Jump to content


Photo

Chemical Skip Bleach vs Digital Skip Bleach


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Chris Lange

Chris Lange
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Minneapolis, MN

Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:18 PM

Hello,

In the scenario of processing film with a transfer to video, would the skip bleach process be better at the developing stage? Or, at this point in history, are you really just reducing your options by doing such a thing? Can you achieve this effect with post software and color correction? Are there obvious differences between a digital post skip-bleach look and one done at the developing stage?

Any help will be much appreciated...

Chris
  • 0

#2 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:39 AM

Many, many people have tried to replicate this look in post. Very few of them are truly convincing to me, but only cinematographers and other cinematographically-minded people (is that a word?) would likely notice the difference.

You should do a test both ways and see whether it's a big enough difference for you. Doing it digitally can be much cheaper, of course.
  • 0

#3 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:37 AM

I agree with Satsuki, but the one other benefit of doing it in post is you get a bit more control over the image and you can "undo" it if it doesn't work for some reason. The name of the game with special processing is always test test test.
  • 0

#4 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1585 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:13 AM

I agree with Satsuki, but the one other benefit of doing it in post is you get a bit more control over the image and you can "undo" it if it doesn't work for some reason. The name of the game with special processing is always test test test.



You can 'undo' a photochemical bleach bypass by running the film again through the bleach tanks the DI bleach bypass always looks fake IMO but this is a budget issue...

-Rob-
  • 0

#5 grant mcphee

grant mcphee
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 93 posts
  • 2nd Assistant Camera
  • UK, Scotland

Posted 10 February 2010 - 06:11 PM

You can 'undo' a photochemical bleach bypass by running the film again through the bleach tanks the DI bleach bypass always looks fake IMO but this is a budget issue...

-Rob-


Though you would end up with an incorrectly exposed negative as you would probably have had an exposure compensation to take into account the extreme bb look?
  • 0

#6 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 10 February 2010 - 06:32 PM

We had an MOW once that used bleach bypass for some scenes. They made a mistake, and some stuff that was supposed to be BB was shot and processed normal. The final colorist (Rick Dalby, IIRC) was able to make it intercut with the real BB to everbody's satisfaction.

So, first thing, find a BB example that you like. Shoot your tests, and ask the colorist to make them match the example. To a great extent, this depends on the experience and talent of the colorist, which is why they get the big bucks.






-- J.S.
  • 0

#7 Dominic Case

Dominic Case
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1357 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 10 February 2010 - 06:55 PM

Many, many people have tried to replicate this look in post. Very few of them are truly convincing to me,

The specific details of photochemical bleach-bypassing are a function of the chemical process, not a function of any creative requirement. With digital manipulation you can produce an almost infinite range of variations to the image. A small subset of those variations would map onto the limited effects you can achieve photochemically.

I can't see any reaon why exactly replicating a photochemical look digitally would (necessarily) be a useful thing to do. So why not take advantage of the extra range of control, and make the picture tell exactly the story you want it to.

In a way, photochemical bleach bypass is like a bugle - you can only get certain notes. Can I make a slide trombone sound like a bugle? Not really, although I could maybe play The Last Post on a trombone, but why would I?

The final colorist (Rick Dalby, IIRC) was able to make it intercut with the real BB to everbody's satisfaction.

Just read this from John - IMHO, it's the only reason you'd want to exactly simulate bleach bypass digitally.

BTW we had to do something a little similar (about 13 years ago IIRC). The production (a feature) was going to use Bleach Bypass in the IP, and needed to see rushes (mostly standard video in those days) with the BB effect. We put through one roll per week of test clips from the week's shooting, making a BB interpos, dupe neg and print. And we gave the rushes colourist a reel of the tests and he came up with a pre-set on the telecine that matched the effect. Then he just set the machine up to that every night. At the time we reckoned it was the first telecine ever to have a "bleach bypass button".
  • 0

#8 Chris Lange

Chris Lange
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Minneapolis, MN

Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:18 AM

Thanks a lot! Interesting discussion here...much appreciated!

A while back I did some testing and liked the results.

I just finished principle photography, in keeping to my original plan of skip-bleach, which included underexposure to compensate for the highlights. So now after finishing the the project, friends and teachers have scared me with similar thoughts of less risk, more control, etc. for achieving the look in post.

At this point, I think l'll stick to my original game plan and go with the special processing. It's what I planned for. Might not get a chance to do it again this way. I like the look, though I really like what Dominic had to say about expanding the visual possibilities of the story's needs.

-Chris
  • 0

#9 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:35 AM

I think you're making the right call since you shot and exposed the film with the specialized processing in mind. Bold choices generally pay off, and if you've overdone it then at least you've learned something. :)
  • 0


Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Willys Widgets

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Opal

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc