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  • That ONE out of focus camera on B5

    After watching B5 over and over again - because it NEVER gets old! - I keep seeing certain scenes obviously shot out of focus. Think of the times you've seen the Stone Garden from a distance, or the window looking in on Sheridan/Sinclair's office from outside, or looking down from some height. Certain scenes are simply blurry - out of focus! It seems they had one really bad camera which they used for distant shots all the time. Everything else is perfectly clear.

    An aside, I know it's out of context for this particular thread :

    I've noticed sometimes the re-recording of spoken lines is terrible. The most blatant is in season one, episode one. Sheridan is talking, I think to Ivanova, after Ka'plen (I think that's his name) from the Grey Council has just left the office in anger after making his presentation about the "problem" rogue Minbari ship. The camera is on Sheridan, he's talking normally, and then a line or two sound like they were recorded in a closet with a cheap michrophone and then the sound is "normal" again. The lip synce is fine, nobody in the scene jumped as if some loud noise had occured to ruin the original recording. What happened and why was the dubb-in so bad? Other times, the stereo effect seems random or defective. Somebody may be talking on the right side of the screen and mixed nicely and suddenly their talking comes out of the left speaker while all other sound is normal. At least I haven't heard any sound in B5 that was out of phase!
    Michael Malloy

    Never forget:

    Moscow; Beslan 2004
    Kosovo: 1999, 2004
    New York City: September 11, 2001
    Smyrna: September 9, 1922

    http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
    Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

  • #2
    doubt it's an out of focus camera thing. it's either due to the dvd transfer and resolution due to cropping the image or done deliberately to give feeling of depth.

    And it's the first episode of season2, not 1.

    Not that I'm being picky or anything...no, wait...i am
    "Gold chains and watches, the maggot's got plenty.
    He pinched them from ladies and upset the gentry"

    'The Maggot', Goldie Looking Chain

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    • #3
      It seems that any shot with any kind of CGI is blurry, because the aspect ratio for the CGI shots isn't the same as the regular shots.

      ...and for some reason, they didn't think that this freaking difference would cause issues.

      *arrgghhh*

      From KoshN:

      http://jmsnews.net/forums/showpost.p...0&postcount=41

      ...we ARE talking about the same thing, right? :P

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Michael Malloy
        I've noticed sometimes the re-recording of spoken lines is terrible. The most blatant is in season one, episode one. Sheridan is talking, I think to Ivanova, after Ka'plen (I think that's his name) from the Grey Council has just left the office in anger after making his presentation about the "problem" rogue Minbari ship. The camera is on Sheridan, he's talking normally, and then a line or two sound like they were recorded in a closet with a cheap michrophone and then the sound is "normal" again. The lip synce is fine, nobody in the scene jumped as if some loud noise had occured to ruin the original recording.
        As I recall, takes were pretty often ruined by airplanes passing overhead. Isn't Bruce in one of the bloopers saying "...and that's my plane." or something similar? I've noticed a few instances like that but most of the time I don't. Like you said, it's only after watching the episodes over and over so that we've pretty much got them memorized (witness the 'Name the Episode thread <g>)

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael Malloy
          After watching B5 over and over again - because it NEVER gets old! - I keep seeing certain scenes obviously shot out of focus. Think of the times you've seen the Stone Garden from a distance, or the window looking in on Sheridan/Sinclair's office from outside, or looking down from some height. Certain scenes are simply blurry - out of focus! It seems they had one really bad camera which they used for distant shots all the time. Everything else is perfectly clear.
          Michael, what part or parts of the scene are blurred. I'm guessing the foreground is clear, but are the physical parts of the set blurry, or is it just the virtual parts? IIRC, the Lightwave CGI software they were using had a blur feature for simulating movement or atmoshperic stuff, and maybe they were using that more heavily to compensate for the limitations of CGI at the time. Even if the physical set parts were blurry, that might still be the reason, since they might shorten the depth of field so it wouldn't be as sharply contrasting to the CGI. They were, after all, being pretty ground breaking with their use of CGI at that time. Could well be transfer as funkymikemoses suggested, too. Could be a copy of a copy of a ....

          As far as they sound goes, I would expect the actors to not react unless a light fell or something. They probably can't be sure if the audio would be ruined or not for many of the possible sounds.
          "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Michael Malloy
            After watching B5 over and over again - because it NEVER gets old! - I keep seeing certain scenes obviously shot out of focus. Think of the times you've seen the Stone Garden from a distance, or the window looking in on Sheridan/Sinclair's office from outside, or looking down from some height. Certain scenes are simply blurry - out of focus! It seems they had one really bad camera which they used for distant shots all the time. Everything else is perfectly clear.
            The scenes you're referring to are probably all composite shots. These are shots that combine live action elements with CGI effects. Although the full CGI shots were re-matted quite successfully (IMHO), the composite shots were most affected during the widesceen transfer process. The live action footage was initially shot in widescreen and then transferred to digital media, but when the effects were added, they were done in standard television aspect ratio (whoops!). I can only assume that there is more inherent "grain" to the live action footage than the full CGI images, so when the FX shots were blown up and then cropped to meet the widescreen aspect, all of the grain was magnified (much like when you enlarge a smaller .jpg file only to create a really mediocre wallpaper image for your computer) and the picture quality suffers.

            Here's a game you can play: There's a even few scenes where you know an effect is coming because the blur is already there. Jump out of your chair, say "FX shot coming up!", and take a drink of whatever you like.

            I've noticed sometimes the re-recording of spoken lines is terrible. The most blatant is in season one, episode one. Sheridan is talking, I think to Ivanova, after Ka'plen (I think that's his name) from the Grey Council has just left the office in anger after making his presentation about the "problem" rogue Minbari ship. The camera is on Sheridan, he's talking normally, and then a line or two sound like they were recorded in a closet with a cheap michrophone and then the sound is "normal" again. The lip synce is fine, nobody in the scene jumped as if some loud noise had occured to ruin the original recording. What happened and why was the dubb-in so bad?
            That would be Season 2, episode one. The Minbari is question is Hedronn, although he changes his name to Coplann for "In the Beginning". I'm not aware of the loop you noticed; most people notice the looping of Garibaldi's dialogue in the War Room in "Ship of Tears" when he shares his discoveries from the Book of G'Quon. It's simply because he got up from his chair and made a turn, and the sound guy didn't catch it all. Probably happened the same in yours. Someone mentioned the airplanes that frequently flew over. Sometimes set builders, unaware of the filming, would start banging hammers on the other side of the soundstage. All kinds of noises were present. I would wager there's a lot more looping (dubbing) than we're aware of and only a few instances sound crappy.
            Last edited by B5_Obsessed; 03-04-2005, 10:21 AM.
            Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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            • #7
              To me the most notorious dubbing

              For me, the most obvious and notorious dubbing was the fudged line in "Comes the Inquisitor" when Bruce spoke the line placing Jack on one side of London, but the dubbed has the other. I believe the lips say east and the dialogue says west (just from memory here, don't kill me if I got it backwards). Anyways, the reason was that the original dialogue was incorrect, so it was dubbed for future viewings and the DVD's.
              "Ivanova is God!"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SpooRancher
                For me, the most obvious and notorious dubbing was the fudged line in "Comes the Inquisitor" when Bruce spoke the line placing Jack on one side of London, but the dubbed has the other. I believe the lips say east and the dialogue says west (just from memory here, don't kill me if I got it backwards). Anyways, the reason was that the original dialogue was incorrect, so it was dubbed for future viewings and the DVD's.
                Yep, you got it backwards.
                I was going to mention that one but since it was done for a legitimate reason, I left it out.
                Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the theories, everyone.

                  To answer questions that came up more than once:

                  I don't think the scenes in question involved CGI. They're simply out of focus and it has nothing to do with the transfer to DVD - the same effect is on all tapes I have. If it's a shot of live people on a set and from more than a few feet away, it is out of focus. It only happens in certain episodes - and that's simply because not every episode includes such scenes.

                  I thought I made it clear I was speaking of Sheridan's first episode - Season Two - the one in which General Haig orders Sheridan to B5 as new commander.

                  Funny about that actor, Robin something. He's very good, in my opinion. He was an excellent Mimbari regardless of name at the time. I only recently noticed he was a Narn captain near the end of Season Three - the episode in which Sheridan decides to test the ability of telepaths to block control of Shadow ships. He's eating meatballs with G'Kar. I've seen that show so many times I can practically recite the whole thing! But I only recently noticed the actor. For me, it's more obvious near the end of the series when he is again a Narn captain. The voice is the key for me.

                  In a similar distraction, the actor who played the Brakiri Ambassador played many parts was also very good. He was a Mimbari and I don't quite remember what else but his best role was as the Brakiri, in my opinion.
                  Michael Malloy

                  Never forget:

                  Moscow; Beslan 2004
                  Kosovo: 1999, 2004
                  New York City: September 11, 2001
                  Smyrna: September 9, 1922

                  http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
                  Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
                  http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I thought the scenes you cited usually do have CGI in them, though. For instance, when the camera is pulled out in the garden, there's often a train or something going by in the background. And the outside view of the Commander/Captain's Office is definitely CGI (except for what you can see in the window, of course)
                    Schlock Mercenary: comic space opera

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kloreep
                      I thought the scenes you cited usually do have CGI in them, though. For instance, when the camera is pulled out in the garden, there's often a train or something going by in the background. And the outside view of the Commander/Captain's Office is definitely CGI (except for what you can see in the window, of course)
                      I understand what you are saying. Yes, the surrounding images can be CGI, but the PEOPLE are badly out of focus.

                      Please everyone, I'm not trying to brag here - I only want to share my background regarding photography. (I can do music if anyone wants too)

                      I grew up in a home in which both parents were professional photographers. As a toddler I remember hanging out with my father in the darkroom and I was the subject of some of my mother's child portrait work. A few years after college I helped my father manage the color slide lab that was the source of his livelihood. I used medium and large format cameras for my own work.

                      I know an out-of-focus image when I see it.
                      Michael Malloy

                      Never forget:

                      Moscow; Beslan 2004
                      Kosovo: 1999, 2004
                      New York City: September 11, 2001
                      Smyrna: September 9, 1922

                      http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
                      Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
                      http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The Minbari is question is Hedronn, although he changes his name to Coplann for "In the Beginning".
                        Nah, B5_Obsessed - Coplann and Hedronn are just identical twins, both played by Robin Sachs. Incidentally, Robin Sachs also plays two different Narns: Na'Kal and Na'Tok, I think. He's great - I loved him as Ethan Rayne on Buffy.

                        I understand what you are saying. Yes, the surrounding images can be CGI, but the PEOPLE are badly out of focus.
                        Actually Michael, I don't think anyone is trying to dispute that those scenes are blurry: I _believe_ the explanation I've heard is that when those composite shots are put together, the way the CGI was shot is different than the way the live action parts were shot, so in order to composite them (i.e. put them together), some monkeying is required...and it's that monkeying that causes the blurriness. Not that the images were _shot_ blurrily originally. Still, the effect is the same: blurry images. </non-techy explanation>

                        Amy

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                        • #13
                          Yep, it's like AmyG says. While the series was shot in a format that allowed it to be turned in to either widescreen or TV scale, all the CGI was done for the more boxy TV scale (don't know the dimension offhand). Babylonian didn't go to the extra expense of a second set of all the CGI shots in widescreen -- and this included the composite shots where CGI was added in to live action. So when they decided to release the series on DVD as widescreen, they had to stretch all the CGI shots, including these composites that included live actors and elements. I believe it's just like when you take an image in to Photoshop, IRfanView, or whatever program you use and increase only one dimension of the image - if it you want the image to be increased to fit the new size, the program is going to have to distort and blur it a little.
                          Schlock Mercenary: comic space opera

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                          • #14
                            Okay, I don't really know what I'm talking about, which I should have stated in my previous post. However, I finally found the explanation I half-recalled above. It's a review on tvshowsondvd.com of Babylon 5's first season.

                            http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/siterevi...ReleaseID=1412

                            Skip down to the video section. The explanation of what they did for the CGI shots (and for some of the non-CGI shots they couldn't recover from the original film) is there.
                            Schlock Mercenary: comic space opera

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                            • #15
                              "For me, the most obvious and notorious dubbing was the fudged line in "Comes the Inquisitor" when Bruce spoke the line placing Jack on one side of London, but the dubbed has the other. I believe the lips say east and the dialogue says west (just from memory here, don't kill me if I got it backwards). Anyways, the reason was that the original dialogue was incorrect, so it was dubbed for future viewings and the DVD's." originally posted by Spoorancher


                              Was that really dubbed to corrected it? On my DVD set Sheriden still says that the ripper murders took place in the WEST end. When we all know that Whitechapel is in the EAST. So if it was dubbed to correct it where did it originally say the murders were? Southend? Northhampton? Littlehampton? Coventry?
                              ____
                              I have the wings for Bingo.

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