[Tig] Grading 16mm

Samuel Cheeseman camera.mule at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 15:57:45 GMT 2015

Hi Chris

Good news: if you're not going back out to a film deliverable (I assume
you're not anyway) then you don't need to worry. The are a lot of clever
things that can be done during the processing and the rest but if you've
already been delivered the DPX then that phase has already past you.

The real pain about grading film was things like always grading underneath
a LUT and having to worry about how the chemistry of the DI or print could
throw things off later. If you've only got digital deliverables though
then, again - not your problem anymore.

Here's a simple way to think about it: Is you grading display set to Rec709
and calibrated correctly? It is? Wonderful. Then what you see is what
you'll get when you watch your grade on another correctly calibrated Rec709
(I have no idea where you live so I'm avoiding mentioning Gamma

If it's looking low contrast or 'milky' then it will be log scans. I have
no idea what the other material is but it should slide in nicely with Arri
LogC. If it is Cineon Log and you're grading RED Epic/Dragon/whatever then
you'll find that REDLogFilm for the Debayer will match the film contrast
very closely.

Just remember: it's not sorcery so you don't need to be a wizard. If you
don't have to worry about Film deliverables then you can just grade it. If
it looks good on your (correctly calibrated display) and matches the rest
of the shots in your scene then you're gold. How you do that is your
choice, and there are a lot of ways. The only 'correct' way is the way that
results in the image that you wanted with the least amount of pain while
making you look as impressive and in control in front of your client as

Resolve12 offers a few new options in terms of transforms. If you do have
Arrived and RED and want to work with them debayered to Log and a single
transform for your entire timeline then go for it. If you want to use a LUT
in the 1st node of each of the Film shots to go directly from Log something
more contrasty then go for it. You can also right click on any shot on the
storyboard and change the Input Space per shot if you want.

It's up you - you're the colourist. Experiment if you have the time. You'll
find that with no transforms added and just working on the Log image
directly using only Offset, Contrast and Pivot in Primaries that you can
make the equivalent look that you'd achieve with LUT just by grading the
Log image itself. I like to work that way as it gives me more control.
That's personal preference though.

Personally I like to cheat. If it's not a complex edit then I will often do
things like double up the tracks or something to duplicate the project. The
bottom duplicate (never seen) is all something normalised but contrasted
like Rec709. The top duplicated is usually all some flavour of log like
LogC or SLog3 (that's how I like to grade). I do this because I like to
grade on the Log image but log can be a pain to key off. So I key off the
Rec709 and grade on the Log.

But that's just me being fiddly because I've tried everything else and
worked out what I've found gives me the most control and speed of
operation. Find your own formula

You may also want to denoise 16mm. Even if the client likes the look of the
grain, the grain can still be a bastard by messing up your keys. Another
reason that I have a 'key track'. I can denoise that layer but leave the
grain in my 'grading track'. I wouldn't recommend Resolve's denoise for
this though if it's being applied to the final image unless you like the
look that you get from it. Digital Vision products were always good for
this but if you want a cheap but excellent alternative the NEAT VIDEO
plug-in is amazing.

As Kevin Shaw would say: 'Happy Colouring'

-Sam Sheppard
On 12 Nov 2015 13:00, "Chris Barnett via Tig" <tig at colorist.org> wrote:

> Sohonet www.sohonet.co.uk sponsors the TIG.
> =====
> Hi all,
> I have some 16mm dpx scans from a shoot, currently this is the only
> information I have about the footage. It's a few shots from a mostly
> digital short film.
> I'm grading the film but I've never graded film scans before.
> They look pretty flat so I'm presuming it's log  (Cineon?) but how else do
> I set up resolve!!!??
> What colour space should I be using? Does it matter? Do I need to know the
> printer lights? As well as being flat it looks pretty dark too and is
> fairly noisy already.
> Any advice / help / ideas gratefully received??
> Thanks
> Chris
> --/
> Chris Barnett
> Offline / DIT / Colour Grading
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