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MOCO and F35 or D21

Published : 13th January 2012

Excuse me for posting here instead of the special effects forum but these seem to me, in part at least, general cinematography questions common to most of us here (and I trust the opinion of many of the great contributors here i.e. Mark, Jeff, Mako, Art, Rod..etc). The shot is simple enough, a 25 sec continuous lateral dolly with a girl working out in her living room. She appears in different areas doing different activities sometimes overlapping with herself. The execution will be moco rig and some judicious use of green screen for the overlapping shots. Don Canfield at Gear and Rose with his Zebra rig is being suggested.

Questions:

1- Is there any special consideration when shooting with an F35 or D21 on a moco rig...sync pulse, shutter, etc?

2- Is dolly speed the same...7seconds entry to exit with a 180 degree shutter at 24fps to avoid strobing?

3- Crew recommends Gaffer, Grip, DIT and AC in NYC..tight in craft and highly competent but loose in attitude? No whiners or curmudgeons please

Cheers,

Joe Murray
Directors Guild Of America-Director
Int'l Cinematographers Guild -Director of Photography
www.nativesonsfilms.com


Joseph Murray wrote

>>....The shot is simple enough, a 25 sec continuous lateral dolly with a girl

>> working out in her living room. She appears in different areas doing different >> activities sometimes overlapping with herself.

I've done moco work with Mr. Canfield in NY and he was great to work with. No complaints.

Answer to question number 2 depends on what lens you are shooting with. The idea is that the image entering from left or right frame has 7 seconds before it should exit frame. That establishes the speed of the track or pan. So lens choice and angle to movement are critical to determine the strobing / camera speed.

Grips are good in NY- Richie Guiness, Mitch Lillian, George Patsos.
Gaffers- Mo Flam, Tim Guiness, Russ or Gene Engels. AC- Eric Swanek,
Storn Peterson, Mike Garafolo, Rick Gioia.
And a plethora more in all job positions.

Roberto Schaefer, asc
Auckland, NZ (where summer is much like late winter in L.A.)
with Firefox visit: www.ganzoltd.com


>> 1- Is there any special consideration when shooting with an F35 or D21 on a

>> moco rig...sync pulse, shutter, etc?

No not really the D21 is of course the perfect one because the shutter pulse is in effect a 435 so all the standard cables fit etc ..

I think there is a sync pulse out on the F35, if you have to come out of the HD sync output then you might have problems with a Kuper rig ...there is a company called Flying Wombat that makes a box to get rid of them. In PAL land everything is very simple if you shoot at 25fps (the camera runs at 25P and you downconvert to PAL then feed the PAL into Kuper and the difference between the 25P sync and the PAL sync remains constant.) In an NTSC world I GUESS it would work with 29.97P and an NTSC output.

I have not met Don Canfield but we have had extensive correspondence and to say he "knows his shit" is an understatement ..

>> 2- Is dolly speed the same...7seconds entry to exit with a 180 degree shutter >> at 24fps to avoid strobing?

I'm not sure .. of course the genius of digital is that you can look First. There is a spot exactly like this on my reel and I can dig out the data if you like ..

Justin Pentecost
Motion Control
London

Mob:- +44 7973 317 241
http://www.portablemotioncontrol.com/


>> 1- Is there any special consideration when shooting with an F35 or D21 on a

>> moco rig...sync pulse, shutter, etc?

>> No not really the D21 is of course the perfect one because the shutter pulse is

>> in effect a 435 so all the standard cables fit etc ..

I'm curious why this would be relevant and the D21 would be the perfect one
when shooting digitally and using a bloop light. I would think you could just roll whatever the F35 is connected to, have the moco rig fire the bloop light in frame, and go.

Why is a sync pulse needed at all when there's no mechanical shutter (and even when there is, as long as the camera can genlock)?

Surely the moco rigs can accept the same tri-level sync used to genlock HD
cameras by now, after all it's been 10 years since the F900 sprang forth...

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California


The F35 can output a FRAME PULSE signal from the TEST OUT, which is a BNC output.

In the menu, it's on Operations 07.

It sends out a pulse, and the phase is 180 degrees off from a film camera
i.e. it's exposing where a film camera would be shuttered, and vice versa.

It's covered in typical sparse Sony fashion on pages 44-45 of the most recent manual, linked below:

http://bandpro.com/manuals/Sony/F35/Operations%20Manuals/F35%20Ops%20

Manual%20R4.pdf

Best,

Randy Wedick
Technical Consultant
Band Pro Film & Digital


>> I'm curious why this would be relevant and the D21 would be the perfect one

>> when shooting digitally and using a bloop light. I would think you could just roll

>> whatever the F35 is connected to, have the moco rig fire the bloop light in frame, >>and go.

If you do that then the rig can be 180 degrees out of phase with the camera for some stuff (like shooting an element against blue and then shooting a background plate) it's OK not to have a sync pulse. but if you are shooting the same scene then it's vital (today I was doing difference mattes which is motion control's "Ohh Nasty")

>> Why is a sync pulse needed at all when there's no mechanical shutter (and

>> even when there is, as long as the camera can genlock)?

I don't understand what you saying Bob .. even a rolling shutter has to start and end somewhere and it has to start and end at the same place in the move on different passes ..

>> Surely the moco rigs can accept the same tri-level sync used to genlock HD

>> cameras by now, after all it's been 10 years since the F900 sprang forth...

Stand by for a shock ... most Motion Control kit is at least ten years old . My Kuper card runs on an 8 bit ISA slot :)

But there is this box made by Flying Wombat (I don't know these guys but they seem to know their stuff .. )

http://flywom.com/products/hi-def_sync/hi_definition_sync_separator.html

This strips out the pulses from a tri-level sync signal. Kuper then "thinks" it has a film camera running at "24 fps" and is happy ..

Justin Pentecost
Motion Control
London

Mob:- +44 7973 317 241
http://www.portablemotioncontrol.com/


>> The F35 can output a FRAME PULSE signal from the TEST OUT, which is a BNC >> output.

Randy do they tell you what it is ? Is it 5V TTL ?

Justin Pentecost
Motion Control
London


>> If you do that then the rig can be 180 degrees out of phase with the camera

OK, that makes sense.

>> But there is this box made by Flying Wombat This strips out the pulses from a

>> tri-level sync signal. Kuper then "thinks" it has a film camera running at "24

>> fps" and is happy

That is a way cool website. And that's a very impressive little universal external genlock for moco rigs. I like the fact the guy is a working moco operator - it always bodes well when the chef has to eat his cooking.

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California


This is perfect, just the thing for our Modula Rig here in Atlanta. We've mostly had to rely on bloop light syncing for the HD stuff. This would help greatly. I was to understand that we could actually use a down converted SD Signal to sync but have never tried that.

The rental house were our rig sits has both D21 and F35 for me to play with
...... Will try it out ASAP.

Bret Lanius
Atlanta GA


Justin Pentecost writes:

>> Stand by for a shock ... most Motion Control kit is at least ten years old. My

>> Kuper card runs on an 8 bit ISA slot

The Kuper system I used to shoot on in the early 1990's (386 based) is still being used (not by me). If only I could get CGI systems to last that long.

Tim Sassoon
SFD
Santa Monica, CA


Bob Kertesz wrote:

>> Surely the moco rigs can accept the same tri-level sync used to genlock HD

>> cameras by now, after all it's been 10 years since the F900 sprang forth...

Yes but....when shooting at 23.98 or 29.97 easy as ... well - very easy. there is a box that Steve Switaj built that all the moco guys use that generates a once-per-frame pulse from tri-level sync.... makes the thing look like a film camera.

The challenge is when you are shooting off-speed.... not all cameras that shoot off-speed can generate a once-per-frame pulse and tri-level sync will show you the monitoring freq not the shooting rate (the eyepiece and monitors ain’t scanning off-speed.

The F35 and I think the F23 DO have a "once per frame" pulse that can be used to drive motion control and, of course, if the camera movement is not too violent or have too much angular velocity or acceleration in any of the axes, a bloop light will always get you within 180 degrees of in phase and that is actually close enough for this sort of shot in the modern era...your mileage may differ

Mark H. Weingartner
LA-based VFX DP/Supervisor
http://schneiderentertainment.com/dirphoto.htm


Regarding Motion Control:

Don Canfield is great. You can always call Joe Lewis with General Lift regarding questions - or look for him on the CML-vfx list.

Either he or the techs who work with him can answer your questions.

If they don't know it - they'll find out for you.

General Lift - 310 414-0717 El Segundo CA

Chris Dawson
VFX
Los Angeles, CA


Joseph Murray wrote:

>> Don Canfield at Gear and Rose with his Zebra rig is being suggested.

Hey Joseph, cool to get additional info, but Don was one of my mentors before I got out of MOCO ( I hated being trapped in a small black room all night flopping cells and watching animators move dolls)

You can't go wrong with him, he knows tons about moco, and is really innovative with gear. So I'd suspect he'd be able to answer these questions, just tell you if he didn't know, and find out the answers.

So if you wanted to sit back and let Don worry about the technical details, I'd suspect you'd be safe. Smart on your part to find out the details for yourself though, sorry I don't have answers.

It's been a long time since I worked with/learned from Don, but he is really smart about these things, and driven about his craft.


Steven Gladstone
New York Based Cinematographer
Gladstone films
http://www.gladstonefilms.com
917-886-5858


Justin

It is 1v. It fires one pulse per frame. Works at all frame rates.

Well really its 1.15v, measured on a Tektronix oscilloscope.

Best,

Randy Wedick
Technical Consultant
Band Pro Film & Digital


Thanks to all for the much valued information. Now I know it's hard to believe, but it looks like the shoot may move to LA, so here goes. DIT recommends?

Cheers,

Joe Murray
Directors Guild Of America-Director
Int'l Cinematographers Guild -Director of Photography
www.nativesonsfilms.com
www.rhythm.com/commercials/index.shtml


Try to get the best, Tony Salgado!

Mako, Makofoto, Manhattan, NY


Randy Wedick wrote:

>> The F35 can output a FRAME PULSE signal from the TEST OUT, which is a
>> BNC output.

Just to note that this has gone from theory to practice .. I synced an f35 to a Kuper rig using this method .. using a very simple opto-coupler circuit which I'll let anyone have if they are interested .


Justin Pentecost
Motioncontrol
LONDON
www.portablemotioncontrol.com
Mob:-+44 7973 317241