August 31, 2016

Video: Here's a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Use a Waveform Monitor

Class is in session! The topic: waveform monitors.

Waveform monitors can be extremely helpful tools for getting the correct exposure on an image, but they do take a little know-how in order to use them correctly. In this helpful tutorial from Aputure, you get to learn what a waveform monitor is, how to use one, and how it differs from other tools when it comes to measuring exposure.

If you're having a difficult time understanding what exactly a waveform monitor is, the video describes it as "a graph that charts the brightness values of a picture from left to right." The standard unit of measurement for brightness values is IRE, which goes from 0 (complete blackness) to 100 (complete white), so checking your X and Y values on your scope can tell you whether you're correctly (evenly) exposing your image without having to rely on your monitor, which may or may not be accurate.

Now that you know the basics of waveforms, it would be incredibly beneficial to start practicing reading them. When it comes to making films, exposure is supremely important, and waveforms are another tool you can use to ensure that you're getting the shot you want.     

Your Comment

6 Comments

THANK YOU! I needed this.

September 1, 2016 at 11:53AM

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Seth Reiber
Videographer
79

Great video!!!! I love those guys over there.The next thing to do is figure out your particular camera ideal exposure. Check out this video I put together.

https://vimeo.com/152077612

Dominique

September 1, 2016 at 12:01PM, Edited September 1, 12:04PM

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Dominique Gilbert
Tech Fanatic/Educator/Musician
88

You can also use it to color balance. Use something white in the image like on your slate or a card or something in the shot. The waveform (when its set up like in this video) shows all three colors overlapping. Adjust the color balance until the white card's scope RGB lines mix to become white. It's quick and rough way to balance something. I use it a lot when working with RAW files to get a roughly accurate balance for my temporary editing files.

September 1, 2016 at 5:43PM, Edited September 1, 5:45PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
588

Great tip that I think many DP's don't know about but colorist sure do fixing it :-D

September 9, 2016 at 2:18AM

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Erik Naso
eriknaso.com
268

Thanks for the basics.

September 2, 2016 at 9:11AM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
913

Ted does a great job on these quick tip videos. If you're interested to learn more about the Aputure VS-5 Pro 7" Monitor I just did a hands on review. Check it out!
http://eriknaso.com/2016/09/05/aputure-vs-5-pro-7-hdmisdi-monitor-hands-...

September 9, 2016 at 2:16AM

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Erik Naso
eriknaso.com
268