Panasonic PV-GS150

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by asprigoftrig, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    You all seem to be very proficient in camcorders. Could you rate the
    Panasonic PV-GS150?
    I want to record a short clip of, say, a running horse. Then, I want
    to print out each frame, tape each print onto my wacom tablet, and
    trace the image of the horse, frame by frame.
    I will import each of these tracings into my Macromedia Flash
    software, where, in the case of the horse, I would add wings upon it's
    back, maybe a unicorn's horn. I will then animate the wings, and
    loading each traced frame from the clip should help dramatically in
    properly positioning the legs, mane, tail, neck, etc., so as to make
    this Pegasus fly.
    Will the PV-GS150, along with the included software, accomplish this
    for me?
    Can I stop the clip, frame by frame, and print each?
    Is the software, included with the camcorder, adequate for the task, or
    will I need to use Pinnacle Studio 10?
    It is my understanding I will need both a firewire cable, as well as
    the firewire card.
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 27, 2005
    #1
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  2. You have a far better chance of using Google to search the
    internet for reviews of specific cameras. There are so many
    different camcorders, chances are that nobody here has used
    that particular one.
    I'd strongly investigate whether you would need a camera
    with "progressive" interlace to make clear frames of fast-
    moving objects. Traditional video uses "interlaced" scanning
    where the odd number lines are 1/60th of a second offset
    from the even numbered lines. This tends to "blur" fast-
    moving things like horses' legs, etc.
    Is your intention to distribute your modified video as NTSC
    (like a VHS tape or a DVD disc, etc.?) Or will people be
    viewing it on a computer screen? The difference is in how
    you manage the NTSC interlaced scanning, etc.
     
    Richard Crowley, Dec 27, 2005
    #2
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  3. asprigoftrig

    David McCall Guest

    There are books out in libraries and book sellers that
    have this covered. you could use those as a basis,
    unless you need to trace the performance of a specific
    horse.

    The most famous books of such motion are from the work of
    Eadweard Muybridge. The sequences were recorded on film,
    2 centuries ago, and haven't been surpassed. He recorded
    both people and animals.

    David
     
    David McCall, Dec 27, 2005
    #3
  4. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    Hmm..very interesting, David. Anyway, I bought the Panasonic, through
    "newegg.com". "Epinions" gave it a high ranking, far higher than the
    previous online store I had at first considered doing business with. I
    do plan to shoot some clips as an intro to my animations...maybe the
    "live" characters in the clips will BECOME animated characters, in an
    animated environment, allowing me to insert such fx as a flying horse,
    and the main characters reactions to it. This book you describe is
    nonetheless interesting, though. I'm off on an "Amazon" expedition!
    Thanks again....
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 28, 2005
    #4
  5. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    I plan to burn this project to DVD. I had not considered interlacing,
    but seem to remember that a feature of this cam is a reduction, or
    elimination, in the blurring of fast moving subjects.
    minimal, the PVGS150 should be an effective tool.
    Thank you for your most sage advice.
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 28, 2005
    #5
  6. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    Rats! Horses, too! I found a source for studying both the movement of
    animals AND people at rhinohouse.com They seem to have any video study
    of natural movement I could ever want. Thanks to your suggestion to
    search google for reviews of the PVGS150 cam, I discovered that I can
    work with any resulting clip, printing it frame by frame.
    Unfortunately, there was some mention of blurring in the motion of an
    active subject. Recording in low light is not so hot, either. Nor are
    stills, though this seems common amongst ALL cams.
    The main advantage of the PVGS150 is the 3CCD quality, which,
    ironically, is the cam's very drawback in low-light situations. Oh,
    well, I guess I need to investigate the cost of renting some auxillary
    lighting, when necessary.
    Thanks for your help.
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 28, 2005
    #6
  7. asprigoftrig

    RS Guest

    I don't believe your project is really camera dependent, as any digital
    camcorder will record an decent video given the proper lighting. What
    you need to be digging into is software that will most efficiently allow
    you to do what your wanting.

    Many of the digital still cameras there days have fast modes for
    succesive pictures and might give you files that are easier to work with.
     
    RS, Dec 28, 2005
    #7
  8. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    RS,
    I just purchased the cam from newegg. Review to come. However, I was
    a bit dismayed to read some reviews, commenting on this cam's lack of
    performance in low light conditions. However, isn't this simply an
    unfortunate circumstance of ALL camcorders?
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 28, 2005
    #8
  9. asprigoftrig

    xjoshbrownx Guest

    i've been animating on computer for about 6 years now, and the
    technique you proposed seems overly consuming. also you are adding a
    step which ruins the natural registration inherent in rotoscoping
    video. if you have ever seen rotoscoped animation it is very beautiful
    and true to life. that is because the process they used since it's
    invention until the time it moved over into the realm of computers was
    to precisely pin register each cel of animation so that it was directly
    a precise copy of the frame to be traced. if you do this the way you
    have described you are going to have terrrible registration problems.
    meaning the sequence of images will be alike, but not in allignment
    with each other. without a professionally calibrated printer you
    cannot print nearly precise enough so that you can line up each image
    just by lining up the paper. this means that no matter how good your
    tracing is it will require that you either carefully allign each
    drawing in the wacom tablet or reallign the images after they are
    traced in digital space. i've had these problems when animating, and
    it's not easy. i'd recommend finding a program that can seperate a dv
    file into individual image files, and then tracing these frames in
    digital space using the monitor as a reference rather than tracing them
    in physical space. for this you can use either photoshop if you have
    the bucks, or gimp if you know a bargain when you see one. save each
    frame from the program of your choice, and recompile them in premiere
    or another program that will take a series of individual frames and
    export them as an animation file. if you have used this process of
    printing and copying before then by all means do what you do best, but
    working like this has only caused me headaches. another tool to
    consider is mirage. it's based on an old amiga program called aura.
    it's basically an image editing program for video that allows frame by
    frame drawing and manipulation. i can't speak for mirage, but i own
    the program it's based on and i have to say it's probably the most
    solid application i've ever worked with. i've used it for five years
    now, and it's never crashed once. if you are serious about animating i
    couldn't recommend a better tool. imagine photoshop, but with video
    applications. if you are looking for something free, and not nearly as
    stable, the gimp program has an offshoop called cinepaint that has a
    flipbook for frame by frame work. they use it on motion pictures that
    need wires and scratches painted out of the frame. i've only tried it
    briefly and i can't say i've used it with any luck.
     
    xjoshbrownx, Dec 28, 2005
    #9
  10. asprigoftrig

    RS Guest

    In the price range of the GS150, low light performance is never going to
    be the bright spot, pun intended. However, this particular camera, being
    a very low cost three CCD camera, by necessity, reduces the quality of
    the chips, so in low light, it will be somewhat dissapointing.
     
    RS, Dec 28, 2005
    #10
  11. The camcorder offers outstanding video quality (at its price level)in
    adequate lighting condition. I had a chance to compare it to Canon
    Optura 500. I think GS150 produces better color than Optura does, due
    largely to 3ccd, but makes slightly more noise in low light settings.

    I like the joystick, which makes the control panel look clean and
    simple.

    However, there are a few things I am not happy with.
    1. Generally, EIS does not improve much from GS120. Without a tripod,
    you still need to hold your breath if you want to get really stable
    video.
    2. There is no EIS in widescreen mode.
    3. Again, low light performance is not satisfactory.

    So, if you do most of your shooting outdoor and are confident of your
    "stability skills," this is a great camcorder to buy.

    You can also read the following articles for more information:
    http://www.desktop-video-guide.com/top-10-3-ccd-camcorders.html
     
    Gary Hendricks, Dec 29, 2005
    #11
  12. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    Xjosh,
    First, let me thank you for your very informative reply...in fact,
    thanks to all who have graced my efforts with their prodigious
    experience.
    Q; Would Pinnacle Studio 10 suffice for this operation?
    Q: Are you referring to the monitor as "digital space", and the wacom
    tablet as "physical space". Are you describing using the PC's mouse as
    a tracing tool, rather than the stylus on the wacom tablet?
    Q: Will the wacom tablet be useful in what I'm attempting here? Or
    would that 239.00 bucks be better spent toward acquiring Adobe
    Photoshop, with more advanced drawing tools?
    Q: The wacom tab came with Corel Painter Essentials II. It seems to be
    dependent upon recieving a SCANNED image, before this image can be
    traced. I have not found an "import" option. Is this adequate?
    Q: Is the option of exporting a file as an animation file not a
    possibility in Corel Painter Essentials II?

    My original idea can best be described this way: I would stand before
    my tripoded (...an actual word?) DV cam, connected to a big-screen TV
    just behind it, in order to position myself in the desire fashion.
    If I desired to create an animated knight swinging a sword, for
    example, I would press the remote button connected by cable to the
    camera, and swing a stick (a reference point for adding a sword...) in
    a pre-concieved arc.
    I would then attach the DV cam to my PC, and separate the frames, using
    the editing software we're discussing.
    Although I haven't yet mastered it, the Corel software, included with
    the tablet, allows tracing a "ghost image" of a SCANNED graphic through
    the tablet, and onto the monitor.
    I would continue this, frame by frame, until the desired sequence of
    traced images was complete.
    I would then save, and import, each traced image into Flash 5, using
    these as a kind of body form, upon which I would draw clothing,
    armament, etc., typical of the day, being mindful of how the attire
    might react to the sudden movement of sword-swinging.
    I had considered onion-skinning, but the above process seemed more
    promising in submersing myself neck-deep in a pool of a certain,
    odorous substance, LOL.
    I originally became interested in the use of a DV cam as I realized
    that separating a clip, frame by frame, then tracing each, might be a
    much more accurate method of charting a more fluid movement using flash
    5, rather than using the "onion-skin" feature. Also, there would
    always be the luxury of embedding (if that's the appropriate term) an
    mpeg file into a website, a luxury I'm considering.
    Now, this "mirage" tool sounds extraordinary.
    I attempted to trace the image of a horse in this Corel app last night.
    However, I was frustrated by the fact that the stylus "point" of line
    entry onto the image was very small...so small, in fact, that it was
    hard to follow just where the line would actually lay down over the
    image. To get "off track" meant to flip the stylus over, and use the
    eraser function, which only blurred the original outside edge of the
    image, making it difficult to find the image's outside edge again for a
    re-trace.
    Also, all of this did not produce what I thought would be the traced
    image on a new canvas.
    Thanks again for your help, Xjosh, and I look forward to your reply.
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 29, 2005
    #12
  13. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    Xjosh,
    I came across a website, "rhinohouse.com", which archives frame by
    frame clips of people, animals, etc., for use by animators. Have you
    ever used this resource? Did I spend my hard earned bucks on a DVcam
    for nothing? Granted, using images of myself, posed in just the right
    position seems far more versitile. Check this site out, and tell me
    what you think.
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 29, 2005
    #13
  14. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    I was originally interested in producing a decent image to trace with a
    wacom tablet. However, my dream of the finished product began to
    incorporate an mpeg intro, one captured at night, maybe with the help
    of some auxillary lighting.
    I have no desire to spend the 2500.00-3000.00+ for one of the cadillac
    camcorders, for now, at least. I'm just gonna have to be more
    innovative with what I can afford.
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 29, 2005
    #14
  15. Even the pro's with (relatively) unlimited budgets "cheat"
    by attaching reflective spots to critical spots on the dancer,
    animal, whatever. That allows them to much more easily
    trace the movement from frame to frame without using very
    expensive high-res video equipment.
     
    Richard Crowley, Dec 29, 2005
    #15
  16. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    Hmmm...now there's a use for those expensive, gaudy Christmas tree
    ornaments I had intended to bury in the darkest recesses of my
    basement. If I can get some poor lackey to stand still before my front
    window for 12 days as I film him next Christmas, I'll get my detailed
    video capture, as well as an animated Christmas tree! Shades of Andy
    Serkis...GOL-lum!
    But seriously, folks. I see your point, Mr. Crowley. Actually, the
    Christmas tree ornament, originally in jest, might not be such a bad
    idea...
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 30, 2005
    #16
  17. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    Gary, you echo the sentiments of more than a few others concerning the
    EIS of the PVGS150. I can see using a tripod quite often.
    The cam hasn't even arrived yet, and already I'm considering spending a
    few more bucks (this really hurts...) in order to get better low light
    performance. You see, I have this very dramatic night-time scene in
    mind, involving a foreboding, iron bridge, and a smoke machine...
    Thanks for the link...
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 30, 2005
    #17
  18. asprigoftrig

    asprigoftrig Guest

    Wellllll, Mr. Gary,
    I checked out the link...very informative. Thanks. However, these
    seem to be the aforementioned "cadillac cams" I'd better steer clear
    of, for the time being, at least. Besides, I've got a friend who has
    all of the newest electronic bells and whistles, camcorders, Ipod
    stuff, Macs, and the like. I can probably talk him into filming my
    night-time footage for me.
     
    asprigoftrig, Dec 30, 2005
    #18
  19. Hi there

    Glad to be of help and service to you :)
     
    Gary Hendricks, Dec 30, 2005
    #19
  20. asprigoftrig

    xjoshbrownx Guest

    don't buy photoshop. there is a photoshop clone called gimp that works
    for windows, osx, and linux. it's free and nearly as powerful as
    photoshop. i really can't recommend this over photoshop enough.

    i was speaking of tracing while staring at the monitor. once you
    really get the hang of them wacom tablets are amazing. i use the
    cheapest one, and it's never let me down. since i've become accustomed
    to using it.

    i'm sorry i haven't used pinnacle studio 10. if you can save a video
    clip as a sequence of .tif, jpeg, .tga this will work well.

    you don't need a great camera fro what you are doing, but progresive
    scan will help a bit by keeping the detail together in full frames.
     
    xjoshbrownx, Dec 30, 2005
    #20
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