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Author Topic: How does BMPCC video/film compare to Canon DLSR with Magic Lantern raw video?  (Read 21572 times)
John Brawley
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2013, 08:40:32 PM »
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What I don't get is why, especially with raw cameras, one cannot shoot a gregtag, or other brand card and have the software build a profile for each camera - colour by numbers totally exact.



In the end you build a LUT that means they match, but usually they aren't matching because they are shooting different things.....No LUT will solve that....

jb
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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2013, 03:56:37 AM »
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You pay (in some way) to build a lut, I dont get why you would not want the processed simplified/automated. Some stuff still photgraphers do and have done for years to speed their workflow might just be useful in the motion world

Also read the second half of my post which covers multi angle.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 04:01:46 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2013, 04:00:28 AM »
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Back to the original question. BMC vs 5drawhack.

Would I not be correct in thinking that all the raw hacks line skip - which will simply make the image more artifaced than the BMC.

I saw an example of some telephone lines that has turned into a nice flight of steps with a hacked 5d.

In terms of usability the BMC scores with SDi lead to go to your monitor, mini HDMI is basically unusable.

I guess if ML has a centre crop 1080 mode with no line skipping then the result could be very good but the crop would render most canon lenses too telephoto and the mirror box restrict other lens choices at the wide end

Raw on a bubget? Id pick a BMC over a hack eight days of the week.

S

« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 04:02:56 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2013, 04:06:07 AM »
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Morgan.

A LUT is used to create a LOOK as well as neutralizing colour imbalance. Mostly we shoot LOG so some kind of "grade" has to be applied anyway.

In resolve a whole look / LUT can be applied nearly automatically with a click of the mouse across hours of rushes.

This way transcoded rushes for editorial will have a non destructive "look" applied. For example I create a day for night LUT for when I need to fake night when shooting day.

JB
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 04:26:12 AM by John Brawley » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2013, 05:01:48 AM »
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Yes I get that. What I am saying is to me there are two steps - getting your camera(s) 'normalised' - making grey grey, or more complexly normalising it to a gregtag card (which is automatic in some stills softwares) and then applying an artistic look to the footage

If you add a single LUT to two slightly mismatched cameras they wont match - but if you normalise the two cams and then add the LUT they will match

So we would have layers/nodes/whatever you want to call them..

greybalance/exposure (camera tab)
normalise lut (makes the colours fit a gregtag card or other)
artistic (could be kodak warm, day for night, whatever)

Having the normalise node/layer helps matching (multiple) cameras and prepares a camera(s) look for the application of an artistic look - which could have been prepared using a third camera at a remote location ie in pre or close to the colourist


..or the look can come 'out of a box' - something that we probably all emotionally dislike, but to a shooter, maybe doing weddings with a large throughput and minimal post budget a very efficient system, one that can be presold to the client - but a boxed look wont work unless working from a normalised input.

I think in stills 'normalise-add look' is the standard workflow, and the normalisation usually a simple click grey, or more complex calibration for product photographers, is entirely autmated or one click unlike Davinci.. and yes it is all 'pastable' to entire sets of images not done clip by clip.







« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 05:25:30 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2013, 07:52:29 AM »
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Yes I get that. What I am saying is to me there are two steps - getting your camera(s) 'normalised' - making grey grey, or more complexly normalising it to a gregtag card (which is automatic in some stills softwares) and then applying an artistic look to the footage



It's "normal" to have LUT's for each camera.

Narrative motion grading workflow is a more complex process.

Shoot on set....Right now I'm shooting ProRes Alexa, (4444) ProRes BMD and DNG, plus RED epic occasionally....
Offload and copy to three separate drives.
Transcode to editorial format (in this case AVID DNx).  At this point each camera has it's own LUT and specific LOOKS, which are easily applied scene by scene or even shot by shot (depending on what's required).  In pre I shoot a chart in a couple of lighting scenarios and we strike the day-to-day LUT's from that.  Again, these aren't usually neutral, but usually have a bit of a look depending on what the show's going for.  These are to give the editors kind of normal-ish looking shots to cut with.
Editorial Cuts.
We go back and CONFORM to the camera original files.  We end up with a mixed timeline in Resolve where R3D's, ProRes and DNG's sit alongside each other. None of them matching  due to being different cameras, different lenses and different photographic positions.

The colourist then "grades" them together to help smooth out the edits...

At that point you're ignoring the LUT's and LOOKS and starting again with the "raw" material.  The original LUT's that are applied are an approximate grade for editorial.  And in storytelling, as it is with stills, the CORRECT WB and profile is rarely the one that looks the best.  Mostly any mismatch in the cameras disappears in the to creative balancing of the grade anyway.  There's no need to be "fussy" in a way, because the colourist will start from scratch anyway.  They usually have your LUT there if they want to switch it on, but LUT's are a bit of a cheat and to get the most they'll start from scratch on each shot generally.

A commercial hour of TV in Australia is 46 mins.  We generally have 16-20 hours to grade 600-800 shots in a timeline. Some shots have dynamic grades.  Most have a few nodes and are simple.  Some have windows and multiple layers to help them along.  That's considered pretty fast.  I've spent 12 hours grading a 30 second commercial.  A 90 min feature film might have 3-4 weeks.


Unlike stills, shots in motion that cut against each other in the edit have differing demands in terms of colour correction.  They need to "match" in order to maintain the suspension of disbelief.  In story telling terms we might also be intercutting between different looks in a flashback or a another place  that's in a  different timezone.  They have to cut against each other and usually what's "right" doesn't look best.

Lighting also changes dynamically within a shot.  In a single shot an actor walks from darkness to a window, lifts the blind to look out the past the dirty curtains which then illuminates the BLUE wall near him before he then moves over to the cabinet where they turn on a dodgy fluro light  So where do you put the grey card ?  Which light source do you balance to ?

I actually think WB is a fools errand.  Like in the old days on film I shoot at two WB settings.  5600K or 3200K.  Every now and then I will go outside of those numbers but I balance my lighting to the WB of the camera, and not the camera to the lighting. If you chase WB on every setup you'll go mad and you'd be there all day shooting frigging grey cards which in the end don't save you any time in post and only cost you time on set.  

The only other time I vary this is to maybe take the green out of some very heavy ND's so I'll swing the Magenta / Cyan in the camera, but manually though adjusting by eye.

Otherwise I never touch the WB and all I ever hear from colourists is how consistent my shots are to grade.  Chasing WB (like ETTR) just leads to inconstancies that take longer to balance out.  Yeah you might get individually better shots chasing those techniques, but in the scheme of things it just makes the workflow more difficult.

jb


« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 08:01:37 AM by John Brawley » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2013, 08:18:52 AM »
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Cinematographers tend to think, insultingly, that photographers are people who take a snap of a sunset and then twonk with that single frame in post for hours.

Do you not think a professional photographer has to create consistent looks across a hotel brochure or fashion brand look book? Not a fleeting cut, but images that must sit on the page for the client and his wife to evaluate at their leisure..(after it is back from the printer with a whole new set of communication issues)

.. and get some sort of look on set for their clients too if shooting tethered?

Do you not think they have to do that to time and to budget?

Do you not think that doing raw commercially for a decade longer than 99% of cinematographers we might have learned something?

I can tell you our "unify+add look" colour workflow is faster, better, cheaper and more consistent because we have more capable software that automates and unifies some of the process - to not be interested in learning about that is purely blinkered.

Sounds to me like your colourist is basically working 'blind'. Costly and doubtless a route for miscommunication. Adequate for drama and art but useless for fashion or product where maroon is 'so 1995' and 'dark red is so 2013'

Can I do this? Well some of the people on this board can, and I do a reasonable job at my level and resource set.

The only wall we don't have to cross is tracking shots.

IMO Smiley




« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 08:22:47 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2013, 08:21:30 AM »
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Morgan...

I'm not trying to get into some kind of pissing match...

I'm just explaining my workflow, just like you're explaining yours and we're way OT for this thread.  I'm aware I'm talking to mostly photographers here.

jb
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2013, 10:12:07 AM »
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Yes I get that. What I am saying is to me there are two steps - getting your camera(s) 'normalised' - making grey grey, or more complexly normalising it to a gregtag card (which is automatic in some stills softwares) and then applying an artistic look to the footage

If you add a single LUT to two slightly mismatched cameras they wont match - but if you normalise the two cams and then add the LUT they will match

Middle grey for every sensor is different. Normalizing it to a 'standard' grey value is flying blind, because you're trying to get the sensor to normalize to something it doesn't know. And you don't know the exact middle grey for a sensor because the manufacturer hasn't shared his coefficients with you.

If you shoot white and expose bang on in spot mode, then you'll get the middle grey the camera was calibrated to. It looks different on every camera. It is interesting to see how IRE is used in the video industry to place skin tones, blacks and whites. With RAW and sRGB monitors, all that goes out the window.

I'm not sure you can get two disparate sensors to match in color. If you get the reds to match, the blues and greens will be off, etc. You can't get perfection in video. Too many problems - poor color space, bayer sensor, motion, changes and variations in lighting and color especially in daylight scenes, artificial lighting on locations (especially fluroscents), codecs, bit rates, chroma subsampling, all kinds of crazy sampling, and poor quality of display units (which is getting better).

The correct way, in my opinion, is the 3D LUT, which pulls all colors together for organic color changes. It is such a simple (to use) method, which anyone can create in a few hours (and years of experience behind him/her). The Waveform and Vectorscope keeps you in check.

Is this slow?

Quote
You pay (in some way) to build a lut, I dont get why you would not want the processed simplified/automated. Some stuff still photgraphers do and have done for years to speed their workflow might just be useful in the motion world

Well, in photography, there's almost always only one person doing everything. In filmmaking, there are many. I would assume the cinematographer and/or DIT will take ownership of all aspects of the image, color being paramount.

Sidney Lumet says in his book 'Making Movies' how he was horrified of labs developing the negatives in the wrong way, or a color timer making the movie look like it wasn't meant to look. I wonder how the Godfather would have looked if someone used a standard curve to lift the shadows...

Photographers get into using software and then become slaves to it. The problem for them is that there's nobody to take them out of their habits. In filmmaking, many individuals constantly battle your cherished beliefs, and compromises and discoveries constantly get made. I don't think I would ever want to lose that.

It even applies to colorists. Photographers don't have anybody looking over their shoulders, while colorists have to please many people, and work fast at the same time. There is a school of thought that LUTs are bad for colorists, since it restricts their art. But the DPs vision is final, and that vision in encapsulated in a LUT.

To answer the OP, the Pocket camera is miles better, simply because it's a better workflow. I think 99.9% of those who use it would be very happy with just Prores. I was blown away by it. All the issues have been fixed, and it simply delivers great video right out of the box with Prores in Film mode. If there is something I don't like, it's the noise in the shadows, even in raw (studying the DNG stills John had posted on twitter). I'm not sure ETTR is good enough to fix it, but I'll need to see more footage to know for sure.

Can't wait for the 4K version to come out.
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2013, 10:32:25 AM »
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Im talking about normalising to a gregtag card (or other more appropriate tool) - sure one can geek out about sensor differences, but two raw stills cams even with a simple click grey (missing in resolve) will get a lot closer than not doing that - instantly with no skill/time. Sinar Capture Shop does not grey balance it matches a colour card with a single click.

It is theoretically possible in video from raw to a crappy codec - just the latter may break

As for no one looking over the shoulder of photographers - well if you shoot professional shoots you can have all sorts of heavy people looking over your shoulder right down a long chain from onset tethered capture to final print delivery

And yes IMO the BMC is better than a hacked DSLR for a million reasons Smiley

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« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2013, 08:22:06 PM »
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Sareesh,

If you know a photographer that makes a living at this and doesn't have someone looking over their shoulder in creative treatment, pre production, production, post production and delivery, then I'd like to know who they work for because that's the gig we'd all like.

In my experience if there is money on the table, there is somebody across from you counting it out.

When I work with colorists, I try not to spend a lot of time in the booth as I think it's usually counterproductive if you know where you want a shot to go.

I take a series of stills from the footage, run them through either DiVinci and/or Photoshop, make prints, with an instruction sheet of where I want the scene to go and then spend about an hour going over the footage and maybe another hour in room, but after that I usually go.   The colorists I work with can run virtually real time online and I can run a monitor in the studio while I work and stay in touch that way.

Morgan,

I'm not sure your ever going to find an easy system (raw or cooked) where you can exactly match every camera, especially if their different camera models.  Even our Scarlet next to the two RED 1's with the same RED color and RED gamma, the settings as close as possible, don't exactly match, in fact it's scene dependent but sometimes they don't get very close to matching out of the camera and when click balanced still don't match up without a lot of hand work.


IMO

BC
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« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2013, 09:07:23 PM »
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Sareesh,

If you know a photographer that makes a living at this and doesn't have someone looking over their shoulder in creative treatment, pre production, production, post production and delivery, then I'd like to know who they work for because that's the gig we'd all like.

Maybe I should have stated it better. I was not referring to clients or customers actually, but to professionals who will challenge your technical fundamentals - directors, DPs and DITs usually clash when it comes to these things. A well-informed client might have a good eye for the winning image, but will never be able to tell you how to pull it off with a LUT or a software setting or a camera setting.

Even in post, editors challenge directors, colorists challenge directors (and DPs), and so on. Reality checks come on various levels. The cool thing about film collaboration is that you have people challenging you while and even before you're working, so you can 'fix' it. What you don't know technically, you can't fix.

Of course, all this is assuming we all know are technical craft. Stanley Kubrick or Kurosawa would have kept their DPs on their toes, and a Roger Deakins will keep any director on his or her toes. Wasn't trying to comment on photographers at all in general, just making a point on the importance of DPs and DITs.

Quote
When I work with colorists, I try not to spend a lot of time in the booth as I think it's usually counterproductive if you know where you want a shot to go.

True, unless you have a personality that can hold back. You can't be overbearing, because that defeats the purpose of collaboration. Everyone finds a system based on what resources they've got and who they have to put up with.

I'm pretty sure you would stick around if it was a new colorist, wouldn't you?
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« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2013, 10:13:28 PM »
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I'm pretty sure you would stick around if it was a new colorist, wouldn't you?

On some of this I was kidding you, but like most things in life there is perception and reality.

A DP and operator that moved in next to me said he'd "like to get into still photography because it's just one person's art and the money is better".

Maybe he's right, but basically all of the photographic arts are  collaborative.  Actually the very best photographs I've ever produced I can't show because everything was so challanged going in, that it took every thing I knew to save it, though  it was still challanged due to subject and circumstance.

But would I hang around a new colorist?  I dunno, maybe it depends.  If I go in prepared and have shot so the imagery can go a certain direction then hopefully it's not a huge leap to get where I want it to be.

If I didn't I guess I'd stay there the whole session, but today's world is much different than before, because the very first thing we say today is what we want, punctuated very strongly and quickly by "how much?".

We all know that given today's post production reach a lot can be done on the backend as long as the budget and the schedule permits it.

But all of this, whether your a still photographer a second unit camera operator or Roger Dekins is all down to personality and who you work with.  If I work with A grade crew and a open minded client the project will always sing, but if we work with people with agendas that don't match (understand not wrong agendas, just not the same agendas), then it will suffer.

Last night I saw Sandra Bullock on a show and she said "nobody goes into a project to do a bad movie" and she's right, nobody starts out to make something that won't work.  The thing is client's subject, stories, have to be flexible, same with colorists, or anyone in the technical arts.

A day that calls for sun and it rains is still a rainy day and either requires coming back, or rewriting for rain.  To ask anyone to make it a sunny day just won't work and that's where most things go sideways.

Unintended but well meaning anticipations without anyone talking reality never works.

So, I hope when I walk into the color suite my anticipations match not just the talent of the artist but the reality of what I'm handing over.

If I do that, then no I won't spend much time there.

IMO

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« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2013, 02:38:59 AM »
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I'm not sure your ever going to find an easy system (raw or cooked) where you can exactly match every camera, especially if their different camera models.  Even our Scarlet next to the two RED 1's with the same RED color and RED gamma, the settings as close as possible, don't exactly match, in fact it's scene dependent but sometimes they don't get very close to matching out of the camera and when click balanced still don't match up without a lot of hand work.


IMO

BC

You have to admit that a grey click gets the cameras in the ballpark - davinci does not even have that.

My old sinar (similar to a phase p25) would click to a gretag card malking all 24 colours number accurate - in fact I think it worked off the bigger chart too maybe 64 numbers colour accurate by number - one click .

Do that with two cameras and they "match" and are ready to add and artistic grade

Of course if one camera has plastic highlights or muddy darks then they won't actually match - but to me it seems the best start point..

I've basically retired that sinar but it still get the occasional outing in the studio for product and really I'm completely lost without that one click start point when photographing stuff that needs accurate colour. I seem to one of very few who rember how well that sinar workflow worked Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2013, 03:31:46 AM »
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On some of this I was kidding you, but like most things in life there is perception and reality.

Totally with you. Reality bites.

In the end, regardless of the kind of work we end up doing, I feel we're all making videos because it gives us, if only for a few days, the power to play god.

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« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2013, 04:20:29 AM »
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Cinematographers tend to think, insultingly, that photographers are people who take a snap of a sunset and then twonk with that single frame in post for hours.

Do you not think a professional photographer has to create consistent looks across a hotel brochure or fashion brand look book? Not a fleeting cut, but images that must sit on the page for the client and his wife to evaluate at their leisure..(after it is back from the printer with a whole new set of communication issues)

.. and get some sort of look on set for their clients too if shooting tethered?

Do you not think they have to do that to time and to budget?

Do you not think that doing raw commercially for a decade longer than 99% of cinematographers we might have learned something?
Cinematographers are also highly skilled at things right in camera as they do not have the luxury of fixing in post, so maybe stills photographers may have something to learn from them. Plus I'm not sure why you are having a go at John, he's simply posted useful stuff about how he works and not how you should work.

Quote
I can tell you our "unify+add look" colour workflow is faster, better, cheaper and more consistent because we have more capable software that automates and unifies some of the process - to not be interested in learning about that is purely blinkered.

Sounds to me like your colourist is basically working 'blind'. Costly and doubtless a route for miscommunication. Adequate for drama and art but useless for fashion or product where maroon is 'so 1995' and 'dark red is so 2013'

Can I do this? Well some of the people on this board can, and I do a reasonable job at my level and resource set.

The only wall we don't have to cross is tracking shots.

IMO Smiley
I agree that stills post processing tools are very good and having to process what is effectively jpegs is frustrating when one has come from a stills RAW workflow background, but the workflow in professional film productions is not something that got worked out a few weeks ago. It's been around as have most of the issues to be overcome since the colour film was first used as seeing and as seeing a badly matched shot is very rarely seen that indicates film/tv/ad makers do actually know what they are doing. And are not exactly working blind.
Though having said that a raw film workflow would certainly make life much easier.
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« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2013, 04:29:24 AM »
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Lighting also changes dynamically within a shot.  In a single shot an actor walks from darkness to a window, lifts the blind to look out the past the dirty curtains which then illuminates the BLUE wall near him before he then moves over to the cabinet where they turn on a dodgy fluro light  So where do you put the grey card ?  Which light source do you balance to ?

I actually think WB is a fools errand.  Like in the old days on film I shoot at two WB settings.  5600K or 3200K.  Every now and then I will go outside of those numbers but I balance my lighting to the WB of the camera, and not the camera to the lighting. If you chase WB on every setup you'll go mad and you'd be there all day shooting frigging grey cards which in the end don't save you any time in post and only cost you time on set. 

The only other time I vary this is to maybe take the green out of some very heavy ND's so I'll swing the Magenta / Cyan in the camera, but manually though adjusting by eye.

Otherwise I never touch the WB and all I ever hear from colourists is how consistent my shots are to grade.  Chasing WB (like ETTR) just leads to inconstancies that take longer to balance out.  Yeah you might get individually better shots chasing those techniques, but in the scheme of things it just makes the workflow more difficult.
I recall when first starting working on film one cameraman I worked with did exactly what you did, when everyone else I'd worked with was using a white/grey card to get a perfectly neutral white balance. Now there are two issues with WBing the heck out of a scene.
1. As you said where do you WB as it can will vary across a shot. A lot.
2. More importantly you lose the room tone of the location and scenes won't look right/good.
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« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2013, 04:49:18 AM »
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You have to admit that a grey click gets the cameras in the ballpark - davinci does not even have that.

My old sinar (similar to a phase p25) would click to a gretag card malking all 24 colours number accurate - in fact I think it worked off the bigger chart too maybe 64 numbers colour accurate by number - one click .

Do that with two cameras and they "match" and are ready to add and artistic grade
There's an action/script you can run in Photoshop to work out an ACR calibration for any camera. I used it in early iterations of Lightroom as ACR struggled to differentiate oranges and reds in Canons. There are scripts for various colour charts to be found here. So if you want to use PS or LR to grade shots then this may be of use.

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« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2013, 06:11:01 AM »
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Jjj

I acknowledge that movie people (paticularly john, as a shhoter,who is a hero shooter to me!) get a nice result - often with vans of gear and troops of people.

I seek a good result without those resources. My imaging journey started with an fm2 and a roll of tmax followed by deep post by me in the darkroom milking the most from a negative. That simplicity stopped for a decade 1998 to 2005 as I worked with shitty digital stills cams slowly I employed trucks and troops to make my stuff nice. The d3 and raw in 2009 brought back the simple shoot joy I had in my early 20s. The d3 and raw processing really enabled me to strip back my stills shoots to my early style.

I now seek simplicity on set (followed bu deep post) with shooting motion and witness cine people suggesting that the trucks and troops is "how it must be done" - I feel that with deeper exploration of the post of raw shooting movie cameras is does not need to be like that (if course it still can be) - I will take on any cinematographer who sticks to those guns however much I like them and their work. I just do not beleive that most cinamatogtaphrts are that smooth with raw post which we have been doing in the main for a decade longer than them. Stills and motion have merged we have a lot to learn from video people from sound  to..,well everything, and pretty much the only thing we confidently bring to the party is good skills with raw!

Thanks for the scripts but I don't want to post process motion in Lr or ps - I'd like to use davinci which is awesome apart from a missing "start point" - I cannot see how wanting a start point is in any way controversial .. And davinci is developed though feedback from users of which I guess John (as a bm "ambassador") is an influential such user.. I'm just trying to get davinci made as good as it could be through public debate.. Smiley
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 06:24:36 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
www.sammorganmoore.com -photography
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« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2013, 06:30:17 AM »
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.. A start point doesn't have to be used hard.. it can be used intelligently to create "room tone" for example I love leaving my tungsten s yellow the cam on 5.5k and just adding a little 5.5k kicker to paint a picture.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 06:33:02 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
www.sammorganmoore.com -photography
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