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Benjamin Kantor

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About Benjamin Kantor

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  • Occupation
    Colorist
  • Location
    Los Angeles

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  • Website URL
    http://the-institution.com
  1. As people have said, the origin of the noise is the flat lighting.... but if you do want to try to reduce it, regardless, with this type of footage you'll probably get less smudged looking results using Temporal NR only. Also, if your NR is doing weird stuff with chroma in the blacks, one easy set it and forget it solution for that is a timeline level qualifier targeting high saturation in low values, and turning the saturation way down. As long as you nail the saturation floor, it shouldn't affect your look.
  2. Adjusting Kelvin numerically with software or a plugin isn't super accurate or convenient, but the classic way to do what you're describing would be to shoot a gray card without your filtration in. This gives you perfect balance to whatever the daytime conditions are, and your filtration stacks properly on top of that.
  3. Bruce pretty much nailed the issues with the footage. There isn't an inherent issue with the skintone so much as limitations in the original photography. I took it into Resolve to quickly see how far it could be taken. Below is what my attempt would look like if a client asked me to make it look as commercial as possible. Adjustments included: -Stock Sony LUT -Basic balance -Isolated wall (it's pretty easy to isolate from the skin/wardrobe). Darkened and pulled yellow out of wall. -Took down vase in midtones -Isolated skin, midtones down, gain up -Sculpted a hint of a soft shadow on face/body to give light a sense of direction -Little sharpening on eyes
  4. Alwin Kuchler? Wow, that's awesome. I'm honored that he read the article. I had to take a break for a while because I was working on a show called "Husbands" as well as some other projects. However, I am back at it now, and just did the first of three posts on "Breaking Bad."
  5. I got knocked out of writing Cinevenger for almost three weeks because of a project I was shooting, but I am now back to a semi-normal schedule, so I just started reading/watching through this... looks great and appropriately dense. I think it will be one of those "watch three times" types of situations. Thanks, and good suggestions. "Chimes at Midnight" is completely underappreciated... I don't think it's even on most peoples radar for Welles (compared with "Touch of Evil" and "Citizen Kane").
  6. Some people call that uniqueness a films fingerprint... I am currently looking at new 2D methods to create different types of fingerprint representations. I wouldn't know where to start with the 3D stuff (although it clearly has huge potential).
  7. I originally saw something similar at an art exhibit. Then, I painstakingly created a custom Nuke script to output the my own version of the slitscan. Finally, I found out that a really easy to use piece of software had been available all along. You can find it here: http://www.threewordtitle.com/thumber/
  8. Being as useful as cinematography books is high commendation... I'm glad that you're finding it valuable for the study of the examined films.
  9. Yes, from a scale perspective, we are talking about 9.4% to get it from 1080p to 2K, which I personally think is negligible. Also, if your film were playing in a theater off an HDCAMSR deck feeding to a 2K projector (like a Barco), it would be getting upsampled to 2K by the projector hardware anyway, so I don't know that there's a difference in the end result regardless. If you really wanted to fine-tune the scaling algorithm, then something like B-spline is going to technically look better than Bicubic. However, it complicates the workflow. The four step workflow I mentioned before could probably be covered in 4 hours for a 2 hour tape, using just FCP or Premiere and a DCP application. Adding a B-spline step could more than double that time, as it would add a completely new, time consuming process in a different application (we would probably use Nuke or a Photoshop action).
  10. This may be of interest to the people (like me) that lurk these boards: I launched a cinematography analysis website a few months ago, which you can find at cinevenger.com. So far, I've looked at 'The Matrix', 'Logan's Run', 'Thor', and 'The Terminator'... I try to focus on films that don't already have volumes written about their cinematography (such as anything shot by Conrad Hall, or directed by Stanley Kubrick). I'm currently working on an analysis of 'Sunshine' and another on 'Hero'. If you enjoy the website, I would be interested in any suggestions on what to look at next.
  11. Even though you could technically pillarbox or letterbox a DCP, it doesn't actually meet the written spec. So, it won't pass QC and likely won't be something a distributor would accept as a master. So, that raises the larger question of whether this version of the film is only for festival screenings, or if it's also your final master that will be handed over if the film is sold. If it's the latter, I would stick with a HDCAMSR, as you can cram any aspect ratio you want in there, and likely won't get any push-back from a potential distributor.
  12. Below is a sample workflow (I work at a post house where we occasionally make DCPs): 1. Ingest the HDCAM-SR as an uncompressed Quicktime (probably a Blackmagic 4:4:4 codec, in our case). 2. Scale the image to meet the DCP 2K standard (for 1.85:1, it's 1998×1080, for 2.39:1, it's 2048×858). To be clear, the image fills the entire frame, there is no letterboxing or pillarboxing. 3. Export as a TIF sequence. 4. We use OpenDCP, which semi-automatically takes the TIF sequence and converts it to a JPEG2000 sequence in XYZ color, and then wraps it up in an MXF wrapper for delivery.
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