Author Topic: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video  (Read 2355 times)

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lashedup

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2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« on: January 20, 2010, 01:06:29 AM »
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The last couple holiday seasons, we've gotten together to set up part of the n-scale modutrak layout here at my office for a few weeks. The holidays are good down time for most of us and it gives us an excuse to get together to run some trains, do some maintenance and help each other with odds and ends.

On the final weekend it was set up we all got together and ran some trains. I stitched together a highlight video of sorts. It was an excuse to try and figure out how the video function works on my newer digital SLR camera (thus the various issues in the videos) plus figure out how the heck to use Final Cut Studio.

Anyhoo, here is my latest attempt. I uploaded this one to Vimeo (You Tube as well, but the quality is way better on Vimeo):


I'll try and upload the various other short videos we put together over the holidays.

-jamie

up1950s

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 01:24:19 AM »
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Nice Jamie , there are some great lashups runnin' nut to butt . Interesting to see all the varied power . The scenery is great , ND or SD I guess considering everything ?

tom mann

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 09:09:43 AM »
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I really like it.  The lighting is great, can you share some secrets?  DoF is a little too shallow, but it kinda works for the video because it makes it look "dreamy".

What dSLR are you using?

sizemore

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 09:38:45 AM »
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Outside of DOF, my only suggestion would be (maybe) use a blue/purple filter/gel from the opposite direction of the "dusk" lightsource. There was only one or two instances where the railhead reflection gave away an off layout lightsource that wasn't visually natural. The long shot scene at ~2:00m was amazing!

The S.

Ian MacMillan

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 09:42:17 AM »
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Nice Jamie , there are some great lashups runnin' nut to butt . Interesting to see all the varied power . The scenery is great , ND or SD I guess considering everything ?

Southern/Central WI
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

lashedup

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 10:18:23 AM »
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Depth of field is a big issue at this point. Getting up close to the models is tough with a digital SLR depending on the lens you use. You have a minimum focus distance with most lens (7 inches is usually the limit) which makes things tricky. So I try and stop down the lens to F22 or greater and then have issues with the low light coming through the lens (because it is stopped down so much) and the video getting very grainy. If I go wide angle lens I get better depth of field but have major issues controlling the scene and end up with LOTS of stuff in the periphery. So I'm going to buy a decent, fast prime 35mm lens to see if I can improve things. I'm also going to try a few different cameras to see what I get. We recently ordered some Go Pro HD camera's for some car work that we're doing and I'll see how they handle something like this. We also have a standard HD video camera with a fixed lens. If I could take full 1080p HD video and have more physical video size to work with, I could have the luxury of cropping it into a 720p HD video size and take out some of the background stuff.

From a lighting perspective I had different issues. Overhead florescent light ballasts caused bands of dark waves to move vertically across the camera censor when I was directly beneath them. Turning them off fixes the problem, but kills the background lighting. To get the lighting to work I used a florescent light bank with a three tungsten (orange) filters over the light. This produced the "sunset" main light. This also caused the camera white balance to adjust for tungsten/daylight. That in turn meant that the white walls in the background (which were lit by over head non-daylight corrected florescents) turn a grey/blue color - much like a sky color. So that is why the rail heads, some tops of roofs and rolling stock have a blue-white cast in some shots.

I spent some time (my first time actually) color grading the video. I used Apple's Color program that comes with Final Cut Studio and tweaked the background sky to a warmer color to try and get the feel of the sunset/low-light/late day theme. If you have ever replaced the sky in a photo using Photoshop, you can only imagine what is involved doing this with video. Luckily the program takes care of scouring each and every frame of a given shot (every different shot has to be touched individually), but it is tricky to get things isolated. I also made a few other tweaks to try and correct for some lighting issues and such, but you don't have much latitude before the video starts looking like crap.

All that said I'm going to try a few things. I purposely wanted to shoot this on my Nikon 300s to see how it handled things.

Shooting small models like this is tough. I have a ton of other footage here that I may stitch into a blooper/edit reel. I did some focus tests and you can see very clearly how small the depth of field is.

- jamie
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 10:34:20 AM by lashedup »

sizemore

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 10:34:49 AM »
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All that said I'm going to try a few things. I purposely wanted to shoot this on my Nikon 300s to see how it handled things.

- jamie

If it allows you to use an AF-S type lens, could you use a 55-200mm lens and zoom on the subject, yeah there still would be DOF issues but not as many as shooting right on top of the model I'd think. I'm still novice with my shooting ability. Right now I've been compensating for macro by using the larger mm lens while being father away for still shots, worth an attempt.

The S.

bicknell

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 10:39:51 AM »
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Awesome work.  The new SLR's with video allow you to do some things a hand held camcorder can't.  Most camcorders would have a deeper depth of field, but for many of the shots you did that would be a bad thing.  While it's clear in a few shots you need "more" DOF (so all of a lashup is in focus together) you don't need much more, you want the rest to blur.  The real trick, which is probably hard, is "follow focus", you need to keep refocusing as you pan manually to keep the main object in focus.  Pro video cameras make this easy, but the SLR videos weren't exactly designed for that.

Still, one of the most well produced videos I've seen in quite a while!

sirenwerks

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 11:00:49 AM »
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Super! The doodlebug was a nice surprise. Keep 'em coming!

And the Circus Train was cool too. Great work by Nate! But where are the midgets?
Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

mcjaco

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 11:27:18 AM »
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But where are the midgets?

We had them wrestling in the corner.

Sokramiketes

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 01:04:31 PM »
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Super! The doodlebug was a nice surprise.

Skytop47 came by to visit and run trains and brought both the doodlebug and the orange/black 44 tonner.  They were both well done, and blended in great.
Mike

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pfs

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 01:19:56 PM »
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Super vid.


When does the ModuTrak Lighting and Video book come out?  ;)

Ian MacMillan

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 01:54:47 PM »
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Awesome work.  The new SLR's with video allow you to do some things a hand held camcorder can't.  Most camcorders would have a deeper depth of field, but for many of the shots you did that would be a bad thing.  While it's clear in a few shots you need "more" DOF (so all of a lashup is in focus together) you don't need much more, you want the rest to blur.  The real trick, which is probably hard, is "follow focus", you need to keep refocusing as you pan manually to keep the main object in focus.  Pro video cameras make this easy, but the SLR videos weren't exactly designed for that.

Still, one of the most well produced videos I've seen in quite a while!



Grab a depth of field adapter for your camcorder. I got one for my prosumer Canon 720p/1080i and it is the best! Nice to be able to use all my Canon lenses with the camcorder.


Jamie thanks for the info on the filters. I had the same issue with the first video that I shot of my layout using GE Chroma 50s and I got the black bands on the video. I will have to get some filters.

Although Jamie, I prefer the soundtrack used in this vid!

I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

bicknell

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2010, 03:25:29 PM »
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Grab a depth of field adapter for your camcorder. I got one for my prosumer Canon 720p/1080i and it is the best! Nice to be able to use all my Canon lenses with the camcorder.

I didn't know there was such a thing!  Google has found me several though, I'm off to read...

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: 2009 End of Year modutrak Video
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2010, 03:51:46 PM »
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That video is pornographic.

I want to know more about that SW1 though. That's cool.

My only complaint, everything looked to be running quite fast. Video ALWAYS does that though.