Saturday, September 25, 2010

Songbirds Come Alive in CS5!

Anyone fortunate to participate in Philip Bloom's workshops will learn his suggested techniques towards creating a Custom Picture Style with the Canon 5D Mark 2 or 7D to help preserve maximum detail in the shadows, especially in contrasty conditions such as bright sunlight. The resulting video certainly looks a bit bland, but it's easy to bring back as much (or as little) detail as desired in post processing. One of these flat Custom Picture Styles is very easy to dial in: pick Canon's "Neutral Picture Style", then in your menu settings simply apply the following adjustments:

Sharpness -- all the way down to "0"
Contrast -- all the way down to "-4"
Saturation -- dial down two notches to "-2"
Colour Tone -- leave it where it is at "0"

Assign (ie. "save") these new settings as Custom Picture Style C1 and you're good to go.

Songbirds Come Alive with CS5! from David Rilstone on Vimeo.

As you can see in my little video above, the "Ungraded" part of each little clip looks very flat (with a tiny bit of flickering just to be annoying). As I mention in this video, I'm a firm believer in "Less is More" as far as post adjustments are concerned to preserve as close to life-like as I can. Here is all I did for each clip (labelled in the video as "Graded"):

Autocolour - Manually adjusted Black Clipping and White Clipping from 0% to 0.10%;

Shadow/Highlight - simply clicked on "Auto Amount" which put a check mark in the box

Unsharp Mask - left the default amount of Sharpening alone at "50%"
- Increased the Radius from the default 1.0% to "4.0%"
- left the Threshold value alone at the default value of "0"

Note: be very careful to use a minimal amount of Sharpening. It's tempting to use a little too much and you can get some really ugly artifacts showing up -- haloing around the edges, grainy-looking noise, and other noxious qualities.

The music is "Living Voyage" by Kevin Macleod.

Be sure to visit Phil Bloom's blog for the latest on dslr film making!

As I said in the video -- Comments, suggestions, or even just a quick "Hi!" would be very much appreciated!

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