Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pulling your Chain

Y'know, I see a lot of stuff on the Interwebs about the need for an HD monitor in order to make sure your image is in focus when shooting HD.
And I've been on a lot of shoots where everyone from the DP to the director believed that was true.
It ain't true.
You can tell perfectly well if your image is in focus even if you're monitoring in SD. When your subject is in focus there's a pretty clear "ping" of being-in-focussed-ness. I've shot, er, (insert some number here) features in HD and if you ever watch them and say "hey, that shot is a bit out of focus" well you should realize that I know that and furthermore I knew that at the time (but for whatever reason we used the shot anyway.)
Certainly I've never seen a focus problem when looking at footage in HD that I didn't see when peering through the little SD monitor in the "viewfinder" of the camera. Hell, I can even focus without my glasses on (and without setting the diopter) although it is irritating as all get out.
And I'm one of the worst cameramen I know. So it's not me having some superhuman preternatural ability to pull my own focus. Of that we can be absolutely sure.
Are there good reasons to have HD tap on set? Sure. There are details you might have missed otherwise, etc. But don't be afraid of SD tap.
Standard Definition video tap is your friend.

Do you ever get confused by the different kinds of blurs in After Effects? Welcome to the club. Prolost is here to help. (Cheatsheet: use box blur.) UPDATE: that old ProLost is now a spam account so I've deleted the URL.

Can you tell I'm rendering and uploading today? You can? Oh, well then...

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