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omar robles

Arri Alexa/mini: film look

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Hello group:

 

So I am about to possibly shoot my feature and the producer is pushing me to have it shot on red epic which he access to. Unfortunately I am not a fan of the red camera look and would prefer a different camera. I have seen a lot of things shot on the arri alexa/ and mini and would love to shoot with it. The issue is I have never shot with the camera and I am unfamiliar how to push it to get the best image. What worries me is I downloaded some test clips to do color grading on and for the life of me I am unable to make the images have the look of film as I have seen others do with the same camera. Since it is test clips i dont have the information about what lenses were used etc. The footage i have graded from the test clips looks very digital, what I hate about RED. I ve seen enough arri footage to know that this camera is capable of achieving some great looking film like images so i dont want to discount it. However it is going to be hard for me to talk the producer to go with a more expensive camera if i cant achieve better images then the RED. Shooting with expensive anamorphic lenses aside what is something i might be missing in getting a professional look out of the camera.

 

thanks

 

O.R

 

 

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I mean; the real thing you need it a DoP and crew who are familiar with the camera-- that's how you get the professional look, you hire professionals. But, beyond that, you really have to be cognizant of your production design since the camera can only record what's in front of it.

As for the Alexa, specifically-- hopefully you're working with LogC 4444 Pro Res clips, else you're really not close to what the camera is capable of (to say nothing of ArriRaw, though to be honest, I can't think of a time I've ever used it, LogC is plenty). And you also need to have a colorist whose used to dealing with the footage. Just throwing a LogC to REC LUT on in Resolve will get you an image that isn't flat, sure, but there's more to the final finishing touches than that.

 

And I don't mean this at all to disparage your skills with the camera, or as a whole, but rather just to impress upon people it really is not what camera or lenses were used-- evne less so anymore-- and more about the people using them having the experience and resources to use them to the best of the technology's ability.

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You need to test your Red camera alongside an Alexa so you can create a frame of reference for matching the Alexa look as best as you can, rather than trying to do it from some memory or gut feeling as to what the Alexa look is.

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Is it the Epic MX or the Epic Dragon?

The Dragon sensor makes lovely images if you use the IPP2 colour processing.

I know some people struggle to get good results with the Red Colour Science, but honestly, I don't think you can fault the camera for that - it's inadequate colour grading/knowledge that's to blame.

You do have to run your footage through Red's proprietary software, and process it in IPP2. But so long as you do that, you can get very malleable, very pretty footage to work with.

No camera is going to improve your lighting or your art dept. and the cameras are all so good these days that it really comes down to the processing so far as wrangling a pleasing final image is concerned.

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Hello group:

 

So I am about to possibly shoot my feature and the producer is pushing me to have it shot on red epic which he access to. Unfortunately I am not a fan of the red camera look and would prefer a different camera. I have seen a lot of things shot on the arri alexa/ and mini and would love to shoot with it. The issue is I have never shot with the camera and I am unfamiliar how to push it to get the best image. What worries me is I downloaded some test clips to do color grading on and for the life of me I am unable to make the images have the look of film as I have seen others do with the same camera. Since it is test clips i dont have the information about what lenses were used etc. The footage i have graded from the test clips looks very digital, what I hate about RED. I ve seen enough arri footage to know that this camera is capable of achieving some great looking film like images so i dont want to discount it. However it is going to be hard for me to talk the producer to go with a more expensive camera if i cant achieve better images then the RED. Shooting with expensive anamorphic lenses aside what is something i might be missing in getting a professional look out of the camera.

 

thanks

 

O.R

 

 

Omar, Can you describe for us your color grading workflow with the Alexa footage?

 

Maybe show a screenshot of your node tree. Are you working in color managed or not color managed? Do you have a proper color calibrated display? I might have a comment or suggestion for you if I can learn this information.

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