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Giving the BMPCC4K the same look as the BMPCC and BMMCC

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The BMPCC4K (Pocket4K / P4K) is a wonderful camera, but some say it looks too clean, or doesn't have the classic look from the previous BMPCC (OG) or BMMCC (MC) cameras.

Considering that the P4K should have either higher quality levels (ie, more pixels) or sufficient quality but different (bit-depth and colour science) than the others I think we should be able to process the P4K in post to match the classic look (or looks) as the older models.  Even if we can't, I'm sure that there are things we can learn in the attempt.

Thanks in advance to @graphicnatured who has volunteered to shoot it.  I've shot A/B camera tests before and they're a lot more work than they seem like they should be.  Assuming we learn anything, we all owe him a drink - he'll need it!

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51 minutes ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

I think this will come down to your color manipulation talent. The pressure is on 🤣

Indeed it is..  good thing I never claimed that I can do it, only that I would try! 😎😎😎

My suspicions are that colour matters, but that there are other elements to it as well.  @webrunner5 has commented that it looks too clean, and I've heard many other similar kinds of comments around the place too.  To me, those comments seem to be similar to the comments about modern 4K cameras being too sharpened, so I have a hunch that the difference between sharpened 4K and P4K RAW is maybe similar to the differences between P4K and BMPCC.  

If you spend time looking at film stills they have beautiful colour (very high bit-depth!) and of course are uncompressed, but they're also quite soft in comparison to the sharpness of 4K, even if not the resolution of 4K.  It is possible to reduce the sharpness of an image without reducing the resolution, and of course the 1080p RAW from the BMPCC will have less resolution than the P4K in 4K RAW too.  
I believe that the softening effect of vintage lenses on sharpened 4K footage is one of the reasons they're so popular on these forums - they help to give the look that many of us enjoy.

I'm thinking of things like blurring the footage, blurring the footage and blending it into the original footage, downscaling and the upscaling the footage, as well as adjusting for colour.  

My plan is to colour match the footage as much as I can, then pumping it through as many different ways of processing it as I can think of and having them one after another and then posting it to get people's impressions of what works and what doesn't, then trying different things based on feedback.  It will be interesting to see what the results are.

In the end I'm hoping that even if we don't match the 'look' of the footage from the older cameras, that we manage to find some things that get part of the way there, and then we can explore what those techniques look like on other cameras like the GH5.  It would be great to get to a point where we know the settings to make H264 look a lot more like these classic cameras.  Plus if it's a combination of various things, having it in a Powergrade like Juan Melara did to replicate the LUTs will mean that we can refine or disable each adjustment to taste.

@graphicnatured - just a thought, is it worth shooting the P4K in 1080 Prores as well?  
If we could make P4K 1080 Prores HQ have the classic look then I'm sure that knowledge would be of real interest to a lot of people here.

1080 RAW would be severely windowed so difficult to match framing on, and what we learn from matching 4K RAW and 1080 Prores can probably be combined for processing 1080 RAW if anyone decides to shoot in that mode to extend their lenses or get 120fps.

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Well sure, I think to stand a chance, the PK4 has to be shot in 1080p. I really believe that is why Arri never really wanted to go all the way to 4K on the Alexa is because it would have been too sharp. And I think the new Arri's have lost their signature look to be honest. I really have never like the Red output as of late. Too good. Even the original Red One looks better than the Red One Mysterium X. Same camera, so called better sensor, and it was DR and noise wise, but not looks wise. More resolution is not Always a good thing for a film look.

But for Music videos, Doc, Interviews the PK4 is a Lot better than the OG BMPCC. And lets be honest that is where your money is if you are trying to make a buck. The PK4 is a great camera, it is, maybe amazing, but not for a grungy looking old school look. Nothing wrong with that. You can't have everything in one camera. The old no perfect camera thing. But 98% of the people will never know it. So the camera is a winner IF you can get one of them LoL. But sure I hope we all learn something here in this thread. Knowledge is a good thing. And maybe I will be proven wrong. Has happened a couple of times LoL. 😜

I am sure this can be done pretty close. Look how good @icarrere did with his GH5. There are parts in it where you could believe it was shot on the old BMPCC.  He did a good job giving it an old time look. But it IS in 1080p. Probably one reason it looks so good, ehh to some bad LoL.

 

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Yeah, I honestly believe a lot of why the Pocket4k looks so clean is the 4k, but i think we all know that definitely plays a role. I don't think the pressure is on too bad. You are helping to facilitate something that gives these clips to the whole forum to give it a shot on their own. I'm really looking forward to what people do with the clips.

58 minutes ago, kye said:

@graphicnatured - just a thought, is it worth shooting the P4K in 1080 Prores as well?  
If we could make P4K 1080 Prores HQ have the classic look then I'm sure that knowledge would be of real interest to a lot of people here.

1080 RAW would be severely windowed so difficult to match framing on, and what we learn from matching 4K RAW and 1080 Prores can probably be combined for processing 1080 RAW if anyone decides to shoot in that mode to extend their lenses or get 120fps.

I definitely think we should at least shoot them all 1080 Prores. I'll put a color checker in all shots. I'm going to add 4k too as most will shoot 4k with this camera.

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Well BMD themselves sure never made that happen with the clips they supplied. That to me was pretty surprising. They did pretty well with the look that most seem to get out of it. Now I was not expecting a preset on the PK4 to look just like a OG BMPCC LoL, but it appears the reason there isn't one is it is not easy to accomplish I guess. Maybe you will make history and be Famous on here like @BTM_Pix

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You just need to shoot RAW and turn sharpening down to 0 in Resolve and the sharpening is gone. ProRes looks bad and digital in comparison on the P4K sadly and 1080p still shows sharpening halos while UHD/4K in RAW doesn't.

Add a diffusion filter and the moire/aliasing is gone as well and it looks even smoother.

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For me it is far more interesting reverse process - to make BMCC 2.5k m43 or Micro to get a look of Pocket 4k (with little bit more accurate sharpening or MD bumping in Resolve and using nice clean lenses as Veydra or Voigts). Even better with Resolve's super upscale to 4k... So gentlemen, please note it also as, at least, last and secondary task.

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1 hour ago, graphicnatured said:

Yeah, I honestly believe a lot of why the Pocket4k looks so clean is the 4k, but i think we all know that definitely plays a role. I don't think the pressure is on too bad. You are helping to facilitate something that gives these clips to the whole forum to give it a shot on their own. I'm really looking forward to what people do with the clips.

I definitely think we should at least shoot them all 1080 Prores. I'll put a color checker in all shots. I'm going to add 4k too as most will shoot 4k with this camera.

I'm also looking forward to what everyone else does with these clips.  If we unlock the right settings it's more likely to be someone else that figures it out lol :)

So, to be clear, the plan is to shoot both RAW in max resolution and Prores 1080 on all cameras?  That makes sense to me.  Partly it's a good comparison between those modes for anyone that doesn't (yet) have the cameras and can't try it for themselves, but also all that discussion about v3 vs v4 colour science and how the colours are hard to match kind makes me a little nervous, so also having the RAW without different things baked in would be good :)

4 minutes ago, anonim said:

For me it is far more interesting reverse process - to make BMCC 2.5k m43 or Micro to get a look of Pocket 4k (with little bit more accurate sharpening or MD bumping in Resolve and using nice clean lenses as Veydra or Voigts). Even better with Resolve's super upscale to 4k... So gentlemen, please note it also as, at least, last and secondary task.

I agree, and that's the beauty of a well executed camera test, you can do anything in post that you like.  I'm sure we'll be feeding off this footage for some time to come, trying various things and seeing how they work.

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Just now, kye said:

I agree, and that's the beauty of a well executed camera test, you can do anything in post that you like.  I'm sure we'll be feeding off this footage for some time to come, trying various things and seeing how they work.

Yes, and playing is always so refreshing... But I'd suggest not to spend too much time - isn't' it, seriously, that all non-fanboys kinda already know the most important answer. That one about high probability that we are living in the golden era for/with so many creativity tools - so, as once upon a time wrote H. D. Thoreau ""I took a walk in the woods and came out wider than the Pocket 4k, taller than Olympus OM1X and heavier than BMCC/Panasonic S1. ""

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4 hours ago, anonim said:

Yes, and playing is always so refreshing... But I'd suggest not to spend too much time - isn't' it, seriously, that all non-fanboys kinda already know the most important answer. That one about high probability that we are living in the golden era for/with so many creativity tools - so, as once upon a time wrote H. D. Thoreau ""I took a walk in the woods and came out wider than the Pocket 4k, taller than Olympus OM1X and heavier than BMCC/Panasonic S1. ""

That's true, but it's always useful for those who can't afford to walk in the woods, or don't have time or the right shoes for it, to be able to go for a walk in the city and then fix it in post :)

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The shame about this really is that in the BM camera control spec, you can have access to a pretty full range of colour correction tools for lift/gamma/gain, contrast, gamma, offsets etc. to create in camera looks in real time.

There are quite a few full on CCU controllers for the Ursa that use this capability and although it is still in the spec for the Pocket 4K, the commands are ignored by the camera when you send them.

Hopefully they might switch it on in a future update.

6 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

 Maybe you will make history and be Famous on here like @BTM_Pix

How dare you.

My people will be in touch with your people over this scurrilous accusation ;) 

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4 hours ago, Ehetyz said:

I don't think the P4K sharpens in-camera. Post-blurring might help make it look more vintage but also just using vintage/lower res lenses does the trick of not making it feel too sharp.

In ProRes it clearly does - even when turned off, you can easily spot sharpening halos around high contrast edges such as trees, lanterns, roofs etc... Also there's noise reduction and other filtering going on using ProRes which causes a low contrast texture loss (which is not as extreme as on Panasonic GHxx, Fuji X-Tx or Sony A7SIII or A7RIII). With the Pocket 4K Blackmagic finally went the route basically every other prosumer camera went: a full blown processing pipeline.

Thankfully these problems completely disappear using RAW when sharpening set to 0 in Resolve.

 

That's why the Pocket 4K is claimed to be a videoish looking camera -  which at least when using ProRes is true.

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3 minutes ago, deezid said:

In ProRes it clearly does, you can easily spot sharpening halos around high contrast edges such as trees, lanterns, roofs etc... Also there's noise reduction and other filtering going on using ProRes which causes a low contrast texture loss (which is not as extreme as on Panasonic GHxx, Fuji X-Tx or Sony A7SIII or A7RIII). Thankfully these problems completely disappear using RAW when sharpening set to 0 in Resolve.

That's why the Pocket 4K is claimed to be a videoish looking camera -  which at least when using ProRes is true.

Some types of compression can also cause halos around things, that's very common in poor quality Jpegs for example.  I'm not saying that it isn't using sharpening, but the halos won't be 100% caused by that.  

However, my understanding of sharpening is that it's basically the mathematical opposite to blurring, so in theory we should be able to eliminate it somewhat.  However, blurring won't counteract any compression artefacts, so we'll probably have limited success.  Still, let's see how we get on when we can start prodding at the footage :)

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Just now, kye said:

limited success

That's what it is. 
Had to deal a lot with getting rid of the negative effects of internal sharpening on the GH5, but if you want to really get rid of these you either blur actual detail or even produce other artifacts.

My next project will be entirely shot in RAW. So no more issues with that just creamy footage. :)

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11 minutes ago, deezid said:

That's what it is. 
Had to deal a lot with getting rid of the negative effects of internal sharpening on the GH5, but if you want to really get rid of these you either blur actual detail or even produce other artifacts.

My next project will be entirely shot in RAW. So no more issues with that just creamy footage. :)

Agreed.  If there were a magical way to get compressed footage to look like RAW footage then we'd all be in heaven and be rich from not having to buy external recorders and fast media!  much greater minds than ours have been contemplating such things for a long time.

However, these much greater minds have probably been interested in recreating the least distorted reproductions, rather than the glorified Mojo of previous generation RAW cameras!  We'll probably still fail, but it will be fun learning how not to do it 😆😆😆

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47 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

Isn’t that Braw? 

Braw is limited to 12 bit. It is never going to be as good as Red Raw or Arri Raw, etc.. But yeah it ought to help out over what we have been used too. But people are going to have to really up their grading, coloring skills. Because of that I sort of doubt there will be a great reason to go that way. It might end up worse than better. 😬

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