Architectural videography - interiors

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Omar Mohammad

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Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 7:49 am

Hi everyone,

There aren’t many tutorials online on this topic; therefore, I would appreciate some advice on how to approach interiors in terms of setting exposure and using color checker.

To set exposure using a gray card, it’s recommended to activate false colors and fill gray card with green. However, taking in consideration room size and light source, natural or artificial, would I have to set it several times if I’m going to shoot from the same perspective/direction? Let’s say I enter a salon with windows opposite to the camera, the farther I’m away from windows/light source the darker the image, even with lights on. Of course, I’d need to reset exposure when windows are behind me.

Regarding color checker, do I need to use it for each room/part within the same property?

My plan is to buy BMPCC 6K Pro and use it with Sigma 12-24 F4 Art and Ronin R3 Pro gimbal. I use that lens for photography.

Thank you in advance for your input.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 8:23 am

Hi Omar,

I would use the Colorchecker for each room, because you will receive a lot of different light spill from outside, room walls and interior.
Saying "Thx for help!" is not a crime.
--------------------------------
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LAUFBILDkommission
Graz / Austria
--------------------------------
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Read the blog in English via Google Translate:
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Omar Mohammad

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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 9:01 am

Robert Niessner wrote:Hi Omar,

I would use the Colorchecker for each room, because you will receive a lot of different light spill from outside, room walls and interior.

Hi Robert,

Thank you for your comment.

In that case I will have to do it several times depending on the angle of shooting.

Honestly, I have never used a ColorChecker nor a gray card when taking photos as I do all WB and color correction in LrC. Luckily, it's been covered in DaVinci Resolve 18 Colorist Guide pg. 231.
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mickspixels

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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 2:07 pm

Omar Mohammad wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:Hi Omar,

I would use the Colorchecker for each room, because you will receive a lot of different light spill from outside, room walls and interior.

Hi Robert,

Thank you for your comment.

In that case I will have to do it several times depending on the angle of shooting.

Honestly, I have never used a ColorChecker nor a gray card when taking photos as I do all WB and color correction in LrC. Luckily, it's been covered in DaVinci Resolve 18 Colorist Guide pg. 231.


The bad news is that the automatic color match in Resolve that you mention does not work properly at all (unless something has changed since I last tried it) and most likely turns into a very frustrating experience. The good news is that it is quite simple to do this manually and gives very good results. The following YouTube link gives you an excellent tutorial by the makers of the Color Checker Video (also applies to the Color Checker Passport Video). It was X-Rite but but now Calibrite. Skip to around 3 minutes and all will be revealed.



The other good news is that you don't need to achieve perfect color matching for the type of work you are doing as it is aimed at YouTube and you are not working for clients. Nevertheless that tutorial is invaluable in understanding how to use the Color Checker Video (make sure it is the video version rather than the stills version). It is well worth getting a Color Checker Video and/or Color Checker Passport Video and you can use it on stills as well for most purposes.

All that said working with ambient light on interiors is likely to be very difficult as you will have mixed lighting sources and a lot of variation in exposure but that is another story. Best of luck.
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rick.lang

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Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 3:29 pm

For architectural shoots, I’m not sure walking through rooms using a gimbal will be as effective as using a tripod or a dolly on rails given you have the time in each different shot to set the tripod/rails. And if you are looking for more pleasing lines, you might use a tilt-shift lens to adjust the perspective to please you:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/606804-USA

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/606803-USA

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1699928-REG

These options however are all correct depending upon what approach your client wants to see.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 3:52 pm

mickspixels wrote:
Omar Mohammad wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:Hi Omar,

I would use the Colorchecker for each room, because you will receive a lot of different light spill from outside, room walls and interior.

Hi Robert,

Thank you for your comment.

In that case I will have to do it several times depending on the angle of shooting.

Honestly, I have never used a ColorChecker nor a gray card when taking photos as I do all WB and color correction in LrC. Luckily, it's been covered in DaVinci Resolve 18 Colorist Guide pg. 231.


The bad news is that the automatic color match in Resolve that you mention does not work properly at all (unless something has changed since I last tried it) and most likely turns into a very frustrating experience. The good news is that it is quite simple to do this manually and gives very good results. The following YouTube link gives you an excellent tutorial by the makers of the Color Checker Video (also applies to the Color Checker Passport Video). It was X-Rite but but now Calibrite. Skip to around 3 minutes and all will be revealed.



The other good news is that you don't need to achieve perfect color matching for the type of work you are doing as it is aimed at YouTube and you are not working for clients. Nevertheless that tutorial is invaluable in understanding how to use the Color Checker Video (make sure it is the video version rather than the stills version). It is well worth getting a Color Checker Video and/or Color Checker Passport Video and you can use it on stills as well for most purposes.

All that said working with ambient light on interiors is likely to be very difficult as you will have mixed lighting sources and a lot of variation in exposure but that is another story. Best of luck.


Hi Michael,

Thank you for your usual comprehensive comments.

You’re right, dealing with a mixture of light’s temperature isn’t a pleasant job. In photography, I either use flashes - aka Flambient - or bracketing shots and then I use luminance masking as well as color correction layers.

Off-topic: I found out this morning that BMPCC 6K has Super 35 sensor and not a full-frame one. I don’t know why I missed this crucial piece of info. The solution is buying a MFT mount camera instead of EF along with Laowa 7.5mm f2. I thought my current 12-24mm lens will suffice, however, 1.56 crop factor will narrow the field of view a bit over 18mm. For my purpose, might be a bit challenging to capture details, especially in tight areas. Metal ones booster will be an extra cost, not to mention it’s not available in Spain.


rick.lang wrote:For architectural shoots, I’m not sure using a gimbal will be as effective as using a tripod given you have the time in each different shot to set the tripod. And if you are looking for more pleasing lines, you might use a tilt-shift lens to adjust the perspective to please you:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/606804-USA

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/606803-USA

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1699928-REG


Hi Rick,

Thank you for your input.

I need to moving to the footage instead of static-like videos with panning and tilting. There won’t be a lot of movement, but entering a room and then pan a bit left/right adds some dynamics to the footage.

Tilt-shift lenses are expensive. Also, their focal length doesn’t meet my requirements. I also take photos between 12-16mm as I mostly list apartments. Apartments here are small, that’s why I need an ultra-wide lens.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 4:12 pm

The Laowa lens tilt-shift I listed is 15mm which might work. But you’re right, the lenses can be expensive. Some camera motion as you suggested may be more pleasing, if the camera POV is managed.

There’s a very handy App called f8 Lens Toolkit which lets you select cameras and lenses and then shows the depth of field and field of view for various distances from the camera. I use that frequently when planning my shots to determine most suitable choices.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 6:06 pm

mickspixels wrote:The bad news is that the automatic color match in Resolve that you mention does not work properly at all (unless something has changed since I last tried it) and most likely turns into a very frustrating experience. The good news is that it is quite simple to do this manually and gives very good results.


I have to disagree here. Most people seem to use that tool wrong - hence the impression that it won't work properly. Try it in Resolve like this:

1. Get your BRAW white balance close to neutral with the color checker first (Camera RAW settings Color Temp + Tint)

2. Add a Color Space Transform node (Call it e.g. "CST in") and set input color space to "Blackmagic Design Wide Gamut Gen 4/5" and input gamma to "Blackmagic Design Film Gen 5"
Set output color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut" and gamma to "Davinci Intermediate"

3. Add a serial node (Call it e.g. "Match")

4. Add a Color Space Transform node (Call it e.g. "CST out") and set input color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut" and input gamma to "Davinci Intermediate"
Set output color space to "Blackmagic Design Wide Gamut Gen 4/5" and gamma to "Blackmagic Design Film Gen 5"

For both CSTs set tone and gamut mapping to OFF and all OOTF should be unchecked.

5. Now in your Match node go to color match, select your colorchecker and set source and target gamma to "Davinci Intermediate" and target color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut"

Click "Match"

That should give you a very good result.
Saying "Thx for help!" is not a crime.
--------------------------------
Robert Niessner
LAUFBILDkommission
Graz / Austria
--------------------------------
Blackmagic Camera Blog (German):
http://laufbildkommission.wordpress.com

Read the blog in English via Google Translate:
http://tinyurl.com/pjf6a3m
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSat Apr 29, 2023 10:34 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:
mickspixels wrote:The bad news is that the automatic color match in Resolve that you mention does not work properly at all (unless something has changed since I last tried it) and most likely turns into a very frustrating experience. The good news is that it is quite simple to do this manually and gives very good results.


I have to disagree here. Most people seem to use that tool wrong - hence the impression that it won't work properly. Try it in Resolve like this:

That should give you a very good result.


OK I will give that a go when I get a chance. Apologies for propagating incorrect info - something I really don't like to do. I did try it some time back after doing the BMD Colorist tutorial and couldn't get it working on my own clip. Then several people here on the forum said it didn't work so I assumed that to be correct.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSun Apr 30, 2023 1:31 am

You both are right:
– If people use that tool with the expectation that it cures your footage in a magical way, they'll be disappointed.
– If you follow Robert's advice, some effort on your side is involved, but it can be quite helpful.

Finally, it's always good to shoot a proper color chart (made for video), since you can also use it for manual corrections while checking your vectorscope.
Maybe AI can help you. Or make you obsolete.

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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSun Apr 30, 2023 6:24 am

Robert Niessner wrote:
I have to disagree here. Most people seem to use that tool wrong - hence the impression that it won't work properly. Try it in Resolve like this:

Thank you for the clarification, Robert. :)

rick.lang wrote:
There’s a very handy App called f8 Lens Toolkit which lets you select cameras and lenses and then shows the depth of field and field of view for various distances from the camera. I use that frequently when planning my shots to determine most suitable choices.


Very handy tool, many thanks Rick!

mickspixels wrote:
OK I will give that a go when I get a chance. Apologies for propagating incorrect info - something I really don't like to do. I did try it some time back after doing the BMD Colorist tutorial and couldn't get it working on my own clip. Then several people here on the forum said it didn't work so I assumed that to be correct.


No worries my friend, we are here to learn and exchange expertise :)

Uli Plank wrote:You both are right:
– If people use that tool with the expectation that it cures your footage in a magical way, they'll be disappointed.
– If you follow Robert's advice, some effort on your side is involved, but it can be quite helpful.

Finally, it's always good to shoot a proper color chart (made for video), since you can also use it for manual corrections while checking your vectorscope.


You’re right, I thought DR will do all the magic and heavy lifting. What I have observed from the video that a lot of work will be involved after the color matching :cry: :mrgreen:
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSun Dec 03, 2023 3:18 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:
mickspixels wrote:The bad news is that the automatic color match in Resolve that you mention does not work properly at all (unless something has changed since I last tried it) and most likely turns into a very frustrating experience. The good news is that it is quite simple to do this manually and gives very good results.


I have to disagree here. Most people seem to use that tool wrong - hence the impression that it won't work properly. Try it in Resolve like this:

1. Get your BRAW white balance close to neutral with the color checker first (Camera RAW settings Color Temp + Tint)

2. Add a Color Space Transform node (Call it e.g. "CST in") and set input color space to "Blackmagic Design Wide Gamut Gen 4/5" and input gamma to "Blackmagic Design Film Gen 5"
Set output color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut" and gamma to "Davinci Intermediate"

3. Add a serial node (Call it e.g. "Match")

4. Add a Color Space Transform node (Call it e.g. "CST out") and set input color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut" and input gamma to "Davinci Intermediate"
Set output color space to "Blackmagic Design Wide Gamut Gen 4/5" and gamma to "Blackmagic Design Film Gen 5"

For both CSTs set tone and gamut mapping to OFF and all OOTF should be unchecked.

5. Now in your Match node go to color match, select your colorchecker and set source and target gamma to "Davinci Intermediate" and target color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut"

Click "Match"

That should give you a very good result.


Hi Robert. Thanks again for the walkthrough.

I have a few questions regarding using color checker.

- I should disable DR's color management in Project settings, right?
- As for WB, would you recommend doing so from Camera raw or Primaries - color wheels?
- Can I use the colors matched nodes with all other clips, just copy/paste? Or create those nodes in Timeline?
- I color match, wouldn't it be more efficient doing the following: (without using CST nodes)
-- Source Gamma: BMD Film Gen 5
-- Target Gamma: DaVinci Intermediate
-- Target Color Space: Davinci Wide Gamut

Thank you in advance for your input.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSun Dec 03, 2023 6:49 pm

mickspixels wrote:
Omar Mohammad wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:Hi Omar,

I would use the Colorchecker for each room, because you will receive a lot of different light spill from outside, room walls and interior.

Hi Robert,

Thank you for your comment.

In that case I will have to do it several times depending on the angle of shooting.

Honestly, I have never used a ColorChecker nor a gray card when taking photos as I do all WB and color correction in LrC. Luckily, it's been covered in DaVinci Resolve 18 Colorist Guide pg. 231.


The bad news is that the automatic color match in Resolve that you mention does not work properly at all (unless something has changed since I last tried it) and most likely turns into a very frustrating experience. The good news is that it is quite simple to do this manually and gives very good results. The following YouTube link gives you an excellent tutorial by the makers of the Color Checker Video (also applies to the Color Checker Passport Video). It was X-Rite but but now Calibrite. Skip to around 3 minutes and all will be revealed.



The other good news is that you don't need to achieve perfect color matching for the type of work you are doing as it is aimed at YouTube and you are not working for clients. Nevertheless that tutorial is invaluable in understanding how to use the Color Checker Video (make sure it is the video version rather than the stills version). It is well worth getting a Color Checker Video and/or Color Checker Passport Video and you can use it on stills as well for most purposes.

All that said working with ambient light on interiors is likely to be very difficult as you will have mixed lighting sources and a lot of variation in exposure but that is another story. Best of luck.


It works properly if you use DaVinci Wide Gamut.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSun Dec 03, 2023 6:53 pm

Omar Mohammad wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:
mickspixels wrote:The bad news is that the automatic color match in Resolve that you mention does not work properly at all (unless something has changed since I last tried it) and most likely turns into a very frustrating experience. The good news is that it is quite simple to do this manually and gives very good results.


I have to disagree here. Most people seem to use that tool wrong - hence the impression that it won't work properly. Try it in Resolve like this:

1. Get your BRAW white balance close to neutral with the color checker first (Camera RAW settings Color Temp + Tint)

2. Add a Color Space Transform node (Call it e.g. "CST in") and set input color space to "Blackmagic Design Wide Gamut Gen 4/5" and input gamma to "Blackmagic Design Film Gen 5"
Set output color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut" and gamma to "Davinci Intermediate"

3. Add a serial node (Call it e.g. "Match")

4. Add a Color Space Transform node (Call it e.g. "CST out") and set input color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut" and input gamma to "Davinci Intermediate"
Set output color space to "Blackmagic Design Wide Gamut Gen 4/5" and gamma to "Blackmagic Design Film Gen 5"

For both CSTs set tone and gamut mapping to OFF and all OOTF should be unchecked.

5. Now in your Match node go to color match, select your colorchecker and set source and target gamma to "Davinci Intermediate" and target color space to "Davinci Wide Gamut"

Click "Match"

That should give you a very good result.


Hi Robert. Thanks again for the walkthrough.

I have a few questions regarding using color checker.

- I should disable DR's color management in Project settings, right?
- As for WB, would you recommend doing so from Camera raw or Primaries - color wheels?
- Can I use the colors matched nodes with all other clips, just copy/paste? Or create those nodes in Timeline?
- I color match, wouldn't it be more efficient doing the following: (without using CST nodes)
-- Source Gamma: BMD Film Gen 5
-- Target Gamma: DaVinci Intermediate
-- Target Color Space: Davinci Wide Gamut

Thank you in advance for your input.


Convert the footage to "Davinci Wide Gamut first. Then set your Source Gamma & Target Gamma to DaVinci Intermediate.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSun Dec 03, 2023 9:08 pm

ShaheedMalik wrote:
Convert the footage to "Davinci Wide Gamut first. Then set your Source Gamma & Target Gamma to DaVinci Intermediate.

Do you mean in project settings? Or use Raw tab in color grading page?
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostSun Dec 03, 2023 9:47 pm

From a compositional as well as colour perspective, you might check out Norman McGrath's "Photographing Buildings Inside and Out", which as the title implies gives a good bit of attention to interiors. If you aren't familiar with McGrath, who's now in his 90s, he's one of the U.S.'s most important architectural photographers. His website (Ihttp://normanmcgrath.com) says that he has a new show opening in New York in January. There is a lot of information about his career and his views about architectural photography on the Internet.

The book, published in 1993, is out of print, but should be fairly widely available second-hand. McGrath lists more recent books on his website, which also has many examples of his work.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostMon Dec 04, 2023 7:46 pm

Omar Mohammad wrote:
ShaheedMalik wrote:
Convert the footage to "Davinci Wide Gamut first. Then set your Source Gamma & Target Gamma to DaVinci Intermediate.

Do you mean in project settings? Or use Raw tab in color grading page?

You can do it from the Raw Tab or use Color Space Transforms to do it.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostMon Dec 04, 2023 8:24 pm

@robedge - thank you, I check his website. Others work opens up my eyes to new ideas.

@ShaheedMalik - I just finished testing various scenarios, I got the best results, to my eyes, from the following:

- I managed colors from project settings, BRAW to Rec.709/Gamma 2.4
- I added a “Match” node, source and target gamma “DaVinci Intermediate” and target color space “DaVinci Wide Gamut”.

I did compare the results with what @Robert Niessner has suggest, I have found a subtle color difference between both.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 10:45 am

If exposure varies too much (moving from bright to dim area) you can use keyframes in Resolve to smoothly adjust exposure.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 11:05 am

Michel Rabe wrote:If exposure varies too much (moving from bright to dim area) you can use keyframes in Resolve to smoothly adjust exposure.

Hi Michael. Brilliant idea, although I still don't know how to utilize keyframes, but I'll get to learn it. Well, I tested the camera with auto exposure, however, it was obvious when moving between different areas. Another problem is the LED flickering, I have to set shutter angle myself to avoid it. I still need ages to learn how to take videos, it is not as easy as photography.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 11:38 am

Yes, lights or screens flickering is a pain and you might end up with a compromise.
Sometimes screens can be adjusted to match a shutter speed and light bulbs can be switched, but that's dependent on the location and can be time consuming.

For key-framing exposure in Resolve there are several ways to do it but essentially it's quite easy and you can control and make much smoother transitions than auto-exposure in camera.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 12:23 pm

Michel Rabe wrote:Yes, lights or screens flickering is a pain and you might end up with a compromise.
Sometimes screens can be adjusted to match a shutter speed and light bulbs can be switched, but that's dependent on the location and can be time consuming.


I remember I watched an easy fix by duplicating the clip and and advancing one of them 1 frame only.

Yes, it is time consuming as you will have to adjust ISO and/or iris to get the right exposure.

Michel Rabe wrote:For key-framing exposure in Resolve there are several ways to do it but essentially it's quite easy and you can control and make much smoother transitions than auto-exposure in camera.

I will watch some videos. Many thanks Michael.
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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 1:28 pm

Are those flickering lights on mains or battery? If on mains, it should be possible to find an exposure time where they don't flicker. The procedure with a shifted copy can introduce double-contours on motion.
Maybe AI can help you. Or make you obsolete.

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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 1:45 pm

Uli Plank wrote:Are those flickering lights on mains or battery? If on mains, it should be possible to find an exposure time where they don't flicker. The procedure with a shifted copy can introduce double-contours on motion.

I always use battery. When I tested the camera, I adjusted shutter angle to 217 degrees, but then I had to lower the ISO as well as aperture. but it worked well.

When shooting under lights, your shutter can affect the visibility of flicker. Your Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K automatically calculates a flicker free shutter value for your current frame rate and suggests up to three shutter values. Shutter values are affected by the frequency of the local mains power supply used to drive those lights. In most PAL countries, this frequency is 50Hz, while NTSC countries typically use 60Hz power. Tap ‘50Hz’ or ‘60Hz’ to set the right frequency for your region.

Characteristics of various light sources may still cause flicker even when using flicker free shutter values. We recommend performing a test shoot when not using continuous lights.

-BMCC6K manual
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ricardo marty

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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 2:09 pm

I have seen the use of drones combined with gimbals, exterior and interior. of course it depends on the house but the videos are very appealing interesting.


Ricardo Marty
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Omar Mohammad

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Re: Architectural videography - interiors

PostThu Dec 07, 2023 2:27 pm

ricardo marty wrote:I have seen the use of drones combined with gimbals, exterior and interior. of course it depends on the house but the videos are very appealing interesting.


Ricardo Marty

Drone videography is a luxury I can’t afford now. Not to mention it requires a license and a lot of training. In my area, only the big agencies do drone videos for expensive houses.
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