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  1. #1

    Default Shooting FX plates with Canon 5D

    Looking for input on shooting fx plates & miniatures with digital SLRs. I have used them for stop frame animation before and there great. The new HD video features look kinda nice, but really step on the file when it gets written. Does the quicktime h264 compression that gets thrown on it rule out any real use for these kind of camera for serious - yet cost effective fx work.

    I have worked on a few commercial project lately that were shot with a 5D. Seems to be some sort of stablizing issues with any handheld footage.

    If you have experimented with this please share, Would love to hear what kind of issues people have been having. Just curious...

    maybe the scarlet or epic would be worth waiting for.


  2. #2


    DSLR's are being used as you describe all the time, from commercials to TV shows and even features (listen to RED Centre podcast #56 with guest Shane Hurlbut ASC, although I would argue with his shoot at 30fps and twixtor to 24 advice). I recently worked on a job where we shot some elements on 35mm film and some on DSLR. Having these elements available sooner was key and they worked very well. The important thing is to understand everything about what compromises you are accepting. Also out of the box these cameras are designed to make punchy, pretty pictures not clean unclipped images ready for grading.

    A few links that will help:
    Tyler Ginter's 180 Degree Shutter – Learn It, Live It, Love It
    Stu Mashwitz Prolost blog: Flatten Your 5D or Tyler did a video for the 7D

    One of the things you have no control over is line skipping (which can produce aliasing - see Red User for several examples of this like this zone chart from a 7d). Often these cameras are used to shoot very shallow depth of field non video looking images which mitigate that as well as helping with the other factor out of your control - H264 compression. If you are shooting very sharp, everything in focus images and there is something with very high frequency detail in the scene - or that enters the scene you may find the compression cannot handle that. I cannot stress testing enough.

    Hope that helps,


    Jeff Heusser
    co-founder fxguide

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    I tried stabilizing 5d and 7d footage and it is a nightmare with any horizontal movement in the camera particularly handheld due to the rolling shutter effect being relatively slow compared to film. It means you have skew happening when you pan the camera, the faster you pan the worse the skew. So it's tricky to remove as it's not constant, also it is on perspective so when doing any thing that's not a nodal pan something closer to the camera will paralax more and so the skew is at a different angle to something in the background! The foundry have a plugin which attempts to fix this.

    The other thing is the compression. If you stabilize a shot that's moving alot, you end up with a smooth camera move but the compression artifacts look ten tines worse as they are inherent of the original bad movement. This combined with rollling shutter result in what's known as the jello effect when you stabilize the footage. It looks really bad!

    In terms of tracking, all the distortion and skew make it a nightmare to get things to line up and 3d tracking algorithms work on the basis of perfect geometry so will have trouble as well.

    So just keep your shots really smooth and slow! And it's much easier to do vfx.

    Oh and of course the colour sampling is not the best for keying purposes!

  4. #4


    I found this as a helpful link for me, hope it might give some useful here too :

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