Shooting a LCD screen with miniDV camera. Any pointers?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Craig Busch, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. Craig Busch

    Craig Busch Guest

    I will be shooting a 25-30 minute presentation. I will be taping the
    image on a LCD screen.
    Any pointers/suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Craig Busch, Oct 8, 2003
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  2. "Craig Busch" wrote ...
    Don't assume it will work until you test it with the actual equipment and
    the actual configuration and source material.
    Richard Crowley, Oct 8, 2003
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  3. Craig Busch

    MitchGross Guest

    Dark room and watch out for reflections. Otherwise it should be fine.

    MitchGross, Oct 8, 2003
  4. Craig Busch

    Kevin Guest

    Does it have to be done this way? Why not get a screen-cap program like
    Camtasia (I think?) and directly save the screen contents into an AVI file
    which you can play with in post?
    Kevin, Oct 8, 2003
  5. Craig Busch

    David McCall Guest

    That is a good suggestion. This will yield the best quality, and you can use
    Vegas, Premiere, or just about any NLE software, but it is fairly time intensive
    to get right.

    The fastest way to a result is to use 2 cameras. One on the presenter,
    and the other on an LCD screen. If it is possible, it is good to have 2 LCDs
    (one for the camera, and one for the presenter (requires a distribution amp)).

    I would also suggest that the presentation be some-what scripted, and that
    the camera operator have a script that is marked up to help him to zoom
    and pan around the screen to follow the action (640 X 480 is about as high
    as will hold up in video, requiring that you only look at a small part of the
    screen at a time if using anything larger (800 X 500, 1024 X768, etc.).
    Full screen shots will be totally unreadable as video and are only useful to
    show the approximate location of items on the screen.

    David McCall, Oct 8, 2003
  6. Craig Busch

    Alan Lloyd Guest

    Or a dual head video card set to duplicate screens, or a laptop with
    both screen and external out active. It's all the same after that.

    And light the presenter with a daylight-wedged source, of course.
    At elast somewhat scripted, or it will require huge edit time.
    And watch for moire on those! LCD's are not immune.
    Alan Lloyd, Oct 8, 2003
  7. Craig Busch

    MSu1049321 Guest

    Scan converters are under a hundred bucks, for chrissakes.... and they zoom
    every bit as good or better than a camcorder. Shooting off the LCD is lame, a
    desperation move, makes you look like you don't know what you're doing...
    MSu1049321, Oct 9, 2003
  8. Craig Busch

    David McCall Guest


    It depends on what kind of look you are going for. I have no idea what
    you've been smoking, but I wish you would share it with the group.

    I've never seen a Scan converter that was under $1200, much less
    under $100, that looked as good as a even a marginal 3 chip
    DV camera. Everything is always squared up (no angles allowed).
    No sense of texture. Impossible the make even a simplest moves,
    much les complex moves, as in Show the whole screen to show
    the layout, then smoothly zoom in to the upper left corner and
    carefully follow the entries as they are entered from left to right
    and top to bottom.

    If you want everything all lined up and straight, and enjoy
    stopping the presentation, to change the scan converter,
    every time the presenter moves to a different part of the screen.
    then a scan converter is just the right tool, but that isn't the
    only way to get a presentation onto tape (or film for that matter :)

    You usually give decent advice. Not today though.

    David McCall, Oct 9, 2003
  9. Craig Busch

    MSu1049321 Guest

    Let the O.P. detail exactly what the material is that is being presented. If
    this is stuff like powerpoint slides, then yes, I stand by my assertion for the
    cheap scan converter. Even with training tapes specifically about how to run a
    piece of software, I think the converter is a more elegant solution, and I
    should know, I've done software training videos for over five years on a
    regular basis, and my clients and I have tried it about every way you can think
    of, including camera passes over the screen. We find that last option just.
    looks. dumb. What we've standardized on is a very nice Scan-Do Ultra, which
    is, yes, more expensive than 100 bucks, (more like 6 grand) but can be rented
    if you only do this work occasionally. It has up to five pre-settable shots
    from ultra-tight to full wide. We first orient our viewers with a cut to the
    general region of the screen the trainer is talking about, (only takes a second
    or so) then a cut to the really tight shot to see what needs to be seen, then
    back out to a wider shot to show the overall effect and appearance. It only
    takes minor editing to do this, and looks much better than tromboning and swish
    panning all over a screen with an actual camera. That gets old fast with our
    MSu1049321, Oct 9, 2003
  10. Craig Busch

    Seattle Eric Guest

    <eye roll> Yeah, that's a bit more than 100 bucks.
    Seattle Eric, Oct 9, 2003
  11. Craig Busch

    MSu1049321 Guest

    See, even the cheap scan converter looks better to me than the blown-up pixels
    when you shoot optically. That's my bottom line.
    MSu1049321, Oct 9, 2003
  12. Craig Busch

    Alan Lloyd Guest

    Having both is not a bad idea, since it's possible to have an actual
    human hand in a camera shot, which a scan converter does not allow.

    Multiple options generally are a help as opposed to a hindrance,
    providing they're used judiciously.

    Although to address your comments directly, yes, a scan converter
    makes this very, very easy. And a good scan converter preserves good
    images far better than a $100 "toy" unit, to be sure.

    So as I said above, why not choose to use both carefully as a good set
    of options?
    Alan Lloyd, Oct 9, 2003
  13. Craig Busch

    MSu1049321 Guest

    Under scan converter, I use either the computer's cursor arrow as a pointer, or
    in the edit, I add a little symbol of a hand with pointing finger, which I can
    key in and fly around with the DVE from spot to spot for emphasis and flow. Our
    clients jokingly refer to it as "the fickle finger of fate", but when I don't
    use it, they miss it;-) I also sometimes will spotlight areas with box wipes of
    brightness while the rest of the screen real estate gets dimmed down a bit.
    There are many many ways to do these, to me the key though is to always orient
    the viewer so there is no doubt where they are on the screen and where they are
    in the process, and keep their attention on what is being trained, not on how
    it's captured. To that issue, I hate the distractions caused by optical verssus
    scan converter.
    MSu1049321, Oct 9, 2003
  14. Craig Busch

    Rick Hammang Guest

    I have to go along with this, take CD ROM, or floppy of the
    presentation, do it in post, or roll a tape on the computer output
    through it's own built in convertor, or PCMCIA card, or box (dual
    display mode). In post, you just cut in the slide(s). If they are
    animated, you cut through the whole sequence, finding out-points where
    appropriate. If you had a field switcher (small digi switcher), you
    can capture all this real time. If you can't get hold of this stuff,
    just point and shoot.

    My respect to all you video folks,
    Rick Hammang, Oct 10, 2003
  15. Craig Busch

    Craig Busch Guest

    Thank you for all of the tips. We changed the resolution to 800 by 600
    and calibrated the screen for NTSC. Darkened room. I put a piece of
    tape over the red camera light, I saw it flashing this morning and
    started wondering...maybe it wasn't needed, but just to make sure...
    I think it worked out fine. Perfect no- but fine for what is needed, and
    time was of the essence.
    Nice being able to ask experienced pros. I am importing it into Premiere
    as we speak.
    Thanks again.
    Craig Busch, Oct 10, 2003
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