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Christie 2K Projector for Testing DI?


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#1 Peter Moretti

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 03:28 AM

I believe I may have access to a screening room with a Christie 2K projector. Have any of you used one of these to veiw how color correction and contrast might appear on the big screen? Thanks much.

Edited by Peter Moretti, 26 May 2008 - 03:28 AM.

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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:46 AM

It probably won't hurt and be fun anyway, but for technical QC it's liable to be useless unless you have graded in an environment that's calibrated the same way as the projector. That's a deliberately vague statement because there are so many variables involved but setup for this sort of thing is unlikely to be a five-minute procedure, even with one of the big-ticket calibration systems, with the need to characterise and possibly adjust several different parts of the workflow.

That said, do it - it'll be a buzz to see it projected and you'll spot any framing or focus problems immediately. People forget that these things are, or can be asked to be, ideally 709 colourspace anyway and should therefore be vaguely somewhere in the vicinity of nearly almost only slightyl off ballpark accurate anyway.

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#3 tylerhawes

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 01:21 PM

What colorspace was the film timed for? Was the grading done in a calibrated environment? Were you emulating a print stock?

If you want to have an accurate preview, you will need to have a LUT built that takes into account your film workflow/intentions + their room.

Unless you just graded for Rec. 709, in which case you have gone with a compromised but practical workflow and the Christie can emulate that with a preset.
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#4 Peter Moretti

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 10:58 PM

...

Unless you just graded for Rec. 709, in which case you have gone with a compromised but practical workflow and the Christie can emulate that with a preset.

Tyler, thanks for your reply. Yes I believe it will be graded for 709. It's a documentary that I hope to get some type of theatrical showing with. But DVD, festivals and small screening rooms are pretty much given venues for this type of project, so I think I'll stick with a color space that is most universal. If demand is so great that it needs to be regraded, then I imagine that would be a "happy problem."

BTW, I looked at your website. Very nice. May I ask what color correction software you use? Assimilate's Scratch, Avid's DS, Apple's Color, etc.? Thanks for your replies, they have been very informative and helpful.
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#5 tylerhawes

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 11:12 AM

...I believe it will be graded for 709. It's a documentary that I hope to get some type of theatrical showing with. But DVD, festivals and small screening rooms are pretty much given venues for this type of project, so I think I'll stick with a color space that is most universal.


It seems a lot of people think (many post houses included) that if you are destined for a video release, timing for Rec.709 is the way to go. In reality, that will ensure that what you are seeing will be faithfully reproduced on any calibrated Rec.709 display, but it does nothing to improve the aesthetics of your picture and paints you into a corner if/when you need to do a film print.

The method that we use let's you have your cake and eat it to. Basically we grade thru a print LUT (most often Kodak Vision 2383) that is calibrated to our recorders and lab so that you can make a print whenever you want without another pass. Besides allowing for the print, this gives you a film colorspace, so you can avoid annoying "digital" colors like neon green, super red, etc., that make your footage look digitally processed (even more important if you shot digital, since those colors need to be sat on a bit to reduce the digital look).

With that done, we then have another LUT that sits on top of the film LUT and adapts it to Rec.709. With both LUTs engaged, you are seeing what the film-timed image looks like translated to a Rec.709 display. So you can choose to favor the Rec.709 display by grading for it if you prefer, but at least you are also timing for the film simultaneously and will simply remove the Rec.709 LUT for the filmout. You can always toggle back in forth instantly to check a look for both, but you will pick one or the other to favor.

If you just grade for Rec.709, you'll be fighting the garish colors anytime you bring in contrast and your film print will either not be as good as it could be, or you'll have to do a lot of adjustment to get it right.

I realize that there's only a handful of DI houses that can do this, but it's the right way to do it. It's something that demonstrates quite well (we'll have to make a Flash demo for our site as seeing is believing).


BTW, I looked at your website. Very nice. May I ask what color correction software you use?


The site is actually old and in disrepair, but we have a new one launching in a few days.

We primarily use Final Touch since version 1.1 (now "Color"). We have done a lot of custom scripting with it to handle our conforms, which is where the software falls short at present; the creative toolset is great.

Besides that I've worked extensively with SCRATCH and we did the film WICK with SpeedGrade DI because it was shot on 4K Dalsa RAW (only SpeedGrade supports Dalsa RAW natively).
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 12:20 PM

Hey Tyler,

Does your facility bother with old SD color space or do you run it on Rec 709 for all video out?

Also, I am mightily impressed you have modified your software to get so much control and precision. What language do you script in most? I've been debating whether to pick up enough Visual Basic or C# but, dang, that's a lot of learning curve to take on.
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#7 tylerhawes

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 01:27 PM

Does your facility bother with old SD color space or do you run it on Rec 709 for all video out?


We always color adapt for NTSC or PAL. Rec. 709 is similar, but you can see the difference if you don't correct for it. Any high-quality standards converter should have this adaptation built-in, but in the world of DI we have to go further than that because most converters assume your RGB values are 64-940, so if we're using full range 0-1023 or a custom curve, we have to make our own adaptation.

Also, I am mightily impressed you have modified your software to get so much control and precision. What language do you script in most? I've been debating whether to pick up enough Visual Basic or C# but, dang, that's a lot of learning curve to take on.


Once upon a time I had a career as a Software Engineer, but that was a long time ago and I've forgotten more than I know. The theory and logic I held onto though. So I don't personally write the scripts, but I help design them. Language is largely a choice of the programmer, although most of the time it is C# or Python it seems.
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