[Tig] On the Post-Quantel debacle and the evolution of the business.

Rob Lingelbach rob at colorist.org
Fri Sep 2 20:51:15 BST 2011


That last question of yours is the telling one Jim.  

A client could walk out of a facility in Boise, Idaho, get on a plane to Brussels, and have the same (+ or -, < or >) color to load into the background plates for e.g. Lord of the Rings XXI without much ado about conversions, standards, etc.  More likely it would be a Tuborg spot, and who needs a plane when you have worldwide bandwidth, but I think you get the point.  There do seem to be reasons against such standardization, in that it might stifle innovation and disallow certain creative intent (think of Rec709 vs. P3) but within say, one hemisphere, it would be nice to be able to up- or download content without having to do motion compensation, compression, color transforms, and all the rest of the hoopla.

I've used FLEX on a few projects and it saved lots of time and effort.

Rob

(quoting Jim's entire text below by permission)

On Sep 2, 2011, at 12:31 PM, Jim Lindelien wrote:

> 
> Your idea of a standard CDL need not stifle innovation.  I faced this question when I invented the Film Log EDL eXchange file format (aka "FLEX protocol") for the TLC, and very consciously decided upon a simple means to allow any end-user/post house to add informational records to FLEX files in a manner that would not "break" the file for any other user, nor demand lengthy formalized processes involving a "standards committee" (often politicized and manipulated by powerful manufacturers) in first adjudicating them.  Once enough post houses like a particular extension, I figured, it was in effect standardized by "natural selection pressure": it's popularity among actual users.  In the case of FLEX, I just wrote up the definition of the protocol and sent copies to anyone I thought might be interested, and it caught on by osmosis.  Your point about extensibility via open APIs is the modern day equivalent.
> 
> As for an open CDL itself one needs it to be divorced from the details of any particular product architecture, since forcing one architecture on all suppliers would be seen as anti-competitive and stifling.  At essence one would need to define a series or sequence of transforms (in the mathematical sense of the word), and each transform's scope over x,y (arbitrary region of the image) and t (time duration).  "Transforms" being more than just the input/output LUTs of the color space, but any formally defined VFX (such as the adding or removal of grain, compositing from add'l files, some standardized some not, etc.).  
> 
> And of course it has to represent all this information in a manner either tied to a particular project's image resolution, or ideally convey the info in a more abstracted manner (e.g., not integer x,y data, but floating point x,y ratiometric to the size of the image and with enough precision that exact integer x,y's result anyway, when applied to any given picture resolution.
> 
> Of course getting the TV manufacturers to live up to any standard these days seems very problematic, what with the "Vibrant Color" modes and etc. being pushed these days, and the inherent differences in display technologies.  This is not a reason for the whole industry to just give up on the idea, however--just the opposite.
> 
> But, first, exactly what business or creative problem is solved in creating this standard CDL?
> 
> Jim
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM, Rob Lingelbach <rob at colorist.org> wrote:
> 
> On Sep 2, 2011, at 9:21 AM, Jim Lindelien wrote:
> 
> > 1. Cost pressures on the industry are relentless and the idea of very
> > expensive big box products strikes me as increasingly unlikely
> 
> My wish, which if it were to happen would be far in the future, is that a standard
> Color Decision List (open source) be used between systems, such that a grading done on one system
> on one particular day be reproducible on another system on another day.   Many things
> conspire against this, however, not the least that it would reduce profit and incentives for same.  There is
> also the point that it might stifle innovation, though with Plug-in APIs there are ways to induce competition.
> 
> 
> --
> Rob Lingelbach   Senior Colorist, Dolby Laboratories
> rob at colorist.org http://rob.colorist.org
> 
> 

--
Rob Lingelbach   Senior Colorist, Dolby Laboratories
rob at colorist.org http://rob.colorist.org



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