Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Realising your vision - without drowning in colour science

14/07/2017

By James Milne, FilmLight's Lead Developer on Prelight

Prelight & Prelight ON-SET 4.4m1 are now available. Visit our Web Store to buy or try.

When the industry moved to digital cameras, the temptation was to think that it would be easy to view what you were shooting on screen, and that the workarounds from the old days of film shoots - where cameras had to be modified to fit in a video assist so directors and DoPs had some idea of what they had just shot - were gone.

We quickly discovered that it was not that simple.

Digital cinematography cameras shoot with far greater dynamic range than can be accommodated on a video screen. If you just take the camera output, it looks very flat; to get a viewable picture, you have to apply a mathematical transform to the signal, which converts colour values in the camera's raw format to colour values in the display format. To do this the processor uses a look-up table, and so we have all become familiar with the idea of the LUT.

The other huge shift from film days, where colour controls were limited, is that LUTs then moved on from a simple transfer to becoming part of the creation of the look of the movie. Fast forward to today, where the look is created in the grading suite by the colourist, using powerful tools like Baselight.

So where does the DoP now sit in this process?

DoPs often take reference stills in the pre-production stage of a project. Using Photoshop, they will modify these to the grade the director is seeking. These are invaluable tools, yet they are often used simply as visual references that then have to be recreated from scratch in the grading suite.

Once production begins, their craft is in using light and lenses to make pictures that underline, and often drive, the story forward. These skills are what make it art and not a YouTube video. And to be able to concentrate on making those beautiful pictures, they need to be able to see something on set that is quite close to the finished image. But the danger is that this comes at the cost of getting too involved with the colour science, which may take them away from their primary objective. While the DIT can help a little, they too have a demanding role in data wrangling and do not necessarily have the skills or knowledge in grading.

Rather than just imposing a LUT on an image so the DoP can see that it is framed correctly and that there are no serious lighting errors, what would be ideal would be a visual way of setting a look on set that is simple, not time-consuming, and most importantly can be done without specialist knowledge of colour management.

The need is for an application, too, that can capture the underlying colour transformations in the original reference still, then apply them to the output of a digital cinematography camera in real time. As well as making the scene match the pre-visualisation as it is shot, the grading information should be saved and delivered to the colourist upstream, as the foundation of the grade.

Other workflows will see the director, DoP and colourist working on the look of the movie in pre-production, perhaps with the benefit of some test shoots. At that point, the colourist (backed up by the post house's colour scientists) can define the LUTs to be used, and set some basic looks. As with the reference stills, these can be used on set so that the video assist output of the camera has the foundations, at least, of the finished grade.

To achieve this, there has to be consistency in the way that the grade is imposed, and some degree of control over the display devices, so you are making a reasonable comparison. There is no point setting a look on set if the monitor you are using has a very different performance to projection. Similarly, there is no point in setting details on set if there is no way of guaranteeing that they will be precisely carried through to the final grade.

The ASC CDL was an attempt at making a portable format, but in truth it is a limited set of instructions. In practice, it puts a brake on creativity rather than enhancing workflows. But the need for complete and accurate capture of grading decisions from the camera to the final deliverables is vital.

The FilmLight approach is to use a common file format that describes every aspect of the grade.

This format describes not just colour decisions but also windows, vignettes, shading, position and all the other tools the colourist has. The BLG format (Baselight Linked Grade) operates on the basis of cumulative metadata: nothing is baked into the raw footage until the point of rendering the final deliverables. Any decision can be altered or rolled back at any time.

To meet the needs of DoPs and DITs on set, FilmLight has now taken its colour science and the BLG format and wrapped it into a simple package, called Prelight. This has the full grading power of Baselight, along with all its colour science, but in a very simple shell so that it can be used on set without getting in the way of the shoot.

There are two versions. One - Prelight - is a free download, and gives the DIT the ability to load looks and tweak the grade using stills. The full version - Prelight ON-SET- puts a lot of power on set.

First, it applies the look to the camera output in real time, either through an external device or, in the case of cameras like the ALEXA SXT, in the camera itself. Because it incorporates all of the Baselight colour science, it can impose one transformation for the display device - there might be an HDR screen for playback on set - and another for the HD output, so the material going to editorial looks right, too.

Once connected, the DIT and DoP can do as much or as little as they want.

They can simply accept the LUTs and maybe any looks pre-set by the colourist. They can choose to match to reference stills. Or, if they want to, they can adjust the grade, usi
LINK: https://www.filmlight.ltd.uk/store/news_articles/realising-your-vision...
See more stories from filmlight

Most recent headlines

26/07/2017

Masterclass on Scheduling held in Albania

Masterclass on Scheduling held in Albania...

26/07/2017

Slovenias Carmen Manet wins first Eurovision Choir of the Year

Slovenias Carmen Manet wins first Eurovision Choir of the Year...

26/07/2017

ngel Vil, new CEO of Telefnica

ngel Vil , new CEO of Telef nica Jos Mar a lvarez-Pallete redise a el esquema organizativo de la compa a. Julio Linares se incorporar a los Consej...

26/07/2017

Magyar Telekom has delivered the first new generation broadband network built from EU funds

Magyar Telekom has delivered the first new generation broadband network built fr...

26/07/2017

Akamai Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results

Akamai Reports Second Quarter 2017 Financial Results Cambridge, MA | July 25, 2017 Revenue of $609 million, up 6% year-over-year and 7% when adjusted fo...

26/07/2017

Globo tiene el mejor semestre de los ltimos cinco aos con el aumento de la audiencia en su prime time

Las telenovelas A For a do Querer', Pega Pega' y Los D as Eran As ...

26/07/2017

Young talents test their skills at Ericsson Research

Robert Hedman is a master's student at Lule 's University of Technology in Sweden where he is studying engineering physics. At Ericsson, he works with a...

25/07/2017

Bringing content management to the Cloud: Public institutions approach

In this third article of VSN's series about content management in the Cloud, we will think of the relationship between public institutions or agencies and a...

25/07/2017

VISLINK SHOWCASES HCAM, NEXT GENERATION HEVC 4K UHD WIRELESS CAMERA TRANSMITTER, AT IBC 2017

Jul25 VISLINK SHOWCASES HCAM, NEXT GENERATION HEVC 4K UHD WIRELESS CAMERA TRANS...

25/07/2017

NETFLIX ORDERS SECOND SEASON OF THE ANIMATED SERIES CASTLEVANIA FROM WOW! UNLIMITED MEDIA'S FREDERATOR STUDIOS

NETFLIX ORDERS SECOND SEASON OF THE ANIMATED SERIES CASTLEVANIA FROM WOW! UNLIMI...

25/07/2017

Netflix Announces DISENCHANTMENT, a New Epic Fantasy Animated Series from Matt Groening

Hollywood, CA - July 25, 2017 -- Netflix, the worlds leading internet TV network...

25/07/2017

Semaphore exercise attracts children

During the summer vacation, the Working Committee for the Care of the Next Generation of Zhenhai District invited the officers and soldiers of the local troops,...

25/07/2017

NAB Show New York to Feature Two Major New York State Broadcasters Association Events

NAB Show New York to Feature Two Major New York State Broadcasters Association E...

25/07/2017

ZoneTV and Ooyala Join Forces with Microsoft to Bring Artificial Intelligence to TV Channels for the First Time

ZoneTV and Ooyala Join Forces with Microsoft to Bring Artificial Intelligence to...

25/07/2017

Ableton Loop full line-up announced

Goldie, Nosaj Thing + Daito Manabe, Chloe x Halle join music-makers summit Place / Event > Concert, Conference, Seminar Goldie joins line-up for Loop 2017The ...

25/07/2017

Celebrating 100,000 Kickstarter Creators

The Martha Graham Dance Company has run three Kickstarter projects. Photo by Brigid Pierce. Courtesy of Martha Graham Dance Company. We were poking around in...

25/07/2017

RealFlow | Cinema 4D 2.0 Available

Next Limit RealFlow is one of the industry standards for simulating fluids in 3D graphics. Version 2.0 offers improved integration in Cinema 4D and optimized co...

25/07/2017

TiVo Introduces the Industry's Most Comprehensive Personalized Content Discovery Platform With Voice Search for Video Entertainment

.bwalignc {text-align: center} New Personalized Content Discovery Platform for ...

25/07/2017

Amazon Business Now Serves More Than One Million Business Customers in the U.S.

Amazon Business Now Serves More Than One Million Business Customers in the U.S. The business-to-business marketplace on Amazon.com expands its customer base a...

25/07/2017

Hulu and YouTube TV Now Included in TV Ratings Announces Nielsen

Digital Viewing of Linear TV on Major Distributors to Contribute Directly to C3/C7 Currency New York, NY - July 25, 2017 - Eligible TV viewing from Hulu and Yo...

25/07/2017

Endemol Shine Group Bolsters Group Commercial Partnerships Team

Kathryn Flood and Lawrence Pavely join Endemol Shine Group's Commercial Partnerships team as Creative Strategists Remit to include accelerating the growth ...

25/07/2017

Mr Bean to star in mobile game for London tourists

Endemol Shine Group, London & Partners and Pointvoucher announce partnership for London tourist game Play London with Mr Bean launches later this year on iOS a...

25/07/2017

Endemol Shine Group partners with MSC Cruises for MasterChef At Sea experience

Global content creator, producer and distributor Endemol Shine Group today announced the launch of MSC MasterChef At Sea in partnership with the Swiss-based wor...

25/07/2017

Douglas Cable Access Chooses Cablecast

Tightrope Media Systems Cablecast Streamlines Workflows and Enables New Service Offerings for Douglas Cable AccessComprehensive, feature-rich automation and pla...

25/07/2017

Cablecast 6.2 at NAB 2017

Tightrope Media Systems to Unveil Cablecast 6.2 Broadcast Automation Software at 2017 NAB ShowNew upgrade expands intuitive schedule once, publish everywhere...

25/07/2017

Tightrope Wins NAB 2017 Ace Award

Tightrope Media Systems Captures ACE Award for Best Small Island at 2017 NAB ShowTightropes Carousel Digital Signage Software provides dynamic backdrop to an in...

25/07/2017

Carousel Digital Signage Enhances Education at Bloomfield Hills Schools

Tightrope Carousel Digital Signage Enhances Education at Bloomfield Hills SchoolsNetwork targets content to specific high school learning communities, eng...

25/07/2017

Tightrope Previews Carousel for Apple TV

Tightrope Media Systems Integrates Carousel Digital Signage Software with Apple TV To be previewed at InfoComm 2017, industry-first integration of Apple TV with...

25/07/2017

Carousel Expands BrightSign Integration

Tightrope Media Systems and BrightSign Evolve PartnershipCarousel Digital Signage Software users can now seamlessly integrate with any BrightSign player, extend...

25/07/2017

John Bishop: In Conversation With returns for third series

Tuesday 25 July 2017 Critically-acclaimed John Bishop: In Conversation With... welcomes yet another star-studded line-up for the third series of the hit W show....

25/07/2017

GSMA Announces First Details for Mobile World Congress 2018

2018 Edition Expected to Attract More Than 108,000 Attendees, 2,300 Exhibitors London: The GSMA today announced the first details of the 2018 Mobile World Cong...

25/07/2017

Martina Gedeck und Nora Tschirner an der Seite von Jan Josef Liefers in TNT Comedy-Produktion Arthurs Gesetz

Martina Gedeck und Nora Tschirner an der Seite von Jan Josef Liefers in TNT Come...

25/07/2017

Lawo in Zhejiang TV's new International TV Center

Zhejiang Radio & TV Group (ZRTG), located in Hangzhou (China), has established a new production facility that it has named the Zhejiang International TV Center....

25/07/2017

RTIs Integration Designer APEX Programming Software is Now Available

Powerful Auto-Programming and New Customization Tools Deliver Simplicity and Flexibility to Dramatically Reduce System Design Time SHAKOPEE, Minn. - July 24, ...

25/07/2017

VEON Launches Personal Internet Platform in Major Markets

Amsterdam, 19 July 2017 - VEON Ltd. is proud to announce the launch of our new global personal internet platform in many of our key markets, including Russia, U...

25/07/2017

VEON shareholders elect new independent Supervisory Board directors.

Ursula Burns to become Chairman of the Board Amsterdam, 24 July 2017 - VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a leading global provider of telecom...

25/07/2017

Foundry unveils start-studded line up to kick off SIGGRAPH 2017, alongside new product demos and announcements

Foundry unveils start-studded line up to kick off SIGGRAPH 2017, alongside new p...

25/07/2017

Lagardre Sports Media rights partnership with Kontinental Hockey League extended

Lagard re Sports Media rights partnership with Kontinental Hockey League extended Lagard re Sports announced today that it has been appointed to distribute th...

25/07/2017

Love Island Recommissioned for 2018

This Summer's most talked about TV hit, Love Island, will return for a brand new series in 2018. The seven week series has seen its islanders' antics b...

25/07/2017

ETL To Deliver Flexible Redundancy for L-band and ASI signals at IBC

Madley, UK, 25th July 2017 - ETL Systems, a global designer and manufacturer of RF signal distribution equipment for satellite communications, will be demonstra...

25/07/2017

Early Fujinon MK Adopter, Stature Films, takes delivery of 1st MK50-135mm in North America

Combined Focal Range and Performance of Earlier Model MK Zooms Prompt Split Deci...

25/07/2017

Lawo in Zhejiang TV's new International TV Center

Rastatt, 25 July 2017 Zhejiang Radio & TV Group (ZRTG), located in Hangzhou (China), has established a new production facility that it has named the Zhejiang I...

25/07/2017

Understanding Polarity in MTP Fiber Cabling Systems

Reducing cable congestion in constrained spaces is an important factor in designing fiber systems for data centers and large enterprise equipment rooms and data...

25/07/2017

LAMDA Chooses DiGiCo SD9T For New Facility

Autograph Sales & Installations has recently supplied a DiGiCo SDT9 for LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art) as part of an extensive sound reinforceme...

25/07/2017

DiGiCo / Optocore Combination Flawlessly Manages Audio FOr Nashvilless Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th Celebration

NASHVILLE - July 2017 - Nashville's July 4th events have been growing like t...

25/07/2017

Extreme DiGiCo - SD11 Handles Sound for ESPN's First Ever VR Live Stream of X Games

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - July 2017 - X Games Minneapolis 2017, held over four da...

25/07/2017

Brown Sugar Rolls Out on Apple TV

Brown Sugar, Bounce TV's movie SVOD service, is now available via Apple TV. As of Monday, Apple TV viewers can tap Brown Sugar's collection of African-...

25/07/2017

Tig Notaro's One Mississippi' Back on Amazon Sept. 8

One Mississippi, the Tig Notaro dark comedy, returns on Amazon for season two Friday, Sept. 8. The series has Tig, a Los Angeles-based radio host, returning to ...

25/07/2017

Cox's Gamut Ad Unit Names Four New Leaders

Gamut, Cox Media Group's cross-platform ad unit, has named four executives to oversee key areas of the digitally focused business. They are: Soo Jin Oh, w...

25/07/2017

F&F Productions Readies 4K HDR GTX-18 for Launch This Month

F&F Productions Readies 4K HDR GTX-18 for Launch This Month The two-unit truck handles native 4K UHD from acquisition through distribution By Ken Kerschbaumer,...