Latest post Tue, Mar 18 2008 10:05 PM by jwrl. 9 replies.
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  • Sun, Mar 16 2008 6:15 AM

    • Dreamer D
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    Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    Hi everyone,
    I have AXP Academic and after capturing to my PC, the footage is super dark.  It's really frustrating because I was so careful with my lighting, and it looks great in the little screens on both the camera I used to shoot (Sony PD150) and the little camcorder I use as a deck (Sony HC38).  I thought maybe it was my monitor and have been researching on the internet how to calibrate it but the adjustments I can make have different results than what all the websites tell me should happen.  It's just a regular flat-screen monitor from Dell.  Is there a setting I need to adjust somewhere else?  My graphics card is an nVidia Quadro FX550.  I have a lot of stuff to work on and this has me really stressed.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    D
    Avid Xpress Pro v5.8......Dell Precision Workstation 390......Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13GHz/Dual-core)......Windows XP Pro (SP2)......2 GB DDR2 ECC SDRAM... [view my complete system specs]

     

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  • Sun, Mar 16 2008 7:20 AM In reply to

    • Butcher
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    You can't accurately judge color on your computer monitor.  You really need an external broadcast monitor that's properly calibrated to judge accurate color.  For that you'll also need a Mojo to ouput the video, preferably Component with a normal Mojo or SDI with an SDI Mojo (provided you have a monitor with SDI inputs).

    Otherwise, you'll be left guessing.  My monitors are incredibly dark, but I review edits and color correct on an external monitor.  Plus, you should run your video through a waveform and vectorscope if it's going to be broadcast, that way you can ensure your video levels are within broadcast specs.

     

    Michael.

    EDIT:  I just checked your profile and recent posts.  I see you're a student.  Therefore, I understand if buying a broadcast monitor isn't in the cards right now, since they can get expensive very fast.  So if you have a deck that takes firewire input and can output composite, S video, or best of all component, try running your video through your deck to a normal TV.  Import your SMPTE bars into Avid and try to calibrate it the TV as best you can.  It still won't be as good as a broadcast monitor, but it will be better than using your computer screen.  Just a thought, if buying the right monitor is cost prohibitive.

  • Sun, Mar 16 2008 8:50 AM In reply to

    • Dreamer D
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    Yes, I'm a student using Academic version of AXP - software only, no Mojo.  I'm only using the Sony cameras I mentioned earlier as decks.  I have no idea how I would connect them to my TV, which is also a flat screen, but I'll check the user manuals. 

    At school, we never really used our little TV monitors - I always worked off the flat screen monitors at our workstations and got great results.  I was shocked to see this beautiful picture on my camera's LCD screen show up as dark and muddy in my home Avid after capturing.  I would think that the settings of the monitor would only affect how you view the picture, not how it is captured into the software.  I didn't realize that the brightness/contrast/gamma, etc. of my monitor would make a difference on the digitizing, even though lighting conditions during shooting were optimal.  But apparently, it does.

    I'm working on a couple of projects right now -- some will only be uploaded to the web, but one is for Public Access TV, so I need it to look good.  Funny thing is, I just used the nVidia Display Optimization Wizard and they display color bars while making adjustments.  It all appears great when looking at just the monitor.  However, inside Avid the footage and color bars look muddy and weird.  I read something in another thread about Overlay?  Maybe I need to turn that off or something?

    Help, please.
    D
    Avid Xpress Pro v5.8......Dell Precision Workstation 390......Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13GHz/Dual-core)......Windows XP Pro (SP2)......2 GB DDR2 ECC SDRAM... [view my complete system specs]

     

    I edit in my dreams*

  • Sun, Mar 16 2008 1:02 PM In reply to

    • Tom Pearson
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    hi  are you in full resolution mode ? green rectangle on the bottom left of the time line

    or is it green/yellow   or just yellow?

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  • Mon, Mar 17 2008 6:25 AM In reply to

    • Dreamer D
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    Yep, green.  But picture is so-o-o dark.  I had to color-correct everything.  What could have caused this?

    Avid Xpress Pro v5.8......Dell Precision Workstation 390......Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13GHz/Dual-core)......Windows XP Pro (SP2)......2 GB DDR2 ECC SDRAM... [view my complete system specs]

     

    I edit in my dreams*

  • Mon, Mar 17 2008 10:20 PM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    If your pictures were correct coming in - and at this stage there's really no way of knowing this - then by grading them on Avid you've almost certainly made them incorrect. However, let's backtrack a little.  Because I don't know your technical background I will attempt not to skip or assume anything.  One assumption that I am making is that you are digitising via firewire.

    Launch Avid and load one of your clips into a new sequence.  Press Shift-F8 to launch the color correction toolset and change either the right or left monitor to show luminance.  On the right side of the display you will see a scale ranging from 0 to 100%.  If your video levels sit comfortably within that range, then your video regardless of how it looks on your screen is correct.  You shouldn't touch it.

    By "comfortably within that range" I mean that blacks should sit down at close to 0% and whites at around 100% with a good spread of image material between the two.  If the brightest component of the picture is around, say, 50% then that's the way that it was recorded.  Your camera settings are wrong.

    So do the checks, and good luck with your fault finding.  To put Avid back into normal mode, press Shift-F7.

    MC 7.0.4 - Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo - Intel i7 920 2.66GHz - Windows 7 Ult64 SP1 - nVidia Quadro FX 1800 - 16 Gbyte low latency DDR3 RAM - Internal 8 Tb... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Mar 18 2008 2:17 AM In reply to

    • Dreamer D
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    Hi, yes, I digitize via firewire.

    I went to do as you suggested but I don't have "Luminance" as a choice for the windows in Color Correction.  Not sure what to do now in order to see where my levels are.

    I have:
    Quad Display
    RGB Histogram
    RGB Parade
    Vectorscope
    Y Waveform
    YC Waveform
    YCbCr Histogram
    YCbCr Parade

    The waveform choices have scales of 0-100.  Is this the same as luminance?  I'll attach a screenshot (I blurred out some identfying features of the picture).  Looking at the Y waveform, it shows that the brightest part of the picture is at about 70%, but it looked way brighter than that in both cameras. 

    Is there a trick for setting the camera's little screen to show lighting accurately?  I usually keep screen brightness right in the middle. It's a Sony PD 150 or 170, I forget (it's borrowed).  On that camera and on the little camcrder that I used as a deck, the image shown in my attachment was wonderfully bright and crisp with perfect shading, so I don't understand how it shows up as dark in Avid, unless the little preview screen on the camera was set too bright?  (I do use the viewfinder and zebra stripes when shooting, too)

    D


    Avid Xpress Pro v5.8......Dell Precision Workstation 390......Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13GHz/Dual-core)......Windows XP Pro (SP2)......2 GB DDR2 ECC SDRAM... [view my complete system specs]

     

    I edit in my dreams*

  • Tue, Mar 18 2008 5:59 AM In reply to

    • jwrl
    • Top 25 Contributor
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    Dreamer D:
    The waveform choices have scales of 0-100.  Is this the same as luminance?  I'll attach a screenshot (I blurred out some identfying features of the picture).  Looking at the Y waveform, it shows that the brightest part of the picture is at about 70%, but it looked way brighter than that in both cameras.

    Yes.  I was relying on memory there, and you're right, it is called Y waveform.  When Avid imports via firewire it's bringing in a direct copy of the data as encoded by the camera.  This means that we can say with reasonable confidence that your pictures are underexposed.

    You can set your zebra settings to trigger at various levels, and you can also adjust viewfinder brightness to give a false appearance of correct exposure.  This means that you should really check your camera line up before shooting critical material and make sure that all adjustments are correctly set.  Once they are, don't touch them.

    MC 7.0.4 - Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo - Intel i7 920 2.66GHz - Windows 7 Ult64 SP1 - nVidia Quadro FX 1800 - 16 Gbyte low latency DDR3 RAM - Internal 8 Tb... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Mar 18 2008 1:00 PM In reply to

    • Dreamer D
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    jwrl:
    You can set your zebra settings to trigger at various levels, and you can also adjust viewfinder brightness to give a false appearance of correct exposure.  This means that you should really check your camera line up before shooting critical material and make sure that all adjustments are correctly set.  Once they are, don't touch them.
    Thanks so much for your response. 

    Since I don't own my own equipment (other than the little Handycam I use as a deck), I borrow cameras from school and my local public access station.  Which unfortunately means that I need to readjust all the settings every time I get a camera, because so many people use them.  I check everything with which I am familiar.  The PD150 has the ability to adjust iris - maybe I should open it up more, but I didn't want a shallow DOF.  Okay, my next question is gonna make me look like a real doofus.  What do you mean by "camera line up?"  Since I was taught to use zebra to judge exposure, and the viewfinder and screen are deceiving, I'm feeling hopeless.  The picture looked so good when I was shooting it!

    :(

    Avid Xpress Pro v5.8......Dell Precision Workstation 390......Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 (2.13GHz/Dual-core)......Windows XP Pro (SP2)......2 GB DDR2 ECC SDRAM... [view my complete system specs]

     

    I edit in my dreams*

  • Tue, Mar 18 2008 10:05 PM In reply to

    • jwrl
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Melbourne, Australia
    • Posts 8,386
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    Re: Perfect picture in camera becomes dark after capturing

    Dreamer D:
    What do you mean by "camera line up?"  Since I was taught to use zebra to judge exposure, and the viewfinder and screen are deceiving, I'm feeling hopeless.

    Camera line up is used in the industry to refer to the process of setting up the camera's technical parameters.  In your case it sounds like the zebra stripes were set too low.

    MC 7.0.4 - Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo - Intel i7 920 2.66GHz - Windows 7 Ult64 SP1 - nVidia Quadro FX 1800 - 16 Gbyte low latency DDR3 RAM - Internal 8 Tb... [view my complete system specs]
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