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Grading Flat Scans Super 16mm - DCP / GRAIN / MONITORS


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Hello there!
 
So over the last two years I've been making this film https://vimeo.com/457743955 (password: wednesday)
on Super16mm.  I had ordered for 2K flat scans and decided grade it myself..... ouch. 
It didn't go terribly wrong, but  
 
I've had my screening last week and noticed how my DCP's turned out too dark in the darks, too saturated at times, and too contrasty. 
 
Apart from not being a pro at grading
I also graded on my MacBook screen. Not great, I know. 
 
Now that I'm back in London, the DCP people are giving me a free chance to make a new one, so I'm going through the grade on more time to make a new DCP grade and an online version.
 
I have an EIZO CG2420 (which again is not ideal for video grading, but better than a Mac Book). 
 
For web, I've calibrated it for sRGB.
For Cinema:
 
I've talked to EIZO support people and they suggested to calibrate it to a DCI P3 profile (see image attached). Apparently it's close to the Cinema Projectors. 
 
Do you have any advice on setting the color space for the monitor when what you are grading is going to cinema?
 
Lastly.... do you have any tips on how to eliminate too heavy grain on shots without losing the details?
Is it all in DaVinci or do I need some sort of "NeatVideo" type of plugin?
Cinelab does it with the transcodes but they eliminate the grain completely which isn't what I'm after either. 
Sometimes my grain is quite wild and overpowers the images. I wonder if it's because I'm pushing with curves a bit too much.
 
Any direction towards a process worth exploring would be much appreciated!
 
Many thanks for taking the time to read this
A

 

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The full version of resolve has a good noise-reduction feature which may help with the grain.

You might need to go into more detail on how you have Resolve set up, and how you calibrated the monitor. DCI-P3 specifies what the colour of the red, green and blue primaries should be, and what the white should look like, as well as the gamma curve, which defines how the digital numbers relate to brightness. Generally, desktop computer monitors will be very much brighter than a cinema projection. To put some numbers on it, a computer monitor out of the box is likely to emit a few hundred nits; cinema projection is ideally around 50 and practically often less. So, if you grade on a computer monitor, even one set to DCI-P3, unless you've calibrated it to a cinema-style brightness, and unless anyone else has made any changes to compensate, what you see projected will tend to look dull and dark. Many monitors will let you select P3 without significantly altering their brightness.

There are a lot of other things that can affect this, particularly an absolute maelstrom of settings in Resolve, but if you can expand on your setup a bit it may be easier to help.

I would, however, closely consult with the DCP people to see what their requirements are as they will have the final say on how this should be done. How are you supplying the material to them?

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All ya need to do is insure the color space is setup for "full" instead of "video" when doing a DCP. That's the big mistake people make. Your link on Vimeo looks great, but it's Rec709 instead of DCI-P3. 

In terms of the grain, that's a consequence of either old film and/or delay on processing. NR will take the edge off, but don't go too far with it. 

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Tyler, I'm a bit concerned there could be a lot of other things going on with Alexandros' setup, so let's not assume it's any one thing. I'd rather hear more about how he's engineering this.

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Hello and thank you for the replies!

In case I confused you, just to mention again that when I graded this, I was only using my Macbook screen.
I don't have the Resolve settings in front of me but I can supply soonest possible!

The vimeo (H264 export) link https://vimeo.com/457743955 (password: wednesday) is the export that I used for the DCP projection
For the DCP I was asked to export a Quicktime, JPEG200, 2k DCI Flat, 250mb/s

Now, for the new grade
Currently, the settings of my EIZO monitor -  attached in the image
I can send you the sRGB settings as well tomorrow....

Regarding noise:
I have a full version of resolve... you mean the motion effects?
hmmm... i always think it softens the image a bit too much. Perhaps i just need to explore. 

d3b5ef5c-b287-411a-be66-7867e08e4d34.JPG

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Personally I would not touch the grain, I skimmed through your film, looks beautiful! 

But if you really want to tone it down, Neat Video works great. Never had good results with Resolve probably because I don't know how to use its denoising feature correctly.., Neat Video is easy, and you get great results. Never used it on film footage though, only on video to remove the digital noise so I can add film grain in post.

Edited by Robino Jones
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Hello there. 

Before I upload a new grade, I think it might be useful to share my setup up

Sharing the sRGB EIZO monitor setup
and some information on the colour specs in Da Vinci... 

For now, I'm working only for an online prores/h264 export. 
 

Screen Shot 2020-09-23 at 15.26.38.png

Screen Shot 2020-09-23 at 15.25.50.png

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I personally think it looks really nice, I would tread lightly with grain reduction.

Grain is not noise it is how the picture is made in film and I feel that the NR tools which are commonly available are not very capable at "grain management" like the DVO tools in Nucoda for example.

If you use neat video I would put it on a node and selectively target the shadows and not degrain the whole picture.

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I’ve seen DCPs with the effect you described. It’s caused by exporting full range video into a codec normally associated with video levels. The DCP house then corrected the video levels, crushing the shadows and highlights.

Since you’ve graded in sRGB, maybe ( considering it was on a laptop screen), I would set your display to REC709, gamma, 2.2. Then review your grade and make sure it looks correct.

Then render your movie to 10 bit dpx sequence, full data range.

Bring this to the DCP house and tell them it’s REC709, gamma 2.2, full data range, and they will make the correct conversion to DCI P3 color space for the DCP.

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