MixingLight: Getting To Know Dolby Vision HDR – free-to-read 3-part article

https://mixinglight.com/color-tutorial/getting-know-dolby-vision-hdr-part-1/

“… Try to think about Dolby Vision as a funnel. The HDR grade is the wide end of the funnel: a high dynamic range (HDR), large color gamut, and possibly high resolution and frame rate moving image.

The Dolby Vision process analyzes your HDR grade (in the grading software), creates some metadata, and a Dolby Content Mapping Unit (CMU) reads the metadata produced by the analysis process. The metadata is embedded over SDI and in real-time the CMU creates a Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) version of the project….

… I know this is going to sound funny, but by starting with the HDR grade and deriving an SDR grade from that through the Dolby Vision process, I feel like I’m getting better SDR grades than I would have if I did the SDR version alone….”

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Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio and Blackmagic Design Blackmagic eGPU for colour grading, with MacBook Pro, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel, LG UltraFine 5K monitor and URSA cinema camera.

Commentary

That MixingLight’s Robbie Carman is achieving better Standard Dynamic Range grades by starting off with a High Dynamic Range grade is not funny at all – this result has been reported for some time before he wrote his still-relevant article.

Although I do not currently have access to the means to shoot or post-produce in Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, Mr Carman’s excellent three-part article is proving invaluable in better understanding the how, why and wherefor of two key Dolby Laboratories technologies that have found their way onto contemporary 4K television sets, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision.

Links

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    blackmagic_pocket_cinema_camera_4k_bmpcc4k_04_1024px_60pc
    Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro standard zoom lens and mini-XLR-to-XLR audio cable for attaching XLR microphones, mounted on Benro Aero 4 Video Travel Angel Tripod Kit. Mini-XLR cable is made by Blackmagic Design for their Video Assist monitor/recorder but is also great for connecting XLR microphones to the BMPCC 4K, product code HYPERD/AXLRMINI2.

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Paul Leeming’s Leeming LUT One 801 for Panasonic Cameras including Lumix GH5 and GH5S is Available, More Versions to Come

We have been following Australian director/cinematographer Paul Leeming’s progress in creating, refining and updating his Leeming LUT One unified, corrective Look Up Table aka LUT system for popular mirrorless and DSLR hybrid cameras and camcorders ever since we launched the ‘Untitled’ project. 

Leeming LUT One began as an effort to transform the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4’s ‘Cine-D’ aka Cinelike D video picture profile into the most accurate, most realistic rendering possible and has expanded to encompass a range of cameras including those made by Canon, DJI, GoPro, JVC, Sony and more, with support for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and Fujifilm X-T3 and others coming in the near future. 

Mr Leeming continues to refine Leeming LUT One with version 801 for Panasonic being the most accurate yet, setting a new industry benchmark for realistic colour rendering for video footage shot with the Cinelike D, V-LogL and HLG profiles for editing in Rec. 709 movie projects. 

Recently I put Leeming LUT One 801 to the test with Cinelike D footage from my Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 camera, the one that goes with me almost everywhere everyday, and the results were, as usual, impressive.

Better yet, correcting footage with Leeming LUT One then adding film simulation or creative looks LUTs produces rich grading with a lush and easy-to-grade tonal range.

Many independent moviemakers shoot video for the same project on several cameras including within multi-camera interview set-ups, and Leeming LUT One is invaluable in reducing time in the colour grading suite matching footage from all those different cameras, especially when exposed according to the principles of ETTR aka expose-to-the-right.

In all the following examples, I graded quickly and minimally to simulate the look and feel of the subject at the moment I shot it, to be as realistic as video permits.

Skin tones in mixed available light with Leeming LUT One 801 and LookLabs’ Digital Film Stock Fujifilm Eterna 500T

Reds, greens and blue in strong sunlight with Leeming LUT One 801 and Leeming LUT Quickies v8 Basic Balanced v8 Lighter

Greys and greens in weak sunlight on cold, windy day with Leeming LUT One 801 and LookLabs Digital Film Stock Kodak 5218

Links

  • Leeming LUT Pro – “Leeming LUT Pro™ is the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table ( LUT ) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading.”
  • LookLabsDigital Film Stock aka DFS – “DFS instantly gives you the natural look of film and the most flexible set of LUTs on the market. The DFS bundle includes 19 LUTs that perfectly emulate the most popular Kodak and Fuji film stocks. DFS comes in both REC.709 and LOG video formats and all SpeedLooks camera patches work with today’s most popular digital cinema and mirrorless cameras. DFS even makes your Android videos look like film!”

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fcp.co: Off the Tracks, the Film about Final Cut Pro X, Is Now Available to Download

http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/news/2099-off-the-tracks-the-film-about-final-cut-pro-x-is-now-available-to-download

“… Ultimately this documentary is about how a tool has helped democratize movie making. It is also a product of what it preaches. Final Cut Pro X does empower storytellers and that message was what made me passionate enough to take all the time and energy to make this documentary. It’s a real meta sort of thing.…”

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Apple Final Cut Pro X on Apple 27″ iMac Pro with Retina 5K Display (Late 2017)

Commentary

A confession: when I first cracked open Final Cut Pro X in its first iteration, I felt at home with it and its magnetic timeline concept in a way I never had with more conventional NLE products including Final Cut Pro.

And yet…

In 2011 Apple ended Final Cut Pro as we knew it and started over with a brand new video editing application: Final Cut Pro X. The disruption from this change is still being felt by the film, television, and video industries to this day.

With misinformation running amok, Off The Tracks aims to clear the air once and for all.

This documentary features exclusive interviews with the creative professionals who use the software and the developers who created it. Why did Apple make Final Cut Pro X?

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Get Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic eGPU for Graphics Processing Lightyears Ahead

Apple’s computer operating system gained support for external graphics processing units aka eGPUs with macOS 10.13.4 and the race was on for third-party suppliers to release compatible units with few actually making an appearance in the local market. 

Meanwhile Apple was collaborating with Australian moviemaking production hardware powerhouse and video industry disruptor Blackmagic Design on the Blackmagic eGPU, and it was released to retail in Apple stores worldwide this week. 

I have yet to set eyes upon an actual Blackmagic eGPU in the flesh, as it were, as our closest Apple store does not carry them or have one on display but I am reliably informed one can be seen at our second closest Apple store and I plan on dropping in sometime this week to see and try.

An eGPU developed in close collaboration with the maker of the computers for which it has been designed to best support with the latest connectivity standards is hard to argue against.

Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic eGPU

Internal graphics processing units have been taking the load off central processing units for some years now, especially for graphics-intensive video production work and this latest development in external GPUs is an exciting one.

The Blackmagic eGPU makes a powerful companion to Apple’s latest iteration of its 15-inch MacBook Pro, ramping up its processing speed in the direction of the iMac Pro.

The Blackmagic eGPU is supported by macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra onwards.

Links

Image Credits

Header image by Carmel D. Morris.

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Wacom pen tablets are invaluable for video editing, photograph editing and graphics, and can save you from the ill effects of repetitive computer work.

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Apple Releases Mid-2018 MacBook Pro Computers and Blasts Off Into the Future

Until the arrival of the iMac Pro in late 2017, Apple’s professional moviemaking and photography customers had been questioning the company’s loyalty to them and dedication to meeting their ever-growing high-end graphics computing needs, without unnecessary monkey work. 

Today’s release of the Coffee Lake sensor-equipped Mid-2018 MacBook Pro models in 13-inch and 15-inch versions along with the Apple/Blackmagic Design co-designed Blackmagic eGPU will further allay these concerns with a hardware combination approaching the iMac Pro in power and graphics processing speed. 

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Apple MacBook Pro Mid-2018

Next year’s long-awaited release of the re-imagined Mac Pro after the Mac Pro range was left languishing since late 2013’s “ash can” Macs will be icing on the cake for creatives and a necessity for production studios needing the ultimate in multi-teraflop processing power.

Meanwhile, the long hiatus until last year’s iMac Pro saw many visual storytelling professionals looking to pre-Coffee Lake 15-inch MacBook Pros for portability and as a stopgap until Apple radically revised its desktop offerings, beginning with the iMac Pro.

Hard choices though when knowing that Coffee Lake processors would eventually arrive in Apple’s portable offerings, but the decision of when and which production computer in which to invest has always been a vexing one, given the need to choose a model as future-proofed as possible.

Apple MacBook Pro Mid 2018

The Apple computers I have used have always productively outlived all our Windows PCs, and our two current Macs have had long, productive lives though one is nearing its end having endured daily production use since early 2011.

Those lives are about to be challenged by coming software and hardware support demands as well as exciting new standard in video and ever-larger raw files from ever-bigger image sensor-equipped stills cameras such as Fujifilm’s GFX 50S and the coming GFX 100S and GFX 50R.

Internal upgrades of older machines using Other World Computing’s excellent SSDs and doubling the RAM have their limitations in the face of contemporary graphics software’s reliance on graphics processing units (GPUs) so a new 15-inch MacBook Pro has been overdue, preferably attached to a Blackmagic eGPU in the studio and on-location.

Accessories for Apple’s MacBook Pro Mid 2018

The really big investment maximisation lesson I learned kong ago is to max out your production computer with RAM, internal storage, CPU and GPU power to cope with the ever-increasing demands off constantly-updating editing software.

Apple has clearly heeded this relentless tendency with the 15-inch MacBook Pro Mid-2018’s up to 6-core processors and 32GB of RAM, and a great choice of SSDs up to 4TB, obviating the need to connect external media drives when working on ambitious video and longterm photography projects.

Invest in a minimum of 1TB internal storage, 32GB of RAM, choose the highest specifications processor, add Thunderbolt external storage for media and scratch disk space, and cast an eye at LG’s excellent UltraFine and UltraWide 5K monitors, two of which the Mid-2018 MacBook Pro can easily handle.

Consider a Wacom pen tablet for fine selection control and to guard against wrist damage, add the Blackmagic eGPU, look at Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Micro and Mini colour grading panels, and by doing so create a top-end editing workstation approaching the iMac Pro or coming Mac Pro in power and reliability.

Above all, do not aim low as it will only keep you down as your needs and ambitions change.

Those griping at the price of this versatility and power would do well to consider the past alternatives.

It is significant that Apple has begun collaborating with Blackmagic Design in the eGPU and hopefully other areas given Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty’s mission of “allowing the highest quality video to be affordable to everyone, so the post production and television industry can become a truly creative industry.”

When I first read that, I cast my mind back to the very first video editing workstation I clapped eyes on at a top London creative hotshop advertising agency costing, if my memory serves me right, some £100,000 for the hardware and software, barely affordable by the agency much less any creative of my acquaintance then.

The two photographers-turned-directors who had headhunted me for the agency relied on funky old-but-beautiful Super 16mm movie cameras but the cost of the video cameras of the time was astronomical compared to the price of current small cinema, video and hybrid mirrorless cameras.

With personal computers being the centre of our creative lives, it makes sense to spend some of the money saved on free and affordable production software and hardware on the beating heart of your production kit, making it last for years to come.

Speaking of which with Apple now doing right by its professional users on the hardware front, it is past time for the company to do right in video editing software by improving Final Cut Pro X’s audio capabilities now that Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve’s Fairlight audio page is putting it to shame.

Likewise Apple’s still-smarting 2015 abandonment of photography organizing and editing essential Aperture, was an almost shameful act still with no fully-featured direct replacement anywhere near the horizon whether by dint of third-party software makers or Apple Photos, its erstwhile in-house successor.

Links

Image Credits

Header image by Carmel D. Morris. Have you seen the Red Forest?

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Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K with 8Sinn camera cage, Scorpio handle and Canon CN-E 24mm T1.5 L F Cinema Prime Lens with EF-to-M43 adapter.

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Leeming LUT Pro Coming Soon to Level the Hybrid Camera Video Playing Field with Radically Improved Colour Accuracy for Easy Colour Matching

While we have been stunned and amazed by Australian company Blackmagic Design’s coming revolutionary Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k aka BMPCC 4K aka P4K, a a quiet revolution in hybrid camera video post-production has been brewing. 

Australian cinematographer/director of photography/director/writer Paul Leeming of Visceral Psyche Films has been radically overhauling his Leeming LUT suite of camera profile colour matching 3D LUTs whilst grading Kodokushi, the very first full-length feature film to be shot on the affordable, award-winning Panasonic Lumix GH5S high-end compact video camera. 

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The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S plus 8Sinn GH5/GH5S cage-based rig used by Paul Leeming to shoot ‘Kodokushi’, the first full-length feature film to be shot with the GH5S.
During his first visit to ‘Untitled’ Paul Leeming tested several cameras for possible Leeming LUT One custom 3D LUTs.

As we learned earlier this year when Mr Leeming dropped by our home studio after wrapping production on the Kodokushi shoot in Osaka, the Leeming LUT camera profile testing and production process has evolved courtesy of now basing it on 3D LUT Creator combined with a new footage creation methodology.

We tested an early beta of Leeming LUT Pro, successor to Leeming LUT One, against earlier versions of Leeming LUT One and were suitably impressed.

Leeming LUT Pro has delivered on its predecessors’ promise of enabling easier, faster and more accurate correction of video footage from a range of hybrid cameras and camcorders affordable for self-funded, low-budget, independent documentary and narrative moviemakers.

Leeming LUT Pro makes that possible regardless of whether video acquisition is via Rec. 709, Rec. 2020, log, flat or regular picture profile footage, and with whichever brand camera so long as Mr Leeming has tested its footage for creation of his custom camera profile 3D LUTs.

Still frame from ‘Kodokushi’, the very first feature film to be shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera by Director of Photography Paul Leeming.
Still frame from ‘Kodokushi’, the very first feature film to be shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera by Director of Photography Paul Leeming.
Still frame from ‘Kodokushi’, the very first feature film to be shot with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera by Director of Photography Paul Leeming.
Australian director/cinematographer Paul Leeming with his Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 rig during his first visit to the ‘Untitled’ home studio..

Contemporary moviemakers often use a range of cameras on any given production, presenting a costly, time-consuming colour-matching headache during the postproduction process.

With Leeming LUT Pro, a timeline of footage from several different cameras can be colour-matched by dropping the relevant Leeming LUT Pro camera profile custom LUT onto each clip, evening their colour up for faster subsequent colour correction then colour grading for looks and emotion.

Consequently, footage from, say, a Canon EOS DSLR or Cinema EOS camcorder, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8, GH5, GH5S, any of the Sony hybrid cameras, a JVC GY-LS300, GoPro or DJI X5 Series on the same timeline will no longer be screaming out their colour science differences and will play nice together.

Application of the ETTR – exposing to the right – principle as taught by Mr Leeming on his Leeming LUT Pro website aids in exposure-matching and enhances Leeming LUT Pro’s colour-matching benefits even more.

Colour-matching footage shot on a range of cameras over time is the bane of longterm documentary moviemaking and Leeming LUT Pro makes the process more accurate, easier and faster when using profiled cameras.

For example, my current documentary production gear kit includes the Fujifilm X-Pro2, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4, and I may be adding a GH5 or GH5S along with a second Fujifilm camera to backup and extend my X-Pro2.

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Paul Leeming’s Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 in 8Sinn cage with Scorpio handle.

That represents a range of picture profiles, film simulations, Rec. types and specific Rec. 709 profiles as well as HLG and V-Log without adding footage from very different cameras such as GoPro, DJI, Canon, Nikon, Blackmagic Design and more.

Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K aka P4K gives self-funded indie moviemakers like me an eminently affordable 4K UHD and 1080p HD cinema camera option as well and Mr Leeming will no doubt be creating a custom Leeming LUT Pro 3D LUT for it when he can obtain a production-ready version of the camera.

Blackmagic Design’s Grant Petty once shared his vision for the rest of us who need to be storytellers in moving pictures but don’t come from traditional storytelling class and ethnic backgrounds:

“My big thing is, if you don’t have any money, it doesn’t mean to say your brain is turned off, or you’re stupid or you don’t have ambition. From my point of view, you want to move up, you want to do great things. If you want to do that, you should be able to buy products that let you do that. That’s how you get rid of class structure. I’m trying to remove it, and just let people be creative.”

With the coming release of Leeming LUT Pro, Paul Leeming is also assisting independent moviemakers in dismantling the moviemaking class system and more power to his arm, as the saying goes.

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James Miller’s DELUTS Creative LUTs Discounted 25%, with New LUTs Collections and Methodologies Added

Cinematographer/Director of Photography James Miller of DELUTS has been busy of late updating and adding to his DELUTS creative LUTs collections, most recently releasing a DELUTS Universe ARRI Set, a DELUTS Lightroom ACR Looks set, DELUTS C200 Looks and Transforms, DELUTS Overlook, DELUTS Universe Red Digital Cinema IPP2 Set v1 and DELUTS Universe, a whole new concept in sequential LUT application inspired by the beauty of Log C footage from ARRI’s ALEXA cinema cameras.

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Profile from DELUTS ACR Look Profiles collection applied to original TIFF file provided by James Miller of DELUTS.

“… I first started DELUTS in 2015 after years gathering look profiles that I have generated for film projects. I decided to share these and have tried to build upon this offering creative looks for Video and now for Lightroom & Photoshop using the new Profile system in CC 2018 versions.

The DELUTS Universe set was born after nearly 2 years building the back bone of the system. If you just need looks to go over the top of footage that you have already balanced, then thats the DELUTS Overlook set is a great place to start. If you are working with images and want the look of DELUTS with RAW, TIF, JPEG etc then the new DELUTS Lightroom ACR Looks is the one to use. I have offers when purchasing 2 certain sets. The DELUTS Lightroom ACR Looks & DELUTS OVERLOOK are a great match for video and stills.”

Links

Blackmagic Design: Blackmagic Design Announces DaVinci Resolve 15

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/release/20180409-01

“Blackmagic Design today announced DaVinci Resolve 15, a massive update that fully integrates visual effects and motion graphics, making it the world’s first solution to combine professional offline and online editing, color correction, audio post production, multi user collaboration and now visual effects together in one software tool. DaVinci Resolve 15 adds an entirely new Fusion page with over 250 tools for compositing, paint, particles, animated titles and more. In addition, DaVinci Resolve 15 includes a major update to Fairlight audio, along with over 100 new features and improvements that professional editors and colorists have asked for….”

blackmagic_design_davinci_resolve_15_01_1024px_60pc
Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 15, Edit page

Links

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Mystery Box: Panasonic GH5S & Shooting HDR10

https://www.mysterybox.us/blog/2018/1/8/panasonic-gh5s-hdr10

“… Whether you’re new to shooting and delivering in HDR, or have been practicing for a while, the Panasonic GH5S with V-Log L enabled provides a fantastic starting point for an all-HDR10 workflow.  From monitoring what you’re shooting in HDR10 to delivering your content through the color grading process, the LUTs and workflow we’ve created will accelerate your ability to leverage HDR10 on nearly any size budget…”

The Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Super 16/M43 hybrid video camera.

Links

Production and equipment rental company Mystery Box, LLC has published a number of articles about aspects of shooting and post-producing HDR video that are useful reading for those needing to dig deep into how to get the best out of it all.

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Austrian manufacturer Angelbird makes more affordable V90 SDXC cards than Panasonic’s own alternative and they are reportedly just as reliable.

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