How do I balance my cameras using a WFM series waveform monitors?
The WFM series instruments provide industry standard waveform monitor and vectorscope displays which can be used to monitor camera adjustments such as white balancing or color correction as they are made.
In addition, these instruments offer a new CaptureVu feature which will store a single frame of video from one source and allow comparison with another source; this feature can be quite effective in assisting with camera balancing.
To balance two cameras using the CaptureVu feature of the WFM series waveform monitors simply follow the steps below:
1) Connect camera A to the input of the WFM and bring up the desired displays; usually at least one tile set to waveform monitor, one set to vectorscope and one set to picture monitor, the fourth tile can be set to anything of your choosing. Remember to terminate the loopthrough of the input if it is not being passed through to another device.
2) Zoom camera A into a fixed portion of the scene you’re shooting; usually a chip chart of some sort is used for this, especially the color bars chart. Adjust the camera angle and zoom such that the chip chart fills the entire camera image.
3) Adjust camera A’s white balance, black level and chrominance to your liking. The vectorscope display should indicate that all color transitions are falling within the designated boxes if a color bars test pattern is being used.
4) Press the “Capture” button on the front panel of the instrument, then touch the “Capture Buffer” button on the screen to store the current frame of video in memory. While in this menu, also ensure that both “Live Display On” and “Capture Display On” are checked.
5) Connect camera B to the same input of the WFM (alternatively, if camera B is coming into input B of the WFM, simply change the input source from the front panel).
6) Now you should have camera A’s waveform displayed in yellow at the same time as camera B’s waveform displayed in green. Use the adjustment control on camera B to get the waveform and vector displays to match between the stored and live values. When this process is complete the two cameras (A and B) will be balanced.
If you wish, you can save this buffer capture to a USB memory stick to allow you to power down the waveform monitor, move it to another location, power the unit back up and restore the captured buffer. The capture files can even be copied off the USB stick and sent to remote facilities to balance multiple cameras anywhere in the world or as a master reference from which to balance all cameras in your facility in the future.
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