Idea FPS recommendations

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FPS recommendations was created by Drummerkat

I have been shooting in 30 FPS to get a more cinematic look. I watch other people's videos and they appear more cinematic than mine, yet also fluid. They have slow motion without choppiness. Are they shooting at a higher FPS (60 or 120 perhaps?) and then slowing the event down in Vegas to get the effect?
What do others shoot in? I do wedding videos and they don't need to look like live-action sports or anything. I haven't had the best results with 24 FPS due to choppiness and too much blur.
Also, are there any filters or plugins you recommend for a cinematic effect?
19 May 2017 02:37 #1

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic FPS recommendations

This is a pretty deep subject with what I think is a broad subjective opinion. Looking back to where the cinematic look comes from it was born from feature film cameras that run 24 fps, on a verity of B&W and color based films. Using what we commonly refer to as consumer or prosumer grade cameras, there are many that will record in 24 fps, but none have sensors that produce/duplicate the look of cinematic film. To get the cinematic look, we need to color grade. Some prosumer cameras have cinelike recording styles that mimic (it's color grading at the recording level) the cinematic look, but I don't think they produce an exact grading that duplicate a specific color film. If your camera has cinelike settings, and the results are pleasing, you have an answer. Probably not as you are asking the question.

If you don't have the ability within your camera, I think the only way you are going to get the results you seek (as you have eluded to) easily is to employ filters or LUT's (Look Up Tables). There are many of these available on the net to download, or via tutorials you can design your own manually. Outside of the various cinelike color correction filters (FX), many prefer to use color grading look up tables. In Vegas 13 (and it may be the same in Vegas 14) there are two add-on's plugins to use LUT's. A couple are pay-for plugins, and a free plugin is the Vision Color LUT Plugin for Vegas. I use this plugin often. In addition there are many free LUT's available from various sources, and with PaintShopPro, Affinity Photo, PhotoShop and other image programs you can design your own custom look up table to use with Vegas and the VisionColor LUT Plugin (or other plugins).

Basically I think there are two parts to the Cinematic Looks, 24 fps and color grading to simulate the color film of your choice. Not all video that has what we may feel is a cinematic look, will be in 24 fps. If my camera was capable of recording slow motion in 60 fps and/or 90/120 fps, and I wanted to incorporate slow motion scenes, I would use 30 fps as producing 60/90/120 fps (all being equal increments of the base frame rate) will produce the smoothest results with little production effort or problems. If your camera does 48 and/or 96 fps, then you may like to use 24 fps as the base frame rate (again 48 and 96 being equal increments of 24 reducing production headaches and the smoothest results).

If you are getting choppy results from 24 fps, it probably isn't the 24 frames that are causing it rather a technique you may be using. For example, if we fast zoom or fast pan, 24 fps is going to produce a choppy/stutter effect. It is the nature of the beast of that slow frame rate. If you are applying a sharpen filter that may also cause a choppy/stutter effect. One method cinematic producers use to reduce the choppy effect of fast pans/movement when they wanted to pan fast and follow fast motion, is to apply what we refer to as a motion blur filter. This tricks the eyes when we view the fast motion (it looks smoother) and it is difficult for our eyes to really determine the grade of sharpness when viewing fast movement (so we don't notice the blur effect). Motion Picture film camera do this by adjusting the exposure rate to create a slight motion blur. They also avoided fast movement whenever possible!

Even static subjects with little motion, as when at the alter while exchanging vows, may produce a slight choppy appearance from some high definition cameras with excellent lens clarification and may need a slight adjustment from a motion blur filter. Sometime at 24 fps, we can get to much clarity and definition from 1080p.

Personally I like working with 30 fps and using color grading to achieve the look, but that is just me (actually I film in 60 fps and slow down all the parts that do not appear in slow motion to 30 fps, which is most of it.....I have a large capacity SSD to record to). And, I never consider trying to get a cinematic look, as there are so many 'looks' coming out of Hollywood I wouldn't know which one to copy. I have some LUT's that I like to apply and sometime I design and create my on for a project. I have the freedom to design and use what I like. Producing wedding videos, you have to consider also what is acceptable within your industry and what are the current trends (although you may be one of the trend setters) and find what pleases you to be competitive.

Whether you select the base frame rate of 24 or 30, I would use slow motion frame rates that matched incrementally and avoid any hassles with stuttering frames. Then I would explore the world of LUT's. LUT's are applied similar to color correction/grading, but once you have the LUT you like, it can get applied in seconds. Although you may still need to make minor color adjustments after applying a LUT, a look up table usually will take out the major pain of color grading.

The other consideration of color grading whether you do it manually, with filters FX or LUT's, as I'm sure you know, it all starts off in camera getting the right exposure and as much dynamic range you can squeeze out of your sensor. There are some other things you may be able to do in camera and in post production, but as this is really a broad subject I think I have said enough for now. Keep in mind I'm certainly no expert and hope I have contributed in a helpful way and not created more confusion.
Best Regards......George
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19 May 2017 04:47 #2

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Replied by Drummerkat on topic FPS recommendations

Thanks for the in-depth response. You guys here are great.
I have never heard of LUT so I will have to look into that more. One embarrassing problem I have is bad color-blindness (it prevented me from a job in law enforcement :( , so when it comes to any color correction, I have to get my wife to supervise me otherwise I'll turn people green (yes I've done that before but it was corrected before the render). She will have to learn the cinematic effect/theory so she will know what I'm going for.
I've watched some youtube videos and a webinar on color correction for cinefilter, but it varies from film to film, and again, the color blindness...

I use Canon G20, and I can record from 24 to 30 to 60 FPS. I've experimented with different ones. It's a great camera with really good low-light features and other customizations such as back-light correction. It has cinematic filters but I won't use them since they can't be removed in post if I don't like them.
You mentioned various types of cinematic styles coming out of Hollywood. When it comes to other wedding videos I've watched, the cinematic effects they show have every scene with fluid, non-stuttering, slow motion. That is what I'm looking for. Here's an example that I've been seeing across the board:
. Disregard the various boxes on screen with different scenes, I just want you to see the slow-motion I'm referring to.
Also, do you know the best way to correct back lighting in post?
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19 May 2017 05:11 #3

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic FPS recommendations

For that kind of slow motion try recording a scene at 60p, then bring it into Vegas and reduce those parts you want at normal motion to 30p with the frame speed control in Vegas. When we do that, it looks smoother when we take out every other frame reducing the slow motion of 60 frames down to 30 frames, than it does if we try to take 30p and slow it down to 60p, at least within Vegas, because Vegas does not build in-between frames well, like other tools such as ReSpeedr 1.0 or Twixtor. BTW, ReSpeedr is a pretty good tool for adjusting frame rates at a reasonable cost, and Twixtor is even better, but real pricy!

As for correcting backlighting in post.....this is a problem with cameras that have limited dynamic range (actually to some degree even expensive cameras with 12 or more HDR). If you expose for the subject your issue will be the background which is then blown out. You can tone this down in post to a certain degree, but by the nature of over exposure, the detail has been lost and nothing will bring it back, it's gone. You can use the masking ability within Vegas and keyframes, but it is time consuming.

A better tool for this would be a composting program like Hitfilm Express 4, which is free. It has a learning curve, but when you get it nailed down it can provide wonders for correcting and a lot easier to apply the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time you use it. With a composting program I would expose for a mid-tone somewhere between the highlights and the shadows. You can always enrichen a slightly underexposed subject easily enough because there is plenty of detail and correction filters will do the job. That way you are not overexposing the background to the degree all the detail is blown out. Some probably, but not all, and having some to work with is better than none! You can also sometimes reduce the backlight effect by zooming in for a close shot and reducing the area of the backlight.

The nice thing about Hitflim is the ability to use a masking function that is far easier, more accurate, and faster to use than that of Vegas, and the keyframing is a built in function again faster and easier to use than Vegas. I guess they would call that smart technology to track a masked subject and reduce the pains of manual manipulations. The great part about learning to compost is then also learning what scenes it will work best on and then you can avoid those scenes which it doesn't perform well. We have to know the limitation of our equipment and skills.

As for the sample you posted, I see some choppy and stuttering movement (during some limited fast movements), as well as, a lot of jitter from camera movement, they should have used Mercalli to stabilize their handheld shots. Also, they are a bit late on some of the cuts which show a few frames as the camera was repositioned for the next shot, those should definitely have been cut out. That is not hard criticism, they produced a very nice wedding video that I'm sure the couple enjoy, just some comments.

Wedding photography, to me, is the true example of reality TV! You pretty much only get one shot, no retakes, live and on the run. I've never done wedding videos, but many years ago running a photography studio I did a lot of still weddings and know how exhausting and frustrating they can be, and at the same time very enjoyable. Especially when we produce the results we are proud of.

Now that you have posted what you like as an example, could you possibly post an example of your result which you do not like? There is often confusion, at least for me, when a person refers to 'choppy' and I think I know what they refer to, but a picture being worth a thousand words, posting a sample will clarify and may assist others here to provide more help and suggestions.
Best Regards......George
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19 May 2017 06:21 #4

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Replied by Drummerkat on topic FPS recommendations

I thought about trying masking. I've never used it before and don't want to waste my time if the end result isn't very noticeable, but I will at least try it. During this particular wedding, when I saw my main camera had too much backlighting, I quickly put two other cameras at an angle but still it wasn't that great. I have three angles to work with in post so I will give it my best. I did notice a change when I changed the zoom.

Here's a link to my page with some of my past trailers: www.wright-photography.net/wedding-trailers (go easy on me!)

I've come a long way from my little handheld camera I once used and I've learned a lot more theory from when I first started. I don't have that much choppiness because I don't use slow-mo due to the 30 FPS limitations, which I think all these are 30 FPS. They still appear to have that "live-action" feel to them versus the slow-mo feel like in the example I gave.
19 May 2017 06:31 #5

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic FPS recommendations

I only had time to view the top trailer, and I think that is good work, nice job. I don't like to critique another members work online. If you would like me to make comments I will contact you through your website. However with that said, I will make one comment. It appears you have the three camera shoots worked out very well both at the camera and during editing. OK, I'll make one more comment. Your edit cuts are very good.

I would make a suggestion about the slow motion. You may want to download the free trial copy of ProDad ReSpeedr 1.0 and ticker around with some of your 30p scenes, slowing them down to 60p and see if it produces anything you may be happy with. ReSpeedr isn't difficult or time consuming to learn and probably a 1-2 hour session will provide you with some results which may be just pleasing enough to use in your videos. If so, it gives you a whole lot of freedom to then add a little bit of slo-mo after shooting and selective during post.
Best Regards......George
19 May 2017 09:56 #6

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Replied by Drummerkat on topic FPS recommendations

Thanks for the compliments. It really means a lot coming from another videographer.
Please help me understand how you can turn 30 FPS into 60 FPS on Vegas? I understand the reverse ( drag out to the right) , but not 30 into 60.
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19 May 2017 10:06 #7

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Replied by Eagle Six on topic FPS recommendations

Drummerkat wrote: Thanks for the compliments. It really means a lot coming from another videographer.
Please help me understand how you can turn 30 FPS into 60 FPS on Vegas? I understand the reverse (drag out to the right) , but not 30 into 60.


Either I have not explained myself properly in a previous post, or I don't understand your question, or perhaps both!

If you use Time Stretch on 30p you can stretch (moving right) to effectively increase the frame rate. If you stretch to double the time of 30p, it will run twice as long effectively changing the 30p frame rate to slow motion 60p. If your original is 60p slow motion, which will be smoother running, but want certain parts to appear as normal 30p speed, again we use the Time Stretch but instead off pulling the right event edge out to the right, pull it to the left. Do this by exactly half and your 60p event should appear to run as 30p. I think that is correct, if I have properly explained it.

There are a couple methods used to add extra frames when applying frame rate changes to create slow motion. The easiest is to just add an extra frame by copying the previous frame, and instantly 30p become 60p. The problem is when we view this it appears choppy, because we are seeing the exact set of frames with the exact difference in subject movement between each frame, except now our eye has time to focus n two repeat frames
before the subject actually moves in the next frame, so it looks like step-motion instead of smoother slow motion.

Another way is to blend part of the previous frame and part of the next frame into the frame added in between. This doesn't look any better!

Yet another method is to actually build a new frame taking the position of the subject in the previous frame and the difference of position in the next frame and pixel by pixel building we think a real frame in between would look like. That is what ReSpeedr and Twixtor do. The math algorisms inside the program engines are very sophisticated and take some time to render, but this method usually looks better. I say usually, because there are some scenes with lend themselves to better results than others.

Personally I have never had great results stretching the time frame in Vegas to create slow motion, so I use ReSpeedr, but it does a good job of compressing time provided the amount stretched is in equal increments to the original clip frame rate.
Best Regards......George
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19 May 2017 10:33 #8

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Replied by Drummerkat on topic FPS recommendations

Ok thanks for clearing that up.
19 May 2017 10:39 #9

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