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David Cox

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About David Cox

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  • Birthday 10/04/1970

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    Digital Image Technician
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    london, UK

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  1. ...check your chosen post house can work with 4:4:4 "dual link" HD CAM SR images. Not every HD system is set up to accept this format. David Cox Concrete Post Production www.concretepost.co.uk
  2. Hello, A cheaper camera will not capture as higher quality image as a more expensive camera. That?s the same as a cheap microphone versus an expensive one. Apart from highly compressed images to suite a more domestic work flow, the optics on lower end cameras let them down somewhat. It?s a different story for post production hardware and software. Within reason, they all do the same thing ? its just the feature set and render times that mainly differ. Then it comes down more to personal ability. In the same way that buying a more expensive pen doesn?t make you a better writer, buying a Flame doesn?t make you a better compositor than if you bought After Effects. That said, there are one or two functions that are done better by some software than others. For example, stabilising a shot will soften the shot more in badly written code. Rendering time does have an impact on creativity and final quality though. If that last tiny tweak takes two hours to do, you are less likely to do it that if it takes 10 minutes to do. That?s how it affects final quality. Hope that helps. David Cox Concrete. www.concretepost.co.uk
  3. Remember not to associate issues found to a greater or lesser degree with HD cameras, with the use of HD in the post production chain. If by "video artefacts" you might have been looking for flattened highlights, noise etc, these are actually issues at the camera end, not the digital recording end. Uncompressed HD 10 bit 4:4:4 as a DI storage medium has the same data holding ability as 2K when applied to a 1:1.85 cropped image. 2K gains if the film image is "full height anamorphic" since 2K is film-frame shaped and HD is of course wide-screen (ish). So your described route is a very efficient and high quality one. David Cox Baraka Post Production www.baraka.co.uk
  4. If you could get over the record to card issue, the variable frame rate features would work really well for the subject matter you mentioned. Unlike it's bigger brother, the Varicam, which does record HD to tape, this camera is able to easily replay slow or fast motion shots without further processing. Remember that once a card is full, you can just copy it to a laptop or dedicated "firestore" to free up your card. If you have two cards, then this allows practically continuous running since one card is recording while the other is copying. Although that is a bit of a workload for one person up a mountain! David Cox www.baraka.co.uk
  5. Well in essence the answer is that you can work the way you have suggested and it will ?work?. But there is a whole minefield of technical and creative issues that get thrown up that could badly affect the quality of your production. This list is very long and the answers to all of these issues will have been posted here individually previously. For example, your choice of digital medium will affect whether (on one hand) your Mac can handle things or (on the other hand) the image quality is adversely affected. Having all your material on a single disk drive that developes a fault will mean the loss of your film. The choice(s) of software will dictate what tools you have availabe to you and how long you have to wait processing your work. Also remember that just because you have the tools to do a job, doesn?t give you the right to do that job well. Buying a saw doesn?t make you a carpenter. David Cox www.baraka.co.uk
  6. As mentioned before, 16 is not ideal for muliple passes because it does show significantly more weave than 35, even after transferring through a spirit. Also due to the high grain size, stabilising is not as accurate because the grain effects the trackers. Also, subtle stabilising inherently causes softness to be added to the image to a lesser or greater degree, depending on the software used. I would really, really recommend 35mm for your project. Maybe 3 perf would help a bit with cost, assuming you could get a camera that supported the frame rates you need and that you were not going directly to theatrical print (which would then need a 3 to 4 perf optical process). David Cox Baraka Post Production www.baraka.co.uk
  7. Where this would get complicated is that, since this is a drinking game, the treatment that would look the most ?real life? would be a hand held camera ? perhaps a camera on a cell phone as if shot by a witness. That would then give rise to the issue of having multiple passes all line up. If this were required, I would very carefully consider the angle and shoot a ?master? hand held plate that had all ten balls being thrown as closely as possible to the 10 cups that actually already have balls in them (assuming the angle allows you to see them after they have landed in the cup). Then I would remove the balls from the cups digitally until then have landed and remove them shortly after they have left the throwers hand. This would give a hand held plate where the balls are thrown, then they disappear, then they ?pop on? in the cups. Then I would lock off the camera at an average angle to the hand held shot, and shoot 10 plates of balls being thrown into each cup. Roto those and track onto the master plate (they would most likely be blurred until they impact the cups anyway) and you?ve created a believable VFX shot that is not compromised by having the camera locked off. You could also generate the flying balls with 3D animation, but if you can use the real thing it will be cheaper and probably more believable as each ball would land in the cups differently. David Cox Baraka Post Production Ltd www.baraka.co.uk
  8. Brian - you kick up a couple of good questions here. (1) For later digital grading, is transferring to disk better than transferring to tape? That depends on the format that the data is saved in. It could be worse if it is too compressed. It could be the best way if the material is saved as high bit depth, high resolution files. This is how pro DI's are done. The problem with the latter, is you need big fast disks and computers to work with them. (2) Why shouldn't I save money by avoiding an expert colourist? You could save money all the way through the film making process doing this. You could write the film yourself, do the make up yourself, do the catering yourself. But a writer will write better, a make up artist will do the make up better etc etc. So its a case that yes you can technically perform the role, its a question of whether you have the skill to do it as well. A limited budget might force your hand on this one though! (3) Is a colourist only there to corrected filming errors? The term "colour correction" is a bit misleading. Yes - it can help with exposure issues or matching scenes cut to cut shot in different available light, but you would be missing a very big trick if you only ever see a colourists role as a technical process. If you look on the colourist as a second bag of filters for your camera, you will see that their role is to extend the range of looks available to you as the DP / Filmmaker beyond what you can practically do in camera. This might include things that you can't do in camera, but also includes things that are risky for you to do in camera because there is no "undo" function should another party (such as the client) not like the look you are proposing. Hope all that helps! David Cox Baraka Post Production www.baraka.co.uk
  9. No - not as long as your editor has done things properly. If you were to go back to the neg, you would grade and transfer just the shots you have used in your final edit, and lay them to tape on the same timecodes that your one-light versions currently use. Then your editor will use an EDL (edit decision list) to autoconform the new shots using those timecodes. A note for the future - if you plan on doing a tape grade then be aware that many "one light" transfers don't form an ideal base for this. This is because many labs use old telecines with no noise reduction for one-lights, so you end up with unnecessarily grainy material to start with. A "best light" transfer is better as a base for further grading. David Cox Baraka Post Production Ltd www.baraka.co.uk
  10. This is a common misunderstanding when working with different frame rates. Your sound was not recorded at 24FPS - there are no frames in sound. A second of sound is a second of sound. As long as your pictures are either played back at their natural frame rate, or there is a proper frame rate conversion that does not affect film length, then your sound will still be the right length. If on the other hand you are playing your 24FPS film at 25FPS, then you need to speed up your sound by 4% and ideally pitch correct down by the same amount.
  11. As Francesco mentioned, shoot the guy then shoot the car crashing into a dummy. Most of the effect is a cut because the dummy will have moved so far out of position on the first frame after the car strike, that a slight mismatch between the actor and the dummy is irrelevant. However, to avoid a jump in the background action and to allow the car to "make contact" with the actor, a few frames of the car would be rotoscoped over the actors pass. Because this has a locked off camera and the car covers the moving parts of the background action, this is relatively straight forward, although takes good planning to be aware of those issues. We do quite a few "invisible joins" for various projects. Sometimes to get from stuntman to actor, sometimes to get from cat to puppet-cat-about-to-be-decapitated, of an infamous ford viral! Here's a link to a set of slim jim commercials we made last year. They each feature a real life amateur clip over which we had no control. We then took new, especially shot material and stitched it onto the original, to make a new longer shot. In the "Mud King" and "Rail Slide" we also added a CG crash helmet to the original footage. www.baraka.co.uk/projects/slimjim
  12. I see what you're saying, but how do you make the comparison if you don't do the exact same thing both ways (optically and DI), in which case you should probably only do it optically because that would be cheaper. I guess my point is that there is no point saying one is better than the other because they are both ultimately intended to provide different things, so there isn't really a comparison to be drawn.
  13. You shouldn't really ever have the opportunity to compare, so thats a bit of a bold statement. :D The point of doing a DI is to do things you can't do in the lab - for example grading parts of the frame. So there should never be a point when it is possible to compare the two. Besides, modern film makers can't make their mind up without seeing 50 different options, and thats a bit expensive and time consuming in a lab!
  14. DVCPro50 is a 4:2:2 recording format so should give you results very close to digi beta, if not the same. Hope that helps! Good luck with your shoot. David Cox
  15. DVCam is not ideal for green screen work because the recording format stores lower resolution colour information. This will lead to less satisfactory edges to your composites. A better solution would be to use a recording system that allows at least 4:2:2 recording (which still has half resolution colour) such as Digi Beta. I am assuming that if you are shooting DVcam that a 4:4:4 (full colour resolution) camera and recorder, such as an F950 and SRW1 recorder is out of the question. Realistically capturing via component or firewire is less of a problem than what the recorder does to the image once its got it. Staying digital is preferable though, as component connections could introduce noice or other errors if not correctly checked. For shooting inside cars, an important issue is the flatness of the green screen. The more uniform the colour of the green across the screen, the more chance the compositor has of capturing reflections from glass and motion blur from hands moving across the screen. Alternatively you might choose to remove the glass and add refections later, but this can be a bit of a fudge for certain angles. David Cox Baraka Post Production www.baraka.co.uk
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