Chapter 10Camera Setup and Operation

Bars and Tone

Bars and tone are used to calibrate the video and the audio levels properly. It is good practice to include 60 seconds of bars and tone at the beginning of your tape or digital mag. It gives postproduction a fighting chance to know where to begin with picture and sound levels.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) have standardized HD digital test color bars as SMPTE RP 219–2002. In this pattern, the top two thirds contains nine vertical bars of 75% video intensity: gray, white, yellow, cyan, green, magenta, red, blue, and 40% gray again. Vectorscopes are marked with graticule boxes showing the target regions where the traces from these nine bars are meant to land if ...

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