Color bars – Hue and Saturation –DV Rack Announcement
Brian Peterson: Hi, I’m Brian Peterson.
Mark Montgomery: And I’m Mark Mongomery.
Brian Peterson: And this is Tips and Techniques, and actually part 2 of one of our Tips and Techniques. Color bars. Color bars color bars. We talked very briefly of why and how important they are, why don’t we just for those of you who didn’t see our previous episode do, just a really quick recap. So, why do you use color bars?
Mark Montgomery: Mainly to make sure that, I use, a lot of times I use color bars when I’m out on the field shooting, so you make sure your camera is getting what you think it’s getting, so you can actually tell that you’re going to get the colors that you’re looking for and brightness, and luminance. It can also be used in the studio.
We actually had a forum post just recently about using LCDs and plasmas TVs in the studios versus production monitors. So, this is a timely topic, thanks, Ines, for that post, and I hope you find some answers on our Tips and Techniques.
But, yeah, we use also in the studio, we use some here occasionally.
Brian Peterson: Right. And it’s exactly like you said, it’s out in the field, you definitely want to make sure you get the color you think you’re getting. And that’s just the thing. I actually had a friend, and this is going back many years, actually, who had a production company, who did a lot of duplication, and he had interns that essentially ran the operation. And he did a 500, remember the old VHS tapes, the old blocks?
Mark Montgomery: Right.
Brian Peterson: And intern ran one of those. And they set up color bars, and it was a tradition back then, and it still should be, everybody that provides you a tape that you would duplicate, they would provide color bars in the beginning.
Well, to adjust the color bars, they went up to the monitor and just tweaked the saturation level, and the hue or the phase, and didn’t do it at the head end. And back then, you had what we called TVCs, and that’s the thing that actually physically changed the color and the saturation. And so, about 500 pieces had to be redone.
Mark Montgomery: Wow!
Brian Peterson: So, it’s all knowing your chain. And last time we showed you how to set it up properly where you start with the camcorder going into your computer, the output of the computer then going into a preview monitor. We’ve kind of just cheated that day, we had it come right out the camcorder, but for what we’re going to be showing you today, is all we really need.
Mark Montgomery: Yeah, and you want to know the way of doing this, because if you shoot something, you take it back, you want to reshoot it. If you set up your color bars, and do it correctly, you should be able to recreate that scene a little more accurately than, than if you’re just kind of flying by what you think you’re getting.
Brian Peterson: Exactly. And white balance done manually, done correctly, and consistently should probably cover yourself for most cases, but this is just the added level of certainty that you get. So, consistency, color correctness, color saturation all being correct, that’s what you use the color bars for. So, that’s the recap.
Let’s get into part 2, where we’re going to talk about setting your saturation, or intensity, and the hue, or phase. And depending on the kind of monitor you have, they’ll be different labels for those.
Mark Montgomery: Right.
Brian Peterson: All right, we have a production monitor. So, we have this wonderful button, called a blue button. Essentially what we’re trying to do is take out the green and the red from the guns CRT, of course, has guns that actually span across the lines. And we can turn them off with a flip of the button, as you can see there. It goes blue. Fantastic!
All right. What if you don’t have a production monitor?
Mark Montgomery: Yeah, you can do the same effect if you’re using a blue filter. And these are really inexpensive, basically they’re gel.
Brian Peterson: This is actually a sample pack we have, and not that you have a sample pack, but frequently you might have is in your light kit, and if you’ve done this before. These are daylight blues, and at least one part of the daylight blue.
Mark Montgomery: Right.
Brian Peterson: This is Rosco, was it number 80? I believe it was, yeah, we’ve got # 80 here.
Mark Montgomery: Yeah. You’ve also got down a Wratten #47B blue. There’s different kinds of manufacturers of this. But you can use this to filter out your other color information, so that all your scene is what passes through the blue gel, which is your blue color information. It’s the same effect. If you’re working on a TV, you’ll probably want to use this, I doubt there’s too many consumer level television sets that have blue polls or blue filter.
Brian Peterson: Blue filter bell pin, you can shut off your guns. But anyway, the idea is here that, it most likely will be bigger than this chip, so you have your full screen sticking out in front of your eyes, and leave it there for these two adjustments we’re going to make.
I suppose you can look really small, but anyway, you’ll have a bigger piece, about 6 or 7‘’ for one of these, so not a huge investment. Photo supply stores will have this sort of thing.
So, let’s pretend you’re working with one of these, but I’m going to pretend with the blue button. So, on here we have our SMPTE bars, and again, they need to be SMPTE, with our bars up here, shifts down here, and our INQs will talk a little bit about how to do this without even a blue filter at the very end, so stay with us there.
All right, so, turning on the blue filter, we’re going to start with Intensity or Chroma Saturation. We’re going to be looking at four areas. This bar, this bar, this chip, and this chip. So, the outer bars and the outer chips. What we’re looking for is trying to get this bar and this chip, this bar and this chip, about equal in intensity. And intensity is kind of ambiguous term, but I’ll just turn it up and down, and I’m going with Chroma on this.
I’m just going to wildly change it here so you can see the difference. See how this becomes dark, and this is lighter, this is lighter and darker. Go the other direction, see? Now, when I slow down and try to finesse this, okay, this is about the same intensity, not exactly right on. About there, yeah, everything is, you know, a compromise.
Get it as close as you can. Older monitors, older televisions as we talked about last time, tend to give you harder time trying to adjust this, so, it really is about getting them as equally as possible you can.
All right, so, if that were the case, we just adjusted the saturation intensity or Chroma amount. All right. We’re not looking at hue yet. In fact, I’m going to do this for a hue yet, just for the heck of it, here it’s called phase. I’m going to really, really whacky out. I’m going to go back to the blue, and now we’re going to compare the, what used to be, and you can’t really tell, cyan and magenta, and the related chips. And you want to do the same thing with these two, as we’re going to do with the outer two.
Try to get them equal in intensity. So I’m going to go back down to Chroma, or actually, I’m sorry, the phase. The hue is probably what it will be called. And you see the same thing, these two balance back and forth, ow, ow, ow, all right, slowing down, trying to get them about equal. Again, compromise between what really is theoretic which is perfect and what’s really. Right, that’s about as close as I can get.
What do you think, Mark?
Mark Montgomery: Yeah. And just, in case if you can’t tell, why you’re watching this, the technique is kind of like tuning a guitar where you strike your string, and you’re swinging that string back and forth, it’s going ewewewe, and then you find somewhere in the middle where you leave the compromise. Try to find the area between the bookings that definitely matches the intensity there.
Brian Peterson: All right, so we’re going to find the blue filter up now, we shouldn’t be surprised. We should see, haaa, cyan, magenta, nothing’s bleeding. On some monitors you really see sub chroma bleed right here if the intensity or saturation is up too high.
Now, I think I mentioned this a moment ago. How do you do this at least with the phase or the hue amount if you don’t even have one of these? Well, we can. And we can do it this way. It’s not quite as accurate, but if you’re in the pinch, and frankly, let’s jump backwards just for a second. Once you’ve done this enough, you can eyeball this pretty good.
Do you go to this level usually, or you just go, I know what my cyan and my magenta look like and go from there?
Mark Montgomery: I usually do the color. I find that eyeballing the luminance is a little more easier than the color. For me.
Brian Peterson: All right.
Mark Montgomery: I think, I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s just that our eyes easily see the difference in luminance, more, you know...
Brian Peterson: All right, that’s true.
Mark Montgomery: And it’s partly.
Brian Peterson: The other thing is everybody sees it slightly differently, so just because you’ve done this for 20 years doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it by eye. Plus, there’s a whole idea about color contamination depending on what you’re looking at behind, what color is around you.
Really it affects how you eyeball things. So, I strike that, I’m not going to eyeball anymore.
Mark Montgomery: Yeah.
Brian Peterson: Yeah, okay. So what I’m going to show you right here is a really simple way to try to get your hue adjusted by using these two right here. They’re called the monocine q, and , don’t ask me why, I‘m not going to get into that, but we’re going to, again, adjust the phase and I’m going to go wildly back and forth.
And what we’re looking to try to extract is any red tint in either one of these. So, I’m going a little bit too far, we can see, now again, this is where we’re distributing the compression and everything. You might not be seeing this, but trust me, it’s there. So, this is turning red. I’m going back, I’ve lost all red there, I’m going too far, this is actually more black than it is red, but it really is a red in this. So, again, I’m kind of eyeballing. Going to the red and then backing off until it goes to blue, and that’s it.
So, if I didn’t have one of these, that is one way to get your phase into a hue.
Mark Montgomery: All right.
Brian Peterson: Let’s shift gears and let’s talk about related product, the DV Rack. And you had an opportunity to talk about it before.
Mark Montgomery: Yeah, last week Michelle and Carl from Serious Magic paid us a visit in the office, and actually rolled some footage of that, so you can see. Nothing technical of course, but we just figured to shoot something to show you.
DV Rack 2.0. We really loved 1.0, it’s a great tool. This is a software package, you throw in your laptop computer, or your desktop. Laptop obviously gives you a flexibility to take it away where you want to go, and it offers, basically you monitor your video signal, firewire cables, so you can actually connect it to your camcorder, and as you’re shooting get that signal into a monitor. There’s scopes included, vector scope way for a monitor.
And so much more, really at this meeting, you brought up, what’s not included in this software package?
Brian Peterson: Yeah.
Mark Montgomery: So many different ways to, well, monitor your signal. But also to access a DVR you can actually record it to your hard drive.
Brian Peterson: Right.
Mark Montgomery: Man, I could go on and on about the features. But this update, this 2.0 update, is…
Brian Peterson: Well, it includes some time lapse work, and some pretty incredible control over doing some time lapse, so…
Mark Montgomery: Time lapse, onion skinning which we really liked …
Brian Peterson: Onion skinning, so for different animation, stop motion animation. Actually, a lot of software packages are starting to include that, but again, this is all bundled together in one piece.
Mark Montgomery: Right. And the big difference now is that they have an SD and an HD version, HD, they’ve made a lot of upgrades, so that it’s completely compatible with the HVX 200, it’s one of the things they wanted to make sure that they got all their frame rates available for that.
And also, HDV, if you’re shooting in 720p, the monitor and the software application will actually be one to one pixel ratio, and if you’re going about that 1080i, you’re going to be having some, it’ll have to scale that signal.
But it’s a great way, relatively inexpensive if you are, you have a laptop to monitor, you know, what you’re getting in accurate way, with all the scopes, too.
Brian Peterson: And one of the biggest improvements on this is the much larger screen estate that you get for your scopes. Prior to this, I think the monitor was relatively small in relation to your laptop or your screen size. So, it’s a big improvement.
Mark Montgomery: Yeah, they haven’t really changed the, what is it, DY, the graphic interface at all. That’s something that they’ll, maybe in the future, will do something on.
Brian Peterson: But it’s still pretty cool.
Mark Montgomery: And it looks very pro, it looks very pro. One of those programs you can show off to your clients, and they go, ooooh, you know.
Brian Peterson: It definitely does.
Mark Montgomery: It looks like rocket science on your laptop.
Brian Peterson: Tell them it is. Actually, it is very cool because if you don’t have money to spend on the way form vector scope and that sort of thing, this is by far the cheapest solution.
Mark Montgomery: Yeah.
Brian Peterson: And it will make your video much more consistent over, over almost any other investment you can make. What we’re showing you here is a very manual way of making sure that consistency is there. it will work, this is kind of just one level, though. It’s about ten levels above that.
Mark Montgomery: So, yeah, the SD version is going for $495, and the HD is $795. Decent amount of cash, but for what you get in return, it’s very valuable.
Brian Peterson: All right. I think we’re over on time, we’ll wrap it up this week, and see you next week.