Shooting a flat image with an FX-1

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Re: Shooting a flat image with an FX-1

Postby gedion4000 » 23 Sep 2011 09:49

by super8 i meant Hi8 lol

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Re: Shooting a flat image with an FX-1

Postby acgold7 » 23 Sep 2011 19:31

Okay, slow down, my friend. There are a lot of problems here but you are on the right track.

As with anything, you need to knock down one variable at a time. You're doing a lot right but you are doing a lot wrong. HDV can be complicated and the FX1 and Premiere in combination can be a bit daunting. It is almost as if they are conspiring to drive you crazy.

I'm going to look at your video and go through your post a line at a time, editing as I go, so check back periodically as it may change ;-).

I'm also going to take the liberty of correcting spelling and such, not because I'm a pedantic control freak but to help with search results in case others may be seeking help on these same issues.

Stay tuned....

Okay, I looked at your video and it isn't bad. I shot a lot of Hi8 and it isn't even close. Your stuff is clearly HD but you're right, it could be better. Some of this is what you did and some is due to the limitations of the camera. The FX1 is a few generations old and the truth is it produces a very film-like, soft image compared to the latest generation of HDV or even AVCHD cams. The chip is 1440 rather than 1920 and while most people don't notice the difference, you might. It won't have that punchy, razor sharp image of a Z5 or an NX5 but if you want a film-like image you don't want that anyway.

That being said, let's look at your settings:



GAIN SETUP: 15dB(keep trying to knock it down but it always reverts back to 15dB) I think you're not understanding this. This is merely setting the desired values for the hard switch on the side of your cam, telling it what values you want to assign to H, M, L when you go to manual mode. If you are in Manual Mode and you are switching it to H and H is designated to 15dB, then that's what you will get no matter what. Try M or L and see what it does.


SHARPNESS: 15 Okay. Try 7.
AE SHIFT: -1 Okay. Try -3
AGC LIMIT: 12dB If you are seeing grain, try 9 or even 6, but you must be in Auto. This has no effect if you are using manual Gain.
WB SHIFT: 0 Good
CINEMATONE GAMMA: OFF Try ON. This will flatten out the color curves and make it more film-like, if that's what you are going for.
CINEFRAME: CINEFRAME30 Oh, God, no, turn this off. All fake progressive modes kill your picture. Don't ever do this. It's not as bad as Cineframe 24 but it is pointless.

All this assumes that you save this Picture Profile and then turn your Picture Profiles ON and select the right Picture Profile. You will have six to select from.

Now let's go to what you did afterwards. You certainly didn't do your video any favors.

gedion4000 wrote:I imported the video using firewire into adobe on location(would have used premier but it wouldn't capture in HD for some reason) ....
Well, okay, but onLocation isn't an editing program and we don't know what settings you used and what that program might have done to your video on import. Is your copy of Premiere paid for, registered and activated? If not, it won't work with HD in any form. Which version are you using? If it is an officially purchased and paid for, registered and activated version, then you must be very sure all your settings match. You must be sure you have an HDV project set up, and both HDV Capture and HDV Device Control must be selected in the Capture Window in Premiere. When you say "wouldn't capture," what exactly do you mean? What did you do, and how did Premiere respond? Did you get an error message, and if so, what message did you get?
gedion4000 an AVCHD clip.....
Why? You shot HDV (m2t) and you should import as such. If you converted to AVCHD (m2ts, mts) you may have introduced some loss into the process. Not sure because I have never tried importing via onLocation so I am not sure what that process might have done to your video. It is a creative workaround to be sure, but I would not advise it in the future. You should figure out why Premiere would not import and then set up a proper project in Premiere and import through Premiere's capture function.
gedion4000 imported as 1440x1080, screen aspect ratio at 1.78 and pixel aspect ratio as 1.33 at 29.97fps, codec MPEG2(192MB), freq 42000 and 2 channels. ....
This all sounds fine.
gedion4000 wrote:... and rendered out of after effects(wanted to try stabilizing it) ....
Any stabilizing effects will hurt your quality as well. It's okay in an emergency when you are willing to make the trade-off but not a good idea when you are trying to judge the image quality of your cam in a test run. Again, one variable at a time. Not fair to judge the cam after you have done this. Same reason you would turn EIS off if your cam had it.
gedion4000 wrote: settings, lossless and as .m2v...
If you are using CS5 or later, there is a YouTube HD preset you should use that is optimized for that platform and it looks great.
gedion4000 wrote:...i know YouTube isn't the best way to show quality in a video but look at it, it still looks bad. my super8 camera i had back in the day does just as good. there's no sharpness to the image, all the lines are fuzzy and the dark areas are still grainy. do you guys have any idea whats going on here? import settings? bad firewire? crap camera? id hate to think i have a HDV camera that's stuck in the 90s as far as quality.
The dark areas looking grainy are the gain issues, which I think will go away if you keep the gain below 9 or, certainly, 6. Use the Profile and keep AGC Gain Limit to 6 or 9 and keep the Gain on Auto, or lock the Manual Gain to that level by using GAIN SETUP to set to whatever levels you want and then setting the H, M, L switch to the right position.

Take a deep breath, take it one step at a time and you will find that the FX1 and Premiere are a great combination that will net you great videos. But they take a while to master.

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Re: Shooting a flat image with an FX-1

Postby Stephan » 15 Oct 2011 00:04

Hey gedion4000 - seeing you back on the forum,

In a few words, it seems to me you used an overly complex workflow (multiple conversions from HDV to AVCHD to MPEG2 through After Effects, with stabilizing effect to make it worse). In video, complex processes don't make it better, they degrade quality instead every step of the way. Especially stabilization. OMG, stabilizing interlaced video!!!

For the moment, you need to keep it simple without format conversions:
- One software that captures, edits, renders. Adobe Premiere CS5 - fine.
- One format: HDV. Capture HDV, edit HDV natively, render HDV out, upload HDV to YouTube (that's what I do - straightforward, best quality).

Does this answer your question?

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