look than the camera.


    Lethal
     
  8. rhett7660 thread starter macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #8

    Yup I have been googling for the past hour or so.... Thanks for the link. I completely agree re: a lot more to getting a film look than the camera.

    Thanks for your input and help! Mucho appeciated.
     
  9. McDughf macrumors regular

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    Great Britain
    #9
    Wow, just finished relaxing after a hard week on set, and I come online to find some young upstart scoffing at everything i wrote!

    This is directed to ( and stars ;) )mister LeathalWolf.

    Firstly, my dear boy, if one of my grandchildren came up to me and asked where babies come from, or about the inner workings of a car, I'm not going to explain in precise details the appliances of sciences or the dynamics of mechanics ( hmmm, there's a song in there, somewhere…).
    So, likewise, when a person asks ( and, no offence intended here "Rhett7660" ) a basic newbie question about video, I tried to explain in a technical minimalist way, but still, with some facts and truths scattered in the midst. So when I see you tearing apart my explanations with such a conceited and arrogant mannerism, well, it just ticked me right off. So, to restore my honor, I shall endeavor to redefine my explanations, whilst casually taking your criticisms apart. And don't bother replying, because I’m not going to check back either.

    So, quiet on set, lets begin now! ;)



    Ok, firstly, I see you are to a degree schooled in the technicalities, but its now time for you to stop regurgitating definitions; think boy THINK OUTSIDE the text book, ok?.
    4:2:2 is not a ratio, it is a value, and any mathematician or professional technician will agree, which is why we say "Four Two Two", and not "Four by Two by Two", or even "Four into Two into Two". A three part ratio gives a three dimensional matrix where values are X to the Y to the Z, and not a vector quantity.

    I called it light sensitivity because I did not want to go into the nitty gritty of the whole Y=Luma and Cb is the chroma channel which is the Luma Y minus the blue values ( or range between Yellow And Blue…) etc. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to light values. Let me walk you through the park of your mind and hopefully open the gates a little ( hmmm, there's a song in there somewhere..)

    Basic colour theory 101.
    We are dealing with an additive colour system, which means all the primary colours of light add up to give white. Colour itself is the diffusion of part of the reflected incidence ray of light. The colour of an object absorbs the rest of the colour spectrum and only reflects its own frequency. Colour is basically chroma which is nothing but reflected or captured ( in the case of electric video ) light.

    I wanted to avoid this summerised ( but no way absolute technical definition ) to people reading this thread, so therefore gave a simplistic but true Name - Personally, I know it has little to do with the LUX Frequency Sampling Capabilities Of A Camera.

    Finally ( for this part ) Chroma Subsampling ( Y:Cb:Cr ) And RGB are two colour spaces, Yes, but not separate. The value 4:4:4 in Y:Cb:Cr is The Equavalent Of RGB, and therefore they are related and or directly proportional to each other.



    Depends on how you define "recently"; kid, you're probably aware that even six months in this industry is like a lifetime, so consequently 4:4:4 recording has been around for Donkeys Years. Check out GrassValleys dual link Viper which captures raw RGB data right off a HD-900F's CCD’s, and this was Waaaaaay back in 01.
    I define "Cheaper Professional Cameras" as anything that cost under £15,000, which is about $25,000 - $30,000 usd. I work in FaT, not in old Uncle Jessies "Memories Are There To Be Cherrished ( Over, And Over Again! )" ( hmmm, there's a song in there somewhere…)
    The very fact we use 4:4:4 is to try and limit the, what was it…."very post processing heavy projects" by getting the colour correct in the first place ( though, having said that, there still is a bit of play needed here and there…. { there's song in there, somewhere…..} )



    Like for like, dear boy, LIKE For LIKE!. I don't compare Aston Martins with Fords Fiestas - At least stay in the same price bracket!



    Good God you sound like Darth Vader!
    Phrases like "Arrogant Prick" and "What You Think You Know, You Don't Know" ( thanks Will Smith! ) spring to mind, but then I forget that you are just here to help people out too, and you do have some great advice to offer I'll give you that. But when you've been in this industry for as long as I have, I hope you will have learned that everyone, no matter their skill level, has something to teach, and that you wont go around trying to belittle people even if their advise may "Seem" somewhat…"Inaccurate".

    Barney
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #10
    Not trying to belittle anyone just trying to correct poorly communicated and/or inaccurate statements. One can be both accurate and explain things in layman's terms. The two are not mutually exclusive.


    Lethal
     
  11. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Wow - this thread has gone fantastically off topic and, I would say, far too technical.

    To give my answer to the original question, rhett7660, it's down to several factors.

    Lighting - shooting single-camera allows the lighting to be more modelled.
    Cameras - film cameras capture images differently to video cameras (although newer HD cameras can do the same as a film camera). The way it's shot helps, too. Movies have a lot of tracking shots (very rare the camera will zoom) and film cameras have a shallower depth of field making the images more 'photographic'.
    The other big one is money - it allows for more time, greater attention to detail, more post-production. When we record a show in front of an audience, we have to get it done in a couple of hours for, perhaps, one hour of transmittable material (so a shooting ratio of 2:1) whereas a TV drama will easily shoot 25:1 and a feature film likely more again.

    I can be more specific if you'd like, but I think this gives you the basic idea.
     
  12. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

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    #12
    Did Gandhi work in post?

    That may be the single most Zen reply I've ever read on MR.
     
  13. danimal99 macrumors regular

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    Jul 21, 2008
    #13
    I think you guys aren't getting the essence of his question. He's not asking about film look as in the lighting or effects or whatever. He's talking about that hard to explain difference in appearance of film vs. videotape, like the soaps, or the Tonight Show, or Saturday Night Live, or whatever. I think maybe KeithPratt might have more of a finger on it with the shutter issue. I've always wondered what's the reason for the difference myself.
     
  14. mstrze macrumors 68000

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #14
    Perfect example to look at are the old Dr. Who episodes or any of the Monty Pythons of the early to mid 70s where the difference is glaringly apparant as the BBC shot with videotape in-studio and on film outdoors.

    Videotaped shows just look cleaner and crisper and film looks...idk...fuzzy? less crisp?

    I first noticed this in the 70s when some Tv shows were filmed and some videotaped. Odd Couple...film, Sanford and Son...videotape.... Family Matters...film....Cosby Show....videotape....etc

    Soap Operas are videotaped, but they have been tweaking something to make them look more like film recently. I think I saw "One Life to Live" recently and noticed they are doing something to make it look less like videotape and more like film. Seems to possibly be something with shutter and something else with a softer focus.

    Can't give you any more help....maybe try a softer or hazier look to the video? Cut down the sharpness as it were?
     
  15. danimal99 macrumors regular

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    Jul 21, 2008
    #15
    http://www.filmlook.com/

    FilmLook seems to be the process they use to make videotaped shows look more like film. The wikipedia page says the processing has even been incorporated into the video cameras now for real time processing as the video is captured.
     
  16. ss957916 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Old shows were done on both formats as film cameras used to be much more portable (before lightweight video cameras), so any inserts for a studio show were shot on 16mm. Bear in mind this was then telecined before being edited into the show - so the fuzzy look of the film was because it was (cheap) 16mm stock which was then transferred onto video before being dubbed during the on-line (or more likely played in to the studio for the audience laughs and then on-lined making it 3rd generation).
     

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