Jump to content
Will J. Lokken

Math based film emulation. Alexa to 5219 color science

Recommended Posts

Hi there,

Over the last few years I've developed a system to match cameras with color science, specifically matching digital footage to film.
I recently finished a quite heavy project attempting to emulate 5219 with the Alexa, and I'd like to share it with you and hear what you think.

I wrote a few words about my findings and thoughts from the process for those interested in the topic, as well as put some side-by-side images comparing film and Alexa after the color science has been applied. Here's a link to the post: ARRI Log C | Kodak 5219

I'm also interested in hearing your opinions on, and knowledge of, the use of similar color science within the industry in general.

Are some of you using similar techniques already? I read that they used Steve Yedlin's display prep on Last Jedi to match digital shots, but haven't been able to find much info elsewhere on the application of such tools. 

Would you find creating film-like looks for digital capture a desirable trait or prefer clean Log C as a starting point for grading?

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems from your examples that you are matching Alexa to a film negative scan, and you've done quite well.

That said, it appears to me that the film scan does not look like an analogue film print. To me, it looks "better" than an analogue film print.

And so my question:  If going for a "film look", would it be more "unique" to emulate a film print rather than a negative scan?

 

Yesterday I was beginning a color grade for a film and was playing with different techniques and came up with something that is rather "filmish", but not at all an emulation.  We have so much control over the image now that we didn't have in the analogue days.  Is there really any reason to "recreate" film?  I think it's a very interesting experiment that you've done that will yield a great bit of insight into color grading, so that the effort has not been wasted.  I'm just wondering about how important a "canned" film emulation really is...

 

Thanks for the article Will.  These are just my gut reactions 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a process called RFG. We record the digital files to 35mm camera filmstock (500T or 200T), the rescan the film back to digital DPX log files for final grading. We try to match the main primary colours but let the secondaries float.

A recent example of our work can be seen on Amazon Prime: Guava Island.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi will, 

Thanks for sharing, I would be very interested in having a play with some of these looks if you're able to share?

Pete.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Bruce. I do agree with you, film print is a very interesting target as well for color science and 2383 is my next project when I get around to it ! 

I understand your thoughts about the importance of such tools. I guess it's all a matter of taste in the end. I personally like the different way colours are inter-positioned relative to each other in film which is completely different to how they are in Alexa, and how highlights bloom for example -- all the details in the way film renders an image which can't be mimicked with tools available in programs such as Resolve. I see much potential in my own work for using color science as a tool, not just for one stock but for any complex look creation

Dirk, the RFG process sounds interesting. Do you have any technical info or examples of the results of the process you can share?

Pete, my color science is not currently existing in a shareable format -- it would be a bit of a project to teach how to use the tools I've created in the current state, but hopefully one day I will have a way to make it accessible

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will,

We have done dozens of commercials as well as sections of feature films and entire films. On one particular commercial for Vaseline, we used 500T, 200T and 50D to show different timespans, from mid 1800s to Vietnam to present day. It can be seen on vimeo:

 

Another one, completely on 500T to simulate a 1960s film is on Amazon Prime: Guava Island.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I know this is an old post, but it seemed intriguing. However, the link is dead. I think your domain expired.

I'm curious, generally what process did you go through to emulate the film stock? Did you shoot the same scene with a digital camera and 5219 stock and compare them, or is it something completely different? What kind of math was used?

Thanks.

Edited by Brian E. Rutan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The link to my (temp) website is fixed. We use split screen with the original digital image and recorded negative. See my previous post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/22/2019 at 1:06 AM, Dirk DeJonghe said:

The link to my (temp) website is fixed. We use split screen with the original digital image and recorded negative. See my previous post.

 

Thanks for the reply, Dirk. I probably should have clarified that in my previous post I was addressing the creator of this thread, Will J. Lokken.

While I'm at it, what made you go with the process of recording digitally acquired footage to film and back? I must say I really like the results you got, it totally looks like a real negative. But, I'm curious, what didn't work about simply acquiring 35mm directly? Also, why record to a negative instead of DI print stock or intermediate stock?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was an intial request by a well-known DoP who wanted a 'home movie' look for a Superbowl commercial a few years ago, as if the consumers themselves had filmed the images. This prompted some testing and we arrived at the combination of 500T camerastock plus S16mm sized area.

The objective of Intermediate films is to be as transparent as possible, to make an Interpositive and Duplicate negative that matches as closely as possible the original negative in contrast and color rendition. This is not what we want in this case, we want to add some texture and character. The camera stocks have some character (greens, flesh-tones, sky etc) that is added during the process.

The intermediate stocks have very little grain, again, not what we want. Grain is 'texture' now, no longer a 'defect', just like some painters use a broad brush with visible brushstrokes against a digital picture (completely texture-free).

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brian,

My website is no longer active. It was a post with pictures and an accompanying text on some of the technical notes and conclusions I made. I've put the pictures up on flickr instead for those interested so you can see the two formats compared with this color science.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/185251785@N02/albums/72157711562201957

Regarding the process - yes I shot film and alexa "side by side" (technically one at a time to get a more similar framing and to use the same lens) in a variety of lighting scenarios (much more than you see in these few images here, but these are some of them) I also shot color charts and more boring stuff to measure color and contrast curve response.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Will!

I am very interested in your work and have to say the results on Flickr looks very very good. I am currently in the process of doing something similar, and was wondering if you wanted to share some more information on how you went about processing the image after capture? Did you use any automatic color chart color matching, or a more manual approach, perhaps using software like Nuke ?

Would love to chat more about this!

Best,

Oskar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Visual Products



    CineLab



    Tai Audio



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    FJS International



    The Original Slider



    Just Cinema Gear



    Serious Gear



    Wooden Camera



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Abel Cine



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Glidecam



    Metropolis Post



    G-Force Grips



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Paralinx LLC



    Ritter Battery


    Cinematography Books and Gear
×
×
  • Create New...