Tips and Tricks

The real third eye: What the camera sees

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There is more than meets the eye especially when the camera is concerned. Despite what you might notice in person, the camera could produce very different results on screen due to its sensitive nature.

Upfront

Faces are most susceptible to the sharp focus of HD video. Capturing extreme details, HD reveals wrinkles and creases that are less than desired. This poses new challenges for makeup artists, who now do more work to cover up blemishes and spots that may not show up on traditional film. To flatter complexions, soften the image and adjust the lighting, or use natural light to your advantage.

Cover-up

As makeup plays a key role in making HD videos easy on the eyes, learn the essentials. A basic makeup kit contains a hand mirror, cotton balls for dabbing sweat, neutral powder puff with a matte finish, lip balm and hairbrush. Get a wide-tooth hairbrush to make it easier to get rid of stray hairs that get caught. If these items do not do the trick, hire a professional.

A dizzying array

Video images are created when cameras sample the sensor and convert whatever they see into digital data. Each millimeter of sensor contains a certain number of samples, and if data is made smaller – down-sampled, it can lead to an incorrect representation of the image. This incorrect representation is also called an “alias,” and can be a byproduct of large sensors in DSLRs.

Aliases are most prominent in film with repeated patterns and small details in the horizontal and vertical axes. Scenes that feature brick walls, tiled roofs, patterned fabrics are prone to the alias effect. To remedy this, it is advisable not to dress talent in plaid, striped or herringbone-patterned clothes. Also, the less patterned furniture in a scene, the better.

Also called moiré, patterns create what look like wavering lines. The lines seem to change as the camera moves around the patterned object, which could cause a strobe effect. Be wary of this as moiré patterns are impossible to remove in post-production.

Color specific

Patterns on film may dizzy the viewer, but bright clothing also poses its own set of problems. Avoid bright white or yellow clothes, as they tend to reflect light and cause overexposure. The high contrasts are also cumbersome for cameras due to their low dynamic range. Compensating for overly bright clothing can often cause exposure issues.

Similarly, very dark clothing on light-skinned people can create too high of a light and dark contrast. This flattens the image on film, which would show a properly exposed face with a featureless shirt. Whatever color the talent wears, it is always safe to test different colors with your camera first.