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skiphunt

Grading and LUTs, etc.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Thanks BR, really very helpful.

My only gripe with the Pocket is the WB settings, i'm always caught needing an inbetween setting, so footage can be too warm or too cold.

All easily fixable in post, but it would be nice to have a manual setting with a full range & get it right in-camera.

 

Will try & post a few samples later in the week to get people's feedback...

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@BurnetRhoades Looks like Vision-Color's VisionLogUCS might be a good solution for at least an interim standard solution. http://vision-color.com/2013/11/18/announcing-visionlog-ucs/

 

Some of these do look nice.  They do, however, look like combinations of film emulation + a graded look in one LUT, looking at the OSIRIS package specifically.  

 

VisionLOG looks like they're recreating what Academy Color Encoding System is doing but they're doing it to a universal LOG space rather than a universal, high gamut linear space.  Yes, it could be a viable alternative for some folks.  It looks well worth checking out.

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Except that most of that work isn't actually enhancing the footage, it's getting to a reasonable place to start.  You can't intelligently grade your footage until you see it for what it is.  That's not what you really start out with most of the time when shooting raw or if you've shot linear with a baked in LOG curve.  

 

If I was a client and I'd shot film and I got rushes back that were different every time or, worse, I was at a lab timing my film and having to sit there and watch the colorist poke around and try this or that to get my footage to simply look as filmed and as good as I would expect from rushes with house lights I would take my film and go someplace else.  But somehow this is how folks are expected to work with the digital equivalent to a film negative.  It's awful.

 

Now the penny has dropped. Thank you for patiently explaining it all again. 

 

As some FAQ-sites ask: Was this answer helpful?

It was. Thread bookmarked.

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My only gripe with the Pocket is the WB settings, i'm always caught needing an inbetween setting, so footage can be too warm or too cold.

All easily fixable in post, but it would be nice to have a manual setting with a full range & get it right in-camera.

 

I don't expect BM to deliver a meter for color temperature for a future firmware (BTW: What about this? I only found it this minute, can't test it though, because I have only iPhone4, but it says: "in this versione is included a color spectrum analyzer for color temperature mesurement.

the value of color temperature is showed in Kelvin from 2000K to 10000K."). But you are right. Having both a correct measure and values in steps of at least 300°K would make things a lot easier (I read somewhere years ago that the human eye was practically incapable of judging color temperature, but that a difference of 300°K - i.e, through mix of different light sources - would start to be noticable as a cast on film).

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Now the penny has dropped. Thank you for patiently explaining it all again. 

 

 

Well I'm glad, I feel like I'm an asshole half the time.  I really don't want that to be the case.  This is a dense subject that I know I'm no expert in.  But I see folks facing issues now, with these new cameras, that parallel what I've seen in my own industry since the beginning of the A-to-D era and there's really no place to go but up from here.  

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I don't expect BM to deliver a meter for color temperature for a future firmware (BTW: What about this? I only found it this minute, can't test it though, because I have only iPhone4, but it says: "in this versione is included a color spectrum analyzer for color temperature mesurement.

the value of color temperature is showed in Kelvin from 2000K to 10000K."). But you are right. Having both a correct measure and values in steps of at least 300°K would make things a lot easier (I read somewhere years ago that the human eye was practically incapable of judging color temperature, but that a difference of 300°K - i.e, through mix of different light sources - would start to be noticable as a cast on film).

Yeah I know they won't, but even so a minimum that would make me really happy is if they just added something inbetween 3200-4500.

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I also just had a second look at the CC tutorial. Now I realize I'd been going about color correction the wrong way, by using just the global slider rather than starting with the highlights. Sometimes that's the only correction you'll need. I guess you often don't have to even touch the shadows, unless the blacks have a strong color cast. And I'd also been judging by eye rather than using the color parade scope. So right there, my videos should look better from here on out. In addition, I started really playing around with the looks included in FCPX for the first time and had a ball for a couple hours applying them to various clips. Finally, I downloaded Denver Riddle's free presets (I believe there are three of them). Watching the tutorial also confirmed what I already thought: that it's best to do a good color correction before applying your look in the second correction. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun editing this weekend!

 

https://copy.com/j27nZhXTCheP

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I used to go to to a higher bit dipth, de-noise, dither and then output to cineform. Makes for a massive increase in quality and gradeability of 8bit mush for me. 

 

I've gone raw now and will never go back.

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Does anyone take their AVCHD video from the camera, and convert it into Prores 10 bit 422 before grading?  I've heard this gives better results, and is easier to work with.

 

Michael

I think it depends on what your NLE can cope with, how powerful your computer is, whether or not the small gain in quality is worth the time and space it takes up, and how important a speedy workflow is to you.

 

On my old Mac I used to convert AVCHD to ProRes. Now I work with it directly in (and import directly into) FCPX. I haven't noticed any loss in quality, though I couldn't say for sure. I don't particularly enjoy grading my G6 footage. Perhaps I should play around with converting it again ...

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Does anyone take their AVCHD video from the camera, and convert it into Prores 10 bit 422 before grading?  I've heard this gives better results, and is easier to work with.

 

Michael

 

For factory and long-GOP footage I've had to transcode to Prores because CS6 didn't decode MTS properly for certain GOP lengths.  All-Intra seems to be fine.  I've seen improved results in some cases going this route (skies & skin)  because of the chroma filtering that happens in the transcode from 5D2RGB but I can't say for sure whether I ever saw that with All-Intra or just in footage that CS6 was screwing up anyway reading straight from MTS.

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Does anyone take their AVCHD video from the camera, and convert it into Prores 10 bit 422 before grading?  I've heard this gives better results, and is easier to work with.

 

Better results than working with original data? This was proven to be a myth. 5D2RGB does not improve the quality. On the other hand there is another myth, that converting to ProRes (or other Wavelet-type codecs) would cost quality. Whereas it does in theory, it was done millions of times without known issues. 

 

As a consequence, I'd say you should choose what fits your needs. Editing AVCHD is no problem on any modestly fast machine, nor is moderate CC. Also exporting a master in mpeg4 (at high bitrates of course) is a common MO for many Adobe users, particularly as the AME was tested to do a good job here. That's why Adobe never developed it's own intermediate.

 

A completely different affair is compositing with long GOP codecs, i.e. in After Effects or Motion (multiple layers with tons of keyframes on 'virtual' frames). This so dramatically slows down performance on any machine, that imo it is harebrained to do. People wonder then why they get errors in the exported files that did not appear in the preview. My suspicion is that they sacrified preview accuracy to get more real time. 

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I re-edited a project because i found that FCPX dramatically reduced the banding in some Canon 60D footage, in comparison to transcoding it via 5DtoRGB & using FCP6.

Quality didn't seem to change, but then again it could be that it did - it got rid of the banding/artifacts in the sky so i was as happy as larry!

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I re-edited a project because i found that FCPX dramatically reduced the banding in some Canon 60D footage, in comparison to transcoding it via 5DtoRGB & using FCP6.

Quality didn't seem to change, but then again it could be that it did - it got rid of the banding/artifacts in the sky so i was as happy as larry!

 

Probably there were one or more 8-bit effects/filters, of which FCS2 still had a few. Also, Canon then provided an EOS-FC-importer plugin on it's support/download site, originally only for 5D and 7D, but that could also be used with 550D asf., because Log&Transfer didn't convert in the right range (this is what 5D2RGB *allows* to override, otherwise it uses the same encoder). A lot of bugs in initial QT7 releases (and continuing) - yes, no wonder it's better now. With AVCHD in FCP X, quality also shouldn't change (original media compared to optimized media), I didn't transcode a wedding with GH2 last summer, and there was quite a lot of CC needed. It's just that at some time I had to switch to 'better performance' (skipped frames and/or dynamically lowered preview resolution) to maintain real time. During CC you rather want to have 'highest quality'. In the end, this is all about performance.

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The quality difference isn't a "myth" with respect to chroma re-sampling.  You're shooting to a sub-sampled format and when you import that into something like After Effects there are multiple ways in which this can be handled (and quality influenced).  This goes back to the DV codec wars where DV quality was not simply DV quality and not all codecs or applications were equal in their handling.  Whether or not to use YC cables versus composite for older video equipment is also semi-relevant (*).

 

When moving from a sub-sampled, low-precision form like 8bit 4:2:0 YUV to half or full sample 10bit or straight into RGB at 16bit or 32bit float the low precision chroma can be preserved, exactly, with no interpolation until you apply some effect that forces a re-sampling, or, that low precision chroma can be filtered as it's pushed into a a higher precision space, smoothing over the steps.  On 1080P footage you're at a resolution where this distinction maybe isn't as big of a deal as when this was being done (or not done) with DV footage but there is a difference.

 

Avid and a few other companies liked to play up how certain color situations looked better when customers used their DV codec versus Apple's.  The real difference was they filtered their chroma so you got smoother looking 1st Gen color around high frequency edges than you did with Apple's codec which did no chroma filtering at all (this was a process that was codec dependent, not host application dependent).  But come to find out, Apple's codec held up better to the next generation where Avid's did not.  Of course back then folks were generally always working in and mastering to some kind of compromised format, working in 8bit color, etc. where now there aren't downsides to re-sampling the chroma.

 

In the case of 5DtoRGB and something like After Effects you have multiple transcoding steps here and subtle possibilities for differences in quality (influenced by both codec and host application).  The quality of transcoding from AVCHD to full-bandwidth, high precision color is not guaranteed to be the same as transcoding Prores to the same space or DNxHD for that matter (regardless of what each actually contains).  Each three instances are dependent on completely different libraries to hand After Effects the data.  We know, for a fact, that the Main Concept MPEG libraries are questionable, or were for CS6.  

 

The Main Concept libraries were high performance but I wouldn't trust them from a quality standpoint now and the only way to remove them from the equation is to transcode and up-sample to a professional codec using an app that does not use the Main Concept libraries, prior to use in any application that does.  You cannot count on a given MP4 playing back at the same quality between any two browsers or video player.  The difference comes down to which host is using the better decoding libraries to transcode pixels to an RGB space for viewing.  

 

Even assuming MC fixes their code and does a proper job, there will still be a question of who does a better first-step job of filtering on the up-sample?  The folks who are simply dismissive are more or less equating the debate over whether or not the transcoding turns 8-bit to 10-bit.  That's off the real mark for sophisticated users in an attempt to give a simple answer to noobs.  They're making the mistake of assuming view quality is dependent solely on the MP4 itself, that all applications handle the viewing and processing of MP4 equally or that what might be true for their application is true for all.  Their desire for an easy answer diminishes the discussion rather than enhances it.

 

Some footage of mine (Flowmotion) was definitely improved by doing a transcode step in 5DtoRGB so that After Effects imported Prores 4:2:2 instead of AVCHD.  What's not clear is whether this was limited to long GOP footage and strictly in the "digital rain" department or if there is any improvement, based on who and where any chroma subsampling is occurring, with an All-I codec.   

 

(*)- I mentioned the Y/C video (S-Video) versus composite scenario for older video equipment.  Most folks just assumed that when they got a laserdisc or S-VHS or DVD player with Y/C-out and a TV with Y/C-in that this was one and only best way to connect their components, but t they'd be wrong.  The video itself (until DVD) was always stored as a composite signal.  When and if to use a Y/C cable was dependent on the quality of the comb filter in your player versus your TV.  If your player was a higher quality component, like a Pioneer Elite player, and you had a so-so TV, then you would use YC.  If you had a so-so, mass consumer player but an XBR Sony TV monitor, you would connect composite.  

 

Whether to do a transcode step before your main application or in your main application asks a similar question.  Which is doing a better job of filtering and decoding?

 

edit (3/11): I now know that transcoding All-Intra AVCHD footage to ProRes via 5DtoRGB produces better results, thanks to the chroma filtering, than what you get simply importing the MTS directly into CS6, either Premiere or After Effects.  I don't know yet if this is also the case with Prem/AE CC.

 

Moon Trial 7 (All Intra) MTS in Premiere:

f38250537f2ab5b9365951770e34b0.png

 

 

Prores422HQ via 5DtoRGB in Premiere, same frame:

328a675bbd64d6fa772e934ba86a86.png

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Personally moving on from camera discussions and now focussing on how to get the best grade from what I have. 

 

I know that it's preferable to start with a raw source, or at least flatly shot source if you don't have raw capability... but what I don't get completely, has to do with film emulating LUTs vs just doing all the adjustment/grading yourself from scratch.

 

Have done several tutorials and can get a pretty decent final image with just using the color tools in FCPX. But, then I drop various LUTs on top of that and it often looks even better! 

 

Logically, it seems it'd be best to just get good at dialing in your look from scratch and not fooling with LUTs at all, but there are looks I've seen after applying various LUTs that I can't even fathom getting on my own. 

 

A lot of Brandon Li's footage lists the Osiris LUT for his MK3 raw footage, and some of his RX10 footage as well. 

 

Is it a waste of money buying  something like the Osiris LUT package for use with a Nikon D5300 that isn't raw source? Or, am I better off just spending the time to get the color grade/style looking the way I want without using LUTs at all? Or, is it best to get the basic levels adjusted in FCPX for a generally good look, then stylizing with LUTs like Osiris after the fact? Or, applying the LUT style you want to start off with, and fine tuning the look via the color tools?

 

Sorry for all the questions, but it feels redundant using both the builtin FCPX color tools AND the various LUTs.

 

(PS. I know about Davinci Resolve, etc. but want to stick with getting it with just FCPX for now)

@Skiphunt The only reason NOT TO use Davinci Resolve to get the look you're after is if your computer isn't powerful enough (I see you said that your computer was already 'choking' using FCP - looks like it might be time for an upgrade). I seriously don't believe you can get the best results just using FCPX. And I say this after purchasing a bunch of LUTs from CGC for Final Cut. I regret now not having bought the Resolve LUTs instead. But there are a bunch of free LUTs available if you look around a bit. Matthew Scott and Juan Melara both have excellent examples of their work using Resolve, and David Vickers is working on some of the best tutorials I've seen for any NLE. Exactly why are you so smitten with FCP? Just asking... However, if you are stuck on FCP, I do believe the looks offered over at CGC are definitely worthwhile, especially LUT Utility (which you said you already purchased), a genuine bargain at only $30 USD. And not only is Denver Riddle extremely punctual answering questions regarding issues with his downloads, he is also always offering free stuff, like film burns. I am using a brand new Macbook Pro Retina with only 8GB, and I'm already regretting not having purchased the top model with 16GB RAM and Nvidia. But perhaps I'll get a new desktop...

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