have a guide for the use of this menu? I would be most greatful, I can
set the phase and width using the auto function but don't have time
to experiment on the other settings, any help would be most appreciated.
Collea 24p engineer PDR, CA
Turn it off. You did not say what your F900 tapes were going to. If it
is film then you should already have the main detail turned off, so the
skin detail will have no effect. Let me back-up. What the skin detail
does is turn down (or up) the detail just on a certain color (like a face).
But it is not cumulative. Let's say you had the camera set at 0 detail
and then you set the skin detail at -30. The skin detail would be lower
then the detail on the camera and you could probably see it. However if
you had the camera detail set at -30 and the skin detail set at -30 they
would be the same and there would not be any less detail in the skin than
any other part of the picture.
have found that the detail of the F900 is usually set at such a low level
(and rightly so) that the skin detail adjustment is totally moot.
think that this is something that Sony hawked (first at NAB with the BVW
600) that we were all excited about, thinking that we could get rid of
wrinkles on old codgers (like me) without softening the whole image with
diffusion. As it turned out it is almost useless.
seems like another case of the designing engineers not having a clue to
what works in the field or the studio for that matter.
guess for some news guys that have their detail set at +50 it would help.
realize that my answer has gone a little far a field of your question.
The short answer is Turn it off.
Golden, DP/International Cinematographers Guild
exactly what I was hoping to try and do, I'm seeing artifacts from
Tiffen's latest HD black diffusion around the edges of the face against
a black background, the face is about a stop above key and the background
is almost black, the shots are night in a cave on an older female with
some skin abnormalities and the camera's detail is off and the clarity
of the closups are very revealing, I've never tried the skin detail
and was hoping to use it, so, oh well, thanks,
use skin detail to best advantage you MUST take the time to experiment
and dial in appropriate numbers, the whole point of the menu is customization
for skin specifics. Skin detail settings, in my opinion, are best set
using your principal actor/actress and preferably on the set or under
some kind of controlled lighting (you can get laughable results setting
up those menus in a shop under ceiling fluorescents and then taking the
camera to the set).
something you can bang off on a reference chart. Take a good monitor to
the set with you and insist on the time to adjust your menu settings then.
Make sure you check out close-ups, mediums, and medium wide shots before
locking in your menu numbers. Remember, less is more.
Furrer Director of Photography
Systems, Inc. / Dark Street Films Lakewood, CO USA
are all here to learn and share opinions You are not on the set with Keith
in Prague you have no Idea what he is being asked to do nor the conditions
he is under nor the minor miracles he may be attempting to pull off.
gave a good explanation of Skintone detail and a few things to consider
that part was very helpful however your "PS" statement is very
out of line.
the way I use the "Detail On" on everything I shoot I just know
how to properly set it. And most everything I shoot goes out to Film.
Got something to say to me.
knows that it needs to be on to be used and he knows when and where to
use it he is simply asking How best to use it. I'm sure he appreciates
the helpful info but could do without the condescending hand slap.
Sean Fairburn SOC HD Cinematographer Castaic Ca
Test it first, if you like it use it.
Sony, the great Xerox of the East copied that technology. Ikegami won
an Emmy Award in the Technology Development Section in 1994 for the development
of Skin-Tone Detail and Control Edge Enhancement technology. In fact most
everything in the Sony viewfinder was invented by Ikegami, hense why their
cameras blow Sony out of the water. In fact the camera in itself is designed
by Ikegami as the small portable design of video cameras was developed
first by Ikegami in 1962 and used extensively by CBS at the time.
the field, I think skin tone control is something not to play with. It
wasn't designed for field use as much as it was designed for studio
use by a camera shader on multiple camera set-ups. In that case it is
a very useful tool, but in the field, with a less than experienced person
at the control, your better off just lighting the way you want and white
balancing the way you want.
a note: Skin detail doesn't always just affect skin. It will effect
anything in the shot that is in the same range of color as skin. Effectively
they figured out what range of color most skin is in and made a special
pot which adjusts only that narrow range. If other elements match that
color to then skin adjustments may add color where they are not wanted.
I had that problem last year on a pilot I was doing for The Kathy Levine
Show for Studios USA. The set was beautiful pink chiffon. While in the
room with the shader, he was moaning about the set. I asked what was wrong?
He showed me. By adjusting the skin control I watched the set come to
life as if it had been lit by colored specials that were on a dimmer.
So much for skin control for that show.
skin-tone detail circuits can be dangerous. Anything in the shot within
the "fleshtone" color range will also be softened.
could use it if you have tested on the actual set with the finished lighting
and wardrobe; otherwise you are putting yourself at peril.
think most people prefer to use traditional methods to control the look
of your subject; better makeup, softer lighting, lower detail setting,
and, if all else fails, learn to love the character in the face.
for the record: The Emmy for skin tone contours was shared between Philips
and Ikegami. I am the inventor of automatic skin tone detection (pat nr
US 5,428,402) that was the basis of our Emmy. But the original inventor
of skin contours was Mr Hunt of RCA, I think in 1984 (US 4,506,293) Actually
he deserves the Emmy for the original idea. We, Ikegami and Philips got
it for the implementation.
for practical use: I agree with earlier statements in the discussion that
it is not very useful for high definition imaging. However it is very
useful for systems where excessive contours have to mask limited resolution
(like NTSC). Another typical use is when pictures will get compression:
e.g. using skin contours on surfaces like the grass on a soccer field
to avoid overloading the compression with unnecessary details.
do you think that selective control of reducing resolution *would* be
useful in a much higher res camera? Lets say a 4k HD camera? Application
would be the transfer to 35mm film.
detail enhancements probably wouldn't have a place in such high res
cameras but another form of selective softening could be invented? Grouping
softening effect selectively to shadow, midtones, highlights or specific
colours *in combination* with lighting and lens filters would be a powerful
combination, where the look is tailored and applied on set.
its fantastic to have someone who designs these cameras, on the list,
I hope you stay around:)
Brennan DP London
application here, and it is not only a high-def issue, is to go the "other
direction" and use skin detail on the complementary / opposing colors
to skin tones, to smooth out defects in a flat, single-chromatic background
and to prevent "detail artifacts" and physical imperfections
from contaminating the edges against the solid color field in front of
which the subject appears.
I'll just say it . . . blue screen and green screen foreground elements.
Furrer, Director of Photography
Street Films / VGG Systems, Inc. USA based
don't use detail in anything I've ever done in HD, I've only
worked with film over the last ten years till the F900 came out, the last
video I shot was on an BVW-300 that I owned and it didn't have any
detail circuitry on it at all, Over the past year I have experimented
with HD detail but for my applications have never needed it, I'm proud
to say that I'm working on a set where we're shooting incredible
images without diffusion, we're not trying to make something look
like film, we're actually making the F-900 look it's best in it's
own right, no diffusion, only smoke, lights, flags and gels, 24p, 180
degree shutter, wide open, no ND, strong backlight, soft key, with little
fill. In a scene yesterday I had an actress I wanted to see less of in
her closer than close closeup, I tried the Tiffen black diffusion but
had since gotten used to the crisp detail I had been getting without it
and so therefore tried the skin detail option, it wasn't the time
to learn so I abandoned my effort and thought to seek advice later from
my peers, while on set I tried looking through the viewfinder to determine
the amount of softening I was adding, I couldn't see past the lines
that defined the area of the auto color feature, I couldn't imagine
how one could in a pinch just switch on this option and dial in some softening,
it wasn't the place to experiment, I suppose if I used it more often
I would be able to whip it on, I guess I'll just stay late and play
with it, It's hard to experiment or ask anyone to help after a 14
hour day with less than 10 hour turn arounds, it is an eighty day shoot
in Prague and I'm alone running two units and three cameras so maybe
I'll find the time somewhere along the way, thanks Sean for the support,
still Winter in Prague.
creative tool that helps to get the pictures you aim for is helpful. And
as we all know it is possible to key out areas of the picture based on
color, luminance, or other properties, and to process these areas. Skin
contours in cameras is just an example of what you can do.
would simply mean apply 2D lowpass filtering for these selected areas.
is: where do you do that. In postproduction on raw data (like FilmStream
format), you can test several alternatives on the same material, if you
do it while shooting you only have one chance. But on the other hand,
doing it on the set saves time in post and gives you a direct impression
of the results. Difficult choice..