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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.
Robbie Carman: If you have a laptop, bring it with you on set or into the field. Because potentially you have a very powerful set of video scopes at your disposal. If you've installed adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro 10, Black Magic Ultra Scope or ScopeBox, you have a plethora of very powerful analysis tools at your finger tips. Now, here on set, what I've done is, I've actually gone ahead and taken the memory card that I was recording with and plugged it into a card reader to my laptop right here. But some cameras now actually let you output live to a laptop via a connection like Thunderbolt, which is pretty cool.
But as I've said, I've already gone ahead and transferred a clip from my memory card into Adobe Premier Pro. And I want to show you a few more tools that we have to analyze our shots. So, we've taken a look at how to use a waveform and a histogram on a field monitor, but many field monitors are not going to have additional scopes such as a vector scope and an RGB parade. Now just to be clear, a vector scope and an RGB parade are going to work the same in other NLEs as well as other dedicated scope applications. So, with the shot down here in the timeline, all I'm going to do is come up to the window menu here, and choose to display the reference monitor.
And here's the reference monitor. It's just showing me my shot. But if I go ahead and click on this little wrench icon, I can choose to display a scope. Of course, we also have scopes like the waveform that we were just looking at on our field monitor. But what I want to go ahead and do. Let's go ahead and display this scope called a vector scope. And the way that the vector scope works and what it does for you is that it displays color information about your shot. And the way it works is that hues are represented as the angle around the vector scope. And you can actually see some targets here. Here's red, magenta, blue, cyan, green and yellow.
And, the distance out from the center of the vector scope, to the outside edges, represents saturation of a hue. All this green stuff right here in the middle of the vector scope, well that represents the signal itself. So, looking at the shot over here, you can see that, well, Jason has a nice red shirt on. There's some yellows here. There is some green in the background here. And this is represented by the vector scope. You'll that I have a lot of trace pushed towards the red portion of the, of the vector scope right here. Well that's his shirt. The stuff pushed over towards yellow. I'm willing to bet that that's his guitar.
Maybe some of this yellow stuff here in the background. Then you can see I have a bit of trace pointed down here towards the green target. I'm willing to bet that's those leafs here in the background outside of the window. So the vector scope allows us to view our overall hues and overall saturation that we have in a shot, but what it doesn't allow us to do is to see where those colors are happening in the overall tonal range. And that's the job for an RGB parade. Let me show you how that scope works. I'll click on the little wrench icon here again. And choose to display in RGB Parade.
Now, just like the wave form that we looked at on our field monitor, the RGB Parade works in a very similar way. It displays the tonal range going from black down here at zero IRE, up to 100% for white at the top of the scale. But unlike the regular wave form that we looked at on the field monitor, it breaks the signal down into the three primary color components. Red, green and blue. So when I'm looking at this RGB parade, what I want to have happen when I have a neutral, or sort of balanced image, is that all of these traces are in relative alignment with one another.
If, for example, we had a shot that has a really heavy blue color cast in it, we would expect to see the blue trace elevated over the green and red traces themselves. So let me show you what I mean. I'm just going to come down to my effects and just sort of fake this for a second. And let me just search for color corrector. 3-way, there we go. And I'll add this 3-way color corrector to the shot. I'll come back up to my effect controls. And I'm just going to to introduce a fake color cast in this shot. I'll introduce some blue here, kind of like this, and we'll intensify that blue, and there you go.
You can see now, if I look at the RGB parade, that the blue traces is elevated over the green and the red traces. And this is something that's really kind of important because you can see what color is sort of causing a color cast that might be getting in the shot. But you can also see where in the tonal range. You'll notice that the trace on the blue channel is elevated over the green and red, but particularly at the top of the scale. Meaning that most of my color cast is actually happening in the brighter portions of the shot.
So if you're on set and you need to neutralize that color cast, you would start with the brightest things in the shot. Maybe you have a light that's influencing the overall scene and causing a blue color cast. Now in other episodes we'll dive into more depth back in the studio about using scopes to analyze shots and to help us color correct. But I think it's really very important that you understand besides justa wave form and a histogram in your NLE or dedicated scope application that you can use on a laptop, you'll have additional scopes that can help you analyze a shot when you're on set.
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