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ColorGHear TOOLKIT- color grading SYSTEM for AE
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  • @shian I'm no expert and i don't know what you'd normally shoot at, but reading through Roger Deakins' forum, i read that he with the Alexa he has the possibility to shoot with just the available light. Doesn't that mean he does sometimes shoot over 1600 ISO? Just thinking out loud here. I would think the Alexa can effortlessly handle that and that digital sensors now far exceed the capabilities of film?

  • @johnnym really interesting info

    @shian would be greatly appreciated if you'd find a recipe against the horizontal banding!

  • @johnnym Excellent point. The Alexa has an amazing sensor, and costs $80,000 for a body. I can't show you the footage because the project is still in development, but in 2010 I shot a short scene for a proof of concept in available light on the RED M-X @1600 with Zeiss super speeds, and 1600 worked great. But you should have seen how freaked out the producer was that I was even considering going past 800, and not using lights. We did a couple of test shots at 2000 and 3200 in that same light just to see what would we get, and after looking at the footage projected, It was a unanimous decision that we never exceed 1600 on the project. There was noise, mild banding and sensor pattern grids (moire) that would require heavy post processing, and would not fit within the budget (Which by Hollywood standards was low, but it's more money than most of us will make in a lifetime).

    There was a lot of discussion amongst my colleagues when the Alexa and the M-X chip first came out about how little noise there was @1600, and with really fast lenses we could shoot things we couldn't shoot before. BUT there are problems - enough so that my old mentor John Lowry was called upon to scrub the grain, moire, and banding in all the 2000 ISO footage from "The Social Network" to make it presentable. And trust me there's NOTHING on the market that even approaches John's methods ( ) If there was, Reliance wouldn't be in business. You could take your footage to Reliance, and you'd spend more than the cost of an Alexa just fixing one scene shot in available light to get that look. So don't take everything you read at face value. There are forces at work behind the scenes that are beyond our meager pocketbooks. Roger Deakins doesn't operate in the same monetary world as the average DSLR shooter. I'm advising you based on your GH2 purchase, and assuming you do not posses the monetary means to shoot Alexa or RED, and pay high 6 figures for post-production.

    And we're talking about the Alexa and the M-X, NOT the GH2 - 4K 4:4:4 cameras with high native ISOs vs a 1080 4:2:0 camera with a 320 native ISO. Having shot on all 3, I'm telling you, there is no comparison. I love my GH2, and when used within it's limitations I can get really great looking stuff out of it, but it is simply not in the same class with Alexa and RED, not at 1600, not even close, much less above. And everything I've shot at 1600 I've used GHrain Killer on to ease the noise and mild moire. I've shown you that the GH2 has a limited effective Dynamic Range, and in the film school series I'll show you how to operate within that range, how to think within the limitations in order to have flexibility within that range, BUT you are limited to that range.

    I get it, we all love our GH2. It is an AMAZING cameras, and with the hack development, we've learned that the camera is so much more than what people thought it could be. Many of us, myself included, have made the mistake believing it was MORE than it was capable of being. (There's a lot of 5D and 7D users making the same mistakes) But it has limitations. Who knows? Maybe the GH3 will be the camera to smash through the boundaries, maybe the C300 and the Mark III already have (Granted they are pricey). I'm sure someday soon, digital will sense light as well as the human eye, if not better, with no noise or artifacts. But it's not now, and we live and work in the now.

    The banding issue can be fixed right now, but it has to be done by an intricate, patented process. And it's about as much fun to do as a root canal. If I could figure out how to do it another way...well I'd be rich. And there are already finer minds than my own that have been working on the problem for years. And before you ask, no, I can't do a tutorial on it... not without being sued. It is a patented process. I've been very careful that everything I've done with CGT not infringe upon those patents. It's very serious business.

    But like i said, I'll try to find a way within CGT to reduce the effect, but for now, don't shoot above 1600. -- There's an old joke about the guy who goes to the doctor and says, "My arm hurts when I bend it like this". And the doctor says, "It's not suppose to bend like that. Knock it off."

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  • great reading shian, what amazes me is that post can almost fix or modify everything you get out of camera yet its kinda a downside to it. trying to get the best quality out of the camera when you are shooting is the best one can do!

  • It's the same with everything though isn't it. Anything can be fixed, it's just a matter of how much money you have to throw at it.

  • Anyone gone through post-processing pain would wanna get it right next time ;)

  • Sorry to delay the grain tutorial again (its coming along nicely, all the mysterious inner workings of GK will be revealed) but I just got offered the DP gig on a well known pay cable series (details to come after the paperwork is signed), I'm going to be slammed for the next few weeks, but I will try desperately to finish the tutorial and get it online in my down time, so hopefully this weekend.

  • Thanks Shian Looking forward to it =)

  • What????? More!!!!

    Ok we can wait ;)

  • updated reel

    Now contains footage from my recent shoots, and some shots have updated grading with release version of CGT. (2011 Reel done with prototype)

  • @shian

    How did you light this:

    It looks spectacular as an ungraded grab and I'm trying to achieve something similar but fail. I assume it's "just" the lighting that is different to my approach and not the lens etc, seeing as you are shooting with a Nikkor 1.8 too (which I have) and the lighting on those are similar to this one (in terms of quality). Do you recall what you used here? How many lights and at what angles, what quality? Not sure if I'm on the right track with my assumptions.

  • Really beautiful stuff Shian!

  • Great stuff Shian and a fan of your work =)

  • @starstuff i rarely use more than 4 lights. This was done with 2 plastic ball-lights, which are just these cheap white balls of plastic that you stick an incandescent bulb in. They were on either side of the bed about 7 feet apart, and we had them up on wine glasses to get them a little higher, and more even with his head. the back one was pulled out a bit from the wall to get a better angle. You could use small china-balls instead and it'll do the same thing. And I had them on dimmers. (go build a few, like right now...I'm serious. Why are you still reading this? Go make yourself some damn dimmers!!!) I used some double stick tape to stick a 2 foot flo bar on the wall above his head (the hair highlight got cropped in that pic), and there is no fill light

    The colors of the sheets, head board, and curtains helps a lot. You can't pull this off with white walls and white sheets. In my opinion white walls are at best; a nuisance, and at worst; the devil. It'll all be covered in the CGT film school - coming very soon.

  • @shian Thanks shian. That is interesting... will get some white balls at the home depot today! Amazing that this lighting method is so cheap yet convincing. I've read somewhere those china balls got used in the Harry Potter series too and I love the lighting in those.

  • I really can't wait for the CGT Film School! I hope it will come very soon. Your tips are amazing - can't wait to see them on video - on the set.

  • @shian: Is this patented process called Dynamic Rounding by any chance? Just stumbled upon it. I am battleing banding stuff myself. Lots of sky/ocean shots with overcast skies, fine gradients. Lovely light but hard to grade.

  • He secretly says. Ha ha :)

  • My new gig, at least for the next 2 weeks. DPing the season 2 finale.

    Proof that hard work and perseverance pay off...and a little talent doesn't hurt.

    I wish I could document the process so you could see what its like to work on something this big, but I just signed paperwork prohibiting that. I will definitely try to at least share everything I learn shooting this thing in the Film School Series.

  • That's fantastic news! Congrats to you, Shian!!

  • ummmm, lucky dog :)

  • heheh nice girls ;D cant wait to get some tips on that experience!

  • @shian ,

    PM'd with an update, but thought I'd post a before and after grab to your thread as well. Hope you enjoy.

    Ignore, the darker processed image. Was having monitor problems, and now for some reason it won't let me delete the attached image.

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    Dan processed.png
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