Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Panasonic HVX200 Shoot: Invasion of the Jaggies!

Steve is shredded by the camera through an effect called "jaggies."

I didn't even plan on writing about this, but video jaggies were on my mind.

I had made a cheat sheet to help me figure on-the-fly about avoiding "jaggies," which are the video artifacts you see during camera shake, or when there's a jolting of the camera during shooting. It's an ugly-looking phenomenon, and I was bitten during a shoot this past summer, during a barbecue contest.

Mmmmm. Barbecue. Oh - anyway, while powering up the HVX200, I had started shooting in a native format, which was set in the menu at 24PN, shot at 480, interlaced. The footage looked all right, but I didn't hear any sound while shooting Steve, who was part of the taking part in the 2006 Bel Air Barbecue challenge. So I switched to 30P at 480i, which finally gave me some audio.

I played back the new clip, and heard the audio, but noticed the picture looked...just a little ragged. Thinking it was perhaps the fault of the stock flip-open screen, I kept shooting, until I had 32 minutes of SDTV (standard definition) footage, so I retreated to my albino turtle to transfer the files onto my PowerBook, which can actually play the files at that size. But double-checking on the clips, I didn't like what I shot, one bit.

The jaggies had invaded my footage! Those interlaced erect tentacles that look like perfectly-parallel lightning bolts were embedded in every clip I had shot. Somewhere along the line, I needed to work something out. But I had little time, since a deadline loomed. Onward I pressed, shooting what I could as quickly as possible to finish out the next 32 minutes of clips.

Returning to my car, I figured that a nice crib sheet was in order. It could rest as desktop wallpaper for a while, until I could memorize what was needed. The image could then be stored in the wallpapers folder for future reference.

Finally setting the recording function to 30P at 720 progressive, I shot the rest in progressive high definition with sound, but could only capture 8 minutes of footage, since my 4GB P2 cards could only store 8 gigs total, since each minute of 720P footage needs 1 gigabyte of space. But the HD footage can be turned into "filmout," which translates into frame grabbing, in my case. (It really means processing the file into footage that will be exposed on culluloid film.)


Frustrated by not remembering the correct settings I wanted, I sat down after work and color-coded files to give myself a crib sheet so that I could look at a glance at my desktop if I ever needed to refresh my memory, or positively verify the right settings before a shoot. I just color-coded the files that gave good results in green, while the jagged edge videos were tagged red. The blue is just desktop color.


Well, that's all, all. I've gotta get home to crash and burn. Right now it's tough, because I'm waiting for the multicolored balls to stop rolling in Google, which tells me that they'ye gotten my footage. I'm also working on a project that needs completion perhaps by the end of the week. And I'll try to remember to write about some feedback that my boss, Bob recently shared.

It wasn't praise.

I leave you, hopefully, feeling a hunger pang, since I'm posting a detail shot and a clip it was lifted from, of commercially-grilled BBQ ribs (the one's the contestants serve the public). Enjoy! And return soon; I plan on posting some video of this shoot as well, to show the effects of jaggies, and how it looks when you've set the camera properly.

Down-rezzed clip from 720P HD of commercially-grilled ribs.

Still image lifted from the video clip above, which was shot in 720P high definition.


60wpm said...

Thanks for the info.

Light For All said...

Anytime that I have the time! I'm trying to upload videos right now, but Google's not been very nice with their upload process (failure the past 3 days). I justwrote them about the problem...