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Old May 31st, 2011, 03:53 AM   #46
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

There's certainly less noise and better colour fidelity when properly using this PP/LUT but using ProRes444 wont improve performance - it will just waste hard disk space.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 02:41 AM   #47
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

Hi Liam,

Well it depends on what you want. Knowing that 4444 is overkill, on paper, is one thing. But since we know that using a more compressed editing codec than 4444 (while the stats indicate that 5D footage, natively, is not going to make use of the capacity or features of the 4444 codec) throws away data - and colour data at that - it's worth learning exactly what is being thrown away.

There is some anecdotal evidence that using the 4444 codec with a post-process like 5DtoRGB seems to better retain the overal colour gamut of an image (Robin Schmidt, Director, Editor and DSLR mentalist 5D to RGB the follow up: bigger comparison yes yes (Prores 422 SQ)). And since colour fidelity and range is major reason for using the Technicolor pp in the first place, I thought it was worth a look.

Big files? Yes. More pleasing results than other codecs? Certainly. For general use? Possibly not. Will I continue experimenting? Definitely. I feel no need to be declarative on the topic at this time as I'm still learning about it and enjoy seeing the results.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 08:18 PM   #48
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

Forgive my ignorance, but I have a couple questions about this Cinestyle thing.

Is there a difference between loading the profile onto the camera and manually setting the sharpness, contrast and saturation to the same levels that the Cinestyle preset dictates? Also, If I remember correctly, when you first load the Cinestyle onto the camera, Contrast is ZERO, but in their docs, they tell you to set it to -4. Why would they have just made this the preset when loaded in?

On the post side of things, is there any point in monkeying with the LUT settings, or is loading the S-Curve LUT simple enough? I'm using LUT Buddy, and there seems to be several options.

Cheers,

Sterling
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 06:28 AM   #49
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

Sterling,

This is my understanding, and thus likely to be incomplete and perhaps plain wrong. Perhaps others will be kind enough to correct my misunderstandings but here goes:

As I understand it, the pp for these cameras is generally inaccessible except via the Picture Style Editor (Canon : Picture Style). This gives you access to the overall gamma settings for the camera - the relationships between Hue, Saturation and Luma levels, right across the chroma and luma ranges. This is often referred to as an 'S-curve' and has features such as the 'toe' (the shadow HSL relationships) and the 'knee' (the highlight HSL relationships). This can give a fundamental 'look', emulating the chemical reactions of film emulsions during film processing. It is more than just contrast, saturation and sharpness.

Additionally, the Techinicolor profile seems to have 're-programmed' this feature in the 5D to permit more of the colour gamut (the total range of colour seen by the sensor) to be captured within the h.264 codec whereas before, it was limited to the rec.601 colourspace, if I remember correctly. It is the first pp to do this by encoding using log maths, I think, and is a minor miracle. Like old vinyl records, it needs to be 'decoded' again (like RIAA) so that the original image can be conveyed as it was seen by the sensor. The compressed nature of the h.264 codec requires that this be done, and the Technicolor pp is more adept than others at retaining the original scene. It's as near to a raw, unmolested setting as you will likely get out of this generation of the 5D (and the next, I'm guessing).

The camera has additional, on-board settings for contrast and sharpness. If you are happy to use these, you are effectively grading the footage as you shoot. The thinking is that this may be fine for some content but that ultimately, you will get a much higher quality of grade (and stress the acquisition codec less - h.264) if you get as much information off the sensor as you can and do this (contrast, sharpening, saturation) in post.

I hope this is not too full of errors and helps rather than hinders.
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Last edited by Justin Benn; June 2nd, 2011 at 06:30 AM. Reason: Oh the humanity...
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 10:06 AM   #50
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

Justin,

Thanks for your response. This is good information to know. I'm renting two addition cameras for a shoot, and I wasn't sure if I could just manually adjust the style setting or if I have to actually load the style onto the cameras. Now I know!!

Cheers,

Sterling
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 04:45 AM   #51
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

Justin,

It's interesting that you can see a difference using ProRes4444. My own tests showed no difference apart from a much larger file size. The difference in the two tests is that you are using 5DtoRGB to transcode your footage.

When I get five minutes I'll test your workflow - every little helps...
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Old June 5th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #52
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

I was at CineGear this weekend, Technicolor was there with one of their scientists showing and explaining their picture style. The Genesis of it was this as I recall . Many DP's are grabbing shots with the 5D and dropping them in Technicolors lap and telling them to match the other film footage. Knowing this wasn't going to change anytime soon, they approached Canon, got on their good side, which allowed TC to get a glimpse inside the processing of the camera, such that they were able to rearrange the way the data was written so that the curve is flat, giving equal data space to the whole range. All for the purpose of making their job easier as mentioned before. So if you want the most possible latitude in post, this PS is what you want, especially when matching other cameras footage.

So the bottom line is that we totally benefit from TC's self serving ( I mean that in a totally a win-win way) engineering so that DP's can give them 5D footage that has a hope of integration into the larger projects.
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:34 PM   #53
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Re: Technicolor Cinestyle Initial Tests

FWIW:

Did some testing today with the Cinestyle preset, or rather, our intern did. Didn't want to clog the forum so thought I'd post here as it's just another TEST video. Check out the Vimeo description for some more details on the LUTs used.

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