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Processing effect, can't find what I'm looking for


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#1 Charles Boileau

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:51 AM

Hi,

I was talking with a director friend of mine yesterday about his latest short movie. He told me that Technicolor used this new plugin they developed for an effect in his color-correction.

The basis of this effect was a black layer the added to the footage that made the image very toned down without affecting saturation.

He told me it's an effect that they also use in the optical process.

I can't find anything on this subject.

Does anybody know what I'm talking about?

Thanks
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 12:57 PM

Hi,

I was talking with a director friend of mine yesterday about his latest short movie. He told me that Technicolor used this new plugin they developed for an effect in his color-correction.

The basis of this effect was a black layer the added to the footage that made the image very toned down without affecting saturation.

He told me it's an effect that they also use in the optical process.

I can't find anything on this subject.

Does anybody know what I'm talking about?

Thanks


Depends on what you mean by "toned down"... Do you mean a digital version of their ENR and OZ print processes?
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#3 Charles Boileau

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 01:42 PM

Depends on what you mean by "toned down"... Do you mean a digital version of their ENR and OZ print processes?


Oh you're losing me David. I'm not very well versed in 35mm post. Or, I don't understand your lingo.

Can you please specify?

Toned down would probably mean that the image is gloomy or dark, but the saturation is intact. The process they used is by adding a black layer thru some kind of transfer mode. I'm talking of course of a digital process.

But he told me that it's something they would do in the processing or optical process.

Unfortunately, I cannot give you an exact description as I haven't seen the footage.

Thanks!
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:10 PM

If you're talking about a digital "process" this isn't the best place to do it, as the processing discussed here is very chemical in nature.


I think you're misunderstanding the OZ process, which was a silver retention process, not a digital one.

Sure you can simulate this sort of thing digitally, but that will never give the same effect as the real thing, either.
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:19 PM

With the caveat that it is from the Wikipedia article, here is what I found with five minutes' searching

"The film used Technicolor's Oz process during post-production. This is a partial silver retention on the interpositive, similar to bleach bypass, which will be used to lend to the sense of detachment from the modern world McG was looking for.[5] Industrial Light & Magic developed shader programs to make the desaturated lighting of the CGI realistic and well-integrated to the on-set footage.[69] The filmmakers consulted with many scientists about the effects of an abandoned world and nuclear winter.[45] McG cited Mad Max 2, the original Star Wars trilogy and Children of Men, as well as the novel The Road, as his visual influences.[2][45] He instructed his cast to read the latter as well as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?[28][46] Like Children of Men, McG would storyboard scenes so that it would be edited together to resemble a seamless, continuous shot.[70] It took two weeks to film a two-minute shot of Connor getting caught up in a bombing on the Skynet base where he discovers plans for the T-800.[71]"


I also see some erroneous information about them adding "3x as much silver to the negative" which doesn't make sense because color negatives don't have *any* silver after normal processing; 3x of nothing is nothing.

They retained silver in the interpositive steps, so the silver buildups would be in the highlight areas, not the shadows.
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 12:18 AM

I also see some erroneous information about them adding "3x as much silver to the negative" which doesn't make sense because color negatives don't have *any* silver after normal processing; 3x of nothing is nothing.


Are you sure about that?
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 08:07 PM

Are you sure about that?


Yes I am.

Are you?
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#8 Charles Boileau

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:27 PM

The basis of the my inquiry was to get back to the original effect that inspired the plugin. Thanks for the info and I'll read up on the OZ process.

Thanks again!
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#9 Dominic Case

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 11:41 PM

I've never heard the term "plug-in" applied to a physical or chemical process, as distinct from an add-on piece of software to do particular tricks with a digital image. But it seems that you are indeed asking about a photochemical process.

There is nothing new about Technicolor's "Oz process". I used silver retention or bleachbypass on the interpos stage about thirteen years ago on an Australian film called The Well (shot by Mandy Walker ACS who more recently shot Australia. At the last minute (after seeing the answer print) they pulled the plug and reverted to a straight IP, so unfortunately you can't see the effect, but we did a lot of tests along the way to get the desired effect.

It is really a cross between the bleach bypass effecgt as applied to camera negative, and the various silver retention processes such as Technicolor's ENR applied to the prints themselves.

Like ENR (or Deluxe's ACE and CCE) the retained silver has the effect of darkening the shadows and so increasing contrast, and slightly reducing saturation in the darker tones. Highlights and fully saturated colours are less affected. The advantage of treating the IP instead of the prints is that it only has to be applied once, instead of to every print.

Bleach bypass on the negative affects the darker tones of the negative in the same way - retaining silver - but this time it's the highlights of the image that are affected, not the shadows. Though printing darker can confuse this a little. Either way, bright colours are the most affected and therefore desaturation is more noticeable.

In all cases the analogy of creating an additional layer in a digital process may be illuminating if you are more comfortable thinking that way. The silver retained in the film emulsion is proportional to the amounbt of colour dye, so you could create a negative or positive mask in just the same way.

Curiously, the original Technicolor imbibition printing process also used three printed dye layers and a black silver layer as well: it was to improve the contrast and neutralise the blacks, but this was discontinued some time in the late 1940s when they improved the dyes they used.
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