Episode 119 of Film Riot, “CineStyle for Better Images and Best Export Settings for Web,” discusses how to get the best image from your camera and how to to get the highest quality web video with a respectable amount of bandwidth use.
Host Ryan Connolly talks about trying to get the most workable image in post-production by using a “Flat Profile” in-camera. This means reducing the contrast, saturation, and sharpening in the camera’s image settings so that you can play with the image’s lighting more in post. The best images are still made by taking the appropriate measures during production and getting the image to look perfect in-camera, but for DIY filmmakers who may not have the money or time to set up the proper lighting or have awesome cameras can take a bit of a shortcut to get their movies looking as good as possible.
For those who have the Canon DSLR, Ryan swears by the CineStyle process, a free feature on their site that currently you can only use with that particular camera. He shows a side-by-side comparison between a neutral image, a flat image with color correction, and the neutral image with and without the CineStyle process. You can see the detail sharpen once it gets to this process. Since the CineStyle process is easy to incorrectly expose, Ryan follows the advice that was given to him: use the neutral profile to light and expose the scene, then he switches over to the Technicolor process to actually shoot the scene.
The next part of the episode talks about how to import and export DSLR footage (and I’m sure, any quality video) into something more “edit-friendly,” converting to a file-size that is manageable without losing quality. Connolly believes the best software to use is MPEG Streamclip, a free program you can download from squared5.com. Ryan then goes through all the steps of taking your files into the editing software and what settings to select and de-select before you proceed with cutting the scene.
For exporting the finished product, Ryan uses Final Cut Pro’s H264 codec. This, along with the adjustments you can make with it that Ryan takes you through step-by-step, allows a high quality web video with a low file size. You don’t need to use Final Cut Pro, as Ryan explains this is available in almost any editing software, but the options are just in different places.
For those of you trying to get into web video, both segments of Episode 119 are extremely valuable, even if you don’t own the Canon DSLR.