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Thread: Our filming is not sharp

  1. Default Our filming is not sharp

    Hi everyone
    We're starting to shoot our second music video & we're still beset by the same problems that dogged the last one .
    Namely once we put up the green screen & turn on the lights the results are not at all sharp when we examine it in Vegas.
    Does everyone else have to use the sharpen effect on every single take like we do?
    We've tried reducing the amount of light on the green screen & softening the light on the talent.
    We've tried putting the camcorder on manual focus but the really frustrating thing is it's only when we capture it in Vegas that we can actually see how bad it is!
    In daylight everything is great but that's no use to the way we film.
    We could carry on like this but we'd like to improve!
    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    Sarah & Allison & Tina

  2. #2


    How about, use secondary colour on the Green to isolate it and then at the same secondary colour again but with more saturation to make the green glow (hopefully ) right down to the shadows and use the chroma key.

    Have you got a still you can post I can then try my self..

  3. Default

    Thanks for your reply Z Cheema, here are 2 stills taken from the camcorder of Sarah's youngest.
    What we're asking is shouldn't we be be able to get at least the quality of the second image without having to resort to using the sharpen effect?
    Hope this illustrates our problem.

    Sarah & Allison & Tina
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4


    Hi ladies,

    I don't know what camera you have but maybe you are actually coming up against the limitations of it's lens and/or CCD.

    Tips on focusing:

    Make sure the camera is set to manual focus.
    Open the iris as much as you can
    Zoom in as tight as you can on the subject you wish to focus on.
    Adjust the focus ring until the picture is sharp.

    Do you use a focus chart to help you focus the camera? Something like THIS may help, I use one all the time.

    Hope this helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. Default

    Thank you Midnight Blue for the advice & the focus chart, I will wait till tonight when I have someone to film & try it out.
    We have always been nervous of using manual settings on the camcorder because we're filming people in motion & dont want to have to keep adjusting the focus etc. Its no secret that we know nothing about photography!

    What I cant understand is why the camcorder performs perfectly in daylight
    The camcorder is a Canon HV30, I cant believe we're expecting too much from it.


  6. #6


    Thanks for the images will check them out soon

    Camcorders need light to work well, more light better looking images.

    Consumer cameras tend to have small pickups (eyes) and this means less light on them at night so look soft and noisy. Also at nigh the iris is wide open to let all the light in and this reduces the depth of field (DOF) (see link below) which makes focusing in low light harder.
    With more light (daytime) the iris can close to reduce the light coming i the lens to expose the picture correctly, this has the benefit of making a bigger DOF so more of the image is always in focus.

    Understanding Depth of Field in Photography

  7. #7


    See if this is what you are after, I used the flat image.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. Default

    Thank you for your post Z Cheema & the information about depth of field.
    We were originally told we actually had too much light when we shot the first music video so we reduced it. But now you're saying we need more light?
    We are using a 500W CFL as the key, 150W fill & 150W backlight. The green screen is lit by 2 x 400W CFLs. Is this too much or too little? We're filming in a room 23' x 12'.

    We're not quite sure what you're showing us with the picture of my son.


  9. #9


    No, i am not saying you need more just explaining what difference the light makes to the image overall and also to help plug in some of those gaps in your quest for knowledge.

    The type of light also makes a difference, as you may have noticed that the sunlight in the morning is usually soft and at midday in summer quite harsh. Perhaps a sharper light n the subject may bring out the detail a bit more...

    I used the unsharpen filter in the image, which also strangely has a sharpening effect and i could be wrong but renders quicker.

    You can drop video filters on the track header and that then effects that whole particular
    timeline, saves doing every clip then.

    What camera are you using?

  10. #10


    DOF and exposure are complex issues.
    How close is your talent to the greenscreen? Normally a few feet difference gives better results.
    I'd try to go for F2.8 on maual focus and set your lights up so you see in the monitor clean nicely exposed results on green and talent.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

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