Topics

Matching monitors

mark@...
 

Hi CML,
i need some help. Been getting my butt handed to me on shoots lately. I cannot get my monitors to match or get a good image for the client to view. 
Problem is I have to do more and more one man crew shoots and they want a second camera. ( let’s not take this discussion down that path...) I have two C300mk2’s. And I usually never have the time I want to set, light, double check things etc and take some time to make sure the image on monitors is looking great. 
Usually settings are CLOG 2 or 3. Cinema gamut.
my flanders monitor seems close but it isn’t great. I downloaded Geoff’ luts from a couple months ago. Loaded them in an Odyssey 7Q. 
Didnt get a lot of time to test or make sure things are all in order. Images are way off in split screen. Cannot get a pleasing image any way I try. 
Not sure what’s going on besides being overworked and under manned. The people that are editing don’t know anything about LUTS and color unfortunately. 
I could use your help in figuring best way to approach this and try To get them to see a great image that they can get to on their end with a little effort. 
Long request I know. Kind of open ended. 
But any suggestions on my workflow or setup would be most welcome. 
Thanks 
mark gambol
philadelphia
camera
mark@...

George Hupka
 

Mark, can you clarify - are you having trouble getting the cameras to match, or the monitors?  If you are looking at a split screen on a single monitor, it seems that the problem is matching the cameras, not matching the monitors??
--

----------
George Hupka
Director/DP
Saskatoon, Canada (Currently in Calgary, Canada)

Listmum, Cinematography Mailing List

dean@...
 

  http://dsclabs.com/display-screenalign/

DEAN THOMAS
Director 
 
Imagezone NZ Ltd.
Grey Lynn, 1021
Auckland.
 
Office:      09 476 3466      
Mobile:    027 285 9227 
Email: dean@...

Jan Klier
 

Mark,

It sounds to me that you have appropriate hardware, but there may be something missing in the workflow to make it work right. OMB work like this can definitely be a challenging situation and time runs away faster than sand in an hourglass. Been there.

Not sure there is enough detail in your description to pin point the issue. My suggestion is to test your setup in a non-client environment so you can thoroughly debug everything and dial in the a workflow when you’re not under time pressure. Then you can repeat this formula and just fine-tune to the job specific conditions.

On the surface there is no obvious reason why your configuration shouldn’t be workable.

There is a frequent issue with handing off log footage to clients who edit in-house and have little knowledge of log workflows. A lot of people work around that and bite the bullet and shoot Rec 709 camera configs. It has less room for error, but ultimately delivers a look that less sophisticated clients can handle. Alternatively you need to resist delivery on set, and instead deliver pre-graded files next day, if you can convince your clients of that.

And find ways to migrate up market where your clients at least give you more time, if not being more sophisticated. You clearly invested into hardware that exceeds the needs of clients that cannot afford another 20 minutes to get things setup correctly.

Jan Klier
DP NYC 

On Apr 15, 2018, at 9:34 PM, mark@... wrote:

Not sure what’s going on besides being overworked and under manned. The people that are editing don’t know anything about LUTS and color unfortunately. 

Steve Shaw
 

You need to start with any monitors being calibrated.
See: www.lightillusion.com
There is a lot of information on calibration within the website.

Once you know the monitors are accurately calibrated you can then look at the cameras and LUTs.
But you can only do that AFTER the monitors are calibrated to a known standard.

Steve

Steve Shaw
LIGHT ILLUSION
steve@...
+44 (0)7765 400 908
www.lightillusion.com

mark@...
 

Thanks for responding George,
I reread and yes I wasn’t that clear in my question. I think that’s because I seem to be all over the place dealing with to many things on set. 
With two cam setups I’m copying my settings over and making sure they are in sync that way. I hope post can handle the LOG mode I’m in and I’ve  assumed that the cameras should match no issue. Maybe that’s my first breakdown. Figuring it’s easy for post to bring in two cameras setup exact same way to match in log mode. 
That’s not a good assumption is it?

So let’s assume my cameras match that way. I cannot get images to match in my monitors. Wether I’m
Using two Flanders or two Odyssey’s. Canon only gives you a rec709 Lut to output and it always looks way off on any monitor I choose. So I’m thinking I need to get my monitors matching. 
Steve Shaw responded and stressed I get my monitors calibrated. Going to head to his website and read up on that ASAP. 

So any advice on getting canon cameras to match in monitor I think was my original thought. I’m trying to figure all this stuff out. I can shoot. I can direct. I can explain the need for log to my clients. 
I just can’t get the images I want on monitor and explain how they can make that happen on their end. 

So I may even have to issues. Matching cameras and monitors. Damn!

This help any bit for your question to me? 

Thanks 


Mark Gambol
Camera
Philadelphia


On Apr 15, 2018, at 9:04 PM, George Hupka <georgehupka@...> wrote:

Mark, can you clarify - are you having trouble getting the cameras to match, or the monitors?  If you are looking at a split screen on a single monitor, it seems that the problem is matching the cameras, not matching the monitors??

mark@...
 

Thanks,Steve. 
I will jump on your website today and see what the heck I need to do. I think I was just skating by the last couple years and now I am incredibly annoyed at that path. Just capturing great scenes and footage and depending on the client and their post workflow is really hurting my images. And attitude when I can’t meet my own standards any more. 
Thanks and I will be combing through your site. 

Mark Gambol
Philadelphia
Camera


Mark Gambol
MG Pictures, ltd. 
74 Berkley Avenue
Lansdowne, PA 19050

484-431-4824

On Apr 16, 2018, at 2:59 AM, Steve Shaw <steve@...> wrote:

You need to start with any monitors being calibrated.
See: www.lightillusion.com
There is a lot of information on calibration within the website.

Once you know the monitors are accurately calibrated you can then look at the cameras and LUTs.
But you can only do that AFTER the monitors are calibrated to a known standard.

Steve
_._,_._,_

Jordan Cushing
 

Good advice so far on testing your whole image chain away from set.  If you're delivering to clients who are cutting in house and don't know how to handle Log footage, have you considered using the Wide DR Gamma?  It's neither Log nor Rec709 but a usable compromise somewhere in between. Note that you get the most exposure latitude out of it shooting 400 iso if I recall, but that may depend on what colour space and matrix you choose alongside it.  This gives your clients less opportunity to spoil your work, but leaves them some flexibility too, if shooting 709 is too restrictive.
--
Jordan Cushing
DOP
London Milan

drew@...
 

Definitely to take the time off set to sort this out. There's hardly enough time to "figure things out" properly on a fast EFP shoot, let alone a situation like this. I assume you own your packages (and if not, do this at your rental house) - set them up. Factory reset everything if needed. Aim both at a test scene w/ charts, and start methodically isolating each item in the chain from your scene to your monitor. Grays first, then color. Use scopes. 

You also weren't clear on your setup - what do the clients watch? 1 Flanders monitor (where you A/B for them) or two? Other monitors? It can be next to impossible to match a camera's flip-out LCD to a proper monitor.
Is your Flanders calibrated? You know they offer lifetime free calibration, you just have to ship it in. That will help you get your starting point sorted out.
Do you use identical and matched lenses? Different brands could literally color the image differently. 

There are things you can do to speed things up and save precious minutes - I love having my cameras as built as possible in the cases so I don't spend build time in such situations; one favorite is to have the QR plates mounted. 

There's never enough time on set - and showing up to capture a sit-down interview with 2 cameras is nothing like "take half a day to capture cool B-roll".. knowing how to pull that off is part of the job. That said, the quality the client will get from a 3-crew 1.5-hour setup is very different than 1-person half-hour setup... if you paint yourself into a corner where you're expected to overdeliver, that's doomed to fail too... so managing expectations is key.

Drew Lahat
Los Angeles, CA

Jan Klier
 

I think that’s a key element. Of course we know very little about the clients and the requirements here. But sometimes we fall into the trap of showing up with more than what the job calls for just because we have it. A Flanders monitor is a nice thing to have on set, and a ‘pleasing image’ with that caliber of tools and workflows is fantastic when you have the time and crew to achieve it.

There was a long discussion under a Single Person Crew thread in a different forum about what is the minimal acceptable setup time for an interview. If memory serves right the consensus was 45min - 1hr, for single camera coverage, assuming you deal with camera, light, and audio. Add two camera coverage without 2nd op and it gets dicey, now you have to monitor split view just to make sure you see everything that’s happening and things stay in focus if someone moves around.

There are situations where I keep shooting with my EX3 despite its age because at the end of the day it delivers something the client can use and is quite happy with and I can focus time on checking things and not dealing with complex equipment setups that don’t end up delivering. If the client doesn’t pay enough sometimes it’s best to dial back our approach to match budget.

Jan Klier
DP NYC

On Apr 16, 2018, at 11:37 AM, drew@... wrote:

That said, the quality the client will get from a 3-crew 1.5-hour setup is very different than 1-person half-hour setup... if you paint yourself into a corner where you're expected to overdeliver, that's doomed to fail too... so managing expectations is key.

Art Adams
 

Mark, if you can't get your cameras to match, no matter which monitors you use, then it sounds like the problem is the cameras. I'd factory reset them both and put your settings in by hand to make sure they match, and then see what happens.

You can also factory reset your monitors and see if the same thing happens. I regularly get monitors from the less-than-detail-oriented rental houses that still have settings in them from the previous job. I check all the settings as soon as they are turned on on-set.

If you have issues with post not knowing how to deal with LUTs, make your own and send them over: https://cameramanben.github.io/LUTCalc/ It's a web app and is also available on the Mac App store. Build your own Clog to Rec709 LUT, send it over in a half dozen common formats, and if post can't get it right then you can show that you did what you were supposed to do and put them blame on them. (There's no excuse for editors not knowing how to apply a LUT these days but it's all too common. I'm no post expert, but I feel I know more about post than post knows about what we do in the field.)

--
Art Adams
Director of Photography
San Francisco Bay Area

Previous Topic Next Topic