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Setting up a grading suite with BM Shuttle

Color Grading Blackmagic Canon Correction Video Card Shuttle Video out Dvi

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#1 Leo Vitasovic

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 06:02 AM

Hello!
I have just finished a final cut of my new movie and would to color grade it. I heard something about buying a specialised video card for precise video playback (in terms of color reproduction).

I found Blackmagic Shuttle as a relatively cheap (200$) option but I am not sure if it will do the trick? Also, one of my colleagues who knows about grading more than myself told me that I should be connecting Blackmagic shuttle to the minitor via S-Video out, not DVI or HDMI as they are not able to reproduce the colours precisely.
Do you guys have any suggestions in whether which connection type should I choose for the best color precision?
My movie was shot on a Mark III, H.264 in Full HD. I will rent a JVC Broadcast monitor for my Color grading work.
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#2 John Miguel King

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 08:02 AM

What you need is an sdi out card, not the shuttle. That's a recorder.

 

Which computer will you be grading on?


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#3 Leo Vitasovic

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:44 AM

What you need is an sdi out card, not the shuttle. That's a recorder.

 

Which computer will you be grading on?

Oh, I see.

 

I will be grading on a Windows 7 PC on Premiere Pro CC alongside with DaVinci Resolve (I export .cube files from davinci and import them into Premiere). GPU is Nvidia GTX770, CPU: Intel i7 4770K, 16GBs of DDDR3 RAM.


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:48 AM

You don't necessarily need an SDI output board - you could do it with a Blackmagic Intensity board - but in fact, the Mini Monitor card is now cheaper.

 

It may still be cheaper, however, to get an Intensity, and an HDMI monitor, if you can find one that you trust.

 

Premiere will use a second desktop monitor for the image display; Resolve, for some godforsaken reason, will not.

 

P


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#5 John Miguel King

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:50 AM

Gotcha! What you need then is a Decklink and a spare 4x pci-e slot.

 

The cheapest would be the decklink monitor. It has one 8 bit HD-SDI out. The one above has both in and out, but maybe you don't really need the input?


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#6 Leo Vitasovic

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:08 AM

Gotcha! What you need then is a Decklink and a spare 4x pci-e slot.

 

The cheapest would be the decklink monitor. It has one 8 bit HD-SDI out. The one above has both in and out, but maybe you don't really need the input?

John, I really can't thank you enough!

Just a small question, didn't you mean to say "10-bit", not "8-bit", at least on their webpage it says that DeckLink Mini Monitor is 10-bit? ( https://www.blackmag...hspecs/W-DLK-05 )

What do you think of using a Liliput Field Monitor for Color grading? What's the main difference between the quality of colors between a field and broadcast monitor? Shouldn't they both offer you realistic colors?


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#7 John Miguel King

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:37 AM

No worries, although Phil beat me to it. He makes a very valid point on not needing a monitor that takes HD-SDI.

 

The difference between the lilliput and an actual grade monitor is huge. What you need is a screen that can be calibrated and that displays a larger range of colours than the lilliput. Plus you also need it to be large. Anything less than 24" is bound not to be 1080p and won't show you enough detail to make decisions.

 

A grade monitor, however, is a very expensive item. Seeing that you're learning the process, I'd suggest finding a good computer screen that takes hdmi. Eizo makes awesome screens that calibrate automatically, but they're quite expensive indeed. What you're looking for is a screen that does 1080p, takes an hdmi, and uses IPS screen technology. Dell's Ultrasharp screens are quite popular. They don't break the bank yet they're reasonably good.

You should also look at getting a calibration probe. Xrite does some very cheap ones.

It's crucial that you calibrate the screen. In fact, you're better off with a lower quality screen that's calibrated than with a better one that's not calibrated.


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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:53 AM

I'm looking at an Eizo CG318 right now.

 

Is it legal to marry video displays in the UK?


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#9 John Miguel King

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:07 AM

That screen looks amazing!!!

I'm still digesting the experience of the 4k HDR prototype that Sony was showing at the BSC. It was so real it spooked me, then got me thinking circularly as to how this is bound to change the art form. I immediately remembered the beginnings of cinema, of the sense of wonder that those first audiences felt.
 

I mean, it sort of demands an evolution of the artform, seeing how the relationship between audience and screen is so radically changed?


Edited by John Miguel King, 08 February 2015 - 11:09 AM.

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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:15 AM

I'm not sure. To be honest I'm not sure I actually like all this resolution that much. There's no hiding the flaws, and I say that not to encourage laziness but because polishing every set, prop, costume, visual effect and focus pull to "4K" level adds a lot of messing about to the process without actually adding much to the storytelling ability of all this stuff. In my view, 4K origination is for improving the quality of 2K deliverables.

 

One interesting thing about this display is the 1500:1 contrast ratio, which as far as I can assess is realistic. Pop it into a "video" mode (I have been running it in 709 for various reasons) and then crank up the backlight and it almost starts to look like the Dolby HDR stuff. Only almost, and of course the real world numbers are far smaller, but it's amazing how good 300 nits actually looks when the blacks are that good.


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#11 Bruce Greene

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 03:17 PM

My recent experience:

I graded a feature on my MacBook Pro using speedgrade and an eizo cx2771 display. Display was calibrated using iOne display ($260).

Adobe speedgrade was used to grade the Alexa log prores in rec709 space.

Files stored on a 10tb thunderbolt drive.

I tested the monitor via SDI/HDMI card and direct dvi connection and there was no difference, except that playback performance was much better using DVI.

The display was calibrated using rec709 primaries, gamma 2.2, luminance 80.

Real time playback was .... Sometimes :)

The end result was that the calibration looked just slightly saturated, but color accurate compared to a professionally calibrated broadcast display. But close enough.

At the theater: the film was released on 1500 screens and sold about 1.8 million tickets. I was able to see the DCP in 5 different venues, and each looked slightly different, but all within the acceptable range.

So, a good result from grading on a $1500 display without a broadcast graphic card. If I had graded on a much more expensive system the result at the theater would have the same variables. The point being that you can get professional results without spending $10,000 or more on display and graphics card :)

I'm not sure about how resolve will work without a BM graphics card, sorry.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Color, Grading, Blackmagic, Canon, Correction, Video, Card, Shuttle, Video out, Dvi

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