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Justin Oakley

I could really use some help

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Hello,

I am having trouble sorting out this annoying image noise problem.

 

Full disclosure: I am NOT a professional. Im a DSLR Guy and I just want to make some cool stuff. I posted a whole spiel in general discussion about how Im probably in over my head here. But I guess its ok for me to post my idiotic question as long as its in the right area. So Im throwing myself out there. Because Im desperate.

 

So here it is. I have learned about various lighting techniques and Ive tried to apply them, but no matter what I do I cant seem to shake this noisy/grainy crap in my footage. Sometimes its a little more subtle. But when Im editing and I see it, I cant NOT see it. It gnaws at me and irritates me to no end.

 

So Im doing some tests...going for a darker dramatic look (in my living room). I have a practical light (a lamp), a key light, and I also mess around with a fill light. It looks ok when shooting it...really dark and moody. But once I drop it into my editing software, there it is. Garbage.

 

I watch a lot of YouTubethe guys over at Film Riot for exampleAnd of course their footage is always clean and sharp looking. I put this light here, and do this, and place a fill light here...

Oh look how easy that is! Let me try. And then I jack it all up.

 

My ISO never excess 200, I use pretty fast lenses, and (to my knowledge) the exposure is alright. People in other forums have been nice enough to school me on nailing exposure and stuff. I have learned a lot. But Im obviously still coming up short.

 

Even when theres a lot of light, I can still see it...like in my gray couch.

 

What other variables could there be? My cheap POS camera maybe? Ive seen clean video shot with cameras in the same class.

 

Im just really frustrated.

 

Thanks in advance to anybody who has the time to entertain this.

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Im at work for the next 48 hours so Ill try to get a snapshot or small clip up if I get a moment.

 

Also, how does one do this? Im on my phone right now. But I cant really see an option to post links or whatever.

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Probably easier done on something other than a phone.

 

Two options. Upload them somewhere and link to them from here, or upload them here as attachments.

 

P

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Hello,

I am having trouble sorting out this annoying image noise problem.

 

Full disclosure: I am NOT a professional. Im a DSLR Guy and I just want to make some cool stuff. I posted a whole spiel in general discussion about how Im probably in over my head here. But I guess its ok for me to post my idiotic question as long as its in the right area. So Im throwing myself out there. Because Im desperate.

 

So here it is. I have learned about various lighting techniques and Ive tried to apply them, but no matter what I do I cant seem to shake this noisy/grainy crap in my footage. Sometimes its a little more subtle. But when Im editing and I see it, I cant NOT see it. It gnaws at me and irritates me to no end.

 

So Im doing some tests...going for a darker dramatic look (in my living room). I have a practical light (a lamp), a key light, and I also mess around with a fill light. It looks ok when shooting it...really dark and moody. But once I drop it into my editing software, there it is. Garbage.

 

I watch a lot of YouTubethe guys over at Film Riot for exampleAnd of course their footage is always clean and sharp looking. I put this light here, and do this, and place a fill light here...

Oh look how easy that is! Let me try. And then I jack it all up.

 

My ISO never excess 200, I use pretty fast lenses, and (to my knowledge) the exposure is alright. People in other forums have been nice enough to school me on nailing exposure and stuff. I have learned a lot. But Im obviously still coming up short.

 

Even when theres a lot of light, I can still see it...like in my gray couch.

 

What other variables could there be? My cheap POS camera maybe? Ive seen clean video shot with cameras in the same class.

 

Im just really frustrated.

 

Thanks in advance to anybody who has the time to entertain this.

 

As anyone else already said, please upload some pictures.

 

Besides that, what camera do you have? 200 ISO is not a lot, but at the same time, every camera has some ISOs that works better than another. Please specify the model of the camera, what lens and what f/stop you are using.

 

 

Bye!

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Here is a clip I have. I was testing to see just how the lighting worked. Focus is bad, as I wasn't really able to pull it off with just myself.

 

Shot with Canon 1200D (Rebel T5), Rokinon "cine" lens (35mm), aperture pretty much wide open at 1.5, ISO at 100. Also, I use that Cinestyle profile that you install on Canon cameras.

 

Shutter speed 50--24 fps

 

It's pretty much a low/no budget DIY show for me, so it's obviously amateur hour here. So any insight is greatly appreciated.

 

It's a medium(?) shot so the practical light/lamp isn't in frame. I used a cheap clamp light with aluminum reflector from Lowe's--diffused with a 5 in 1 reflector. In this particular test I didn't use fill light (hair lighting...or whatever you call it) I had placed off to my right...but those had the same issues.

 

Maybe the lights aren't bright enough? Noise due to lack of sharp focus? My cheap camera? I don't know...

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Alright, well I guess YouTube makes it look a little different after compressing it and whatnot.

 

Still looks like garbage...but a different kind of garbage.

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A $6.00 clamp light I bought at Lowes. You know, the aluminum ones?

 

And the first part of the video is the one I color corrected.

 

Well not corrected per se. But I messed with the curves.

 

Do you think brighter lights would help reduce noise?

 

I think the part that I messed with was the most noisey. That couch!

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What is the ISO and the f/stop that you used in the video that you uploaded?

 

You have a really decent lens for the camera you have. It's kinda a 50mm because the sensor is 1.6, but it's should look better than that.

 

 

Did you try the lens on f4.5 or 5.6? Because even if the lens can open to 1.5, that doen't mean that is the optimal f stop. The lens usually shine at their best on f stops a little bit higher, like 4.5.

 

Oh, and the last think. You have a expensive lens but really crappy lights. Cinematography is like audio, is a chain and if you have a crappy link, all the chain in front of that is crappy. It's like recording a guitar. If the instrument is bad, all is bad, no matter what console or mics do you have. If the cable of the guitar is bad, even if the guitar is good, you obtain bad sound. If the mic is bad, it doen't matter the preamp or the console, and so on.

 

 

If you want to shot an scene, forget the freaking camera. It doesn't matter if the scene have bad lighs (and if you have good lights but a bad actor, is like a good preamp with a crappy guitar). You need to have a good scene, and then have a good lens, and a good camera, etc.

And the lights are usually cheapers that a good camera or a good lens, but people often miss that, and is a easy mistake to avoid.

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I guess my problem is that I only recently started getting into this stuff. My first major purchase was a couple lenses. And Ive been building from there.

 

I guess I can compare it to my other hobbyhunting and fishing. One of my bows that I hunt with is maybe 200 bucks. Bare. But I have a 240.00 sight on it. I have another bow that probably cost me 1,800 bucks. Its how you use it...as the saying goes.

 

I use the cheap lights because, apparently, you can still pull off a decent lighting set up with them. People do it. Im just trying to figure out how.

 

So if I shoot with the aperture at 4.5 or whatever, and it darkens the image, just add more light? The darker the area, the potential for more noise, no?

 

Maybe I can buy better bulbs? Brighter? I dont really see how the cost of the actual housing would affect quality.

 

I dont do this for a living so I have to buy the stuff I need a little at a time...as I can afford it.

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I read something just a few days ago about how its actually better to (almost) overexpose then to underexpose.

 

The living room was dark enough, as you could probably see. And that was with two lights. Its not a big room. The second I go higher than f2, it darkens the scene considerably.

 

So try 4.5 and throw more light in?

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Man the first part of that YouTube video doesnt look half bad. But Im viewing it from my phone. Playing the freshly rendered video in QuickTime, on my computer, shows all the ugly crap jittering around in the grays.

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The only thing to be a bit cautious about is LED lights. They can have slightly (or very) iffy colour quality that can create problems when you try to achieve certain effects. Cost of the housing doesn't affect quality, it may affect how easy it is to control the light. Happily it's pretty easy to get some styrene insulating board - leave one side white for reflecting light, and paint the other side black to flag it off.

 

Perhaps I misunderstood - what sort of look are you after? If the first sequence is the graded one, it seems like you were after a sort of cool night effect.

Cost of the housing doesn't affect quality.

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Seems like your ISO was too low for your lighting, causing you to open up that lens all the way. It's a decent lens but is soft wide open. Try lighting for a T2 or higher.

 

Check out this article on NATIVE ISO for Canon DSLR. Talks about noise and dynamic range for the Canon line.

http://shootintheshot.joshsilfen.com/2010/05/13/canon-hd-dslr-native-iso/

 

Also, your talent is sitting basically in front of a plain wall which makes the image look flat. Try a different angle to add some depth to your scene.

Maybe show a side table with a practical lamp to add interest and motivate a source for you other light.

 

Just some thoughts.

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I guess my problem is that I only recently started getting into this stuff. My first major purchase was a couple lenses. And Ive been building from there.

 

I guess I can compare it to my other hobbyhunting and fishing. One of my bows that I hunt with is maybe 200 bucks. Bare. But I have a 240.00 sight on it. I have another bow that probably cost me 1,800 bucks. Its how you use it...as the saying goes.

 

I use the cheap lights because, apparently, you can still pull off a decent lighting set up with them. People do it. Im just trying to figure out how.

 

So if I shoot with the aperture at 4.5 or whatever, and it darkens the image, just add more light? The darker the area, the potential for more noise, no?

 

Maybe I can buy better bulbs? Brighter? I dont really see how the cost of the actual housing would affect quality.

 

I dont do this for a living so I have to buy the stuff I need a little at a time...as I can afford it.

 

I'm not an expert on fishing or hunting, but I guess that in that case, you need to buy a tool and of course, that tool can have different qualities.

 

With filming or recording, is better imagine a chain, and you need to know that when the chain is "weak" in some link, the rest of them get weaker too.

You buyed a really good lens, which was a great because you probably use it for years. I'm not saying that you make a mistake (and you already buy it, so...) but for now, I urge you to spend in the first links of the chain.

 

It's a little bit abstract in filmmaking that in audio recording, but I'm gonna try to explain the chain so you can understand me better (also, as you probably already noticed, english is not my main language, so sorry is some term looks weird to you). I'm not going to talk about capture audio for the film, because is just complicate things, but audio in film has his own chain to.

 

 

 

The filmmaking chain

 

 

You need something to tell (not necessary a script, but something that speak for it self, something interest to capture on film).

 

If that is a story, it have to be a good one (a good script).

 

If the story has people, you need good actors.

 

If the story need a place to be told, you need a good place (with good props, etc.)

 

(TO ALL THE THINGS ABOVE, YOU DON'T NEED ANY FILM GEAR)

 

You need that your subject (whatever it is) is properly light, because film works with light (film or a sensor, it's the same). You can use free light (from the sun, from a street lamp, from location) but you still probably need some lights gear to get the look that you need.

 

You need a lens to decide what "part" of the scene you are going to "capture" (for example, a tele or a prime, and is not the same 20mm that 50mm).

 

You need a camera that let you decide how your gonna capture. The frame rate, the ISO, etc.

 

You need a sensor (or film) to finally capture the light and transform (in a DLSR case) in information (a binary system of 0 and 1).

 

Later (after probably work with your material in a edition software) you need to render that information in a video file.

 

And finally upload it in some place which probably "eat" a chunk of the information of the render video.

 

 

It's a simplistic way of see it, I know, and maybe I'm forgetting some links in the chain. But my point is, in this chain, when you lose quality you can't get it back later. You have a good lens (you probably gonna need more than one but that's another story). Now, if I was you, I'll invest my money in the first links, because it doesn't matter the lens or the camera if the scene is poorly light. The same, you can shoot in a professional studio, with great gear and lights, but if you don't have any to say or you have bad actors, it doesn't matter.

The good news is that good lights are a lot cheaper that a good lens or camera, so I don't think you have problem to fix that part.

 

 

If you watch filmriot, you can notice that they take really serious the lighting, even if the use really cheap low edge lamps. The first episodes where filmmed with a really basic DLSR, but the lighting job is still great. I also recommend Filmmaker IQ, is a really great channel if you want to learn in more deep about how a camera and a lens works. One of the best exponent of the "youtube university" as you call it.

 

 

 

Hope I make myself clear and you find the information useful.

 

Bye!

Edited by Giacomo Girolamo

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Not sure what specific look Im going for. I guess dark, sinister, but not overly horrific. As far as color, Im not really a fan of really warm colors...especially indoors. So Im partial to cooler colors...but I dont necessarily want it to look like somebody sitting in a dark room with moonlight leaking through the windows. If that makes any sense.

 

Im new. I dont really know how to articulate this.

 

Ok, brief synopsis here: Im planning on making a short with my fiancé. In this scene, she is seated on the couch, staring blankly at the tv. The living room is lit like a normal room I guess. But Im going for dramatic...plenty of contrast is nice as long as I can sort out this ridiculous noise issue.

 

Its a transition from fantasy (violent murder) to reality. She has just dragged my body out of the tub and to the bottom of the stairs. She sits, exhausted, detached. I walk in the door. The dream stops and reality picks up in real time. I want the mood to be heavy. Uncomfortable.

 

Also, shes a redhead. So more light or less? I have no idea.

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Seems like your ISO was too low for your lighting, causing you to open up that lens all the way. It's a decent lens but is soft wide open. Try lighting for a T2 or higher.

 

Check out this article on NATIVE ISO for Canon DSLR. Talks about noise and dynamic range for the Canon line.

http://shootintheshot.joshsilfen.com/2010/05/13/canon-hd-dslr-native-iso/

 

Also, your talent is sitting basically in front of a plain wall which makes the image look flat. Try a different angle to add some depth to your scene.

Maybe show a side table with a practical lamp to add interest and motivate a source for you other light.

 

Just some thoughts.

So go a little wider with the shot to catch the paintings that are on the wall (and out of frame)? Move them down maybe?

 

There is a table by the door with a little lamp on it. And theres a 6 lamp right by the couch...again, out of frame. Move them?

 

Its just an apartment. Not super tiny, but tight enough.

 

And thank you.

 

Thanks to all of you.

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Maybe lower the camera a bit and move it to the left (or right depending) so the lamp next to the couch shows and maybe the wall paintings show a bit. It will make the wall change distance from your talent and add some depth to the shot.

Maybe even move the couch at a 90* angle so you see into the room behind talent. This allows for scene decoration and background practicals or light to add mood and texture.

This can also help motivate the lighting on your talent.

 

Of course all of this depends on whether it actually makes sense for the scene and It might not matter as much if the area is established in a wide shot.

I was just suggesting ways to get some separation from your subject and add interest to the scene based on this one shot and angle.

 

So go a little wider with the shot to catch the paintings that are on the wall (and out of frame)? Move them down maybe?

There is a table by the door with a little lamp on it. And theres a 6 lamp right by the couch...again, out of frame. Move them?

Its just an apartment. Not super tiny, but tight enough.

And thank you.

Thanks to all of you.

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