Posts Tagged ‘picture style

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
07
Apr
11

Marvels Cine style now has it’s own page

On this blog you’ll find many posts, discussions, questions, examples and articles on the subject of the Marvels Cine Picture Styles for Canon HDSLR cameras. We have decided to dedicate a “sticky” page to our Marvels Cine  style.

At the top of this blog you see a link “marvels cine for canon hdslr“. From that page you can download the latest version, leave comments and add your name and projects to the Hall of Fame!

Cheers!

Matin.

18
Feb
11

Questions about the elusive Cinema Film Look

I receive questions from people all over the world regarding Film Look and Cine Style shooting on almost a daily basis. What people are trying to achieve, is to match their prosumer camera’s image, with what their eyes are seeing on the big screen (let’s call it that for now – you might say “Hollywood movies” or “Blockbusters”…).

Here is what i have to say to those people. It’s a kind of mash-up of the many email answers i’ve sent and replies i’ve given on this blog.

The part below starts with a reply to a question about making a “Red” picture style for Canon DSLR cameras, that i’ve left in place here.

First, footage directly out of the RED is Raw and looks very flat and desaturated; it will most certainly not look cinematic or specifically “Film Look” at first sight. The footage will be graded to the colorgrader’s personal taste and he can make it look more like film, or even look like cheap video. I have seen a LOT of Red footage that didn’t have the Cinema Film Look at all! So, getting back to your question, you could also say that you want to copy/import the looks of other footage in general. E.g. Avatar. I’ll get back to that later.
Here we come to point two; how do you define Cinema Film Look ?! That’s a very subjective and personal experience. Factors such as shallow depth of field, crushed blacks, nicely roll-off of whites, soft edges but also sharp at the same time, and a certain specific coloration can be named, but each of them might be valued or applied different by YOU.

But let’s get down to earth for a moment… Watched a movie (film) in the cinema lately? Seen the HUGE amount of grain, chromatic abberiation, optical distortion, greenish blacks, flicker, scratches, out of focus, gate movement… et cetera? Is THAT what you are referring to as the Cinema Film Look!? I hope not…

So we have created a whole new idea in our mind, of what the elusive Cinema Look is! Almost a virtual unexplainable awareness of something that does not exist! Or at least something not two people will have the same idea about. It’s 100% perceptual and therefore very hard to explain in our language (which is designed for telling other monkeys where the ripe fruit is). We can agree about the shallow DOF, but the rest is really elusive, intangible. Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder…

Watch a Tony Scott movie (“The taking of Pelham 1,2,3”, or “Unstoppable”). If you’d come up with THAT look twenty-five years ago, you’d probably would’ve been declared mad.

Let’s look at Avatar. It’s VERY digital. Everything is crispy crispy sharp. Pores of actor’s faces can be explorer in-depth. But shallow depth? Not really.., at least not exaggerated (DOF is not the friend of special effects people / image composers). Crushed, rich blacks? Not really… Does Avatar look cinematic to you? It certainly does to me! I was blown of my seat when i watched it on the big screen, although i must admit that it has a certain electronic look on my home plasma, on Bluray.

Nevertheless… there must be factors present in less “cine style” movies like avatar that appeal to us. Most of them are indeed hard to explain in normal language, and the others may include the huge color and luminance dynamic range (latitude), the high quality optics that are used, very professional lighting, top-notch camera and production crew, and a whole battalion of digital post processing wizards using equipment and software we will probably never even get to see.

I’ve read somewhere that the costs of Cameron’s 3D cameras, rigs and special monitoring did not even consume 5% of the film’s budget. So, after watching the movie, you can probably imagine where the other 95% went…
I’m sure that color grading and other digital postprocessing of some “Hollywood” movies exceeds the costs of camera rentals and operators, including the DP’s salary.

Avatar is just a extreme example here. If you look at The Social Network, which is a typical Red digital movie, it’s hard to tell if it’s film or digital, if you watch it at home. It surely has the “cinema film look”.

The Tony Scott look has inspired hundreds of filmmakers to use that same “orange and teal” look (Google on that…). It seems to hit a specific neuron in the human brain nowadays, that says “Hey! I’m looking at a blockbuster movie here, and no mistake!”. So why not jump on the bandwagon and buy that Mojo filter from RedBullet and start grading all your footage like Tony does?! Make use of that Blockbuster Neuron!

But seriously, in other words, make use of people’s conception of the Cinema Film Look. But be warned… It might change overnight…
Philip Bloom has shown us how to get tremendous film-like images out of sub-2k$ cameras. It’s all down to shallow depth of field here. Many people followed his example and are now shooting “film” with DSLR cameras. Don’t forget that Philip is a great fan of the shallow depth of field look!

Apart from being pestered with tons of shaky, badly focussed, too shallow DOF footage on the web and even on TV, we’ve also seen beautiful DSLR movies from people that really know what they’re doing, like Philip, Vincent Laforett and many others.
Mind you… those same people would probably also make beautiful stuff with a $400 sony HD handycam as with a Red One…

Still not answered your question, haven’t i?!  Well. To make a long story even longer; it is very very difficult to – as you say it – tricking the colors to be registered in the camera in such a way they mimic the looks of other footage. There are two main factors at play. First, all the footage you probably have in mind to mimic, is shot in a different colorspace and using more bits per pixel. Second, we can only adjust overall R,G,B and luminance of the Canon DSLR cameras, thus doing a primitive primary color correction. So, secondary color correction and all the 101 filters, plugins and tricks the pros use to get to the look you are trying to mimic is out of the question. I think that you might be able to compose the Tony Scott “Orange and Teal” look for a specific shot with your Canon DSLR, but you’ll need studio conditions and lot of time on your hands. But there it stops. Orange and teal is (roughly speaking) remapping of colors in lookup tables, but masking parts of the image, or coloring parts of an image can’t be done on set, or in-camera.
So… Shoot flat, like a Red (rime not intended…)!
Ever seen a 35mm production film-negative? It’s dull and flat and low on saturation… It’s often a bit reddish.

Give the camera the chance to register as much light values as possible, do not over saturate and worry about the looks in post. Get your white balance perfectly allright though.

Download our Marvels Cine Picture Style for Canon DSLR cameras from this link and start shooting! There are several feature films in the making using the Canon 5DMK2, and several TV series (that i’m not allowed to name here…) that are using our new Marvels 3.4 style.

Cheers!

Martin.

30
Jan
11

Phil Holland’s test images w. Marvels Cine 3.3 picture style

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.

Click on the block above to jump to Phil’s article.

19
Jan
11

Finally, the new Marvels Cine Picture Style 3.x for Canon DSLR

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.

Stay up to date by “Liking” http://www.facebook.com/marvelsfilm


UpdatePhil Holland has published an article with pictures about his experiments with this new picture style here.

Canon neutral
Marvels Cine 3.3 style
Canon Neutral style, contrast all down                                 Marvels Cine 3.3 style

As i wrote before in an earlier post, i was not particularly satisfied with the version 2.x picture styles i published as alternatives (NOT replacements) to the renowned and widely used Marvels Cine Picture Style for the Canon D and T/Rebel series vDSLR cameras.

With all due respect to Bart Keimen who provided most of the 2.x styles, i was not confident in using them for production work, and i sticked to the good old Marvels Cine style. I was contacted in december 2010 by colorist and formerly Fraunhofer institute scientist Jorgen Escher, who offered to help me with developing and testing a new Marvels Cine picture style successor.

After having shot a lot of footage with many many styles on both commercial and indy production work since 2009, using the 7D and the 5DMKII, and after receiving much feedback and many test reports and -footage from you all, i’ve come to a number of conclusions.

  • the Canon picture style editor sucks
  • picture styles that are too flat (pronounced S-Curves) do result in chromatic anomalies such as “plastic skin”, and gaps/irregularities in the histogram
  • the standard method of flattening (contrast all the way down, color 2 pegs down) is not flat enough
  • the Neutral picture style is colorimetric not ideal, to use as a basis for developing new flat styles
  • the Canon picture style  still sucks
  • the middle part of any S-curve (approx. 40-75% brightness ) should be kept linear to protect skin colours and exposure. The camera already has it’s own s-Curve that changes with the build-in style! Let’s not forget that! We are applying a curve to a curve! Using reference cards and precise measurement reveals this, and enables people like Jorg, who know what they’re doing, to draw a new curve on top.
  • white balancing and exposure is often judged wrongly when using a too flat style, and therefore results in underexposure and more colour problems – specially when using the camera’s LCD and omitting the camera’s Histogram display or when using an external monitor
  • the above can be solved when exposure and white balance is taken after selecting the unchanged Standard or Neutral style and then switch to the flat style for shooting – and i don’t like that!
  • did i already mention that the Canon picture style editor sucks?

Taken all this in account, Jorg has provided me with an all-new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3.
It’s less flat than “super-flat”, is less flat than the first Marvels Cine, uses 10 curve nodes, does not touches any colour and is based on the Standard style as a base, instead of the Neutral style.
Exposure and white balance – special those of the skin – can be safely set using this new style if you judge these settings by eye.
The new style can made more and less flatter by adjusting the Contrast setting. Even if contrast is set in the middle position (4), it’s still flatter than the usual way of flattening the untouched Neutral style (w. contrast on zero).
The style is slightly more colourful than other flat styles, because it uses the Standard style as a basis.
The Standard style setting is used as a basis for this new style, because the s-curve required this in respect to the skin colours – for colorimetric and exposure reasons.
Jorgen tells me that he has created this style’s S-curve and .pf2 file WITHOUT the Canon Picture Style Editor, but does not want to tell much about this process YET.

And i am happy with it!! I hope you like it too. I invite everyone to try this new style and share with me their findings, comments and links to test footage. I hope to be able to provide you with examples after this weekend too.

I also want to encourage users to experiment with the base style setting of the new style (suggesting switching Standard, Neutral and Faithful).

The new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 can be downloaded here
(zip archive – please read the README file before use!).Creative Commons Licentie
The Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 file by Marvels Film has been licensed following a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported licence. CC BY-NC-ND

Courtesy of Jorgen Escher -> http://colorbyjorg.wordpress.com – @colorbyjorg

Cheers!
Martin




twitter.com/martinbeek

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