Ground Floor Blog
Canon 2/3" Prime Lenses Deliver 24P Film Look for CGI Composites
By Luke Livingston for Television Technology Magazine
One of our clients, Chick-fil-A, recently hired us to produce a promotional video for an annual sales meeting. This video seamlessly integrates film-style 24p footage with photo-realistic 3D animation. Shooting the 24p footage involved a lot of outdoor green-screen work, background plates and match moves for 3D, which required us to capture high-quality images that would integrate well with the CGI. Our Director of Photography, Pritchett Cotton, chose Canon’s set of six High Definition-Electronic Cinematography primes, which includes the FJs5, 9, 14, 24, 35, and 55. [The number of each lens model signifies its focal length.]
The video involved a white mini-van with black patches, resembling the familier Chick-fil-A cow. It was essential to keep the white from blooming and blowing out on this vehicle, and Canon’s HD-EC prime lenses helped us achieve that goal. The latitude and the shadow detail that the lenses were able to maintain was phenomenal. The lenses have great contrast, and they rendered color perfectly. Our animators didn’t see any distortion and the sharpness was great.
Canon’s primes on our Panasonic HPX-500 camera created the film-like feeling in both the picture quality and color tone that we were looking for, and we were then able to integrate it into the 3D environment. These lenses gave us very specific stops, focal lengths, angles, and widths, which allowed our 3D animators, David and Steven Bowman to access the data and measurements we gathered during our location shoots that were needed to create proxy images and background plates.
The projection is fantastic. There really was little to no difference in the aperture adjustment between color, saturation, vignette, or anything else you would expect from lenses at these widths and focal lengths. The apertures were super-accurate and the highlights came off great. Also, the T-stop shoots between 1.4 and 1.7 really well, which was nice. I really liked the fact that we could get more of a film look by having the background be out of focus. Even on the wider angles you could focus and have the background fall off, which was really nice to see and help us achieve the look we wanted.
Canon’s six HD-EC prime lenses are some of the most compact, lightweight, high-performance, and cost-effective 2/3-inch prime lenses in the industry. We used all six of Canon’s HD-EC prime lenses on this shoot, and they all performed really well. Cotton was particularly impressed with the quality and housing of the lenses. Just by picking one up you can tell they are well-constructed and made with high-quality materials. They are also sturdy and can take a hit and keep on going.
These lenses never slowed us down. We were able to shoot an incredible amount of footage in a few short days. The positions of the zoom, focus, and iris-gear rings are unified, which allowed fast and accurate lens exchanges without having to change the position of the control systems. Mounting these lenses on the 2/3 inch camera was fast and efficient; it wasn’t a science experiment at every set-up, which it would have been had we used other HD-Video equipment.
We set out to create a high-quality video with a serious film look, and by using Canon’s HD-EC prime lenses we were able to match quality images with quality CGI and achieve our goal.
To see the video go to our portfolio page - Portfolio