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OzNimbus

Film Convert

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Hey all,

I've been messing around with the demo for this program, and I must say, it's pretty impressive....As an absolute novice at grading, it can certainly get me the look I'm after without much fuss. Too bad they only have a plugin version for the PC.

[url="http://www.filmconvert.com/"]http://www.filmconvert.com/[/url]

The company said they've got hold of a GH2 and will be looking at doing a LUT for it... (can't recall where I read it)

I'd love to see Andrew do a full-fledged review and put it though it's paces....


Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
jgharding likes this

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Yes, I have. These presets are just combinations of parameters every color correction software has built-in. And the 'look' is just applied as an effect, there is nothing genuine to it. When will we finally be freed from the urge to make such awful mock-ups?

You want a sophisticated look? Create it. Save combinations of filters you experimented with to your own, unprejudiced liking. Do it for a reason. Enhance the emotional impact of a scene. If you want it to taste special, never use spice blends!
kirk and KarimNassar like this

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I agree with Axel.

Also most of the time it simply won't work because each situation has a different lighting situation so there is no premade recipe that works for everything.
I mean the software will always work by giving you the same premade look, but it most likely won't be the best thing for your shot.

And he has an excellent point, we tell stories, use the look to enhance the scene and story.

To be fair software like this can be used as a starting point or give you some ideas when you are out of inspiration.
But you definitively are better off making your own looks based on the requirements of your movie.

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I just gave the demo a try, it's a sort of combination of Crumplepop Grain 35 (plus some effects like scaling) and some colour grading presets packaged in a neat way.

Not bad, I think I'd use it as a time saver for spicing up promos. Maybe not all over everything though, but it's a nice shortcut!

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What is interesting with this tech is that if you use a known camera preset when shooting ("Standard" for Canon DSLR's (they are working on other more useful presets such as Neutral, Faithful, etc.), then apply their preset filter, you'll get a decent approximation of the modeled film grain and color. This is a non-linear process, and it looks pretty good. Once processed into "film" normal CC and effects can be done for mood (as with analog/chemical film). I won't use the current iteration as it's not GPU accelerated in PPro (Windows): too slow. It appears to be GPU accelerated in FCPX (real-time).

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Thanks for this, I used it on a simple project at the production company I worked for, one adjustment layer in Premiere CS6 and that was the grade done, aside from a few highlight tweaks!
Julian likes this

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[quote name='Axel' timestamp='1349720689' post='19491']
Yes, I have. These presets are just combinations of parameters every color correction software has built-in. And the 'look' is just applied as an effect, there is nothing genuine to it. When will we finally be freed from the urge to make such awful mock-ups?

You want a sophisticated look? Create it. Save combinations of filters you experimented with to your own, unprejudiced liking. Do it for a reason. Enhance the emotional impact of a scene. If you want it to taste special, never use spice blends!
[/quote]

At first I saw this and thought, "Yeah! Stupid plugin!" In general, I hate those heavy over-graded drop in looks that come from red giant and crumplepop. to me, they just look like every other low budget movie trying to look like a Hollywood block buster. But then upon further inspection I discovered this is not some silly levels and noise adjustment. They have actually painstakingly tried to replicate the look of actual film. If this is what you need then this is a really great way to get that look. It really does seem to add some nice beautiful sweetening to your final image. Also, the grain can be used to help hide banding if your camera has an issue with it and it's distracting. ;-)

I do agree with Axil in principal though. We need to develop our own look instead of trying to cop some look just because it's fashionable right now or it's what people are used to. Video cameras and DSLR's are what we have to tell stories with. There's no reason to be ashamed of that.
Germy1979 likes this

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I agree.. It's a great plug in. I like grading too. But what's funny is that it almost adds that "mastering" sheen to the footage even after it's been graded that makes it sing. Sure you can probably use a plug out there to match it.... But hell. I like what it does so that's the point. I wouldn't have known what i liked until i saw what it did in the first place, so maybe they should just sell the trial so people have a reference point to color off of, lol.

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It's a pretty clever plug in that it contains all the stages I've always done bit by bit in after effects, in one screen! So you have fewer options, but there nothing to stop you using this as part of a chain. It's a good find...

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Hey all, apologies in advance for barging in on the conversation, but we just found this list, and wanted to let folks know that we've just released a brand spanking new version of FilmConvert, with all sorts of new camera specific profiles.

In particular, we've now got Technicolor, Flaat, Prolost, and Marvels Cine picture style support for your 5D, as well as full GH2 support with data on all the built in profiles.

We're always on the lookout for feedback from keen filmmakers, so we'd love for you to cruise over to our site, grab a copy, and tell us what you think.

Cheers all!

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[quote name='filmConvert' timestamp='1354159930' post='22598']
Hey all, apologies in advance for barging in on the conversation, but we just found this list, and wanted to let folks know that we've just released a brand spanking new version of FilmConvert, with all sorts of new camera specific profiles.

In particular, we've now got Technicolor, Flaat, Prolost, and Marvels Cine picture style support for your 5D, as well as full GH2 support with data on all the built in profiles.

We're always on the lookout for feedback from keen filmmakers, so we'd love for you to cruise over to our site, grab a copy, and tell us what you think.

Cheers all!
[/quote]

annnnnd the GH2 profiles look awesome:)
Sean Cunningham likes this

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Good to the developer here!

 

I reckon it'd be nice to put in a gamma adjust and some different film-grain blending methods too, as sometime the grain is a little brittle.

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Here is a bunch of clips showing different FilmConvert settings: [url="http://vimeo.com/romanlegionfilms/videos/page:1/sort:date"]vimeo.com/romanlegionfilms/videos[/url]

as well as Sanity 5, Orion v4, FlowMotion 2.02, Quantum 9 settings and GH2 vs. D1x comparison.

Sean Cunningham likes this

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I don't care what anybody says, but I have used several "make your footage look like film" plugs and this is hands down the best.  You can not emulate the grain of film convert with any NLE built in "grain" effect, and if you have, please share.

 

 Is this a plugin that you should use on EVERY single project? No.  If anybody thinks this software is bogus, then all company's (apple, avid, sony, adobe, canon, panasonic, RED, BMD,and so on) should stop progressing and leave EVERYTHING exactly how it is because everything is as perfect as it can possibly be.  How much sense would that make?  Give the company credit for giving people another option to enhance a project. They provide tons of presets, but you're not forced to use them.   The customer support with the people at film convert is pretty awesome, if the price of film convert it what bothers you, shoot them an e-mail or LIKE them on facebook and tell them you are interested but like most starving artist working on a budget and I would almost guarantee they will help you the best they can.  I have made suggestions to blackmagic before on some things that would be nice and convenient and they basically shut me down, I make the same suggestions to the people at film convert they welcomed my suggestions and are open to new ideas to improve their products. 

 

Film Convert is probably in my top 5 favorite software purchases and I am glad that my purchase will help to better the software and allow them to keep moving forward.  I could go on and on about film convert but the fact is, you either like it or not, like Germay said, grade your project how you want to give it a "special taste" as axel calls it, and then throw film convert on it as a final mastering touch, if that look fits the project.  I'm a big fan of magic bullet looks, but I never use their presets, I'll create the look I want using the tools they provide.

Sean Cunningham likes this

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I don't care what anybody says, but I have used several "make your footage look like film" plugs and this is hands down the best.  You can not emulate the grain of film convert with any NLE built in "grain" effect, and if you have, please share.

 

It's quite impressive.  It was their use of the chip charts to match looks that sold me on giving it a look-see and not just dismiss it as yet another bit of LUT snake oil.

 

I remembered reading about Kubrick being an absolute fanatic about every single shot, every single element, in 2001 being slated with a chip chart for QC at the lab, because processing would vary day-to-day but also because the film itself would color-shift over the course of production and this would need to be compensated for since two pieces of film shot maybe a year apart might need to be layered together.

 

This kind of color matching is like what's been used in high-end visual effects facilities to match digital elements to known and quantifiable film types.  It's not arbitrary and it's not futile or pointless.  This is the visual equivalent to harmonizing audio or perhaps tuning your guitar to a standard.

 

edit: here's my first project using FilmConvert

 

[url="http://vimeo.com/55190441"]http://vimeo.com/55190441[/url]

jgharding likes this

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From a spec commercial I'm currently working on...top pic is straight out of the GH2, then FilmConvert, then ColorGHear grade, then my finishing mix.

 

492ee8c0b5769630a3b6c5732a42e9.png

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These types of plugins have their place, especially if you need to simply save time. But that's all they're really good for IMHO.

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There are no other plugins that do what Film Convert does.  

 

But, yeah, all software has its place.  I wouldn't try using Excel to edit with or Word to add typography to a motion picture...

 

I don't see the nobility in writing my own grading software for every project and then chucking the binary and source once it's completed because, having it around for the next project is just being lazy.  Saving time is for chumps and using tools written by other folks to do a specific thing is...whatever.

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