Monday, June 13, 2011

an inspirational video shot in Kauai

I just got back from a family vaction in Hawaii. I was in the middle of putting together my video and ran across this entry on Planet5D

Imagine going on a hiking adventure exploring Kauai with the homies, sleeping in the Walmart parking lot in your rental car, and all you got is your 5D, 16-35mm, and a glidecam.

This film was made by Devin Graham.

an excerpt from Planet 5D:

This entire film was filmed on the island of Kauai over a 9 day period. The first 3 days were spent hiking the Napali coast, a 11 mile hike along the coast. We did this for 3 days. After this we spent 2 more days exploring the island. I did this with 8 other friends. After the 5 days were up with them, they all flew back to Oahu where everyone was living, and I stayed on the island on my own for 4 more days.

I had a rental truck, that's how I got around. I didn't want to spend money on hotels though, so I slept in the truck, in a Walmart parking lot for the other 4 nights. A lot of cars get broken in on the island of Kauai, according to rumors, so that's why I would camp in the parking lots, so I was a lot more exposed if someone tried to break in where I was sleeping :) That way i wouldn't get robbed, raped, or murdered, ha.

At night when I got done filming, I would go into the only Walmart on the island, where they also have a McDonald's, and I would bum off there wi-fi with my ipod touch, and plot my path for the next day, then I would head out before the break of dawn every morning, and I would get back after sunset to do it all over again.

On a technical side, this was all all shot on the Canon 5D Mark II. Most of the shots were done with the Canon 16-35mm 2.8 L Series lens.

The smooth shots were done with a Glidecam HD-4000. You can check out the exact model on their official website here where you can also buy them. I've been shooting with there glidecams for the last 5 years, and love them. They do take a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get past that, it's all smooth!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why does my exported video look washed out?

That's the google search of the day for me.

I edited some footage last night on Premiere Pro CS5 (windows), exported it using the Youtube Widescreen HD settings. After waiting a few minutes to watch it, I was disappointed to how dull and washed out it looked compared to the screens in Premiere.

The search results got me to Video Copilot's blog, which had a way to adjust gamma-shift settings in Quicktime. This indeed gave me better viewing results. But I'll have to do more tests since I didn't have this problem before.

Here's their tip:

Using mp4 or h.264 when compressing through QuickTime can make the final video look washed out. This is a common problem that seemed to have no solution… until now. The gamma shift can actually be fixed inside QuickTime Pro without re-compressing your video by simply changing a few settings.

Scrimski at posted a good walk-through. Thanks!

SOLUTION: After rendering into a QuickTime/h.264 file, open it up in QuickTime and select “Show Movie Properties.” Highlight the video track then click on the “Visual Settings” tab. Towards the bottom left you should see “Transparency” with a drop-down box next to it. Select “Blend” from the menu then move the “Transparency Level” slider to 100%. Choose “Straight Alpha” from the same drop-down and close the properties window and finally “Save.”