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Beautiful 4K Blackmagic Production Camera footage from James Miller


Andrew Reid

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I'm thinking a lot of y'all need to take a break and go into the screening room here on EOSHD.  Look at stuff that actually exists as a creative endeavor, for better or worse.  Get motivated to create rather than pixel peep.  Even if you have the latest and greatest camera, all that resolution is for naught if you're horrible at framing a composition and editing.

 

And try not to get all sad and mopey if someone doesn't like a piece of kit that you like/covet.  It happens, so what?  Does your self-worth run tandem to the gear you own?  Really?  Someone owns a BM cam and you want a Pan4K.  Fine.  I'm not sure we need to hear convoluted rationalizations about your future purchase here online.  Do we?

 

(I'm attempting to motivate myself with this plea as well...too much dry corporate editing and procrastination forum reading.  Making a dry training video turns me grumpy.  Not enough creativity going on in my life this week.)

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I'm thinking a lot of y'all need to take a break and go into the screening room here on EOSHD.  Look at stuff that actually exists as a creative endeavor, for better or worse.  Get motivated to create

This is the weirdest sentence. It's like a loopable logical fallacy.    Change the word 'despite' to 'because of' and it'll make sense.  :lol:

Your point is correct. But the users are also correct.   They are not talking about the amount of detail, they are talking about the PERCEIVED detail. To get a nice looking image you have to know ho

I'm thinking a lot of y'all need to take a break and go into the screening room here on EOSHD.  Look at stuff that actually exists as a creative endeavor, for better or worse.  Get motivated to create rather than pixel peep.  Even if you have the latest and greatest camera, all that resolution is for naught if you're horrible at framing a composition and editing.

 

And try not to get all sad and mopey if someone doesn't like a piece of kit that you like/covet.  It happens, so what?  Does your self-worth run tandem to the gear you own?  Really?  Someone owns a BM cam and you want a Pan4K.  Fine.  I'm not sure we need to hear convoluted rationalizations about your future purchase here online.  Do we?

 

(I'm attempting to motivate myself with this plea as well...too much dry corporate editing and procrastination forum reading.  Making a dry training video turns me grumpy.  Not enough creativity going on in my life this week.)

 

 

I make about 2 music videos a week for a wide spectrum of artists, very different in scope, size and creativity, so I completely understand where you are coming from there.

 

I believe an imaginative 7 year old can make a more compelling film with a cheap tablet camera then an expert RED Epic user could with their £50,000 package, if they had no interesting ideas of their own. 

 

It seems a lot of people on the forum have a very keen interest in pixel-peeping, debating about specs etc - some people enjoy doing that. It is a technical filmmaking forum after all. The users on here range from amateurs to seasoned professionals, I'd like to think there is something for everybody.

 

I consider myself more interested in ideas and creativity then the actual technical aspects (bits, sensors, pixels etc), but it does REALLY help to know this stuff to utilise that creativity to its fullest. Some topics in this forum do go off tangents and get very very in-depth about technical information, these aren't to my taste at a certain level but it is to others. 

 

My opinion is that the general user should be excited about new cameras such as the BMPC and the GH4. Because they are at a consumer price point, it means we have access to better imaging tools to make our creative ideas better and more effective. If you have amazing content, great ideas and a capable skillset, it would be far more appropiate to think your new short film will look better on the Pocket Camera than it will on the 550d. 

 

With the RED Epic/BM video, the great thing with that is the BMPC holds up in ProRes mode, and the general user of this forum will get excited about that due to the BMPCs accessibility. 

 

I haven't got a clue how Andrew Reid of EOSHD makes his money to afford all his gear, maybe from his books? Does it matter? He could have a contract with a large business making corporate videos for all I know. None of my business really. I'm just grateful I can come to this site knowing I'm guaranteed the latest update on cameras I can realistically afford. 

 

On Fuzzynormals point, my own view is content isn't king.... ideas are king. But you need the skills and knowledge to make it the best you can  ;)  Just let whoever pixel-peep, drool over specs and get randy over global shutters. The res of us can read all their knowledge, take it on board and go out to create. 

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I find it funny that pixel peepers get bashed so routinely. Even high level DOPs have done extensive tests with different cameras before using them for a project. A big part of getting the most out of your gear is testing it and getting familiar with the strengths and weaknesses. You could argue that it's even more important to do this with the low end stuff since it's going to be way less forgiving than an Epic/Alexa.

 

That said, I do think that most will see bigger jumps in the quality of their work by improving their composition/lighting/editing rather than switching camera systems. 

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The creative discussion is sort of irrelevant because it is purely subjective and every artist develops their own method, you really can't debate whether Kurosawa is "objectively" better than Kubrick, etc, etc. The only thing that can actually be objectively discussed is the craft of filmmaking. What we do with that knowledge creatively is basically up to us. 

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Spray tan? Are you using a bad monitor? Have you checked your gamma/saturation settings? Bad dye job? You sound like those blog girls that review make ups and chanel purses. Dont get me wrong, but im a man, and I like to see what the camera can show.
 
When im testing a camera, im not searching for good makeups, im looking for what the camera can capture, including bad skin texture, if the skin is like that.
 
If you are in Africa, shooting an old dude that has been under the sun his entire life, would you like to see a soft-baby skin? Please...
 
Thats not a topic about getting a job on a commercial - and let me tell you, the amount of bad commercials these days is HUGE. Maybe because those producers think like you? Anyway, thats a topic about what the camera can capture.
  
Yes, I can se his grading being used on a vodka commercial, but I cant see it selling the camera. When reviewing a camera, they should show everything, not hide skin problems. His skin is blue/green and its glowing with no texture. She looks like an alien. Is it better than a tan? We are not looking at a models portfolio, we are looking at a camera sample. If the model has a bad makeup or a bad skin, the camera needs to show it.
 
And let me tell you another thing guys. If a guy is a pro, it doesnt mean that everything he does looks good. Being a pro only means that you get paid to do something. Please, dont be a fanboy, unless you are getting paid to do it. We are all grown up guys. Being a fan boy is not pretty, if you are a big boy.
 
Those pro gradings look bad, and im pretty sure that every final consumer will think that.
 
Film convert tools and LUTs are a lost cause - and they are the main reason why most prosumers hate Blackmagic cameras. All of those videos look surreal. They are like bad impressionist art. People like to see what their eyes can see.
 
People post bad gradings, with only shades of mid-grey, compressed highlights, bad colors and color casts and use the excuse that its a "filmic" look. ITS NOT!
 
Here is a comparison between film and digital. So stop using that "filmic look" excuse! Its just a grading made by a person with a doubtful taste!
 
F1.jpgfilm_vs_digital_photography_2013.jpg



Maybe I sounded harsh and I apologize and there's nothing wrong with your grade, tbh it's impressive you got so much out of it. However its a little too rich for my blood. What I should have articulated better was, with my experience when you see an angle where the actor may not look as flattering in one shot as she does in another you don't accent the negative feature in the grade. They hide the negatives all the time with diffusers, soft light, slight out of focus etc etc. It was apparent, they way her head was tilted it showed a substantial amount of wrinkles on the forehead, I was always taught to hide that stuff. Again not to sound harsh, your grade accented it. No big deal, I felt compelled to respond, I can see your point but you could've left the fanboy comment out. Ha
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Hello guys, My name is Loris Accaries I new here , I m a digital artist/VFX/colorist .

 

I would like to share my opinion on those comment. 

 

First those Cameras are professional tools , intended for mid size/massive facilities . Blackmagic give us , the artist a new range of high end tools , but If you are not train with them you will never get the best of it, and showing us samples without any lighting, and shot on regular lenses are not going to look outstanding anyway.

 

My point is that compering a black magic 4k to a red epic is a nonsense , you can buy more than 10 blackmagic for the price of the red , and most of us will never buy a red anyway , but we can now buy something close and everyone should be happy about that !, with today post production and raw file you can basically do everything possible if you how how to use the tools.

 

If you are working on a production that have a big budget you will rely on an experienced team with good equipment anyway, your Dp will know what kind of image he want and what lenses/camera he will need , regardless of brands or trend.

 

But the worst of all is speaking about resolution and dynamic range on vimeo videos,Please, we don t even know what down scaling algorithm have been used , those things change sooo much the sharpness of a shoot ( just do the test , open any image in photoshop , rescale it using the different algorithm ) and I don t even speak about the compression.

 

I hope it do not sound too passive aggressive . :)  

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Maybe I sounded harsh and I apologize and there's nothing wrong with your grade, tbh it's impressive you got so much out of it. However its a little too rich for my blood. What I should have articulated better was, with my experience when you see an angle where the actor may not look as flattering in one shot as she does in another you don't accent the negative feature in the grade. They hide the negatives all the time with diffusers, soft light, slight out of focus etc etc. It was apparent, they way her head was tilted it showed a substantial amount of wrinkles on the forehead, I was always taught to hide that stuff. Again not to sound harsh, your grade accented it. No big deal, I felt compelled to respond, I can see your point but you could've left the fanboy comment out. Ha

 

Thank you for being sportive.

 

And yes, I understand your point of view, and you understood mine very well too. As I said, I can see his grading being used on a commercial, although I think its a cheap look. It reminds me of the "mojo" pre-set.

 

The point was not to make the model to look better, the point was to show all that the camera can capture, and that includes pimples, scars, pores etc. And to do that you need to sharpen the detail and bring the color as much as possible without bringing artifacts. Thats how you review a camera. We are not reviewing models, although its a much better job ;)

 

 

When reviewing the camera, they should do those tests more often, instead of using those gradings that have surrealistic looks.

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OMG what you did to her?!?
She now looks like whitetrash queen with badly applied tan .... eeek.
This is not grading this is disaster.

 

POST PROCESSING FOR DUMMIES:

 

Lesson 1 - My sample is NOT graded, its COLOR CORRECTED using the limit parameters of high-end, well adjusted displays. There is a difference between grading and color correction. Please, start reading again from chapter 1.

 

Lesson 2 - I did nothing to her. She looks just like that. She has wrinkles, freckles, pimples and pores, just like any other human. Have you ever got the chance to see a real woman, or do you only see them on the Playboy magazine? Because let me tell you, there is a tool called Photoshop where you can remove those defects and create the perfect body/skin. When you color correct something, you try to recreate what your eyes can see, and that includes defects. If she looks ugly to you, its because she is an ugly woman. Her skin tone was not altered, it was only saturated to high levels.

 

Lesson 3 - Calibrate your monitor. This was not processed to be delivered on low end TV's. When you want to deliver broadcast content, your black levels and the amount of saturation should be different from the ones that I've used.

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This is what happens when you have too much science in a technique not enough artistry. She's a lovely subject, the victim of hyper revealing grading. You're supposed to flatter her looks. You do realise that right?

Softer, less contrast, opposite of what's technically perfect.

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This is what happens when you have too much science in a technique not enough artistry. She's a lovely subject, the victim of hyper revealing grading. You're supposed to flatter her looks. You do realise that right?

Softer, less contrast, opposite of what's technically perfect.

 

I understand you Andrew, and I know your style.

 

As I said, if I were grading it for commercial purposes I would do it differently. I would add some split toning, I would fix her skin, maybe enhance the color/clarity of her eyes. But not when testing a camera. As I said, I can see James grading being used on a vodka commercial. Mine wouldnt be accepted. But I can also see my correction being used on a documentary, while James grading wouldnt.

 

The problem with artistic gradings is that our taste is very subjective. And when we try to make too much art when reviewing a camera, we can make people think that the camera has some kind of problem. Its not hard to find people that hate Blackmagic cameras because they think that all Blackmagic videos look surreal, have bad colors, no contrast, color casts and look like old damaged movies. And thats because that kind of "art" wont impress a lot of people.

 

There are lots of people that like the impact of the "you are there" look. My girlfriend hates me when I take pictures of her and I dont hide her pimples. I hate that "Sweet 16 Photo Book" soft glowing look. I like to see details, and Im not alone in this world.

 

When reviewing a camera, its always nice to show the full potential of the camera when recreating a natural scene.

 

Im not against art though. I can appreciate graded videos sometimes, but not every time.

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Lets talk about art.

 

The example posted by Miller is too soft. Making the entire video soft is not beautifull, its a flaw. Whats the point of using expensive lenses to deliver a soft video?? You can soften a skin texture, but making the entire scene soft is wrong. The video will look like a low resolution out of focus video. With high end codecs, like raw, you can make the skin look soft and sharpen the eyes, for example. Eyes need to look sharp, otherwise the person will look lifeless and the video will look like a distant dream. He is also throwing away good dynamic range. He is blowing out the face of the main subject. She is like a pin up girl, but he graded her like a zombie shot on a low dynamic range camera. Her skin tone is green. One thing is to add a graded color to the scene, to create a mood, the other is to add a color cast that makes the skin tone look horrible.

 

LLbv.jpg

 

I said it once and I will say it again. Applying pre-set looks like mojo, film convert tools, LUTs etc are not the way to do it. Grading is REALLY easy. You dont need those tricks.

 

And here is my simple grading for commercial use.

 

What did I do?

 

- Made her skin look soft

- Gave her a pin-up skin tone

- Increased the sharpness and contrast of her eyes, to make them stand out

- Changed her eye color, because I like blue

- Added a lot of saturation in her lips, to create a sexy look

- Increased the sharpness and the saturation of the yellow, to make her hair stand out

- Added some split toning (blue and purple) while mantaining her skin tone

 

Now I can see me gaining the contract for the commercial, while James grading would be only usable for an underground alien movie.

 

Frame000411.jpg

 

 

 

COMPARE THE 3 VERSIONS:

 

LLbv.jpg

Frame000411.jpg

image.jpg

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Sorry if my skill is not good enough for you. Do you mind sharing your work, or your knowledge?

 

Can you please share you thoughts? What do you think that looks bad? Halos? Bleeding? Crushing? Blown outs? Bad WB? Cast? Her pimples? Or are your thoughts limited to your vague, subjective and absent of any kind of usefull content observation?

 

Do you like those awesome film convert versions?

 

333328010_640.jpg

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