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My Frustrations with BMCC so far. You should also brace yourselves for a change

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  • My Frustrations with BMCC so far. You should also brace yourselves for a change

    About me, I'm Adam and I've been shooting events/music vids/weddings on Canons for three years. I'm a PC user with Premiere. I've had my BMCC for about two weeks. I have never been so frustrated with video software (resolve and speedgrade) in all my life. It's such a new process verses what I've been doing for the past 5 years. By the way, do NOT use speedgrade, it's very broken for BMCC.

    Partially copied and pasted from my for sale thread. The for sale thread was made because I threw in the towel, and wanted to stick to what I know. I simply could not get an image that was better enough to justify the massive workflow change. But, Darryl has talked me into delaying that for a bit.

    And for those wondering, (and no one has accused, just preempting this) I didn't simply jump in with no prep. I have been a Canon shooter for a while, like probably most of you. Here's my reel. https://vimeo.com/45992314

    The reason I have one of these is because I studied it quite a bit when first announced, and reserved it immediately. I was first on the list at Omega and they only got one, which went to me. During my wait, I read LaForet, Bloom, EOSHD, Brawley, and many more. I downloaded all released files from John B and others, and graded them in Camera raw etc, thought I'd be very comfortable with the grading process etc, since I have a background in grading RAW stills, raw timelapses etc. I do at least 4 RAW timelapses each week, and have been for two years. Grading in Resolve is very very different, and takes a lot of different steps to get the same result. I didn't just pick up the camera with no research. I've researched exactly what the rest of you have. I've gone through all the free tutorials I could find on both resolve and speed grade, I purchased the FXphd tutorials on resolve for $200 and went through them as well. I have spend a tremendous amount of time learning what I thought I needed to make the most of this camera. I have a good understanding of the features of each program, and went through all the Lynda tutorials of Speedgrade, but the fact that it really is so different to get the same result is what I'm having a big problem with. I repeat, do not think that because you can produce a good image in Camera RAW, that you'll be able to do the same with Resolve. You will probably be frustrated for the first month.

    My problem is mainly getting muddy color and muddy highlights when attempting to properly tone. What I mean is, when trying to darken highlights, I get mud. For instance, I'm trying to bring a sky back to blue, instead of white, and I end up with gray added to the white, when what I expect is a blue sky, like I'd receive when bringing down exposure. I know the information is still there, because if I take exposure down in the file settings, it's still there. So, I'm not saying you can't do it, I'm saying it's very different to get the result.

    I'm fairly sure most people will struggle quite a bit with this exact thing, especially if you're used to lightroom/cameraRAW. This isn't a camera thing, this is a learning curve thing, and it's massively steep. That being said, and encouragement from Darryl, I'll give it a few more goes to determine if for my business, it will be worth it.

    So for God sakes, if you are still waiting for your camera, use resolve, resolve and resolve and become a master in compressed footage grading so you'll have less to worry about when you get into raw.
    Last edited by GrumboFilms; 12-31-2012, 11:06 PM.

  • #2
    Try an S-curve.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kyle Presley View Post
      Try an S-curve.
      Not sure if I mentioned that to Adam, But adding a s-curve node is a good suggestion but I feel it's not
      the "Holy Grail" answer he was looking for

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by GrumboFilms View Post
        My problem is mainly getting muddy color and muddy highlights when attempting to properly tone. What I mean is, when trying to darken highlights, I get mud. For instance, I'm trying to bring a sky back to blue, instead of white, and I end up with gray added to the white, when what I expect is a blue sky, like I'd receive when bringing down exposure. I know the information is still there, because if I take exposure down in the file settings, it's still there. So, I'm not saying you can't do it, I'm saying it's very different to get the result.
        .
        Sounds like a combined exposure and Resolve workflow problem.

        Since I get the best footy I ever shot (since I don't shoot film anymore) out of the BMC, you should absolutely be able to do the same.
        Blog: http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Frank Glencairn View Post
          Sounds like a combined exposure and Resolve workflow problem.

          Since I get the best footy I ever shot (since I don't shoot film anymore) out of the BMC, you should absolutely be able to do the same.
          Frank (or any other BMCC owner / Resolve user)

          I'd be really interested in knowing what your workflow is for the BMCC as you've been getting some really impressive results from the footage through Resolve.

          I know a lot of the grade is subjective but it would be good to get an idea of at least your 'one light' and how you set about getting a pleasing image in Resolve to work from in terms of highlight recovery and low noise shadow areas.

          Perhaps a mini tutorial as a sticky post would be very helpful to many on here.

          I appreciate you may not have the time to do this but if anyone could I think it would be invaluable to those starting out.

          Thanks and Happy New Year!

          Comment


          • #6
            An important piece of advice. Scopes.
            Before you do any color correction at all, get the contrast right.
            Watch your scopes and bring your blacks down to around 3%.
            Next pull your highlights up to a reasonable level for a normally lit scene (at least 90%)
            Only when you have your contrast in a decent place should you begin to correct.
            Do a general color balance adjustment and when the overall look of the scene approaches where you want it to be, you can move the mids up or down a little.
            After that, you will want to make any local adjustments through secondaries. That you can take the time to learn over a longer period.

            A vectorscope will also indicate the color of your blacks, if you want them fairly neutral then they should be fairly equal across the bottom (rather than a visual stepladder).

            Read Alex Van Hurkman's book for more specifics as to any particular challenges you might face.

            Lastly, I would strongly advise getting a real color grading monitor to be calibrated to a standard, but we will leave that question for another day....
            Last edited by yoclay; 01-01-2013, 05:19 AM.
            If I wanted my films to look like the real world I'd buy a video camera.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by yoclay View Post
              An important piece of advice. Scopes.
              Before you do any color correction at all, get the contrast right.
              Watch your scopes and bring your blacks down to around 3%.
              Next pull your highlights up to a reasonable level for a normally lit scene (at least 90%)
              Only when you have your contrast in a decent place should you begin to correct.
              Do a general color balance adjustment and when the overall look of the scene approaches where you want it to be, you can move the mids up or down a little.
              After that, you will want to make any local adjustments through secondaries. That you can take the time to learn over a longer period.

              A vectorscope will also indicate the color of your blacks, if you want them fairly neutral then they should be fairly equal across the bottom (rather than a visual stepladder).

              Read Alex Van Hurkman's book for more specifics as to any particular challenges you might face.

              Lastly, I would strongly advise getting a real color grading monitor to be calibrated to a standard, but we will leave that question for another day....
              Good advice, especially on the very last point. I need to start paying attention to scopes more myself.

              The camera really has nothing to do with this issue, it's the learning curve that everyone was warned about repeatedly. In response to OP, I agree that many more will come to this same point and either jump ship or push through. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how one looks at it, if you want the best quality you can get out of a digital system, this is part of the process you've got to understand going forward I believe.

              SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
              Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by yoclay View Post
                A vectorscope will also indicate the color of your blacks, if you want them fairly neutral then they should be fairly equal across the bottom (rather than a visual stepladder).
                You totally lost me there...are you sure you meant to say "vectorscope"? Not that it really matters much to me personally. I won't be able to run Scopes on my Lenovo laptop and a calibrated monitor is not what I would call carry on portable. I remain apprehensive about the Resolve learning curve ("cliff" may be more appropriate) and I'm wondering if the BMC is going to be workable in a portable shooting/editing system like mine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  He meant Vectorscope, it's located in resolve under "view > video scopes", which will give you histo, rgb parade, wave and vec.

                  SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
                  Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kholi View Post
                    He meant Vectorscope, it's located in resolve under "view > video scopes", which will give you histo, rgb parade, wave and vec.
                    Where is the black color displayed? We did used to set white balance manually using a vectorscope but I don't know anything about a "visual stepladder" black display.

                    vectorscope.jpg

                    Is he referring to a waveform monitor?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mhood View Post

                      Is he referring to a waveform monitor?
                      Yes, people often say vector scope when they mean wwaveform.
                      -Michael Beck

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                      • #12
                        I would focus my efforts on getting the right exposure with the camera before you dive into Resolve any further and to learn to use the scopes so you can get blacks, highlights and good skin tones and overall contrast. I use them now to color correct footage blind (not trusting a thing I see) and it works quite well. It may take a while for you to start thinking in luminance values but it's an electronic language all to itself. I'd be frustrated too after waiting so long to get one.
                        Facebook - Angelis Digital Studio

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, I've been working on getting the scopes. Dunno how I can be sure about getting it right in camera, when there's no meters, scopes, aperture indications etc. I'm on the right track, I just need more practice with the software to get it to obey my commands. It's a ton of trial and error to get a hang on what each control really does.

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                          • #14
                            I want to be clear about my intentions here. I am trying to explain how I see this situation, while being as helpful as I can. I am not attacking you our anyone else. So please don't take this wrong.

                            You said that your main problem was that you were not seeing huge gains in the picture quality over your DSLR.

                            This is not the fault of the camera. If you are new to systems like Resolve or Speedgrade, it is going to take time to get a feel for them. You should have been using a tool like that when you were using DSLRs as well. The process is not different with RAW.. it just gives you more flexibility.

                            I am not a pro colorist at all, but I am familiar with grading tools. I used Apple's Color quite a bit with my 7D. And even though I knew that system inside and out... it still took time to get the hang of Resolve. Don't beat yourself up over your struggle with the learning curve. I am still learning how to use it, but I already like it better than Color.

                            You will not get better results with a c300, c100, Red, or Alexa without understanding these tools.
                            -Michael Beck

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GrumboFilms View Post
                              Yeah, I've been working on getting the scopes. Dunno how I can be sure about getting it right in camera, when there's no meters, scopes, aperture indications etc. I'm on the right track, I just need more practice with the software to get it to obey my commands. It's a ton of trial and error to get a hang on what each control really does.
                              In a nutshell:

                              For starters, set your zebra to 100% and your recording LOG to FILM (you can set the monitor LUT to VIDEO though).

                              Begin with a daylight outdoor scene and open iris - than stop down, till your zebra just goes away.
                              Do some test shots that way.

                              Take it into Resolve - activate a clip in the timeline (click on it) and go to the DNG tab.
                              Set it to CLIP and BMC FILM also check RECOVER HIGHLIGHTS.
                              Than get your scopes up and dial down your EXPOSURE in the DNG tab till all you highlights are recovered.
                              Click on the first node and set it to 3D LUT - BMC to 709
                              Go to your color wheels and click the little AUTO button in the left lower corner.

                              There you have your starting point.

                              Frank
                              Blog: http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

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