Stig Olsen

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About Stig Olsen

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  1. Stig Olsen

    New video tutorial out!

    Hi Everyone! After having used the last years to discuss color grading with the best colorists in the world, seen many different approaches, techniques and ways to build grades, we thought it was a good idea to create a video tutorial series and share some of the techniques and insight we have learned. We landed on doing scripted (pre-written) tutorials. That means we can concentrate the content, be far more to-the-point, make them shorter and avoid wasting your time with distractions. The first one is about silver retention (bleach bypass) and is available for our premium members in the insight sectiom right now! I hope you like it!
  2. Stig Olsen

    Color Grading Lounge - Facebook group

    Hi Everyone! I'm just checking in to invite you all to the Color Grading Lounge group on Facebook. The group grows fast with many lively discussions. See you there, Stig
  3. Stig Olsen


    B efore beginning the shoot, Roger Deakins performed many photo chemical tests at film labs and post facilities to see if he could get the look that he and the Coen Brothers wanted. They were to shoot in lush, green Mississippi during the summer, but wanted a dusty, brown, burned out hand-tinted look that reflected the 1937 Depression era. The only place he felt could give him this was Cinesite at that time. I became involved during the testing. You have to remember that back then, in terms of color grading for film output, while not exactly the Stone Age, was more like the Bronze or Iron Age. There were no such things as real time conforming, 3D look-up-tables, 2K digital projectors, or real time playback of data files. These things are taken for granted today. It was pretty much the wild west for grading. We used Silicon Graphics CRT monitors that the engineering staff at Cinesite calibrated especially for film, which gave a reasonable contrast range approaching film, but color accuracy was another matter. We would film out test frames after every session (film recording was very slow and expensive back then) and view the print the next day if the print met LAD AIM (the film equivalent of color bars, so to speak). If not, a new print was struck until it did. Then we would see what we had. The interesting thing was that some scenes we thought would be very straightforward proved to be problematic, while others we thought would be troublesome proved to be no problem at all. A-B negative rolls We had cut A-B negative rolls to be scanned on a Spirit Datacine. For anyone who is not familiar with cut A-B neg rolls, a brief primer: the neg is cut together in a normal editing environment. When a transition is required (dissolve, wipe, etc.), enough handles to cover the duration are included in the shot, followed by black leader until the next transition is required, then the camera original shots are continued on, and so forth. This is the A-roll. Then the B-roll is created inverse to the A-roll. Using A-B cut negative required a lot of reel changes and cleaning of the transport, since the black leader normally used in cut neg left a lot of residue on the rollers and in the gate. Sometimes a C-roll is used, but I don’t recall if we had any. We may have had one or two. This continues for every film roll. Green-to-brown transform The grading was done operationally like a typical telecine session, and we used a Pandora Int's Poggle with MegaDEF system. That was the only system at that time (circa 1999 - 2000) that worked with 2K (2048 x1556) data. As in modern grading systems, we could select a color and adjust the range affected by phase, saturation, luminance, etc. Deakins and the Coen Brothers wanted to do the green-to-brown transform entirely in the grading bay, but throughout the process we didn’t want to change all the greens to a single shade of brown. That could look phony. So we would change the trees, for example, to one shade/density of brown and the grass to another. Sometimes on a shot we would change a grass field to one shade, the shrubbery on the edges of the field somewhat different, and the trees yet a little more different. The biggest issue in the grading process was that the greens we were changing to dusty, burnt brown didn’t translate well at all on the monitor. Being that this was the crux of the whole project, we had to deal with it somehow. The only way I knew to do this in any kind of timely manner was to look at the difference between the print and what we saw on the monitor, try to determine in my mind how different it was in grading terms, apply an opposite adjustment to the file, film it out, and see where we were. After a few of these, it became a bit easier to apply a mental LUT, but it still required a proper grading on the monitor so that Deakins and the Coens could determine what they wanted, film it out, view the print, and make the change. A bit cumbersome to say the least. Outside of losing the greens, it was a pretty common grading session. We made sure the RGB controls were balanced properly and that the brightness and contrast ranges were appropriate. Of course the film had an overall look, a palette, but no other individual colors were specifically isolated or treated as a whole. It wouldn’t make sense to have the environment be a burnt, dusty look and have the talent be in bright, saturated primaries. It wasn’t shot that way. Everything had to look as a whole. Secondary controls, of course, were used as necessary. The type of adjustment is varied depending on content and desired results. One example of this was a shot of the actors on a handcar. The shot pulls out and tilts up to a very wide shot. Besides tracking the foliage, the sky was almost white, so we put some windows in the sky to give it a gradated late day look. The sky gradations also had to be tracked. There was no “special” attention paid to skin tones, eyes, etc. They just had to look like they were supposed to and consistent throughout a scene and throughout the film. We used normal grading procedures, still stores, and what felt right, even if it wasn’t a technical “match”. Deakins and the Coen brothers were great to work with. Deakins was intimately involved. He was present in the bay virtually every day as far as I recall. The Coen brothers came in periodically to view film out tests, but they were very much on the same page as Deakins, so there was no need for them to be present daily. Julius Friede
  4. Stig Olsen

    Tyler Roth Company 3, TVC color grading

    Want to know how it looks like when Tyler Roth, senior colorist at Company 3 grades a TVC? We recorded a remote grading session (screen only) and made 6 short edits for you. Click here or go to our video menu.
  5. Stig Olsen

    1080p or 1080i50

    Most dramas, features and commercials are shot progressive, but transmitted in an interlaced environment at the end. The common workflow is to work progressive through the entire pipeline, but to change the project settings to 1080i50 before final output. You will not experience any field issues because they will be duplicates of each other, but as mentioned above, you can benefit from the interlacing on some animated effects like end crawls and transitions if those are added after the timeline change.
  6. Stig Olsen

    Image degrade

    On the shot below I've used "Sharpen Edges" with increased edge mask strength and decreased edge blur, combined with some customized grain.
  7. Stig Olsen

    Copy inspector settings

    Inspector attributes can be copied by selecting and copying (ctrl+c) the main clip and then right-clicking the target clip choosing paste attributes.
  8. Stig Olsen

    Band of Brother article out!

    HBO's Band of Brothers has inspired colorists for years and the look has been copied numerous times since it was released in 2001. DI colorist @Stuart Fyvie worked on the team with Luke Rainey (RIP) coloring this award-winning show, and two years ago (!) he wrote a story for us that we want to share with you today. This story is big, never told before, full of insight and tech-talk. It's really a must-read. Thank you Stuart!
  9. Hi everyone! We are setting up a virtual feed from C3 to our suites for an upcoming set look session. This feed is received through the Streambox Media Player on Windows and it works perfectly. But we want to extend the display monitor view to a HDMI monitor connected to a Q M2000 card, is that possible? It's not possible to run the signal through any external output devices such as a Decklink on Windows.
  10. E IZO's HDR reference monitor, ColorEdge PROMINENCE CG3145 will be their new flagship. It will compete with Sony BVM-X300 (HDR) and Dolby PRM-4220 (HDR) but probably be cheaper. 31.1" 4096 x 2160 resolution High dynamic range 1000 cd/m2 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
  11. Stig Olsen

    Want to write reviews?

    Lowepost is looking for tech experts that would like to write product reviews in exchange for products. PM or Thanks, Stig
  12. Stig Olsen


    A great tool for video review and approval. Notation tools allow for comments to be made directly on top of videos by team members and clients, with the ability to point to a specific area of the frame.
  13. Stig Olsen


    CineXinsert overwrites changes to files that you’ve already exported. This means that if there’s a mistake or a problem, you can overwrite the change instead of going back to your editing software and re-exporting the whole file again. 1495USD for the preferred plan, but they have a free version with some limitations.
  14. Stig Olsen

    Upload, review, & share video with your entire team, anywhere in the world. Your files will preview beautifully on the web.