VISUAL IMPACT TO REPRESENT DIGITAL SPUTNIK IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

Visual Impact now represents Digital Sputnik (DS) in Southern Africa. Digital Sputnik’s modular RBG LED lamps are one of the most innovating developments in lighting technology in the last 10 years. With this modular system one can combine individual lighting units to create a larger lamp or break it down to create smaller units. A key feature of these flicker free lamps is complete RGB colour control via a WiFi app. The lamps have a very wide range of colour temperatures from 1500 Kelvin to 10 000 Kelvin.

These features create flexibility, modularity and mobility enabling smaller teams, reduced power consumption and faster setup without compromising on the light quality or output. Digital Sputnik provided the main lighting fixture for Star Wars Rogue One. Other recent films using DS were Ghost in the Shell, The Neon Demon and Jason Bourne.

The content creation industry is going through a fundamental change. Visual Impact is proud to be part of this change starting with the adoption of digital imaging and it’s fusion of Camera, Post-production and Lighting disciplines. Please contact goran@visuals.tv or marius@visuals.tv for more information and look at:

SONY F55 CAMERA CASE STUDY WITH SOFT IMAGES

We consulted for a long form wildlife client last week and some really interesting issues came up. The client primarily shoots on Sony F55 cameras. Stefan Nell, our head of Digital Imaging was able to identify and assist and provide solutions, which we would like to share.

Pre-consultation settings:

  1. Menu settings:
    1. Cinema EI
    2. SLog 3
    3. SGamut 3
  2. Lenses were a mix of Nikon stills lenses and 2/3″ lenses with adaptors
  3. Shooting 4K

The problem: Images appear to be soft when shooting in 4K

Solution:

  1. Avoid using 2/3″ lenses with lens adaptors. These lenses and adaptors cannot resolve 4K.
  2. Be careful of thinking menu settings can resolve the soft images as one sometimes just increase the contrast and think the image has become sharper.
  3. Change menu settings to from SLog 3 to SLog 2
    1. SLog 3 would be noisy in the under exposed areas as it is more suited to high light latitude
    2. SLog 2 provides cleaner darker areas, so need to crush the blacks in post
  4. Test all stills lenses on a 4K resolution chart
  5. Preferably shoot on 4K lenses like the Fujinon Cabrios and Canon 50 to 1000mm 4k lens. The Canon is definitely the eye watering wildlife lens at the moment.
    1. http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/galleries/galleries/tutorials/cne50-1000_overview.shtml
    2. https://www.fujifilm.eu/eu/products/optical-devices/cine-lenses

Another great read on SLog 2 and SLog 3 is Allister Chapman’s blog at http://www.xdcam-user.com/2013/12/cine-ei-mode-when-recording-s-log23-and-raw-on-the-f5-and-f55/

REALITY TV AND THE USE OF FIBER TECHNOLOGIES

Increasingly broadcast professionals are preferring using fiber over copper cable as a signal carrier. Visual Impact has been providing fiber solutions for the last three years especially on large scale Reality TV projects like I am a Celeb, Fear Factor and Dare to Dance. Visual’s move to fiber was largely due to improvements in fiber technology and international broadcaster’s requirements.

We have noticed that even film schools like SAE are asking us to provide fiber based multi camera systems and training. This creates students immediately employable and in demand.

The benefits of fiber:

  1. Fiber cable is impervious to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. Copper no matter how well shielded is sensitive to interference resulting in signal drop out and a very unhappy client.
  2. Fiber cable has less attenuation and can therefore run up to 38 kilometers. The best copper BNC cable drops off after 100 meters. On the Reality TV show I am a Celeb, the bush camp was over one kilometer away from the control room and fiber the only viable solution.
  3. Fiber has greater bandwidth and can carry more information with great fidelity than copper.
  4. If maintained fiber can outlive copper and is more durable.
  5. Fiber weights less than copper making for lower freight cost and easier handling.
  6. Fiber is more expensive than copper in the short run, but over the long run is more affordable due to low maintenance, less downtime and less networking infrastructure.