Blacks going to red?
Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:02 AM
I've noticed it a few times when older color movies are televised that deep shadows will sometimes flash to red and always figured it was some kind of old film-stock issue or other. But recently I've been watching the Discovery channel's re-airing of the Planet Earth series and the Shallow Seas episode is littered with instances of the same thing happening. Within the first couple minutes you see a humpback swimming across the screen and what was once a normal shadow on its body turns to red as the shadow gets into "featureless" territory.
Honestly, the effect isn't all that annoying until you become conscious of it and start watching for it, but still, what causes this? Anybody know?
Posted 26 March 2009 - 10:26 AM
You see this on more than one TV set?
Here's a question from a non-cinematography guy:
I've noticed it a few times when older color movies are televised that deep shadows will sometimes flash to red ... Honestly, the effect isn't all that annoying until you become conscious of it and start watching for it, but still, what causes this? Anybody know?
Some of the older print stocks will shift to red after many years (the actual effect is that the Cyan layer fades and loses contrast) and presumably the TV engineer may try to correct that effect when showing the movie, which in turn might give "off colour" in the shadow areas. The TV might also be a bit non-linear in the red channel. if the red gun is a bit weak for example, the red gain may have been cranked up to compensate.
Posted 26 March 2009 - 02:14 PM
So far, I've only ever seen this effect on my (one) tv. It's hard to imagine the effect is due to some compensating adjustment by a broadcast tech, since the red isn't "redish," but a definite and very strong red.
Posted 26 March 2009 - 05:48 PM
However, it's also true that most neg stocks since then have tended to produce more cyan neutrals - especially dark greys - compared with the earlier negatives. Maybe your eye has become used to that balance, so that older material (ECN1 process - 5254 negative mainly) would look warm in the greys by comparison - even without the print fade.
Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:27 PM
Posted 28 March 2009 - 07:09 AM
That sounds exactly like what I'm seeing. The strange thing is that I saw parts of the same Planet Earth episode on two different nights and the effect was there both times. It must be some kind of standard broadcast setting that's just incompatible with a peculiar combination of colors/contrasts.