What makes the videos on Apple's site look so clean ?

fisha

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 10, 2006
165
11
From time to time, i like to dabble in making my own videos. But until now, i've been just using basic normal res DV formats.

One of the things i've noticed more recently is that when you see a video from the apple site, it seems to look really 'clean' looking. An example would be the most recent video of the tour of Leopard. Its nicely sharp and crisp.

Another one which springs to mind was the short clips of various movie makers such as the Cohen Brothers talking about Apple Macs and the ProRes format etc. Each of them seemed really crisp and clean.

Is that something that can be acheived with more average kit ? Or is it really realm of the pro stuff. How do they manage it ?


by average kit i mean a typical HD camcorder as a source.
 

Sdashiki

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2005
3,515
8
Behind the lens
Digital video looks like crap unless you properly light your scenes, and then probably run the footage through some filters and corrections.

Id assume they are using something better than what you can probably afford, maybe not, but it would make sense.

They obviously use a nice lighting setup as well as tweak during and after the shoot.

Youd be surpised how "clean" and "professional" your video would look if you shot it on a huge studio with a white backdrop and alot of lights to eliminate shadows.
 

coldmember

macrumors newbie
Jan 15, 2007
26
0
From time to time, i like to dabble in making my own videos. But until now, i've been just using basic normal res DV formats.

One of the things i've noticed more recently is that when you see a video from the apple site, it seems to look really 'clean' looking. An example would be the most recent video of the tour of Leopard. Its nicely sharp and crisp.

Another one which springs to mind was the short clips of various movie makers such as the Cohen Brothers talking about Apple Macs and the ProRes format etc. Each of them seemed really crisp and clean.

Is that something that can be acheived with more average kit ? Or is it really realm of the pro stuff. How do they manage it ?


by average kit i mean a typical HD camcorder as a source.
In a word, lighting. It's evenly light and the intesnisty is not too harsh and not too soft. Good lighting will allow even an off the shelf Walmart variety camcorder to yield good footage.
 

juanm

macrumors 68000
May 1, 2006
1,572
2,987
Fury 161
An iSight, a pair of ikea lamps, and iMovie... It's said that Steve Jobs does them himself... or... a 2K digital cinema camera head, twelve Arri pars, lots of professionals, Shake, and Final Cut Studio. ;)
 

prs986

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2007
105
1
Central CA, USA
And not to mention using the right tools to compress the video for web delivery. And also notice the videos are static, there's not much movement. When you compress a video, camera panning and a lot of movement from the subject make video pixelate a lot more after compression. Programs like Compressor and MpegStream Clip are great tools for compressing video.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,617
438
Redondo Beach, California
One of the things i've noticed more recently is that when you see a video from the apple site, it seems to look really 'clean' looking.
They use a ton of light and more importently they control the lighting contrast, that is the difference between the exposure in the highlights and the shadows. You can do this on the cheap with some 500W Home Depot quartz work lights and large panels of white foam cre used as reflectors. It helps if you own a hand held light meter so you can measure key and fill lights seporatly. Any 20 year old SLR will work as a light meter. Meter you key light first, with the others off. Set that one "right" then meter the others one at a time. No different then lighting a studio still portrait. Video lighting is MUCH harder if the subject is to walk around on the set but notice they don't do that. These are "moving still shots"

And then there is the design and composition. Very simple compositions and plain backgrounds. Not only do they have a clean "look" but they compress well for the web without artifacts.

DV is good enough is the target is the web. but I'll bet they use a three-chip camera.
 

trudd

macrumors regular
May 27, 2004
206
0
Texas
I think the OP was referring to compression...

I'm curious as well.

Good lighting? Duh. Good camera? Always.

But what compression are they using?
 

disconap

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2005
1,800
2
Portland, OR
They are probably using Quicktime Pro to compress the final product. It would make sense, since it's their baby. They actually have a guide to optimizing video in QTP on the Apple site; I use it, and it makes a pretty big difference...
 

fisha

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 10, 2006
165
11
I have to admit, i hadn't thought sooo much about the lighting aspects making such a huge difference, but it makes sense.


As mentioned a couple of posts above, i was also more interested in the format and compression . I guess they must film in a HD resolution - even when aimed at the web. Is it generally the case that if you filmed in HD with a view to reducing the output resolution ( say to 50% ) , that the picture would sharpen up noticably better and look crisper and cleaner than say a camera which recorded at the lower 50% reolution from the outset?

Compression wise, i'm assuming it must be QTP ... i'll need to look more into that guide you mention.
 

bkvideography

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2007
95
0
H.264 at 1500-2000 kilobits per second compression. Shoot any HDV footage, export it through quicktime at the same data rate, same codec, and it will look pretty close.
 

hannasdeli

macrumors newbie
Feb 27, 2007
11
1
Quite hard

I am a profesional video producer and I have been working for many large corporations. I started with a semipro MiniDV camera (Panasonic DVX100) and I have been struggling to improve the image quality of my productions. I was always wondering "what do I wrong?".

I currently work with pro Digital Betacam, DVCPro50 and DVCPRoHD camcorders. I can tell you that just the lenses and the sensors of these cameras will blow your mind off in terms of image quality. But the HUUUUUGE difference was obtained when I started hiring a competent director of photography and started using a LAAAAARGE lightning kit. It's a total different league for not that much more money. The results are spectacular... and even using a less profesional camcorder like the ones in HDV format you can achieve amazing results.

BUT the truth is that the higher you are in the image quality ladder, the more effort you need to make the slightest improvement. The difference between a consumer camcorder and a DVCPro50 is huge. But it is not as dramatic when you compare DVCPro50 with DVCProHD.

And then, even a lousy flash compression will yield spectacular and clean results. Of course, H264 in static images will look superb!

So my advice is get a good HDV camera or even the Panasonic HVX200, find a friend who is a good director of photography and optimize your filming schedule... while hiring good lights, matte box, filters and microphones. You will be in another video dimension in no time.

Best of lucks.
 

fisha

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 10, 2006
165
11
hmm ... you mean thats not a good setup . . . . :rolleyes:

back to the drawing board . . . :cool:
 

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