Fourth in the Hacked GH2 Tutorial Series. In this episode we start with the footage loaded and ready to test with the streamparser software. This software will tell us that the footage has recorded at the correct bitrate, and has all red frames which represent I-frames (GOP 1) which makes this essentially a CBR Intraframe AVCHD codec. Very impressive for a $600 camera. Following this we have information on the ISO Bug which affects ISO 320 and 640 and can be countered by setting a higher ISO and returning back downward. This segment was recorded in true anamorphic which I will talk about in a later video. The video ends with using Kelvin for white balancing.
Technically this isn’t 4k. It’s not even 2k, but it is the best way to upload your footage to youtube or Vimeo for the absolute best quality and for future-proofing your work. Here was the first test of “4K”
click “ORIGINAL QUALITY”
So what is going on here, and why should I do this? First, I created a 4000×1800 project in Sony Vegas 11. I interpolated the anamorphic footage shot to the correct aspect ratio, and “graded” the footage in Magic Bullet looks – Let me show you some examples of the benefits.
Taken sample from this video (which was done at 2k)
Now, if you control the master that you upload, every downsample will be from that file, but if you upload at 1080p or below, your future footage can only be upsampled from that lower quality master and who knows what method will be used to upsample when the age of 4k or 8k hits us in the upcoming decade. Also if you upload at 1080p with anamorphic footage, its quite posible that you will actually lose vertical resolution if your footage is encoded with bars. 4k or even 2400×1080 will make sure that your footage wont be downgraded before it goes through your favorite host’s compression.
The new Nikon 1 series has the distinction of being the only camera in its price range that can shoot 400FPS at 640×240. Now that doesn’t sound like much resolution, but for web delivery – it can be usable.
The way the camera comes stock, you wouldn’t want to use the high fps mode, the sharpening makes the image look like it came out of a barbie cam. Aliasing and Moire are present as well -but there’s a cure. Take advice from other video shooting large sensor consumer cams, and lower the sharpening. It not only reduces the sharpening artifacts, it also lessens other artifacts as well. No its not perfect, I wouldn’t even say that its pretty, but its the only option for $599.
Here’s the methodology of my madness. First, we have only 640×240 pixels to work with – we need to make the most of them, so shooting around it in anamorphic, or cropped 16:9 is a must. Secondly, we need to get those few pixels as accurate and neutral as possible. Fortunately, the sharpening setting fixes this perfectly. It makes a usable image from something once unusable.
Next we need to add information. At best this footage is going to look like DV transferred 16mm film. I’m ok with that, so were going to need to add grain in most cases – and evaluate how much on a case by case basis. Were also going to need to add a bit of diffusion. Both of these will be added in a 1080p timeline, so that the downsampled footage will have more information.
Workflow if more FPS needed: Add to 1080p timeline, and use twixtor. Render grading and effects on footage on a second pass so you have more options to work with. Additionally, you never want to add a grain effect before using a program like twixtor, especially with footage with so little information. …
Thanks to mpgsvcd in this thread: http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/335/ptool-3.60d-gh2-avchd-encoder-settings/p1 We now have a greatly improved 720p mode for the GH2, and the first useful bitrate hack for the camera. Play the video below in “Original” quality on youtube to take a look at how the windmill motion is captured. For the most part, this will remove the macro blocking that was evident in this mode due to the low bitrate before the hack.