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Color Correct Xfer

--- Forwarded mail from JPB <aaton at alpes-net.fr>

To:          Chrominists, rob at xyzoom.alegria.com

In these days of gossip about the relative virtues of TAF, TTEF, Grey
Cards and Color Charts, may I bring to your attention the "Top of the
Charts" article published pp 85-90 of the American Cinematographer
March 96 issue.  Even if it deals with one system only, it is a good
tutorial contribution to the "color correctness" of the film/video
process for the benefit of film origination.  And film origination is
what we all are concerned about.

I can't resist extracting the lines pointing the film DPs anxiety in 
the video world.  Says Neyman:

     "During a film-to-tape transfer, the main tool used to ensure the
correct color is the video monitor. But it is well known that most
professional edit and transfer suites have only one color monitor
because it is impossible to have two that are alike. If that isn't
disturbing enough, when your negative is being transferred overnight,
the colorist isn't likely to have a lot of experience; the most
knowledgeable people are often doing on-line or tape-to-tape
corrections during the day. But this nighttime colorist is going to
have to make aesthetic d=E9cisions that will be seen by everybody who
watches the dailies. Let's say the first day's dailies come back a
little brighter than you wanted, but acceptable. The next day, your
telecine bay is used by a rock video director who shot everything
three stops over and wanted a pale green tint. The daytime telecine
colorist cranks all the controls until the guy is happy. The session
goes three hours over and the daytime colorist takes off. The person
transferring your dailies is now three hours behind schedule and has
to try and return the system to the previous day's settings before
starting with your negative. Even if he recorded every setting, video
equipment is subject to 'drift,' so there is no returning to the exact
same place. At some point he decides it's 'close enough' and lets it
roll. The next day the executive producer calls the producer, who
calls the director, who comes running to you to ask why the lead
actress's baby-blue eyes are pale green and if you know what you're
doing. I tell you, when I discussed this with other cinematographers I
heard crazier stories than this!"
    Neyman adds, "It doesn't make sense to go through the painstaking 
process of getting the image just the way you want it - the image 
they hired you for in the first place - only to give up control over 
your image during the video transfer. There are some good colorists 
out there who will work hard to make sure you're getting what you 
want, but if you're not there during the transfer, they're going to 
be making decisions that affect your work."

Who knows which is the easiest and most reliable method, the "Top of 
the Charts", the TAF, the TTEF+Grey Card,  another idea ? 


--- End of forwarded message from JPB <aaton at alpes-net.fr>

Rob Lingelbach          |  2660 Hollyridge Dr, Los Angeles, CA  213 464 6266  
rob at xyzoom.alegria.com  | "I care not much for a man's religion whose dog or 
rob at sun.alegria.com	|  cat are not the better for it."  --Abraham Lincoln
rob at dagmar.alegria.com        KB6CUN	   http://www.alegria.com