by Art Sanchez | 9th March 2015
This is a guest post by Art Sanchez and Miguel de Olaso on his work submitted to the Videolog. In this article Art explains how he shot 8K video on a Nikon D800 for his mesmerising architecture film about Son Brull Hotel&Spa. Visit the Vimeo page and download the 4K source to enjoy this video on a 4K screen. Art Sanchez is an architecture and interior design photographer based in Spain. Miguel de Olaso, aka Macgregor is a director and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. Art and Miguel teamed up when they saw a lack of high-quality films that showcase architecture in motion and decided to do something about it. They developed a new filming technique for architectural videos to capture 8K video with minimal equipment. The Quicklapse Technique We’ve developed the Quicklapse technique which is a way to generate ultra high resolution real time video. By capturing continuous bursts of still images and applying interpolation algorithms in post-production to fill up the missing frames we are able to create unsurpassed video quality. Basically we shoot low frame rate, high resolution sequences and turn them into smooth motion video. This technique is perfect for premiere global destinations, states, resorts, interior design and to showcase iconic architecture projects. Main advantages of the Quicklapse Technique: High resolution and rich colour imagery: Video with professional photographic quality at affordable production costs. Full frame capture for good low light performance and optimal lens coverage especially at wide angles and on tilt/shift lenses. Disadvantages of the Quicklapse Technique: Tedious and slow workflow due to large file sizes and raw formats not developed for video. A limiting factor: fast moving objects can be a problem, such as trees or water splashes. This technique works best on static objects and is ideal for architectural showcase videos. Why did we choose the Quicklapse Technique over traditional high end video for this project? Higher resolution files allow for a much better stabilisation and perspective correction, ideal for an 8K or 4K finish. Excellent performance: dynamic range, low noise, raw flexibility and great color science, helped us create luxurious imagery. Lighter camera setup, offered more stability when using complex multi-axis motion control rigs. Post production: photographic acquisition made it easiest to emulate the architectural photography look. Initial Challenge When we developed the quicklapse technique the first task was to compare the best DSLR cameras available to date and test their buffer capabilities: We looked at the Canon 1DC, Canon 5D mark III, Nikon D4, Nikon D800, Sony A7, A7R, A99 and A6000. The next step was to check the different possible combinations of shutter speeds combined with different burst speeds in order to find the sweet spot where each camera offered endless continuous shooting, in raw mode. Some cameras are able to shoot very fast bursts but they cannot hold that rate for long. We also took useable dynamic range and overall image quality of each camera into account. After a month of tests, the Nikon D800 turned out to be the best contender for this project. Further adjustments: Matching shutter speeds and frame rates to get a 180° shutter equivalents. We needed to solve Nikon’s limit of 100 maximum continuous shutter actuations (implemented in most models) We had to research different motion interpolation solutions (AE, Twixtor, etc). We needed to avoid flickering generated by the fast actuation of the diaphragm. Stabilisation isn’t used so often with shoot-move-shoot movements in timelapse, however it ended up being essential when moving continuously through the slider length. We had to optimise the use of tilt/shift lenses for motion applications and test this against post-production perspective correction. T/s lenses are quite tricky in video. Nikon D800 resolution vs. professional cinema cameras This is how the resolution of the Nikon D800 compares to top cinema cameras: Nikon D800: 36mpx Red Epic Dragon: 19mpx Arri Alexa 65: 20mpx Sony F65: 20mpx Compared to conventional 8K video: Nikon D800: 7360 x 4912 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio) –> 36.3mpx 8K UHD: 7680 x 4320 pixels (16:9 aspect ratio) –> 33.1mpx 8K DCI: 8192 x 4320 pixels (17:9 aspect ratio) –> 35.3mpx Equipment used Custom Intervalometer Every Nikon DSLR camera body has the same handicap: a maximum of 100 photos in burst mode. We contacted Alex Gutierrez, motion control engineer and CEO at Mslider and they created a custom intervalometer to bypass the Nikon’s limit especially for this project. This little box fires the camera through the shutter port. The frame rate selection had to be chosen before shooting, by reprogramming the settings of the high-speed intervalometer with the help of a computer. Motion control rigs We opted for multi-axis programmable motorised sliders to achieve smooth and continuous camera movements, we used two different systems: Stage One slider with Emotimo TB3 head with 3 axis and also a 2 axis Mslider system. Working with precise and repeatable motion becomes a time saver and brings a confidence factor to the production. Lenses When working with high density sensors (as the 36mpx D800 sensor), the use of high quality glass is mandatory. Our lens bag was formed by a complete set of Nikon mount lenses, and a few Hasselblad Medium format lenses with a tilt/shift Nikon adapter. A common use for the vertical shift is to avoid converging verticals in the image; however, we took advantage of another practical use of these lenses: we also were able to avoid seeing the slider in long push-in movements. Post Production We ended up shooting more than 50,000 stills during the two weeks of production. Since the whole project was shot in the RAW format, the processing and conversion of the stills had to be done before the editing could start. We used Lightroom for RAW conversion. It took more than two weeks to export the 36mp colour corrected RAW material to 4K. And we are not counting the time we spent dialling the right settings in Lightroom. Two straight weeks where our main computer was just exporting image files, 24/7! Once we had image sequences we imported those into After Effects, where we performed tasks such as stabilisation, perspective control and of course time remapping. This process took about two more weeks. We exported the clips to either uncompressed or Cineform codec video files. Finally the editing was done in Sony Vegas, which handles 4K and the Cineform codec pretty well. Some Tips To Shoot Beautiful Architectural Videos In sunny bright destinations like Mallorca, exterior views are the main selling point when booking a stay. That’s why choosing the right time of the day to shoot each room is dictated mostly by the sun. In order to represent the maximum tonal range of the scene and create a pleasant aesthetic, most interior spaces are best shot when the sun enters through the windows. This involves having a carefully designed schedule to cover as much of the building as possible with the right light at the right moment of the day. Another interesting time occurs during the twilight, just when sunlight and artificial light show equal brightness. With the right exposure we can capture very appealing images. If one of the goals of architectural photography is to make the viewer understand the concept and mood of a building, with our new architectural motion photography technique we wanted to go one step further to create the experience of being in the space itself. Special thanks to: Magdalena Rydz Alex Gutierrez Josep Lluis Lai Carlos Garcia and Foto Ruano Pro This is a guest post by Art Sanchez and Miguel de Olaso, Macgregor via www.sanchez-olaso.comRead more
I wanted to get this for NAB to improve sound quality and my documentary style audio workflow, but unfortunately it only became available afterwards. The new Beachtek DXA-SLR PRO is now in stock at B&H and it has some very practical advancements over the older HDSLR XLR audio adapter that was called DXA-SLR. The first obvious reason to use a device like this or the Juicedlink alternative is to disable the auto gain control “feature” that is always on in most HDSLR cameras. This way you can set manual audio levels even though your camera doesn’t support it. The second reason is the chance to use XLR and phantom powered microphones. Their power comes through the cable and is provided by the device. And the third most important reasonRead more
Dave Dougdale (learningdslrvideo.com) has been working on a series of very in-depth comparisons between the 5D mark III and the Nikon D800, the two cameras that mark the new generation of HDSLR. Dave looks at these cameras from an amateur point of view yet he does his tests uniquely in-depth and careful which makes it nice to watch and reveals some things other, too technically oriented and “professional” people might overlook. I won’t steal the surprise and won’t reveal which camera Dave prefers, but this review certainly shows that both have their strengths and weaknesses that should be considered before making a buying decision on a new HDSLR. via learningdslrvideo.comRead more
As you may know one of the things considered most problematic about Nikon’s new D800 HDSLR is that it has moiré and anti-aliasing problems and it’s a sure thing we don’t want our HDSLR footage degraded by good old line skipping anymore. EOSHD has been in contact with David Cubanski from Mosaic engineering and they are already working on a filter that can fix these issues for good. Mosaic Engineering has started to heal our HDSLRs last August when they introduced the VAF-5DS for the 5D mark II. A filter that can be inserted into the HDSLR and reroutes light directly to the necessary sensor pixels to avoid moiré and aliasing. Using the filter will temporarily disable the stills features of your DSLR but it can be removed at any time. So there’s hope for your Nikon D800 (order at B&H) to beat the Canon 5D mark III after all. Mosaic Engineering says their D800 filter will be ready for testing in a week. It is unclear what that means in terms of a timeframe for a production model. image and content via EOSHDRead more
It’s a big time for HDSLR. The next generation of Nikon and Canon cameras is due to be delivered. The Nikon D800 will arrive tomorrow! Although the Canon 5D mark III is an important camera and has very pleasing technical specs, the Nikon D800 is no less interesting. It is the first serious HDSLR to offer a clean, 4:2:2 hdmi signal that can be recorded with a field recorder for improved image quality. The D800 is also known for its 1,2 crop video mode that provides a sensor crop readout without losing video resolution. It’s not a cheap camera that’s for sure. At $3000 it sits almost at the top end of DSLR photo cameras, but for someone serious about HDSLR the D800 might be a viable option. We have created a Nikon D800 Subforum. As always you can find it in our funky HDSLR forum selector that will save your forum selection for whenever you return to us: The Nikon D800 will start shipping tomorrow March 22nd 2012 here: B&H – $2999.95 Adorama – $2999.95 Europe: (probably shipping 22nd as well, contact the sellers) – around 2900,00€Read more
Everybody’s talking about it: At yesterday’s Nikon press release the Nikon D800 was released and it looks nice for HDSLR: It was a cool surprise when we saw that the new Nikon D4 would have clean hdmi output which means high quality recording with a field recorder like the Atomos Ninja that just received a firmware update. What was uncool about the D4 was its pricetag of $6000 and its unpleasant bulky size. Well here’s the Nikon D800 that apparently offers the same clean hdmi output (4:2:2 8 bit) as the D4 and goes for $3000, available for preorder at B&H.Read more
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