While both cameras were set-up and matched in our shop using 3,200 k lighting, HMIs were used as
key lights for this kitchen set. HMIs are more in the 5,600 k range, and with the use of internal
5,600k electronic color correction, the preset came close to correct white balance. This daylight
color correction is similar to dialing in a 5,600k optical filter wheel without any loss of
sensitivity that would either require increased noise from boosting gain, or reduction in depth of
field, and softening up the HD image as well.
The chart was set-up and with the use of the ROP red and blue gain controls,
both cameras matched perfectly on the Leader scope and color monitors. At this point, with the
cameras matched, we began to look at the lighting on the set. We found that the color tint varied
around the set. A quick check with a color temperature meter showed that the front and side HMIs
differed in color temperature by 300k. Tony Gotta, the LD from LA, added gel on one of the lights,
and with another ROP tweak, they matched perfectly. The back light was off by about 100k but was
left alone for effect.
At this point, a Tiffen soft effects filter was added to one camera and a warm
soft effects to the other. With the DSC chart and Leader HD scope, the warm color was dialed out to
reproduce the whites properly.
As with any production, genlocking and proper time code syncing is very
important. In a previous article “ Time
Code and Genlocking” I wrote about the need for this, which is as important in HD as
it was in SD productions. What you should be aware of is that some HD gears uses Tri-level Sync and
some uses NTSC Black signal. The Varicam uses only the Tri-level sync, while with the AJ-HDX900 can
use either. Hard wiring of Genlock Sync and Time Code is the simplest way, but plan out the cabling
and additional hardware that may be needed.
For multiple cameras that can not be cabled, allowing cameras to be jam-synced in Free Run time of
day mode works for a short period of time. Over time the time code will drift between cameras due
to slightly different internal clock frequencies. With the use of camera mounted TC/Genlock boxes
cameras can roll for long periods of time with very close Time Code. The Ambient Recording ACL
202CT and the Denecke SB-T time code / sync generator boxes are two popular units. Each one is
battery powered and mounted on each camera. A short cable is used to jam sync the slaves to the
master and will allow accurate time code for the better part of a day due to the very accurate
Needless to say, it was truly a blessing to get back in the field, and be able
to assist Jeff Christian with his transition to HD production. He later mentioned another upcoming
shoot with ESPNs World Poker Tour that will be done in HD. Sounds interesting.