08
Aug
11

Panny af100 / af101 flat picture style for cinematic look

Update, august 11: detail settings altered – see note below

In addition to my previous article, here is our latest picture style recipe (“Scene file”) for the AF101.

We are currently in preproduction phase for our upcoming feature production “I miei geni”, a Dutch/Italian coproduction. We’ve rounded off a few days of test-shoots with our cameras, including the AF101 and we have settled for one definitive scene file.

Marvels Film cine-style profile for AF100/101:

  • Operation type:
    • FILM CAM
  • Rec. Format:
    • 1080/24P
  • Synchro Scan:
    • 180.0d
  • Detail level:
    • -6
  • Vertical detail level:
    • -6
  • Detail coring:
    • -4
  • Chroma level:
    • -4
  • Chroma phase:
    • -2
  • Master ped:
    • -2
  • Gamma:
    • Cine-Like-D
  • Matrix:
    • Norm2
Remarks:
  1. We have corrected the chroma phase to reduce a magenta hue we experienced using the Norm2 matrix.
  2. Updated august 11: Detail is dialed down to -6 instead of -7. The threshold of actually seeing electronic sharpening artifacts in the picture when zoomed in at 200% lies around the -5. I would personally not go higher as -4 at all times.  Panasonic has confirmed that -7 equals “detail off” on the AF101. Keep it at -6 or -7 for cine-style production. 
  3. Updated august 11: Coring does smooth-out noise in the image, but also all high frequency detail. The coring mechanism is not able to distinguish between noise and fine detail, such as strands of hair or fine patterns on leaves. If you deliberately want a smooth-skin-plastic-video-image though, dial this setting up… For your peace of mind: the coring setting is less effective when detail is dialed down to -4 as we do. After talking to Panasonic, we have adjusted coring in our picture style to -4, to have it “eat up noise” in the blacks and low IRE regions only. Panasonic techies advise to keep coring two points above the detail value.
  4. If you are concerned about noise in the image: don’t be! This profile is very low noise, but – and this might sound strange – not too low-noise thanks to the low coring setting. Too little noise in the image enhances the visibility of so-called “banding”, “solarization” or “posterization” in gradients. This (and all sub $10k cameras on the market today) are 8 bit cameras (4:2:2 color, having only 256 chroma levels). Masking banding artifacts in digital images (from both digital cameras and digitally scanned 35mm film) is done by adding noise! This might sound strange indeed, but this is common practice with all the prominent editing and grading facilities in the industry, for years already. So making the image even cleaner in-camera or during post can emphasize the 8-bit banding artifacts. The gradient is “broken up” (and less smooth) by the introduction of “obstacles” in the image (like  noise), forcing the imaging mechanism to calculate multiple gradients within one gradient, resulting in a perceptually smoother image.
  5. Update: If you use the Cine-D gamma setting, you should consider lighting the scene following old-school film practice: 55IRE max on faces! You will probably apply a curve to the picture, or adjust contrast and/or gamma in post -> kicking up the middle range up to around 70IRE again. Lighting caucasian skin over 55IRE with Cine D will result in problems if levels are lifted in post.
Cheers to you all, and special thanks to Jorgen Escher (http://colorbyjorg.wordpress.com) for his explanation of the coring and banding technology.
Martin Beek
Twitter: @martinbeek
http://www.martinbeek.net
IMDb: http://imdb.me/martinbeek
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21 Responses to “Panny af100 / af101 flat picture style for cinematic look”


  1. August 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Martin,

    loving your pioneering spirit. Keep it up, I am with you! WIll get my hands on the process.

  2. August 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Another incredibly useful post. Thank you.
    Based on your experience I’m interested on you thoughts on the following:
    I primarily shoot outdoors so highlights and blowouts are always an issue
    I have been experimenting with settings similar to those you list. DO you think B-press with a mid knee will provide better blowout protection and less noise than Cine-D in these situations?
    (Give that B-Press exhibits less noise and is a little gentler on the highs and lows) Of course, as you state, banding in areas of sky seems to become more apparent
    Many thanks

  3. 3 marvelsfilm
    August 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Carl.

    I’ve been thinking about your question for some time and i think i’d first try another trick in the book. Although cine-D has a pretty abrupt rolloff (there is no knee), it does offer the needed latitude!
    I’ve found that using the DRS setting really works in the kind of situations you describe! Put DRS on “1″ while using the Cine-D gamma and it will do a great job protecting the highlights.
    Of course, use carefully. Don’t use DRS with a setting above 2; try 2 if you like, but the effect may become visible when light suddenly changes. DRS on 1 will lift the blacks a bit, but wil compress the highlight in a very clever and dynamic way. Setting pedestal at -2 will take compensate for the black lift.
    Further, slight underexposure is always a good idea with the Cine-D gamma, but the DRS setting could try to fight you if you make a minimal exposure adjustment.
    I don’t have the manual here at this moment, but it would be great if you could put DRS under a user key. That would enable you to choose the right exposure to your taste and then switch on DRS.
    Let me know what your tests show!

    Martin.

  4. 4 marvelsfilm
    August 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Thanks Mick!

    Martin

  5. August 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Good stuff, I’ll take a look. Although I thought I read somewhere that DRS is disabled under Cine D – must be mistaken.
    In previous tests, B-press with DRS on a setting of 1 does stretch things nicely and stays pretty clean. 2 and definitely 3 introduce noticeable noise.
    On a related note, i’m amazed at how well the codec (off the card) stands up to color correction without breaking down. I’m used to DVC Pro HD, which although an old codec is incredibly post friendly.
    So the goal with the AF100 is obtaining a flat, low noise setting that treats highlights nicely…. Everything’s a tradeoff!
    Cheers

  6. August 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Is there any test footage with these adjusment? Thanks

  7. 7 James
    August 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Isn’t a 180 degree shutter at 24p potentially problematic in 50Hz countries due to light flicker? Or do you have no flourescent sources, etc.? One of the reasons I’m considering this cam over the FS100 is the syncro scan to set a shutter angle for 50Hz lighting at 24p, which I don’t believe the US variant of the FS100 can do!

  8. 8 marvelsfilm
    August 25, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Indeed! Read my article on the subject “Filming 24p in a 50hz country”
    http://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/af100-af101-filming-24p-in-a-50hz-country/

    Cheers!

    Martin

  9. 9 marvelsfilm
    August 25, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Coming up! Give me a week or so.

    Martin

  10. 10 diego
    September 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Martin,

    thanks a lot for these settings. I tried them out today and they’re amazing!
    Diego

  11. 11 Joshua
    September 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Martin,

    Thank you for your settings. I was curious as to what settings you use on the Panny AF100 and Canon 5D if you wish to use both cameras on the same shoot. I have both and am trying to make them look similar, am having a difficult time. I find the AF100 to have more magenta in anything grey. If I try and shift the 5D for more magenta, I ruin other colors. Do you use the Marvels Film cine-style profile for AF100/101 and the Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.4 for Canon 5D?

    Thank you.

    -Joshua

  12. 12 marvelsfilm
    September 10, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Hello Joshua.

    I must say that i’ve never tried that. I’ve sold the 5D last year. But here is a testmovie from a guy who already gone this route. http://vimeo.com/20696959
    There are settings too.

    Cheers!

    Martin

  13. 13 Evan Burns
    December 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Hey Martin,

    I read one of your posts on the DVXuser forums and you spoke a little bit about converting FCP clips to the XYZ color space of DCP. I was curious if you had any solutions or workflows for doing that. I’m sure it’s not an easy thing to do mathematically, but I will be shooting a short film with the AF100 that will eventually be shown on the big screen. I’ve seen how bad the colors can look when projected incorrectly and I’m hoping to avoid that.

    Thanks for the all the help,

    Evan

  14. 14 marvelsfilm
    January 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Hello Evan.

    I think opendcp is great (see http://code.google.com/p/opendcp/ )

    cheers!

    Martin

  15. February 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Hello–I am a complete beginner with film cameras and have just bought the AF101–This is an absolute godsend to someone like me in how to set up the AF101 for filming–I have spent about 7K in buying all the equpipment together just to film my one eyed cat–and no I’m not completely mad just google ‘midge the one eyed racing cat’ to see what I mean –I now want to make a full adventure feature film starring midge–so we will see !!
    Keep feeding us more info please
    Regards
    Martin Humphreys and Midge of course

  16. April 20, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Hey, i just bought the af101 for a documentary, and i’ve made a series of tests and tried different picture styles and and settings the conclusion is almost the same as yours, but now i want to put some questions:
    1. as i’m shooting mostly outdoors i have problems with the highlights, do you know the best setting to resolve this?
    2. i have tested your settings and liked them a lot, but i still want to get that noise out for good, is there any solution without affecting other things?
    3. as this settings are made for a flat cinematic look did you try to take the shoots in post for grade, and do you have enough color space to play with?

    In order to understand me, here is what i want from the material: i need less noise, i need details in highlights(as much as there can be), and a good flat image to play in post.

    Thanks, Alex.

  17. 17 Blair
    May 26, 2012 at 3:54 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I just tested out the settings and the difference is spectacular. Consider me a new devout follower of your blog.

  18. August 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    This post saved my life. <3

  19. 19 Jonathan Kemp
    July 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Has anyone had a go at making a speedgrade LUT or Look for this camera setting? I’d be very grateful if you could share it.


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