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dalewalt

Anyone have tips for taping your show?

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Hello all. I'm sorry if this is a repeat question; I've searched the forums but have not found the info I was looking for.

I purchased my first 16 channel controller in January and immediately decided I was going to do a St. Patricks Day show. It's a small show; only about 5k lights and 16 channels (hopefully this will be increased for Halloween and Christmas), but I wanted to get a video of it. (The songs I sequenced were Cmon Eileen, Wild Rover, Rocky Road to Dublin, and The Minstrel Boy). Definitely an amateur's result, but hey... practice makes perfect

I set up a Sony HDR-XR100 on a tripod and took the video of one of my songs. Then, using AVS, I combined the song and the audio. My problem, however, is that portions of my video are out of focus; apparently the XR100 loses focus during portions of the sequence when most of the lights are out, so when the lights come back on the video is blurry for 3-4 seconds.

The quality also doesn't seem anywhere near what I've seen on some of the forums here.

So... short of buying a new camcorder (I'd rather save my money for lights and controllers ;-), does anybody have any good tips on how to take good quality videos of their shows? I'd appreciate any advice I can get.

Thanks in advance.

Dale

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Thank you Brad and Surfing4Dough... Surfing, I'll definitely try reshooting tonight, especially the autofocus!

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dalewalt wrote:

Thank you Brad and Surfing4Dough... Surfing, I'll definitely try reshooting tonight, especially the autofocus!
We want to see what you get!

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To set your focus properly on manual, zoom in on an item fully, focus, then zoom out.

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dalewalt wrote:

The link is posted in this thread: http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum82/26079.html

Definitely an amateur effort, but I'm happy for my first time.

Looks good. Your camcorder should work just fine. Your blurring will probably be fixed by the auto-focus being turned off. I suspect that if you play with some of the other scene settings you will capture the color better. Might try playing with some of the other settings too (such as white balance etc) and see what creates the best effect. Much easier to test now than in the dead of winter. Sometime snow on the ground changes the color effects a little so might still need to make some adjustments for Christmas.

Some people edit their video afterward to adjust the colors as well. Green is particularly tough to capture well. Green LEDs seem to be a little better though. For example, I know Holdman adjusts the color on his videos to make the reds and greens more vivid, which helps them look so incredible. Here is a link to a video of yours that I briefly made a couple adjustments and you can see the difference.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/surfing4dough/5531885519/

http://www.flickr.com/apps/video/stewart.swf?v=71377" bgcolor="#000000" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="intl_lang=en-us&photo_secret=fc27519c56&photo_id=5531885519" height="300" width="400"

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surfingfordough wrote


Here is a link to a video of yours that I briefly made a couple adjustments and you can see the difference.


That is amazing the difference you made....Can i send all my video's to you for "Fixing" LOL:shock:.

What program did you use?

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Ron Amedee wrote:

surfingfordough wrote

Here is a link to a video of yours that I briefly made a couple adjustments and you can see the difference.


That is amazing the difference you made....Can i send all my video's to you for "Fixing" LOL:shock:.

What program did you use?

I don't have time to even adjust my own videos, so I think I will have to pass on your request. Fortunately I had more LEDs in my display this past year, and my Flip camcorder seem to capture the colors better to begin with, so my videos turned out decent without adjustment.

I used Corel VideoStudio Pro X3, though most video editing software should have similar setting adjustments. "Saturation" is one of the main things that can help, amongst some others.

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dalewalt wrote:

Thank you Brad and Surfing4Dough... Surfing, I'll definitely try reshooting tonight, especially the autofocus!

You may also try to set your lighting to the tunsten setting or incadecent setting which should give you better color.

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I've pretty much given up trying to video my show. I tried twice my first year with LOR. First time using my personal Mini-8 camera. I forgot about turning off the auto-focus and had the wrong light setting so the results were crap. I borrowed a higher end camera from work, followed all the tips found here, and the results were better but still a little blurry.

This past year, a co-worker's son, a film school graduate, hit me up to have him video the show. He told me he would give me a discounted price ($250.00) to video, overdub the audio and give me 6 burned DVD ready discs. He owns a $4K professional HDV Sony camcorder. We videoed at 4AM to avoid traffic, and I anxiously awaited the results. Two weeks later he gave me the finished discs and I couldn't wait to get to my big screen to see the work. I couldn't believe it, not only was the video still not very sharp (no better than the ones I had done), he managed to video the street light on the street behind my house. If he would have moved the camera a couple of feet to the left, the light would have been blocked by my garage roof. It glowed like the Star of Bethlehem. By the time he got the finished work to me the lights had already been taken down, so I just bit my tongue. His mom is difficult on the best of days and it's not worth it to say anything. I could have bought another controller for the money I dropped with him.

I know it can be done. I've seen some absolutely outstanding work on the net, but I just don't know the secret and wont try again.

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