One of the first lessons you learn when doing any kind of multi-camera shoot is to match the cameras as closely as possible on set. Start by getting identical cameras, if possible, and matching lenses, and then before the shoot go through all the menus and make sure that they all match, making all the "metadata" settings identical (ISO, color balance, sometimes contrast, etc.).

While this is a great habit, it requires constant vigilance because if you aren't paying attention, it's easy for one camera to change accidentally to another setting or perhaps reset to default on camera restart. Or a camera comes out as a day-play replacement from the rental house. Or settings change at lunch but not all the cameras get updated. This leads to mismatched images and a tremendous amount more work in post to balance out the footage. With its new release of LiveGrade Pro Version 4, Pomfort has made it easier than ever to monitor the metadata settings of multiple cameras remotely, so no matter how many cameras might show up on set, you can be sure they match throughout the day.

Working with metadata embedded in the SDI signal from Arri, Sony and Panasonic cameras (no word yet on RED support), you get a live readout of relevant metadata that keeps you appraised of the entire production camera setup. In addition, that data can be recorded along with other shot information and image grabs to make matching a particular setup easier later. Need to pickup a shot from a scene a week ago, or to have second unit do it? Pull those settings back up in the library and you can get your camera back to how it was set for that particular scene, or hand that data off to another team knowing that you are taking care of technical consistency between cameras. Best of all, when working with a smart mount and data-enabled lenses (such as /i systems), focus and iris information will come through as well, gathering even more detailed data for evaluation and future use.

New_infopanel_live-metadataWatch live metadata embedded in SDI feeds, including aperture and focus information.Credit: Pomfort

The V4 update also brings internal video scopes into the LiveGrade application. While many DITs will have another Scope solution, either in their monitor or through a hardware box, having a set of scopes within LiveGrade will be useful on lower budget productions when the rest of the hardware might not be available and adds to the value provided by the platform. The release also rolls out support for wireless control of internal grading in the new Alexa LF camera platform.

New_infopanel_extensive-shot-libraryCredit: Pomfort

Perpetual license for LiveGrade is $999 at B&H. V3 is up now, look out for V4 soon.

Tech Specs:

  • Extended shot library: Logging entire shooting days
  • Metadata: Lots of new fields and columns for scene and camera related metadata
  • Look presets: Separate library for storing look presets
  • Folder hierarchy: Hierarchical folder structure for advanced project management
  • Metadata preparation: Metadata entry before a shot is recorded
  • Display of live metadata from camera's HD-SDI signals for ARRI Alexa, Sony F55, and Panasonic Varicam models
  • Native video scopes: Waveform, histogram, vectorscope with settings
  • Versatile: Video scopes can be used on live image, framegrabs and captured clips
  • Custom keyboard shortcuts: Define your individual shortcuts for any action in the main menu
  • Full support for multi-channel capture, playout, and metadata with devices such as AJA Io 4K.
  • Ranges: Handling of legal and extended ranges in capture and recordings
  • CAP support: Grade control of ARRI Alexa LF cameras via Wifi-based CAP protocol.