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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Richard: So obviously people are kind of freaked out about Rolling Shutter. They want to make sure that they don't get it in their productions. What are some strategies? Robbie: Well, they could buy a camera that has a CCD sensor. Richard: Yeah, but that kind of--these all purpose of shooting DSLRs. Robbie: Right, you are not going to really find that, no. Probably the easiest one is to control the speed of your pans. DSLRs and CMOS in general, but DSLRs are not particularly-- Richard: So, not this, right? Robbie: Exactly. Richard: Okay. Robbie: DSLRs are not probably the first choice to go out and shoot your next action movie whip pans, Jason Bourne type stuff.
Now with that said, it's all about whether you notice it or not, right? Richard: Right. Robbie: You know in a fight scene in action movie, if there are no strong vertical lines, you are probably never going to notice it, and it would be just fine. However, if you're filming city-scapes, you now like tall vertical buildings, and you are doing fast whip pans there, yeah, you are probably going to notice it. Earlier we took a look at this shot where we had the windows here, right, and it's just a static shot, and you can notice that we are getting this sort of Jell-O effect, or this wobble effect back and forth.
So but if I had panned slower, while we were doing that, a nice controlled pan, we would have gotten less of that wobble. Richard: Well, we call that a film pan, and it's basically speed like that. It goes back to the days of film of making sure that you can count as you are panning, and there is an actual ratio, but the general rule of thumb is is just go at a reasonable speed. I could still go about like there. But I want to just make sure as I am panning that it gets it. And a lot of tripods will have tension knobs so you can adjust this, and that's the benefit of the fluid head.
Notice I let go, it holds. Robbie: Right, exactly. The other thing I will say about that is that you know this is all about, I don't want to say preproduction, but sort of testing on set before you are actually trying to get that shot. You know a good DP and a good shooter will say okay actors let's take our marks let's walk through the scene and they will play with the speed of that pan or that movement because it's not just panning. You might be on a steady cam or something like that, and you are running really fast, or you are on a dolly, and you are moving really fast. So practicing that and monitoring it of course, you know? The back of the camera LCD, not the best place to show you those, those Rolling Shutter artifacts, an external monitor or better yet even ingesting that footage so you can see it on your computer a better bet.
Richard: Well, I'm a big fan because we do have applications now that work native with the footage, newest version of Avid, Premiere Pro, Final Cut X, you could pop that card in and open it up, look at it right away, see the shot in its native form and put it on a big screen and watch it back, play back full-screen on a laptop, you will see this full-screen on a laptop. Robbie: Yeah, but in some circumstances Rich, you know it's just going to be unavoidable, right? Richard: Right. Robbie: You know, the script or the type of camera movement that you are doing is just going to have a little bit of Rolling Shutter in it.
Richard: Well, how long is it going to take, I mean, jump cuts, lens flares, flash frames, those were all mistakes that all of a sudden now people ask for. Robbie: Right, exactly. So one of the things that you can do to sort of cheat this, because remember Rolling Shutter is all about the speed at which the shutter is scanning across that image sensor, so where we have sort of a different moment in time in top of the sensor versus the bottom of the sensor. One way that we can sort of alleviate this, I didn't--notice I didn't say eliminate this, but alleviate this-- Richard: Reduce it. Robbie: Reduce it is by shooting at a slightly faster shutter rate.
So if your standard shutter is sort of following that 180 degree shutter rule where you double your frame rate and put a one over it, kind of thing, we can nudge that up a little bit. Just be aware that while you're reducing that rolling shutter, you might also be introducing some sort of staccato rhythm, people getting a little herky-jerky there. So it's a little bit of a tradeoff. Richard: And changing shutter speed means that you're changing the exposure triangle, so you will need to adjust as well. But this is trial and error. I think you really hit on it saying test this. Newer cameras, less a problem, they keep fixing this and refining it.
Robbie: It's been amazing, every camera that comes out, and it's like it's less and less and less, and I'm sure that we are going to see a point where it's just not a non-issue anymore. Richard: I'm sure we are going to get top the point where you could turn off or on because there is going to be who want it. Now of course the good news is it's like all things production related, there is generally speaking a viable way to fix it in post. Robbie: Yeah, the phrase that I hate, fix it in post, but yes there are. I mean you know earlier on, we were dealing with our plug-ins like the Foundry's Rolling Shutter plug-in for After Effects and stuff like that, but now even most editorial tools are starting to introduce these fixes, for example, in Final Cut Pro X from Apple, you can analyze a clip for rolling shutter and have Final Cut Pro X automatically fix it for you which is cool.
Richard: And the Warp Stabilizer in Adobe's products will actually fix handheld shakiness or bumps and can remove rolling shutter if you go into the Advanced section and turn it on. So these are both very viable features, and you know if you head here on lynda.com, and you look around, go to the Final Cut X tutorials, go to the Adobe Premiere Pro tutorials, you will find how to specifically fix this and Rob mentioned, the Rolling Shutter plug-in from The Foundry is available for tools like Avid and other compositing tools. So, there's always a way around this problem. Of course software takes longer than shooting it right.
But you know, that's often the job of the editor or the compositor is to remove the problems or to sort of erase away the sins of what happened in the field. Robbie: Yeah. And If you just focus on a few key things, actual physical movement of the camera, panning and things of that nature, you can alleviate Rolling Shutter quite easily. Richard: All right! So just slow things down a little bit. You should be able to just get rid of it and of course test and check and make sure it's non-existent.
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