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Old December 17th, 2008, 09:31 PM   #1
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Picture Style Editor - Creating Profiles

Have many of you tried the Picture Style Editor? Canon refers to it as "PSE". I think the "P" stands for "piece of." I'll let you guess what the "S" stands for...

When creating a gamma curve, they didn't implement bezier curves. Instead, the software wants to make stair steps.

We're working on ways to make desired profiles, which I'll post later, but for now I have to run...
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Old December 18th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #2
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When creating a gamma curve, they didn't implement bezier curves. Instead, the software wants to make stair steps.
I wonder if it's due to a limitation in the camera itself.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 04:04 AM   #3
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I wonder if it's due to a limitation in the camera itself.
It could be.

The curves only take 10 points, and the connecting algorithm is "interesting". Our current approach is to put most of the points down near black to try to lift it up to 16 without causing the stair steps. We don't bother bringing the whites down to 235. It's up to the operator not to overexpose within the smaller window.

The results look pretty good so far, but we're fighting some hardware/software problems right now. We'll post the profiles tomorrow...
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Old December 18th, 2008, 11:00 AM   #4
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Have many of you tried the Picture Style Editor? Canon refers to it as "PSE". I think the "P" stands for "piece of." I'll let you guess what the "S" stands for...
Canon does pretty much sucks at software. Red should have a real advantage in that area.
I emailed on of the third part remote control vendors to see if they're going to work on video.

But like the "P" in PSU, Canon is a least honest in naming its products. People have complained for years about the low quality of the XL viewfinder. Canon's $2000 upgrade viewfinder is the FU-1000.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #5
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I've never understood the complaints about the price of that EVF... it's under $1700, and it's no more expensive than any other traditional monochrome CRT EVF (it is simply a re-branded Ikegami). There's nothing wrong with its price.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #6
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Back on the Picture Style Editor... there are a few fundamental problems when attempting to create a 16-235 profile:

1) There are no gain and offset (contrast and brightness) controls in the PSE that can be applied to profiles. Apparently, they failed their "Introduction to Video" class.

2) There is a "Brightness" control in the "Preliminary Adjustments" area. There are two problems here: Brightness in Canon's world means gain, rather than offset and preliminary adjustments are just to get the photo in range. They are not saved in the profile that can be loaded in to the camera.

3) In the Advanced menu of the tool palette, you can adjust "Contrast." This actually adjusts Gamma, not gain. However, if you want a more linear result, it can be helpful to turn this down.

4) You can adjust HSL - but only for selected color regions, not globally. Each region is feathered, and cannot go beyond 180 degrees of hue range, so you can't stack regions to make a global change.

5) The luma curve applies globally, but you can't just put a point at (0, 16) and another at (255, 235) and have it draw a straight line. Instead it creates a high gain from each point and makes a big stair step in the middle. It turns 90% of the picture to mid gray. You can add up to 10 points, but any high gain area creates a series of steps.

We are experimenting with critical placement of the 10 points to get a flatter picture within the 16-235 region. The results are promising, but not ideal. We're still working on the best solution...
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Old December 18th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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We are experimenting with critical placement of the 10 points to get a flatter picture within the 16-235 region. The results are promising, but not ideal. We're still working on the best solution...
Thanks for doing this, John.
I, for one, will be happy to have a preset that is "flat."
While I'd love a great and usable picture straight out of the camera, I actually kind of prefer doing my CC in post. I'm not that good at it, but I feel it gives me more latitude in the long run.
So when I read that a pro like you is making a "flat" and safe preset, it puts my mind at ease that I won't have to go through that hell myself - which would never be nearly as good.

So thank you for your efforts. And the same to all the rest who are providing us lazy and confused people awesome presets that will make us and our projects look better.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #8
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Canon does pretty much sucks at software.
Here's the thing - if you use Canon's 'Digital Photo Professional' tool to process your RAW images you actually get a pretty decent tone curve editor. Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a way to use it to generate a picture style. So like a lot of things with this camera it seems like canon could do things better but have chosen not to (unless it is a hardware limitation of the camera).
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Old December 18th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #9
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So far I've had little luck... the picture curve editor seems to anchor 0 and 255 at those values - you can only shift values between 1 and 254. This means the curve always stretches to the full range, so even when I create a low contrast or inverse-S curve the resulting footage displays with some clipped whites and blacks in quicktime.

This isn't to say it's useless - you can get a much better looking overall image (less crushed) with a gentle inverse-s in a custom color profile. However I don't think it's going to work as a solution for the clipping - I think that's either going to have to be a fix in quicktime or a firmware change.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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A couple of my profiles I have been using.

Index of /canon5dmk2/Presets

AdvancedFlat.pf2
Flat2.pf2

Samples show 2 of them, for reference standard preset is also show. WB is too warm but you get the comparisons.

BR, James
Attached Thumbnails
Picture Style Editor - Creating Profiles-standard.jpg   Picture Style Editor - Creating Profiles-advancedflat.jpg  

Picture Style Editor - Creating Profiles-flat2.jpg  
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Old December 18th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #11
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...attempting to create a 16-235 profile
What is the purpose of creating a 16-235 profile? Is it because your preferred post-production software cannot read the superwhites and sub-blacks? And you don't want to hassle with workarounds, such as converting to an intermediate and compressing to 16-235?

My XHA1 also records 0-255, and Vegas uses the full range automatically. Unfortunately, Premiere cannot read it, so I have to use a workaround:

Restore clipped highlight detail in Premiere Pro with superwhites

I will probably try to find a similar workaround for the 5d2, as it would offend my delicate sensibilities to give up even 8% of my color depth. :)
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Old December 19th, 2008, 02:35 AM   #12
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What is the purpose of creating a 16-235 profile? Is it because your preferred post-production software cannot read the superwhites and sub-blacks?
So far, nobody has identified software on the PC that can read the out of range values. (I can't recall if Carbon Coder works on the PC, but it costs $5k.)

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And you don't want to hassle with workarounds, such as converting to an intermediate and compressing to 16-235?
Most software uses the Quicktime decoder to read the MOV file. The Quicktime decoder clips the result, so coding to an intermediate format doesn't help. If Quicktime offered gain and offset controls, I could tweak and export, but it lacks those features.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #13
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So far, nobody has identified software on the PC that can read the out of range values. (I can't recall if Carbon Coder works on the PC, but it costs $5k.)
Makes sense.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 03:02 AM   #14
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So far, nobody has identified software on the PC that can read the out of range values...
I have... It's posted all over the place... I even posted sample pictures... NewTek SpeedEDIT. (http://www.newtek.com/speededit/) It uses it's own internal decoder instead of quickitme. Costs 500 bux I think.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 11:33 AM   #15
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Luis, I've been working with SE, and while it seems to work OK with anything thrown at it internally, it doesn't seem to play well with others, like After Effects. While AE sees SE's encoders, AE still seems to crash. Suggestions as to good 4:2:2 or uncompressed .avi codecs to export out of SE besides DV, which seems about the only thing that works?
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