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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?

 

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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 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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