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craigbuckley

Best lights for beginner?

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They have the same kind of tint the super expensive LED panels do, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a little less :o There's a lot of talk out there about one LED panel being better than another. It's true a [i]certain [/i]extent. Parts are graded in the factory, and the premium diodes with least shift will go to the big paying branded manufacturers. Some use filters built into the diodes, but you can still do it with a gel.

The green/magenta colour shift (not the blue/orange one) is a [i]spike[/i] in frequency output, it's hard to eliminate. The magenta filter provided for this purpose just makes the light rose coloured and sickly, I don't use it.

The lLEDs in the cheap panels have around a +/- 200K temp shift, and when it comes to green/magenta spike, well that's just a "feature" ;) I've never ever had it be a significant problem once it's all gone through post. If you can afford Arri HMI and Kino Flo on every shoot go ahead, otherwise these panels are great! And can run off of (expensive) batteries.

Once you've used HMI and Kino though, it is a bit of a shame going back. But hey, the easiest way to enjoy the basics is never to sample the best, right?

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
Agreed on the 3-point thing! People are so often obsessed with it but I rarely find it looks nice. It tends to be quite flat and TV soap looking as it's often used.

Hahaha watch Lord Of The Rings and find the shot without the obscenely over-powered blue backlight, or massive HMI blasting through trees! It's pretty funny how far we can suspend disbelief.

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Thanks again.

Could someone assist me with my audio troubles? Im not getting answer on my other thread and I am pretty confused. Why wouldn't panasonic put an audio jack in the gh2? Seems really silly.

What is the way around this? I have an azden shotgun mic and I would like to monitor the audio when I am recording.. Whats the best way?

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[quote name='galenb' timestamp='1349992524' post='19640']A last bit of advice: 3 point lighting is a nice little trick (...) but I can't tell you how many people I've run into who actually keep that as an unbreakable rule.
[/quote]



[color=#222222][font=Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)][quote name='jgharding' timestamp='1350034148' post='19661']
Agreed on the 3-point thing! People are so often obsessed with it but I rarely find it looks nice. It tends to be quite flat and TV soap looking as it's often used.[/quote]

I also agree. Why I mentioned it at all: Imo it is useful as a rough guide as to how the direction(s) of light influences the look of it all. That one doesn't avoid backlight, since it can make a set look more three-dimensional. Like the rule of the 'divine proportion' or 'golden ratio' it can help you make an informed decision, that of course can deviate from the rule.

In particular I find that many confuse 3-point lighting with a set of 3 lamps. Even in some books on lighting you see the triangle-diagrams that very often lead people to the belief that if they arrange their lamps in such a way their images will look perfect - on the contrary!

[quote name='jgharding' timestamp='1350034148' post='19661']Hahaha watch Lord Of The Rings and find the shot without the obscenely over-powered blue backlight, or massive HMI blasting through trees! It's pretty funny how far we can suspend disbelief.
[/quote][/background][/size][/font][/color]

Not only funny. One way to make an image emblematic is to compose it of elements, like in Photoshop or After Effects, but not only by compositing layers, but by treating motif and background with some care. When everything you see is directed by the intention of the creator, it may look artificial, but it will draw attention and suspend disbelief. Highly stylized images are a way to tell a story. I use to go to exhibitions and take photos. The art objects themselves are dramatic, and so is the way they are presented, he light, the background, even snapshots transport the great gesture.

Surely 'realism' is also just a style, and a good photographer (not me!) will sometimes try to be at least hyperrealistic, if not surrealistic. Google images 'Gregory Crewdson'. Almost film.



[color=#222222][font=Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)][quote name='craigbuckley' timestamp='1350043406' post='19665']Could someone assist me with my audio troubles? Im not getting answer on my other thread and I am pretty confused. Why wouldn't panasonic put an audio jack in the gh2? Seems really silly.

What is the way around this? I have an azden shotgun mic and I would like to monitor the audio when I am recording.. Whats the best way?[/quote]

Your options:
• Use your microphone directly on the GH2. Even with different input levels, it will finally be an automatic level. You can't control it, so there is no need to monitor it over headphones. Doesn't need to be bad.

• Use a Beachtek (or something like this). I was often tempted to buy one, but I admit I have no personal experience with this.

• Buy an external recorder as Chrad recommends. They are not too expensive and a useful tool if you care for good audio. Good audio is often even more artificial than the image. It's composed (mixed) from various sources, and to do this in the best way, the separate events need to be as clean as possible. Speech in particular. Get a directional boom mic (I hope that's what it's called, correct me) and get as close to the speaker's mouth as possible. Let someone else capture the audio. The above mentioned Tascam for example allows two parallel recordings with different gain to always get the highest level and stay on the safe side. With an old fashioned clapperboard, it is unbelievably easy to synch video and external audio in your NLE. And you can record your own ambient sound with the good built-in stereomics. [/background][/size][/font][/color]

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[quote name='Axel' timestamp='1350054052' post='19668']
Not only funny. One way to make an image emblematic is to compose it of elements, like in Photoshop or After Effects, but not only by compositing layers, but by treating motif and background with some care. When everything you see is directed by the intention of the creator, it may look artificial, but it will draw attention and suspend disbelief. Highly stylized images are a way to tell a story. I use to go to exhibitions and take photos. The art objects themselves are dramatic, and so is the way they are presented, he light, the background, even snapshots transport the great gesture.

Surely 'realism' is also just a style, and a good photographer (not me!) will sometimes try to be at least hyperrealistic, if not surrealistic. Google images 'Gregory Crewdson'. Almost film.
[/quote]

Indeed, everything you do is part of a style, since any film [font=arial, sans-serif][size=1]—[/size][/font] other than a fixed-position streamed live feed with no augmentation or direction, perhaps [font=arial, sans-serif][size=1]—[/size][/font] is a construct of some kind, with all decisions filtered through many layers of cultural influence and stylistic judgement.

The constant backlighting in LOTR also elevates the players by using the visual language of myth and religion, they become haloed as the saints in paintings of old. it's an effective trick for drawing us into the legend. Though if you break out of it for a moment you realise how contrived it is!

A friend of mine said "you've ruined it for me now, all i see is backlights!" HAH! ;)

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Sweet guys. I am going to make a clapperboard and use that for syncing...

Question though, if I purchase an h4n, and then have my external mic go through the h4n which then goes to my camera, would I still need to sync stuff up? Wouldn't it be saved right on my camera with my video? And is this a waste of an h4n just using it as a connector, should I purchase something cheaper?

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My super-ghetto clapperboard (before I bought a real one) were two large, metal spoons that I banged together. The high-pitched frequency spiked the audio track from even a very large distance.

So yeah. That's a story.

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jgjarding,

You mention HMI lights on your site post. Have you ever worked with them? I'm curious because a very salient memory of mine is when I was driving through the Rhode Island College campus back in 2006, and there is a satellite elementary school in which primary-ed students can learn in a practical environment.

The elementary school was being used as a location for the never-aired CBS show "Waterfront," and the scene's involved Joe Pantoliano's character's daughter in school. They needed to simulate daytime, so they had these MASSIVE circular lights set up blasting into the school's windows. Considering their size and brightness, I can only assume that they were HMI. Is this correct?

I read up on HMI and it doesn't seem to make sense why anyone would use them? Never use past half-life? Can EXPLODE?! Is it only the color temperature that is desirable? And if that's the case, can we expect LED and fluorescent to completely obviate HMI at some point in the future? Or is it also the sheer throw of the lights, something that neither LED nor CFL have?

And finally, as I eviscerate you with questions, why are HMI the go-to arc lights for the film industry? Why not other arc lights, especially considering that many of them have better safety profiles?

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[quote name='craigbuckley' timestamp='1350043406' post='19665']
Thanks again.

Could someone assist me with my audio troubles? Im not getting answer on my other thread and I am pretty confused. Why wouldn't panasonic put an audio jack in the gh2? Seems really silly.

What is the way around this? I have an azden shotgun mic and I would like to monitor the audio when I am recording.. Whats the best way?
[/quote]

Wait... are you talking about audio in or audio out? There is a mic in jack on the GH2... At least there is on my GH1. It's not with the other (USB/HDMI) ports though. It's up and to the left, toward the front of the camera under it's own little rubber door. If you flip it open it says, "Mic" on top and "Remote" below. You'll need a little adaptor because it's an odd format 3/4" plug or something. Of course you'll need a mic pre-amp to plug in your shotgun and then you plug the pre-amp into the mic socket on the camera. I've never tried it before but I've heard of people going this before so I'm pretty sure there's no problem. As far as monitoring goes, well, hopefully there's a some sort of a meter or at least a clip LED on the pre-amp you get. ;-)

[EDIT] Okay I see you already know about the audio in port. Sorry, I was a little to quick on the draw there.

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[quote name='craigbuckley' timestamp='1350058814' post='19670']
Sweet guys. I am going to make a clapperboard and use that for syncing...

Question though, if I purchase an h4n, and then have my external mic go through the h4n which then goes to my camera, would I still need to sync stuff up? Wouldn't it be saved right on my camera with my video? And is this a waste of an h4n just using it as a connector, should I purchase something cheaper?
[/quote]

So yes, that would be redundant. You really only need a pre-amp like a juiced link or something running into the audio in port. Usually you can monitor through the pre-amp. Does that make sense?

Years ago, my brother made a short film and recorded all the audio on DAT tape. Afterwords we had to go through all that tape and match the takes to the shots. Man, that was horrible. Not un-doable, just not easy or pleasant in any way.

Actually, now that I think about it, the best solution for audio is to have someone else deal with it. Someone else who knows what they are doing. It's pretty much the only job on the set that I think I really would not be able to do on my own with all the rest of the stuff that needs to be done. I mean, I'm sure I could stick a mic on a stand and just record away. But I think the best results come from having a boom operator who can follow the action and dialog and who then deals with logging and stuff like that. Then I can concentrate totally on lighting and camera.

An important thing to remember about audio is that it has a lot more influence on the final result then a lot of us initially think. Just remember that when watching a movie, it's only reaching us by way of two senses. Visual and audio. It may not be an entire half of the experience our brains have to compute but it's much larger then many of us give it credit for. Also when making a movie, it's not just "Audio", it's Dialog, music, foley/sound FX. It's a whole art and science unto it's self.

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thanks galen. I did find the mic input but now I need an adapter to make my 1/8 inch fit in there.

I have always monitored my sound with headphones when I recorded video before.. I'm not sure what a pre amp is but I think I get the idea... I saw suggestions about the beachtek and others, I just am still a little confused with the whole process, (also investing another 200 would be tough, but I could if necessary).

I found an olympus digital recorder that has a mic ''in'' and an earphone ''out.'' Could I plug my azden into the mic jack on this recorder, and then monitor from the headphones out of the recorder? My audio/video would be seperate which stinks but it might be doable. Will this work? Any better suggetions?

And will syncing up be tough? I can use a clapboard, just wondering about a more efficient way.

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[url="http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Shop-by-Brand-Beachtek/ci/4/phd/4291592403/N/4294255798"]http://www.bhphotovi...03/N/4294255798[/url]

You'll see the adaptor just a little ways down the page too.

Maybe others will disagree with me here but I really think the best option for you is just a simple beachtek preamp and an adaptor.

So a preamp does three things, one is that it usually provides something called "phantom power" to your mic. Most condenser mics require a little power so phantom power is just power that's sent back to the mic through the audio cable. The second thing is that it amplifies the signal (raises the volume) coming from the mic. Then, it sends that amplified signal out to your camera so that you can record it directly into the video clips. That way, you don't need to deal with the whole logging, transferring, sorting, and synching of separate audio and video files. Finally, the third thing is that it gives you a way to monitor the audio with headphones or at least providing some kind of levels indicator on the device so you can see when it's to loud.

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[quote name='craigbuckley' timestamp='1350074165' post='19681']
Thank you for that description. I understand a lot better. Unfortunately, I can't afford a beachtek (anything over 150) right now, so maybe I will just record with my mic and hope it doesnt get too loud.
[/quote]

Actually it's the other way around. The signal coming from the mic is not going to be loud enough. And, if it's a condenser mic (I'm pretty sure it is) then it will probably requite some sort of power. So, if you were to plug it into the camera you wouldn't hear anything.

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[quote name='aaronmc' timestamp='1350065251' post='19674']
jgjarding,

You mention HMI lights on your site post. Have you ever worked with them? I'm curious because a very salient memory of mine is when I was driving through the Rhode Island College campus back in 2006, and there is a satellite elementary school in which primary-ed students can learn in a practical environment.

The elementary school was being used as a location for the never-aired CBS show "Waterfront," and the scene's involved Joe Pantoliano's character's daughter in school. They needed to simulate daytime, so they had these MASSIVE circular lights set up blasting into the school's windows. Considering their size and brightness, I can only assume that they were HMI. Is this correct?

I read up on HMI and it doesn't seem to make sense why anyone would use them? Never use past half-life? Can EXPLODE?! Is it only the color temperature that is desirable? And if that's the case, can we expect LED and fluorescent to completely obviate HMI at some point in the future? Or is it also the sheer throw of the lights, something that neither LED nor CFL have?

And finally, as I eviscerate you with questions, why are HMI the go-to arc lights for the film industry? Why not other arc lights, especially considering that many of them have better safety profiles?
[/quote]

HMI's have an insane throw. We used one, at a harbour, and, it appeared brighter than the lighthouse light :P

Also, during a shoot, an HMI in a fresnel exploding, and the glass cover, exploded with it. My friend and I, missed the huge piece of hot gladd, flying at us, by a few seconds. We didn't have time to move, cause it was too quick. It was a close shave.

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[quote name='galenb' timestamp='1350075713' post='19682']
Actually it's the other way around. The signal coming from the mic is not going to be loud enough. And, if it's a condenser mic (I'm pretty sure it is) then it will probably requite some sort of power. So, if you were to plug it into the camera you wouldn't hear anything.
[/quote]


its actually powered with 1 AA battery, which is pretty convenient. Can you recommed a cheap, but still good preamp?

Would this be work? (still a little too high)

http://www.amazon.com/JuicedLink-Minijack-Camcorder-Preamplifier-Disable/dp/B004VG27IC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1350044844&sr=8-3&keywords=juicedlink+cx211

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[quote name='craigbuckley' timestamp='1350071490' post='19678']And will syncing up be tough? I can use a clapboard, just wondering about a more efficient way.[/quote]

Actually, you won't need any visual clue (clapperboard) to sync external audio. The GH2 captures the same sound, and all you have to do is identify them. You could say [i]scene two,[color=#ff0000] t[/color]ake three[/i]. The t in take is a perfect pike to set in-points for both sources, also visible in the audio waveform. What NLE do you use? The synching is automated in FCP X (like plural eyes), and it is quite straightforward manually in other NLEs. I hope your NLE can 'marry' the video to the new audio. The main task is to keep track of the tracks, as galenb mentioned.



[color=#222222][font=Helvetica Neue', Arial, Verdana, sans-serif][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)][quote name='aaronmc' timestamp='1350065251' post='19674']I read up on HMI and it doesn't seem to make sense why anyone would use them?[/quote]

Yes, as sanveer said, they have about three times as much light power as halogen (relative to the power they consume, 275W HMI equal about 800 W halogen), and the light is daylight. 'Daylight', on the other hand, can be between 4000°K and way over 10000°K, and a camera (not your naked eye) sees differences in steps of about 300°K, as a slight, but distracting cast. The HMI light says: sun! You don't have to bounce a sun shadow, you can nuke it away with HMI. Joke.

There is another rule: Light loses intensity very fast at greater distances. But greater distances are what you need on a big set. With LEDs, you brighten surfaces a few feet away, but from, say, twenty feet distance they have no more effect.[/background][/size][/font][/color]

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I use FCP X @ Axel...

Preamp is looking like the answer...

How does this set up look

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004VG27IC/ref=gno_cart_title_2

with the following cable

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00291N83O/ref=gno_cart_title_1



Will I be good to go?

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Yeah, I guess so. I've never used either of the Beachtek or Juiced link though so I can't really say. I know Juiced link because it seems everyone and there mother has one but the Beachtek seems to offer more at a lower price. Although, as it seems here, the juicedlink is cheaper but doesn't offer XLR in. I don't know, maybe someone else can chime in.

About the cable: I think that one is actually to long. Usually you mount the box to the camera. In the case of the Beachtek, you mount it to the tripod and then mount the camera to the box. There are nice mounting points above and below. It looks like the Juiced link has mounting points too but it looks like they are mainly meant to be mounted to a rig that holds the camera and not necessarily to the camera it's self. Anyway, Beachtek make's a little cable that runs from the box to the camera in a few inches. I suppose you could just wind up the cable and tie it down somewhere but it seems kind of silly as I don't see it sitting anywhere except under the camera.

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