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backwheelbates
08-20-2010, 08:26 AM
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I spent the month of July, 2010 working as an animator in Tokyo. I had a great time living and working in this unique city and I wanted to share my experience. My GH13 was with me for the adventure:) Please enjoy!


Music:
Quruli - Rose Flower
Also live recordings from around Tokyo.

Camera:
GH1 with GH13 hack
recorded at 720p, mjpeg 55mbs, 4:2:2 color

Lenses:
Panasonic 14mm-140mm F4.0-5.8
Panasonic 20mm F1.7
Canon FD 50mm F1.8

Thanks GH13 Community:)

HHL
08-20-2010, 09:29 AM
Hey Thanks for posting that backwheelbates! I enjoyed that alot. Great subject matter. Tokyo looks like a BLAST! Looks like you had a lot of fun. :)

I liked the look. I don't usually like 30p, but it didn't bother me at all here. There was some "strobing" on occasion, but that has nothing to do with it being 30P. I have a couple of questions for you....simply put....I'd like to try your settings for a test shoot this weekend. :)

1. Do you know what your shutter speed was set at? (It looks like you didn't mess with it much...it was always RIGHT on the verge of flickering too much....I might be wrong, but that might be part of what I liked...wierd huh? Don't let Barry Green see it though...he'll eat your lunch! (lol))

2. Could you please post your GH1 4:2:2 70 mbps settings? (or reference them/where they are posted?)

3. Did you Color Correct any of this? If so, what tool?

4. Were your clips "viewable" in camera? ...or would that lock the camera up?

Anywho...sorry so many questions, but I suspect others may have similar questions. After I get this to work on my GH13, I'm going to see if I can get the same settings to work on my GF13! I was thinking about selling it, but if I can get the footy to look like this....I'll have to re-think that. :)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING! I enjoyed every minute of your footage!

pjsssss
08-20-2010, 09:34 AM
Very cool. Very entertaining. Thanks for sharing.

eustace
08-20-2010, 09:53 AM
Nice. Liked a lot of the street shots at night.

maxdvz
08-20-2010, 10:34 AM
Thanks for posting that. Just like being there. You have a great eye.
There is almost an animated feel there. Great composition.
But very human. Love it. Keep shooting.

properniceinnit
08-20-2010, 10:39 AM
thank you for taking me to Tokyo, loved the little kid shaking his hands at the dogs!

horrible banding at 0:59, it's a nice shot though. I've had to delete a fair amount of footage cos of it :( I'm gonna look into this 'burn in' technique that's all the rage...

Thanks again.

backwheelbates
08-20-2010, 08:15 PM
Thanks for all the positive comments everyone!!

HHL,
Im glad you enjoyed it:) About the frame rate, it was filmed at 30p and rendered out at 24p. I tried to keep the shutter speed at 180° so 30p would be 1/60. (So, outputting at 24p would make the shutter speed a bit on the fast side).

Flicker was actually a big problem. My filming was pretty spontaneous, so there wasn't always time to tweak the camera settings. Pretty much all of the night shots had issues with fluorescent light flicker. I could fix some of them with virtual dub and MSU deflicker. But some shots were left as is with the hope that viewer would be focusing on the scene and not on technical details (no such benifit here though! haha). Japan's electricity is based on 100hz, so I tried shutter speeds with multiples of 100, etc, but I couldnt find a "golden setting" for these situations. If anyone has more experience with night street shooting I'd love to hear their advice.

I double checked my settings and the bitrate is actually closer to 55mbs(I've corrected this in the main post). Here are the settings. This is from an older version of ptool, so things may have changed since then;
mjpeg 1280m 420->422 color sampling
Quality settings (E1 to E4) - 352, 220, 200, 184
Table settings (E1 to E4) - 24, 24, 24, 24

As for color correction, I used cs5 premiere for slight color correction (fast color correct, mainly for luminance), and magic bullet for a bit of color tweaking (although I wish lightroom could color correct video!!). But, it's pretty close to the original actually.

None of the clips were visible in camera. This reminded me a lot of when I had an SLR that used film. You have to get to know your camera and trust your instincts, then hope it works out.

While filming I was using ND filters quite a bit in order to film with wide-open apertures in daylight. It was a real pain twisting on and off those filters as lighting conditions changed. I kept thinking, wouldnt it be great if I could just set the camera's iso below 100iso. Say 50, 20, or even 5. It just seems silly to have the need for a physical filter when it could be done in-camera. This would be a great feature for ptool!!

Cheers!

shooter_
08-21-2010, 03:40 AM
Nice shots. The editing would need to breathe though.

paulmeyer
08-21-2010, 01:40 PM
Brilliant dude, you are a real filmmaker. You created such a feeling with your movie in the way you "showed" us what you "saw" and how you mixed the music/sound with it. That is why it "takes" us "there". =)

I love your thoughts on waiting to see how your footage turned out - you've inspired me to do the same.

Thanks!

steventimothy
08-21-2010, 02:11 PM
Nice shots. The editing would need to breathe though.

I disagree, I like the editing. I hate shots with too much "space" around them.

All his edit points are well chosen, I watched it with & without music. His cuts seems well motivated. Whether there's a lot of cuts or a few, I hate shots that have extra footage for no good reason.

I see that sometimes here, it's often the main problem with some otherwise good pieces: lingering too long on a shot looks like amateur hour and kills the rhythm. When you're sitting in the editing chair, you're not the cameraman anymore, you gotta kill your darlings.

stoneinapond
08-21-2010, 02:24 PM
I disagree, I like the editing. I hate shots with too much "space" around them.

And I have to disagree with you. I too thought some of the cuts could last a little longer. Often a great scene was gone before I could take it all in, along with the captions. I guess I'll have to rewatch several times! :cheesy:

Nonetheless, a lovely piece. I'll be in Tokyo in less than three weeks, but unfortunately only in transit at the airport. For now that will have to be the closest I get to what looks like a fabulous experience.

Thanks for sharing and great work.

backwheelbates
08-21-2010, 06:59 PM
Thanks for all the passionate comments!

The editing was very tight on this one. I had a lot I wanted to squeeze into a short time frame, and I didn't expect the viewer to sit through much more than 6-7 minutes. So I definitely understand that for some people it will be too fast and for some people it will be just right(I'll be surprised if its too slow for someone!). But I'm delighted that people have enough interest to watch it a second time to catch the bits they missed.

steventimothy,

"you gotta kill your darlings", so true!!

I'm also a fan of Kurt Vonnegut's 8 rules of storytelling. Most of his rules directly translate to film making. Great things to consider:)

http://boingboing.net/2007/04/14/vonneguts-rules-for-.html

Noel Evans
08-21-2010, 07:31 PM
Have to watch out for the light frequency, I saw lots of pulsing. Japan operates at 50hz, so you should marry your shutter speed to that when shooting light sources.

HHL
08-21-2010, 08:54 PM
When you're sitting in the editing chair, you're not the cameraman anymore, you gotta kill your darlings.


Amen brother! It's not something I like to do....but it IS A REALITY. Tell the story...that means CUTTING ANYTHING that doesn't move the story forward. :)

PS....thanks for the response...I'll get into those details tomorrow. DEEPLY APPRECIATED!

Satsuei
08-21-2010, 10:34 PM
backwheelbates,

Thanks for sharing your video. Great job! I liked it a lot. No qualms here with your shooting and editing.

As a long time Tokyo resident, it's nice to see this city through fresh eyes every once in a while.

onion
08-22-2010, 02:07 AM
Great job. I went on holiday there earlier this year, and your vid somehow evokes memories of that trip. Less rain back in May though :0)

Shinobi Productions
08-22-2010, 02:57 AM
Editing was great, I loved it. Probably woulda cut it at 5 min for most viewers but since I am a avid fan of Japan it was easy for me to watch the entire film

steventimothy
08-22-2010, 07:59 AM
"you gotta kill your darlings", so true!!



I'm an animator too so we're probably sympatico on minimalism for strictly pragmatic reasons :)

Simon Höfer
08-22-2010, 08:28 AM
Very nice! Really enjoyed it, but I am a Japan fan aswell :)

Emanuel
08-22-2010, 08:58 AM
I disagree, I like the editing. I hate shots with too much "space" around them.

All his edit points are well chosen, I watched it with & without music. His cuts seems well motivated. Whether there's a lot of cuts or a few, I hate shots that have extra footage for no good reason.

I see that sometimes here, it's often the main problem with some otherwise good pieces: lingering too long on a shot looks like amateur hour and kills the rhythm. When you're sitting in the editing chair, you're not the cameraman anymore, you gotta kill your darlings.Editing is an art itself. I've spent three years of my life to try to learn it in full time :-)

But it is also a matter of aesthetics and fashion in the middle of no time for nothing. We should act fast nowadays, we think fast (sometimes too fast ;-) ...we eat fast food, we live in fast times indeed. It is a contemporary attitude. Stuart English posted other day something very suitable for these MTV times: «Fashions always pass, style and quality remain».

I concur, nice shots indeed.

backwheelbates
08-23-2010, 11:25 PM
Thanks again for all the great feedback.

Noel Evans,

Japan operates at 50hz
Ya, the flicker was a huge issue. It's really difficult to fix after the fact (virtual dub and MSU deflicker helped for quite a few shots though.) I was filming mostly at 60hz, so close!! I wonder how well fluorescent lights can be filmed, even with proper settings, considering the rolling shutter. I'll try your suggestion next time!

steventimothy, HHL,

"you gotta kill your darlings"
That saying has been ingrained into my brain since I was an animation student as well. Even so, it takes a long time to learn!

Cheers!

Bueller
08-24-2010, 04:39 AM
The night Bridge shot is epic. Could you point me toward a tutorial that shows how to do what you did with the words.

Thanks

backwheelbates
08-24-2010, 05:59 AM
Thanks Bueller! Odaiba is quite breathtaking at night! As for the text animation, it's nothing too advanced. Just using "text layers" and "motion tracking" in After Effects. If you google either of those, I reckon you'll find heaps of information.