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Old July 7th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #1
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5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

The Technicolor Cinestyle has enabled me to do far more color grading than I was able to do in the past with DSLRs. I recently shot an episode of a Crossing Dumbo, a web series that I created. We used Magic Bullet & FCP 3 way color correction. In Magic Bullet we used up to 6 filters to obtain the bloom in the highlights that we desired. I really enjoy the new latitude that the new Cinestyle gives, in the past the blacks were far to crushed to do much with. I still feel that I am limited on how far I can grade before losing to much information in the image. Has anyone been doing heavy color grading with the new Cinestyle, I would like to hear your thoughts on it?


The rest of the series can be seen at the link below

Dumbo NYC, Brooklyn Crossing Dumbo (DumboNYC.com)



I used a 5D mark II with a 24-105mm F4 L & 14mm F 2.8 L & a 60D as B camera with 50mm F1.2 L with no rigs.

I have attached a before & after color correction images


On a music video for the Dirty Pearls we just premiered last week. We used an XBox Kinect along with the Canon 5D Mark II. The close ups were shot with 5D Mark II with heavy F/X used. Again the amount of detail that we retained using the Technicolor Cinestyle really helped with layers of F/X used.

The post was done FCP & Adobe After Effects

Link to video. Best viewed in HD
The Dirty Pearls – Blue Barn


David Castillo
Director of Photography
Blue Barn Pictures, Inc.
Attached Thumbnails
5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading-cam1.jpg   5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading-cam2.jpg  

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Old July 8th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #2
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Thanks for posting David. I think the color turned out nice after the grading. Overall the video production was not my style. I am not a fan of the zoom/focus adjustments, quick movements and overall smooth shaky cam. I know this is an edgy technique but I find it draws my attention to things other than the reason for watching. - But I am boring! Best of luck.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #3
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Did you shoot -4 contrast? I only ask because I wonder if shooting with such low contrast and cinestyle indoors is something that you see as being useful. Having seen a bunch of tests and done some of my own I have mentally filed cinestyle (combined with -4 contrast) as a setting that I would only use in bright daylight conditions.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

On my monitor, at least, there seems to be a difference in gamma between wider shots and closeup shots. Gamma seems to be a bit high to high on the closes ups giving a bit of a washout feel.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #5
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

I agree with Tim, the 5D should never be handheld. All of the little jitters are a dead giveaway. Good look though to me...
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Old July 9th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

To answer Ben's question, I definitely find Cinestyle useful for interiors to keep the blacks from crushing on capture. I don't tend towards the crushed look anyway (as given in David's examples here) so I'd rather have the extra latitude in the shadows to play with. After years of having the extra room in the toe that HD afforded, it has been tough to lose it with the DSLR's and Cinestyle gives it back.

As far as pushing color correction to an extreme, I think we all know that the codec is somewhat thin. I haven't had much trouble with it but again, my version of pushing things in post is probably less than most people's as I generally lean to a less affected look.

David, it seems slightly ironic to me that you are using your series as an example of what Cinestyle does for you when your CC is so contrasty--even in your camera original, you are lighting to high contrast and then cranking it the rest of the way in the grade. I'm not so much commenting on the results, but just what it is meant to illustrate.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Hello Charles, thanks for your thoughts. So do you always shoot with -4 contrast with cinestyle or do you dial in different contrast settings? I haven't done the testing but I have a suspicion that even with slightly higher contrast cinestyle still won't crush the blacks. The reason I ask is because I've noticed that in situations where the lighting is very even the extra latitude can be more hindrance than help, given the limits in being able to push the codec in CC.

Re your general point on crushed blacks. I think this is interesting because it has become a kind of default look that people add to their footage in CC. I have seen only a couple of examples of a far less aggressive contrast curve achieved with cinestyle and have thought that the look is something that would be totally appropriate for various kinds of subject matter. Documentary is one that comes to mind, but it also has a kind of classic film feel that I really like. If you have any examples of that look that you can share that would be great.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 01:37 AM   #8
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

I've been using Cinestyle indoors for corporate shots that don't feature light skin tones - especially if there are practical lights in the frame.

That said, Cinestyle steals bits from the middle of the range. For dark skinned subjects with bright reflections, it's absolutely great. For mid to light skinned people with soft lighting, it's not so great. In that case you're better off using the Natural picture style and taking care to light the scene evenly so you don't need the extra latitude. Otherwise, you get more blocks and noise on the critical mid tones.

To me, that's the key question to ask before choosing Cinestyle: does mid-toned skin feature prominently in the frame? If not, Cinestyle is almost always a safe choice. If you do feature mid-toned skin, only use Cinestyle if you really need to capture a wide dynamic range.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Can anyone suggest how to best work with the Tech Cinestyle pre-set in FCP X? There is no longer a way to apply the LUT to the footage...what now??
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Old July 11th, 2011, 11:15 AM   #10
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Cineform has a method of applying it in PC version, that I assume is available for Cineform on Mac side to. Essentially, at least on PC side, after converting all your footage, you go into to Firstlight and apply the Cinestyle look that Cineform has specially made for Canon camera footage using the Cinestyle picture style.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 11:25 AM   #11
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post

That said, Cinestyle steals bits from the middle of the range. For dark skinned subjects with bright reflections, it's absolutely great. For mid to light skinned people with soft lighting, it's not so great. In that case you're better off using the Natural picture style and taking care to light the scene evenly so you don't need the extra latitude. Otherwise, you get more blocks and noise on the critical mid tones.

To me, that's the key question to ask before choosing Cinestyle: does mid-toned skin feature prominently in the frame? If not, Cinestyle is almost always a safe choice. If you do feature mid-toned skin, only use Cinestyle if you really need to capture a wide dynamic range.
Okay, this is interesting. I will have to look closely at some recent footage I shot for a director who wanted it shot in Cinestyle. As I customarily do, with my Marshall monitor, and I was putting faces on false colors right around the midtone, as recommended.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #12
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Of course, it depends on the skin tone as well as the contrast of the skin. If you have hard reflections, then Cinestyle is a good choice in order to avoid clipping. But if the skin is lit flat, Cineform really steals bits from that range.

It's an easy test. Shoot a face or hand with flat lighting in Cinestyle and Neutral. Take a close look at the noise and compression blocks. Neutral will almost certainly look better in that case.

One advantage to Cinestyle though is the ability to fix white balance problems. I messed up an outdoor shot recently (fluorescent setting on a cloudy day - oops), but the correction was nice and clean. I don't think I would have gotten as good a result in Neutral.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 05:11 PM   #13
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

Jon are you using Cineform with the .lut adjustment if Firstlight ? Another .lut adjust in Adobe .lut Buddy or FCP ??
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Old July 13th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #14
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

I really do think Technicolor is best suited to scenes where you can't control the lighting and are dealing with high dynamic range - in those situations it's pretty amazing what it can do. In lower contrast situations though you're really giving up a lot of information - profiles like this are designed to be used in a 10bit or higher codec, and when you compress your entire scene into the middle 60% of an 8 bit space you just don't have enough shades of gray to properly render fine gradations.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #15
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Re: 5D Mark II, Technicolor cinestyle and heavy color grading

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Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Jon are you using Cineform with the .lut adjustment if Firstlight ? Another .lut adjust in Adobe .lut Buddy or FCP ??
Hi Chris, I use custom curves.

But the adjustment isn't the issue. To give more bits to the ends, you have to take them from the middle. And that's where the skin tones are. No matter what adjustments you give it after the fact, the mid tones have less information with Cinestyle than with Neutral.
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