Sjors Krebbeks

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

175 Excellent

About Sjors Krebbeks

  • Rank
    Developer | Administrator
  • Birthday 06/22/1990

Personal Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

1,992 profile views
  1. During pre-production, I remember DP, Philippe Le Sourd getting in touch with me regarding the best format to use on this commercial. He was shooting with the Alexa and wanted to know if they should shoot ProRes or ARRIRAW. I strongly suggested ARRIRAW considering the amount of post that was involved and also the greater details in highlights and lows. But at the time, the ARRIRAW was a lot more expensive to work with throughout production and post. During the first session, we referenced a few spots that Fabien Baron had directed: Giorgio Armani 'Acqua Di Gio' and Calvin Klein 'Collection'. These references were used more as a warm up, as the Encounter spot was a new fragrance so we needed to have a new vision and look for this product. A visual treat From the beginning, Fabien's vision was to make a scene that could have been taken from a movie. A visual treat more than a commercial. The color palette was found pretty quickly, and I think the palette is what makes it special. The main objective was to make a very moody and interesting look that was sensual and mysterious but not menacing or scary. It's a very dark spot and what I would call a silvery night. The amount of saturation is very low and the colors are very restricted, yet not monochromatic. As per Fabien's vision, this should look like a sequence taken from a movie so the look had to be very unified and consistent throughout the spot. I usually use the snapshot function or wipe every shot with the master reference shot, to make sure they all stay consistent. It's important to always have a sort of double proof, so I use the hero beauty shot to match everything and then I use the surrounding shots to check the consistency. Grading technique I work mostly on Baselight, and I started the session without pre-balancing the shots. We established the look on a few shots and then matched it all. Sometimes I'll use the AlexaV3_ K1S1_Log to Rec709 LUT, but on this, I probably used a film grade or curve to get the Log to Rec709 stretch. The curve controls are insanely powerful, and when not using a LUT, this is where I do my main look. I also use curves at the back end when doing minor tweaks because it's more precise than the video grade or film grade. READ: Mitch Bogdanowicz about LUTs I think the level of darkness was the most challenging part of this job. The amount of contrast and black level were adjusted and changed so that it would play nicely on multiple platforms. We had four sessions where we went back and forth with the levels. Playing it safe and lifting the blacks was not a solution, and we certainly didn't want to lose details and have the picture completely buried. Beauty We wanted the skin tones very desaturated so it would fit very well with the dark grey night, and they were isolated in every shot to be matched as close as possible. I used a Lum to Lum S-curve, kept the blacks dark and stretched the gamma. The sweet spot is hard to get but by slowly adjusting the curve you'll find it. I used the curve to clip the highlights at a low level using a luminance curve in both the background and the skin tone, which is the reason why it looks very silvery. But it's a controlled clipping so for some elements I added another layer unclipped to add a bit of shine. I think it fits the mood very well, but it's very unusual for an American beauty/fragrance brand. I also enhanced the contrast in her hair and lifted the skin tones a bit. I only remember one exterior shot where we used a window and a few key frames, and that was because Fabien wanted to increase the headlights on a rock when the car arrives at the house. On beauty work, we tend to over analyze and put windows everywhere. At the same time, I hate when clients walk in my room asking for three different passes before we've even graded the first shot. To me, separate passes are something from the past and the last resort. The picture will always look better in one pass. Damien Van Der Cruyssen All images and clips copyright © 2016 Baron + Baron
  2. In order to reflex the hedonistic and flamboyant times of the 1920s and the characters depicted in The Great Gatsby, a super saturated and excessive look for the film was desired. Costume and Production Designer Catherine Martin worked closely with the DI team on the look of the film. Those sessions stand out as a career highlight. She has an incredible eye. She was insistent on more and more colour separation. At the time my thoughts were “there is no more”! But sure enough, with each pass the depth of the image improved. You really felt as if could fall into the picture. Catherine Martin won two Oscars for the film. While grading, I am very focused on the task at hand and prefer to work without distractions. I don’t like to have music playing and I’m not much of a talker in the suite. I’m asking myself, - Is this grade telling the story? How can I make it better? What’s the main focus? What needs to stand out? Can I improve the colour separation/colour contrast etc? Can I enhance the lighting anymore? Simple grade stack It’s easy for a timeline to become unmanageable on a high-end feature due to re-edits and the wait for final VFX; therefore, I stick to a simple grade stack at the start. I believe in keeping the images close to how they are shot and as close to their natural state as possible. All images reach a point at which they look their best. My aim is to find this point. I use edge gradients for shading and simple windows for pushing areas towards and away from the viewer. Later in the grade, I may do extra treatment for example using sharpen with a window to draw attention to certain aspects of the picture such as an actors eyes. Flashback scenes Catherine Martin showed me an amazing book of hand-tinted photographs to reference for the flashback scenes when Daisy and Gatsby first met. I researched early film stocks and worked with Richard Kirk at Filmlight to generate a bespoke LUT which emulated the panchromatic stock of the period. This gave me an interesting base by swinging the density of the colours around, particularly the red. READ: Mitch Bogdanowicz about LUTs After this, I set about making lots of shapes outlining objects and tracking them. I coloured the shapes to look like the kind of colours in the hand-tinted references. A little translucent and pastel. For example, for Daisy, I made the hair more golden, enhanced her blue eyes and tracked little pink kidney shapes onto her cheekbones. I also added some T800 scanned grain and mixed in an old fashioned flashing projector effect which I found online. Moving through the scenes Matching scenes is a fundamental part of grading and the reason I keep moving forward on my timeline. The film will eventually find its place and its natural flow. As our eyes are constantly re-calibrating I prefer to keep moving through the scenes. It’s important to keep comparing scenes and remain on task. I prefer to do global adjustments in the final days of a DI, usually adjusting brightness and contrast between the scenes. Looking at stills sequentially can be useful. Stereo grading The film was shot in 3D on RED Epic cameras using a split beam. One eyes image is captured through a mirror and is softer and less bright. First of all, you grade the 2D version using the hero (higher quality) eye as the base. The images from the second eye are then matched to the first and then the same grade is applied down-stream. Grading in stereo is difficult on the eyes as you are also checking and correcting convergence issues. Technically you have a much lower light level to work with in Stereo projection and also a colour cast offset to correct from the glasses. For creative adjustments, just like in 2D, certain colours reach your eyes quicker. Red, for example, is closer in depth than cooler colours like greens and blues. This actually works well naturally as landscapes tend to have cooler tones so warmer skin tones will sit forward. With Gatsby’s riot of colours some tweaking was needed. Stereo is wonderfully immersive. I think you are more easily able to trigger strong emotional responses from an audience in stereo than in 2D, the catch is the stereo has to be flawless. I’ve only ever seen perfect stereo projected in a professional environment or a well-run cinema. I live in the countryside so by the time it gets to my local picture house the quality is lost along with the magic and it can distract from the story. However, good colour control will help transcend projection issues. Vanessa Taylor IMDB All images and clips copyright © Warner Bros. Pictures / SF Norge AS
  3. I was brought on board when they started scouting. I spoke to the DP, Adam Arkapaw during the testing stages and he sent various looks that he liked and thought would work for the show. We also had some in-depth conversations about what he was looking for. One of the references we spoke of, was the movie "Seven". I didn't have any interaction with the director, Cary Fukunaga prior to him coming to NY to do post. Grading Technique True Detective was shot on Kodak negative, mostly 5219 and 5207, and color corrected on DaVinci Resolve. I chose not to use any LUTs for the show as we wanted to have the most flexibility and didn't want to fight any curves. We scanned all the negatives to 2K DPX frames which I then graded. I work differently depending on the show, the look and feel they are going for. For this show both Cary and Adam wanted everything to be very real and organic. After sitting with both of them I found it faster to use printer points and basic Log controls to get the primary balance done. READ: Dan Muscarella about Printer Lights Once we had the primary balance where we wanted, I then watched it back with audio to see if the look matched the tone. I then used Linear controls to dig in and create some subtle differences in the separate areas of the image. As well as adjusting exposure and color temperature. Matching shots After I had what I felt was a good overall balance of color and brightness, I started paying attention to skin tones throughout. I was also looking if I needed to shade, vignette or pull anything out of the image. Matching skin tones is a big part of making the scene look good. When you are watching these scenes, the object you are focused on from shot to shot is the actor's face and expression. If they are not matching from shot to shot, it's going to be very noticeable and quick for any one of us to point out. I didn't do much beauty work in color on this season. We did an occasional sharpening of eyes or softening of backgrounds but that was about it. The most challenging scene was probably the one in episode 4. Cary and Adam did an amazing shot that lasted 6 minutes without a cut. They were going in and out of apartments, thru windows, in the light and dark. Cary had a very specific thought for how he wanted every turn to look. So needless to say we had a lot of color rides and tracking windows and dissolves throughout that scene. Organic feel Every scene is different. Whether it be the lighting, atmosphere, exposure or temperature. So my technique changes depending on what's needed. I try to use windows more than keys. I feel like when you over use keys, it takes you away from the natural feel of what the DP actually captured. I think most people can feel when something is over keyed and too perfect. I prefer the organic feel myself. That's not to say I don't key and won't. Or that I didn't on this show. I definitely did. My preference is to get a good balance of color from the primary balance and then use shading and subtle windows or keys to just accentuate what the DP has done. I also always try to maintain some shape in my highlights. I do everything in my power to not have a clipped white sky or highlights. This obviously depends on the scene and how it was shot. A softer highlight at times is nice. Again it's all personal preference and the feel of the scene. Every colorist works a little different and there is no one way to get something done. We work in a very subjective field. It's all about helping the director and DP see their vision in the end. This was an amazing series to be a part of. From the DP and director to the editors and post staff. Steven Bodner All images and clips copyright © HBO
  4. Paul Thomas Anderson was getting closer to the final stage of his movie The Master, and the question of the DI came up. For how much he wanted to release the movie only in film form, the distributor needed the digital DCI for general distribution. Most of the theaters at that point where converting to digital projection and it was imperative for the distributor to fill the seats. I met Anderson during the final stages of the editing, did some VFX pulls (there are a grand total of three effects and two opticals in the movie) and we started to talk about how to approach the final DI. We wanted to work in real-time, and at that point in time we could work in 4K but the platform we had (Quantel Pablo) was not fast enough, so, we went on and built a full 4K Linux Resolve for this task. The challenge The challenge for us was to copy the 65mm answer print that he was timing in the lab. We have a room in FotoKem where we can screen the 5perf 65mm prints and I sat with Lab Timer Dan Muscarella to watch the prints go by during the part of the color timing. We did some research and calibrated the film emulation LUT to the 65mm contact print to better represent the final answer print, we did some tests with Dan and were ready to work. The 35mm was scanned from the original negative and the 65mm was scanned from the 65mm cut IP. The feel of a 1960s movie For the look of the movie, I searched through images of films from the 50s and 60s, to see how the film emulsion was developed at that moment in history, and how the lenses were deforming the image. The set of lenses and cameras, if I remember correctly was the one used for Kubrick's 2001 Space Odyssey. The idea behind it was to have the audience feel like they were looking at a 1960s movie, not a 2000s movie that looked like the 60s. Most of it was done in camera, and we were very careful to preserve it during the digital process. I sat with Dan during the screening of the answer prints and he sat with me during the color timing. We did the color mostly with a logarithmic color correction, pre-matching the 65- and 35mm scans then got closer to the answer print and refined it with Dan and Paul Thomas Anderson in the room. We spent a few hours in the same scene adding and taking away printer points of corrections until the feel for the scene was about right. READ: Dan Muscarella about Printer Lights The Master has a certain aura to it that you cannot describe but feel. It is a clever use of light and backlight that emphasizes the relationship between him and the disciple, and the color had to obey that statement. Technically, I used Log offset controls (or printerlights) for the most part, and just a touch of saturation and contrast to better blend some 35mm negative with some of the 65mm IP scenes. Although I used pretty much only logarithmic corrections, there was this one scene where the wall was a bit too close to the color of the subject. We isolated the wall and ever so slightly changed the color a bit. Paul Thomas Anderson is a fan of trying, playing and trying something just a bit different, and then playing again. He is very visual and he likes to see different options even if they are just a touch different from each other. We also have moments in the movie where a color tone plays a role in the psyche of the main character. If you think about the scene in the lab when he drinks the exposure chemicals, those are very strong colors and we went a bit further from the print on those occasions. Skin tones I needed to be really consistent throughout the movie about the skin color of all the three main actors, and we were going back and forth through the reels to constantly checking their coherency. I never use secondary correction for skin tones, as I’m under the assumption that the director of photography put a light in the set for a reason. And most of the time, that reason is to make the face of the subject to fall in a very specific place. So in my timing, I always want to go to the color of the skin tone we establish with the minimum amount of correction possible (more often than not it's just an Log offset) and see how the rest of the world plays. Even if I have to put a window there, I will still try to use a logarithmic offset or a white color balance to put it where I like it. I always feel that a secondary correction (or vector, whatever the machine calls it) will reduce the amount of subtle variations that exist in the natural skin, and make everything look a little too plastic to my eyes. Having said that, no power windows have been harmed in the making of this movie. I’m not a fan of looks, but I’m a huge fan of representing and capturing the reality as it is. Letting the audience be dragged into the movie's storytelling without being bombarded by stimulus. 65mm is a great format and I love digital cameras (Alexa is my favorite), but I find the large format are still a step above all. When the Blu-ray master coloring was done, I played the final DCP movie with Kostas, the Color Timer, and he sat with Paul Thomas Anderson again to give a slightly different interpretation for the Blu-ray. So they are somewhat the same and different at the same time. Walter Volpatto All images and clips copyright © 2016 Annapurna Pictures
  5. I only got involved with this film during the post-production process. I was assigned the project through my employee, Technicolor, in London and met the DP, David Tattershall a few weeks before we were due to grade. David had brought some images on his laptop that he took on the shoot. This gave me an early insight into what he wanted to do in the grade and we discussed the look we wanted to go for. I personally enjoy playing with the different natural colours that this kind of production design gives us. Wonderful natural light, lavish costumes and gorgeous set designs gave us a lovely base to work from. Although this show was shot digital, my general technique was to aim for a classic film look. Grading technique We graded from ARRIRAW Log files and added a proprietary LUT that I trimmed based on the latest Kodak film stock made. This became a favourite of mine and I subsequently used it on other projects. The contrast curve and saturation mirror 35mm film nicely. READ: Mitch Bogdanowicz about LUTs I enjoy working with the filmic Log toolset. This way I keep the natural balance of colours throughout the shadows, mids and highlights on the first pass. My first pass is always kept very simple, using Log printer lights, saturation and subtle contrast tweaks. From there I review, take notes and prepare for the second pass which involves a lot more secondary work. Add to that, any kind of mix of hue, sat, curves, keying, windowing etc. whatever is needed, really. I try not to overcomplicate the grade unnecessarily but using windows can be incredibly helpful in making the image more interesting or lifting areas which otherwise would be lost. Mostly, we tried to keep the general look rich and lush but obviously certain scenes lent themselves to be a colder or darker palette. I always try and ensure we have achieved the right balance throughout the beginning, middle, and end of the film in terms of colour and light. Often, we need to review the whole film a couple of times through the process to know we have achieved the correct overall feel. Fantasy sequence Only during the fantasy sequence in the final tragic scene did we introduce an unnatural colour scheme and defocused the edges of the image for effect. The reason was to tell the audience the scene was a ‘flash forward’ in time. Here, I would accentuate a particular colour whilst removing other colours from the palette – creating more of an unnatural wash – far different to anything else in the movie. The director was also looking to introduce more camera movement to a lot of scenes and in this final scene, we often introduced a subtle camera push in or out to make the shots a little more dramatic. This was a very important moment in the movie so we spent a lot of time making this scene just right. Balcony scene In the famous balcony scene at night, we were keeping a natural darkness whilst introducing power windows to help train the eye into the correct areas of the frame which is an important skill to master. A combination of cool moonlight and warm candlelight is always a nice look and this scene looks beautiful. The first point of reference We tried to keep natural flesh tones whilst saturating the overall colour to make the image shine. Skin tones are literally the first point of reference for every scene. I always try and keep these consistent and they are an excellent barometer of how the scene wants to naturally look like from the shoot. I start on the 'master' shot of each scene - grab a still and constantly reference to this to match skin and other colours. I try not to mess too much with skin if I want to keep it natural looking. I’d rather set the tone of the shot using the skin and deal with any colour issues that arise around that separately. I’m also not a huge fan of keying but I use it when I have no other option. I’d rather get there using cleaner Log or sat curve controls. I enjoy the challenge of doing subtle beauty fixes around eyes using a window with slight blur or lifting contrast. Also, if a shot is soft I tend to avoid sharpening the whole image but just concentrate on the actual part of the image we want in focus. Paul Ensby All images and clips copyright © 2016 Amber Entertainment
  6. It Follows was scheduled to be colored at Tunnel Post in Santa Monica. So the people at Tunnel put me in touch with the director David Robert Mitchell and the cinematographer Michael Gioulakis and we had a lengthy conversation about the mood and tone of the film, a few months prior to principal photography. It was a wonderful experience to be brought in so early in the process and I wish all of my cinematographer friends would do this! Three stripe Technicolor At first, David's idea was to give the movie a three stripe Technicolor look, but at the same time, feeling contemporary. My challenge was to fuse both worlds together and make it work. Michael began sending me stills from the dailies and I experimented with different looks on my Davinci Resolve system at home. Once the film was cut and ready for color, I sat in the large theater at Tunnel with Michael and David and we began to try out the Technicolor look. It was interesting, but not exactly right for the film. It was a little over-the-top and too extreme. We didn't want to call attention to the look, so after trying a few different looks, we came up with the one that was correct. A look that had a Technicolor-like feel, but was a little "off normal". Some directors will bring in a "look book" at the start of the film and that's a good way for me to quickly get inside the mind of the director and what he or she likes to see regarding color and contrast. This was not the case for It Follows. We discussed each scene and talked about what we were trying to accomplish in regards to the mood and tone and created a look that was appropriate scene by scene. It was a great experience and one that I hope to have again soon. The film was shot with Alexa, and I really enjoyed Michael's framing and the variety of colors he used in his art direction and lighting. The movie has a "timeless" feeling, in that they used props from all eras (older TV sets, etc...). He gave me a great palette to work with and I got to further enhance the look, stylistically. I started creating a LUT that got us close to what was on the digital neg and from there, began the fine-tuned crafting of each image. I worked in the Log toolset in P3 space. I do work with printer lights quite often and It Follows was no exception. Favorite shots One of my favorite shots in the movie is when they go to this old, abandoned house and as they're walking up to it, our lead character, played by Maika Monroe, looks back and briefly stares at the camera to see what's behind her shoulder. That moment is such a beautiful image in the film and IS the film. When I first saw it, I said: "Guys, this is your poster!" Because that one single frame says it all. That sinking feeling you get when you think something is following you, but you cannot see it. I also like the scene where she is strapped to the wheelchair. This is the first scene that we began setting and creating our looks for the movie. It has that perfect blend of feeling both 1950s and contemporary at the same time. Pool Sequence In the end pool sequence, we gave it a very ominous, darkish-blue feeling to accentuate the horror that was taking place. It’s a layered process that involves first balancing out the scene as shot, with nice, rich skin tone. Then subtracting the red/adding the blue to get the right look without it looking like a wash or a tint. The trick is to keep the skin tone intact within that “look”, otherwise, it looks like you just threw a layer of blue over the whole scene. In life, you still see colors around you on a cloudy day. Those colors are just muted on the cloudy day, not as vibrant, but they don’t disappear completely. Consistent shots I do not color any movie the same as I colored the one before. Each movie moves and breathes differently and you have to attack it according to how it was lit, framed and exposed. Once we have the looks set for each scene of the movie, my job is to keep every shot consistent within those scenes and make sure that it flows smoothly, from the shot, keeping the viewer's attention on the story being told. I always go through the entire movie to make sure that the saturation level we set at the beginning follows through until the last reel of the film. I also usually keep my whites clean unless there is a motivation to add color to them, such as sunlight coming in through a window. Then, of course, there might be a bit of a “sunny” feel to the white highlights. Overall, every scene should look like it belongs to the same movie unless there's a reason to go outside of the world you've created in a particular scene or moment. That being said, it's just a matter of making sure all scenes look like they are from the same "world" that you have created. It's quite a shock to the audience if there is a shot or scene that suddenly looks "out of place" from the film they've been watching unless that is the director's desired intention. But, sometimes, there is a reason to have different saturation levels within different scenes. Skin tones For me, skin tone is the absolute most important thing in the frame. Once I get the skin right, everything else seems to fall into place. I generally like a warm, yellowish glow for most skin types. But since this film had a dark, ominous look to it, it was more appropriate to let skin tones go a little bit more "rosy" than I normally would. It did fit the atmosphere of the film. As for skin tones, it should be there already in the digital neg once you’ve correctly balanced the image. If, for some reason, the skin tone is still not pleasing (like pale skin, or skin that’s too ruddy & red) that’s when I apply an HSL key to adjust accordingly to the light in the shot. There are many times I have to “soften” skin with a diffusion key or draw a shape around a blemish, then blend & track it in. I also find myself throwing on Power Windows as a spot light on just the face, in order to lift shadows in the eyes or bring them out a bit to separate them from the background. Mark Todd Osborne All images and clips copyright © 2016 Visit Films / Another World Entertainment
  7. I came on board with the production in early 2014, and I met with George Miller, the director, and talked about what the look could be like. It was amazing to get such an open brief which was essentially "it should be saturated and graphic, and the night scenes should be blue". The main reason for this is quite interesting. George has been watching 30 years of other post-apocalyptic films and noticed that they all use the same bleached and de-saturated look. We knew we didn't want to make yet another film like that, so we had to find a way to make it saturated and rich. The other aspect was to keep each frame as graphic as possible. When it came to the night scenes, we experimented with silvery looks and photo-realistic looks but found that the graphic rich blue night look was the best option for the film. Grit in the image I watched all the original films again before starting just to get some grounding of the series. The one thing I was very conscious of was to make sure there was some sort of "grit" to the image. We didn't want to make an overly plastic or fake looking saturated image, there needed to be some sort of rawness in the look as well. In general, one of the aspects of the look was to apply a lot of sharpness. We liked how it made the image look sharp and how it often brought out some grit in the image. Each shot was sharpened independently and often we sharpened just certain parts of the frame more than others to help draw attention to specific areas. Because the film mostly takes place out on the desert road, we knew it could get visually boring very quickly. Which is again the reason for going with a rich colourful palette. Watching 2 hours of de-saturated desert tones would be dull. Once there was a rough cut of the film, we looked at the scenes and worked out how we could break up the visuals to create some variety in looks and also how to differentiate the landscapes and story points. Every time I worked on a shot, I kept saying to myself "make it look like a graphic novel". The basic balance The film was shot on the Arri Alexa in Raw. We used an LUT to convert the C-Log into P3 colour space, which also had a bit of a film emulation baked into it. We had someone from Deluxe provide several options for LUTs which we chose after testing. The Alexa camera has such great dynamic range which was amazing for a film like this, as I was very rarely struggling to find detail in a shot. With most of the shots we did a basic balance using printer lights first, then we jumped into video-style grading tools after that. I always worked under the LUT, but used traditional video tools such as lift, gamma, and gain. I also used some soft keys to add contrast to certain parts of the image which helped retain detail in extremes. READ: Mitch Bogdanowicz about LUTs Eye scan Every shot in the film has been worked quite hard in the grade. George is big on what he's phrased "eye-scan". The audience should not have to search the frame to know what's important in the image. We would shape each shot so your eye knew where to look and you saw the important story points in any given frame. We used standard techniques like vignettes or shading parts of the frame down to draw your eye to what's important. The overall experience should be smooth and even though levels may be changing across cuts, the idea is that you shouldn't notice it. For each look in the film, I made sure there was a connection between them. Whether it was a contrast level or a saturation level, the scenes needed to flow. Whenever I'd work on a scene, I'd always go back and watch the scenes with audio to make sure I wasn't missing anything important and that it flowed across the cut. The looks and expressions of the actors Like with any film, the main objective is to match the skin tones of the characters across the cuts. On a few occasions, we would help out an actor who might have had a pimple or something on that shoot day. The film was shot over 6 months, so it's quite normal to see blemishes appear across the cut. We simply tracked their face and smoothed out the skin to remove the acne. We also spent a lot of time on the eyes of the characters. There's very little dialogue in the film, and a lot of the performances come from the looks and expressions of the actors. The human brain focuses about 80% attention on a character's eyes, so we wanted to make sure they were clear and vivid in every shot. I essentially rotoscoped every eyeball in the film and added contrast and sharpness to them. This made the eyes vivid and helped draw your attention to their performances. The night scenes are 95% completely blue, so it obviously affects the skin tones as well. I kept 5% of the original colour in the scenes and occasionally we pushed a colour for story reasons such as some blood or a green plant. Day-For-Night One of the toughest parts of Fury Road for me was working out the right look for the Day-For-Night. The incredible Cinematographer, John Seale and VFX Supervisor, Andrew Jackson had worked out a technique of shooting 2 stops over-exposed on the day shoot. The theory behind this is quite simple. With an over-exposed image (without clipping highlights), we can expose the shot back down in the colour suite, grade the image to create the Night Blue look. Then we can selectively bring out any detail from the shadows that we wish, with virtually no noise. This enabled me to create very graphic contrasty images with detail exactly where I wanted it, and a fall off into shadows where I didn't want it. Almost every D4N shot was basically roto'd and had the sky replaced to create the look. It took a few months of fiddly work, but I think the look is different and graphic. Challenge with the interior driving shots One of the other trickier elements of the film was grading the interior driving shots. As you can imagine, shooting in the bright desert sun, if you expose for the dark interior of the car, then the background outside the window is severely over-exposed. We wanted to always retain detail and saturation both inside the car and outside the car. This meant a lot of keying and detailed shape work to keep both sides of the exposure looking rich and saturated. For the most part, I approached shapes in 2 ways. The first was to use very soft shapes as a way to shade and shape the image. The second was to do very precise shapes which usually required a lot of tracking and roto'ing, such as eyeballs. The redemption scene There's a scene in the film called "redemption". It's a scene where Max comes up with a plan and presents it to the other characters. They all discuss the plan and decide to go ahead with it. However, it's a dangerous plan, and they don't know if it will work or not. For this scene, we wanted to break away from the standard blue skies that we had seen in the other action scenes previously. Instead, we changed all the skies in the colour suite to a slightly stormy looking sky. The characters are lit in full sunlight, but there's a stormy environment behind them. The idea behind this was to create a mood where you're not sure if it's going to be a nice day or a bad weather day. Helping to create an emotion with the audience that compliments the story of whether the plan will work or not. This meant that for every shot in the scene, we needed to replace the sky with a new stormy sky, one for each angle the camera faces. The ability to replace skies in Baselight is amazing. It's fast and interactive, so George is able to see instantly and can frame it how ever he wants, or switch it out at the drop of a hat. On a technical level, it meant that every sky needed to be tracked to the background of the shot and put behind the characters which required a lot of detail work, but it was worth it in the end. VFX If there's a tool on the Baselight, then chances are I used it on this film. Everything from keying, curves, printer lights, shapes, sharpening, lens flares, blurs etc. The grading stacks are quite large on this film. I also like to keep every change in its own layer so I can control it separately and disable it if necessary. I also worked very closely with VFX on this film. There are actually a lot of VFX shots in the movie, from basic wire rig removal to CG backgrounds and of course the Toxic Storm. We were able to get mattes with every VFX shot so I was able to control specific areas of the image that were comped. For example, if there's a green screen shot of Max and the background is comped it, then it is hugely beneficial to have the matte for Max so I can adjust him independently to the background. It saves a lot of time. Eric Whipp All images and clips copyright © 2016 Warner Bros. Pictures
  8. Sorry about that, Lesson 2 is available now.
  9. Sometimes a dream might become reality before you know it 😄
  10. T he Scratch Essential Training is designed for new Scratch users, and DaVinci Resolve colorists who are looking to add another excellent conform and finishing tool to their toolkit. Kevin P McAuliffe covers all the basics you need to know to perform the most common tasks that you do on a daily basis so that jumping in or making the switch will be as smooth as possible. About the instructor Kevin is an award winning editor and visual effects creator based in Toronto with over 15 years of teaching and training experience. Over the past years Kevin has delivered world-class work for clients such as Warner Bros, Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Fox, Universal and Elevation Pictures. Who is this course designed for? Editors Conform Artists Colorists VFX artists Lessons overview (subject to change) Lesson 01: Getting Started Lesson 02: Working in the Construct Window Lesson 03: Working in the Edit Module Lesson 04: Working with Layers in the ColorFX Module Lesson 05: Working with Versions in the ColorFX Module Lesson 06: Working with Qualifiers in the ColorFX Module Lesson 07: Working with LUT's and Comparing Grades Lesson 08: Effects, Transfer Modes & Mattes Lesson 09: Nodes Lesson 10: Creating Dailies Lesson 11: TBA Lesson 12: TBA Lesson 13: TBA Lesson 14: TBA Lesson 14: TBA Software required Scratch (20% discount for Lowepost premium members)
  11. The color-grading specialist Filmlight caused a bit of stir in the colorist community at NAB 2016. They introduced Base Grade, a new grading operator for Baselight. Base Grade is intended to replace classic tools such as 'Lift', 'Gamma' and 'Gain'. That sounds like a small revolution. Filmlight promises more consistent results compared to existing tools and a more natural working style. This is reason enough to take an in-depth look at it - not only for Baselight colorists. For the evaluation of Base Grade, a rough understanding of the evolution of color correction helps. The origins of color grading, as we know it today, date back to the beginnings of television and cinema. For television, video signals originating from TV cameras or film scanners always had to be adjusted or corrected. The profession of the colorist emerged in the telecine, where film footage was transferred into a pleasing video signal. VideoGrade The technicians provided the colorist with four basic technical parameters to shape the video signal: 'Lift', 'Gamma', 'Gain' and 'Saturation'.These are still among the most popular grading tools. In Baselight, one can find them in the VideoGrade operator. The colorist adjusts the black level of the video signal with 'Lift' (sometimes referred to as 'Pedestal') and the white level with gain. For those who are experienced in Photoshop, it makes sense to visualize the resulting gradation curve: 'Lift' sets the starting point (bottom-left) and 'Gain' the end point (top-right). When working with VideoGrade, these are the most important points of reference for the colorist. 'Gamma' is technically a power function whose only parameter is the exponent. The gamma function determines the curvature of the gradation curve between the two endpoints. These three parameters can be adjusted not only for the brightness, but for all three color channels of the video signal (RGB). However, individual controllers for red, green and blue are usually not presented to the user. The user has one controller for the brightness signal and a two dimensional controller for the color component. This results in the basic layout of all grading control surfaces: Three trackballs that adjust the color two-dimensionally and around them a rotating ring for the luma adjustment. 'Lift' is on the left, 'Gain' on the right and 'Gamma' in the middle. These three parameters are often colloquially referred to as shadows, midtones and highlights. With the help of an RGB waveform monitor, these adjustment possibilities have proven to be very efficient to forge a video signal within the given technical specs. A very popular and proven working method of video-style colorists is to first adjust the black and white point of an image. All three channels are balanced both in the blacks and in the whites just before clipping. The brightest point in the image is then pure white, thus without color cast and with maximum brightness. The darkest point is pure black. People often speak of "clean" blacks and whites in this case. Next, the 'Gamma' parameter is set. It adjusts a combination of brightness and contrast. If one wants to put a color tone on the picture, this is often done with the 'Gamma', since then black and white remain “clean”. Baselight provides two modes for VideoGrade. The default mode is RGB. In the Y'CbCr mode, the luma channel is processed separately. Brightness or contrast changes will then not affect the color and saturation of the image. Over time, VideoGrade has proven to be the most important tool of telecine-style colorists. They convert high dynamic range images (e.g. log encoded) manually to the desired output color space utilizing the available grading toolset instead of a technical color space conversion (e.g. a LUT). This means that nowadays VideoGrade is not only used, as originally intended, on images in a video color space, but also for images in log color spaces. The 'Lift', 'Gamma' and 'Gain' trio is probably the most commonly used grading operator in the current video world. However, it dates from a time when handling features such as specular highlights was not that important. Burned out windows or skies were tolerated as long as the faces looked nice. A soft-clip, a gentle transition into the over-exposure, is not realizable with VideoGrade alone. Over time, video colorists developed different techniques to meet this aesthetic demand. Gradation curves, luma keys, blend modes and specialized soft-clip operators are among the techniques that have been used for this purpose. A further disadvantage becomes obvious in VFX workflows. Contemporary compositing works the most realistically in a scene-referred linear color space. Then pixel values are proportional to light photons on the set. VFX pre-grading might still make sense to adjust the general brightness and white-balance and to match shots in a sequence. Unfortunately, 'Lift' as well as 'Gamma' and 'Gain' destroy the scene-linearity of a shot and make VideoGrade impractical for this type of VFX pre-grading workflow. FilmGrade Long before the telecine colorist, the profession of the film color-timer emerged. They determined the look of a film by adjusting the intensity of printer lights and chemical processes in the film lab. This profession required a lot of experience and intuition. Contrary to the telecine with its sometimes saturated or harshly clipped colors, the analogue lab process has film-stock as an aesthetic foundation. With the introduction of the Digital Intermediate process (DI) around the year 2000, the new profession of the DI-colorist arose. DI-colorists correct images digitally before they are recorded onto intermediate-film and printed. The footage usually originated from film as well and was scanned to Cineon log color space. The DI gradually replaced the analogue intermediate process and thus the creative part of the color-timing in the lab. Film is a key component of the DI process, since one is restricted to the colors that can be reproduced in the film print. The lab processes generating the film print and the projection are therefore simulated live during the grading with a film print emulation look-up table. The so-called 'Film LUT' is applied in the preview output and causes the images to react differently to input from the colorist compared to telecine or video mode. The manufacturers developed new grading tools for the DI process based on lab color-timing. In Baselight, the tool is called 'FilmGrade'. Some film-style colorists have previously worked as color-timers and thus got an easy entry into digital color correction. FilmGrade is designed for images in Cineon-Log color space. After the color correction, the image is converted into a display color space (e.g. DCI P3) utilizing a LUT or the more recently available GPU-shaders of Truelight Colour Spaces dating from Baselight 4.4. FilmGrade consists of six tools divided onto two tabs. The main page consists of 'Exposure', 'Contrast' and 'Saturation'. The second page consists of 'Shadows', 'Midtones' and 'Highlights'. All tools offer a trackball and a rotatable ring. The most important tool is 'Exposure', which can be adjusted in RGB printer light steps via the Blackboard control surface. 'Exposure', which is also referred to as 'Offset' in other grading software, controls the general brightness and color of the image. Film style purists try to work as much as possible with 'Exposure', because then the image remains very natural. The contrast in all color channels and the scene-linearity are basically retained during 'Exposure' changes. Color Timing - The 'Exposure' tool in FilmGrade not only simulates the work with printer lights, but also translates the correction to printer points. 'Contrast' and 'Saturation' seem self-explanatory. However, the trackball color-setting controls deserve an in-depth look. With the 'Saturation' trackball, the colorist controls the saturation of opposing colors in the color circle. For example, when you move the trackball towards the warm tones (yellow, red), these become more saturated. At the same time, the cold tones (blue, cyan) are desaturated. The 'Contrast' trackball, on the other hand, is used to tint the highlights and shadows in complementary colors. The corresponding pivot point is important when working with 'Contrast'. It defines the center of the curve and thus the strength of the effect on the highlights and shadows. 'Shadows', 'Midtones' and 'Highlights' in FilmGrade are not identical to 'Lift', 'Gamma' and 'Gain' because the luma working ranges are limited via pivot points. When you raise the 'Shadows' level, for example, the curve is warped only until a defined point. With 'Lift', on the other hand, the entire image is changed, but the shadows are affected the most. It is difficult to determine maximum black and white with film because the transfer curves are very flat and non-linear in these regions. That is why the LAD grey patch, roughly in the middle of the curve, is the anchor point for both the calibration and the colorist. (The laboratory aim density patch was invented by Kodak and is a bit darker than 18% middle grey. You can find it on the Kodak website. A film style colorist does not care much about whether he hits 100% black or white. A soft clip is automatically active in this system because of the film print emulation. Scopes are less important and the visual impression is mostly guiding decisions. Thus, FilmGrade is a more natural grading concept than VideoGrade. Today, FilmGrade is used not only on Cineon log data, but on any kind of log encoding such as LogC from Arri. More modern approaches like ACES are also used in the output path in addition to film print emulations. There are fundamental problems with this concept as well. The 'Exposure' tool adjusts brightness quite naturally, but it is not exactly like changing the lens aperture or the ISO value. The reason for this lies in the underlying log encodings which, for example, do not define the black value to zero. The detailed explanation is beyond the scope of this article. Another problem is the future proofness. Log encodings can store only a limited amount of dynamic range. The Cineon curve, for example, was not sufficient for the high dynamic range of the Alexa camera. Therefore, Arri developed the LogC curve. Future cameras and HDR displays will require additional tweaks that might be compromising. This also applies to the VideoGrade Operator, which was designed with standard dynamic range video signals in mind. Base Grade: Under the Hood The time has come for a next generation color grading operator. Filmlight uses neither a video signal nor film stock as a foundation, but algorithms modeled on human perception. The dynamic range of Base Grade is not limited by a technical format like Rec.709 or the Cineon coding. It is ready for the HDR future. Base Grade works the same way in every working color space. Therefore, it always feels the same for the colorist regardless of the camera used. This requires not only precise color setup in the scene settings but also correct tagging of the footage. Usually this happens automatically, but for transcoded footage it might require manual adjustments. Base Grade converts the image autonomously into a linear color space in which, as in the case of linear compositing, the original brightness ratios of the scene are restored. The user does not have to care about the internal color space conversions because Base Grade hands the image over to the next operator in the defined working color space. Internally, Base Grade uses an Lab-based color model consisting of a pure luminance component L and two color components a and b. The color plane spanned by a and b was distorted by the developers in regards to color grading. This gives color and saturation changes the same visual effect in all color regions and makes the work feel more intuitive. All exposure values and pivot points are specified in aperture stops. This is a well known unit that mimics human perception and is easy for photographers and DPs to understand. The colorist can give instantly meaningful feedback to the DP. For example: "I made the whole picture half a stop brighter”, or “I lowered the Highlights one stop". If a Dailies colorist uses Base Grade, such feedback — comparable to the camera report from the lab in the past — could conceivably help the DP working on the set. It will definitely make communication between the DP and the colorist easier, especially when the DP is not physically present. Four parameters affect the whole image: 'Flare', 'Balance', 'Contrast' and 'Saturation'. Beside these global parameters, Base Grade partitions the image into brightness zones. This is reminiscent of the legendary zone system by Ansel Adams, which according to the developers served as a source of inspiration. The reference point of Base Grade is medium gray, as found on 18% grey cards. The luminance zones are defined from there in stops. A correction of three stops up or down is the maximum in the standard mode. This is generally sufficient. In extreme cases, up to six stops can be corrected in extended mode. At first glance, there are few parallels to existing tools in Baselight or comparable grading software like DaVinci Resolve. The RAW development experience in Adobe Lightroom comes closest to that in Base Grade. However, Base Grade offers not only luminance controls per zone, but also color and saturation. In addition, each zone's region can be fine tuned via 'Pivot' and 'Falloff', which makes it much more powerful. 'Balance': Adjusts the exposure and the color balance of the entire image. Brightness changes behave exactly like the change in aperture or ISO value. The trackball corresponds to the white balance. 'Balance' can therefore replace settings in a RAW decoder. The scene-linearity remains intact while working with 'Balance'. 'Flare': Influences the lower part of the curve by defining the zero point. A correctly set 'Flare' value is crucial for proper functioning of Base Grade. Otherwise, the real brightness ratios from the set can not be restored. The zero point is usually the darkest point of the image. 'Contrast': Adjusts the image's global contrast. In contrast to other implementations, crushing the shadows is prevented by the 'Flare' parameter. 'Contrast' works achromatically, which means it does not affect the saturation of the image. The colorist controls the intensity of the effect on the shadows and highlights using the 'Contrast' pivot- as with FilmGrade. 'Saturation': This is self-explanatory: the color intensity of the image. The crucial difference from conventional implementations is the visual uniformity, which works in a more natural way 'Pivot': The user adjustable starting point of the zone. It is defined in stops in reference to medium grey. For example “-1” means one stop below 18% grey. The 'Dark' and 'Dim' zones range from pivot to black, the 'Light' and 'Bright' zones from pivot to white. 'Falloff': Describes the transition until a zone has full effect. 'Falloff' is not measured in stops because it changes adaptively relative to the set 'Balance' to avoid negative slopes. Therefore, it is an abstract value ranging between 0 and 1. User interface The user interface follows VideoGrade and FilmGrade. It consists of three main parameters mapped to the three trackball-ring combos on the Blackboard control panel. Below lies a visualization of the current grade as a tone curve, framed by further parameters such as pivot points. The developers have distributed Base Grade onto two tabs. The first page is 'Dim' / 'Balance' / 'Light' and the second 'Dark' / 'Balance' / 'Bright'. The most important parameter, 'Balance', is permanently visible and mapped to the middle trackball-ring combo on the Blackboard. 'Flare', 'Contrast' and 'Saturation' are also visible on both pages and can be adjusted via encoders. Look and Feel - The Base Grade user interface. As usual, users can create custom layouts on new pages. The grade visualization display contains a special goodie. A luma waveform of the current image is superimposed over the curve. Thanks to this, the colorist constantly sees which parts of the image he is currently editing and how he should adjust the pivot points. It would be even more useful if the display superimposed a luma histogram. Test-drive It takes some time to get used to the new toolset. However, curiosity and the excitement of playing around with a new toy fuel one’s motivation to dig deeper. I tested the promise of the exact stop scale. Indeed, a 'Balance' boost of 1.0 shows the same result as doubling the ISO value in the RAW developer. And this applies for all tested cameras by Arri, Red and Sony. The clever part there is that you don't need RAW material for that. If you work with a mixed ProRes and ArriRAW Timeline, for example and all RAW shots have been pushed by one stop, you can now apply the exact same correction to all shots. And it is no longer necessary to switch to the DeBayer settings, because adjusting the exposure with Base Grade does not compromise image quality in that case. Unity – Below is pushed one stop in the RAW settings and top with Base Grade. The results are identical. White-Balance should be adjusted with the 'Balance' trackball. It will not yield the same results as the RAW developer because of the ab color plane that was specifically optimized for color grading. In my opinion, the results are a bit more pleasing than adjusting the Kelvin value in the RAW settings. Matching shot to shot seems to be another ideal task for the tool. Many colorists divide their grade into a basic correction per shot and the creative look. Used as the first layer in the stack, Base Grade makes it easier to compensate for exposure differences due to the scene-linear working style. Shots with diffuse lens flares are a common problem while matching. They cause raised black levels in the frame. Even quite clean lenses such as the Master Primes show this effect, especially when there are bright backgrounds. When you try to minimize the flare with VideoGrade’s 'Lift', for example, you mess up the whole picture and the grade does not fit properly anymore. The 'Flare' parameter helps in these cases because it corresponds to optical flare in the lens. If the exposure is basically correct, the differences in the black level caused by lens flare can be corrected quite well. With the help of the 'Flare' parameter, the colorist matches scenes that contain a lot of lens flare. When copying corrections from shot to shot, the colorist should also pay attention to the 'Flare' value and adjust it if necessary. For example, if you copy from a scene with lots of diffuse flare, the black will probably be crushed in the target shot. With none of Base Grades other controls except 'Flare', you can get it back to a decent level. If 'Flare' is set correctly, the black can practically never be fully crushed. Base Grade pushes the shadows into a pleasant-looking compression instead of a hard-clipping. The 'Saturation' control yields pleasant results too. It is astonishing that a tool as widespread as color saturation could be improved further. Base Grade gives more visually pleasing results than existing implementations in a direct comparison. With classic saturation tools, primary colors such as red quickly become overweighted in the frame as you increase saturation. With Base Grade, the strength of the effect is more evenly distributed over the color circle. And the great thing about this is that it works similarly while desaturating pictures. Evolution - next generation of color saturation. Top: A scene containing strong neon colors reduced by 30% with a classic saturation implementation. Bottom: Same reduction with Base Grade. Not only the colors, but also the brightness seems more natural. Base Grade reveals the full extent of its strengths with the zone model. The gradation of an image can now be modeled very precisely utilizing only one operator. With previous software, the colorist was forced into detailed and sometimes fiddly tweaking in CurveGrade or keying. Now there is a more intuitive alternative. For example, optimizing sky definition usually requires luma keying the highlights. With Base Grade, I got amazingly far without any secondary correction. On one shot for example, I initially lowered 'Light'. Next I lifted 'Bright' to tickle out the last details just before clipping. By initially adjusting the correction quite aggressively, I could easily find the right pivot points. Then I reduced to a more pleasing level. If the colorist opts for extremely strong corrections, there is a risk of unsightly effects, a preliminary stage of solarization. Base Grade prevents true solarization - negative slopes of the gradation curve - but the colorist can flatten the curve so much that the definition is ruined in certain brightness zones. In these cases, a larger 'Falloff', the transition of the zone, provides some relief. However, it also reduces the effect. Top: Uncorrected. A difficult shot, as the tonal values are compressed in the shadows as well as in the highlights. Bottom: Avoiding any keys or shapes, just modeling the gradation with Base Grade one obtains a picture with clearly more definition in the crucial areas. Base Grade also performs strongly with Cross-Process Toning, a common case in color correction. The highlights and the shadows are given different hues. Complementary hues are often chosen for this. The shadows, for example, are tinted in cold teal and the highlights in warm orange. Colorists often use HLS keys for this technique to have more control over the effect. With Base Grade and its zone model, one can precisely control the strength and hue of the effect and probably save some keys in the timeline. About VFX pregrading: Flare is an artifact that arises in camera lenses and distorts the scene-linearity. With the aid of Base Grade, the correct brightness ratios on the set can be reconstructed by setting the correct 'Flare' value. Something true black or the darkest shadows in the frame should usually be set to zero. After that, 'Balance' works completely scene-linear. Because of the flare correction, Base Grade is therefore better suited for scene-linear pregrading than 'Exposure' / 'Printer Lights' in FilmGrade. Conclusion Base Grade is very powerful, but it is also complex. Thoughtful setup of the project is essential for proper functioning. If the color space settings are a mess, it will not work properly. My advice is to slowly familiarize yourself with the tool and then integrate it into the daily working style, bit by bit. A good start would be, for example, to perform saturation corrections with Base Grade. The next step would be to make the basic correction from shot to shot, and so on. The new grading concept could also be a good starting point for Adobe Lightroom experienced photographers and DPs to color correct moving images because of the intuitive and stop based approach. The first days with Base Grade were very promising. The tool has potential for both more natural and maybe even completely new looks. In addition, it provides relief from some tweaking and keying in a colorist's daily work. Andy Minuth Most of the software testing for this article was done with an early beta version (5.0.8907). Some things will probably change until the final release. The comment field is open for questions and discussions.
  12. F or one of my latest projects my DoP asked me to create a custom LUT for him. We had a few camera tests prior to the shoot, and wanted to bring our custom look (as an LUT) to the set to see if his lighting, set colors, etc held up. While we were preparing the camera tests I read about the ARRI Look Library, a collection of 87 in-camera looks. The library was first released as part of the software package for the ARRI Amira Premium and Alexa Mini. For the Alexa SXT it is available as an optional license feature for 280 Euro. There is also an free IOS app which gives you an overview of all the looks. Download ARRI Look Library on Itunes or at the ARRI site. The library covers a lot, but if you need to customize one of the looks for different light setups etc, you have to create your own versions. The looks in the library are saved as ___.AML files, so in order to get your own custom look into the Alexa camera you have to create an ___.AML file. There was almost no documentation or known workflow about how to do that, so we ordered an ALEXA SXT (luckily Futureworks has its own camera rental department) to find our own workflow via trial and error. Maybe there is a more elegant way, but the following one worked for us. 1. Baselight setup: I usually work in ACES with a mix of various RRTs. Sadly, the ACES scene setup didn’t work out in combination with the ARRI Look File. It actually makes sense as the ARRI expects a straight REC709 setup. So your scene setup should be as below. 2. The grade: You can use almost everything in your grade layers, even LUTs in a Truelight operator, but you can not use keys or masks to generate your look. The camera viewer is most likely a REC709 or SRGB viewer, so you will get better results if your cursor output is REC709 instead of P3. 3. Export: After your grade is set, go to “Shots“, click right and choose “Export LUTs“. Note: The ARRI Color Tool, which we will need next, needs the AMIRA CUBE format. 4. ARRI color Tool To create the AML file you need the ARRI Color Tool. Strangely, the ARRI Color Tool doesn’t support ARRI RAW files. So either you export a DPX file or work with the dummy file “Isabella”. Now load your Amira Cube file (down left under Look Library) Then “Save Look As” and create the .AML File. Now you have created the Amira Cube file from Baselight and the AML file. That’s pretty much it. Download ARRI Color Tool here.. 5. Check your File As I said before, the ARRI Color Tool didn’t support ARRI Raw files (or maybe we just couldn’t figure it out) so we had to use the ARRI Raw Converter to test the look. Download ARRI Raw Converter here. You can now load your .ARRI file and the .AML look file. In the settings on the right side just choose “From Library”. 6. Setups For most cases, for every scene setup a high-key and a low-key version of your created look should be good enough. The Alexa SXT has four video outputs, but in most cases the DoP wants the director to see a straight REC709 image. The advantage of the Look File is that you can see the look in the camera viewer for quick checks. Andreas Brueckl Senior Colorist, Futureworks
  13. I n this screen-capture, which runs at 4x speed, you can see me working on a scene of a feature film. The scene was shot in the morning, and I also graded it for morning. Later the clients decided that it would be better if this scene was set at night. So I had a little more than a day to transfer the scene of about 5 min into night. It goes like this: A woman leaves a club and walks into a man with whom she starts a fight. When approaching such a task, it makes sense to imagine how it would have looked if it was really shot at night and how the DoP would have helped with lights, if he had known already on set. Night is usually very dark and grading everything low level might be a realistic choice, but in terms of an artistic, photographic approach it can be nicer to create a night filled with a bunch of light sources. I decided to have a big moon as my main light source and a bunch of tungsten practicals to make it more believable. In natural darkness the cones of our eyes are less sensitive, which means that our chromatic vision is limited when light is rare. According to that you can desaturate the image quite heavily. A bit of a bluish tint may be appropriate as well. Strong highlights, typical for daylight, can be attacked with keyers and shapes. The first task is to make it a lot darker without crushing anything. When your eyes are adapted to the dark you can see a lot of details in the shadows. Because this scene was shot in daylight we have tons of information. We just have to keep it. The second task is to darken all the sky and the reflections of sky in the scene. Here, the great dynamic range of the Alexa helps. That involves a mixture of keying and tracking shapes. The next step is to look for areas which might be affected by the moonlight and isolate those to apply a special moonlight bounce to them. In one shot, I decided to make the hair of the guy a bit warmer as he stands not far away from a real tungsten light source. On other shots, I created tungsten light sources, which were not actually in the scene, but make a lot of sense, as the DoP would have created something similar to this. The tungsten lights and the bluish moonlight create a nice complementary color contrast. This is a kind of extreme example of a task but the technique used can also be applied for more subtle changes in normal grading scenarios. Tobias Wiedmer Lead Colorist, Cine Chromatix KB