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Day for night MadMax


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#1 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 07:51 AM

Following on from another thread that I cant find now ..here is an email I got from John Seale explaining how they shot D for N .. with his permission under the proviso that its not the only,or necessarily  correct way to do it.. just that it worked for their post .. to me its interesting that for digital they over exposed by a fair way.. for D for N.. 

 

Robin,

 
No secrets here, with digital exposure for DforN….
Our VFX boys  had a request that we OVER expose all DforN material by TWO stops.
Reason is , that by doing that, we have exposed into all dark areas, so that when printed DOWN to acceptable DforN , that if they needed , or the colorist needed, to roto a person /face etc they could pull that area up and not have any digital noise.
Most of our trucks etc and wardrobe were dark, so that whole technical premise was a digital logic that would garner a more satisfactory end result rather than dailies result.
Even with a LUT for DforN in dailies ,it did not look good, but all depts knew it would be trimmed in post , and I was most surprised and satisfied with the result.
I thought it could have been darker , but George had tried that , and preferred the lighter print.
In essence , it pertains to what I have always thought and executed , is that you create a “flavour” of a look…and even if it is not technically correct or realistically true , it does pervey the “sense” of what is intended.
 
Hope this helps.
cheers John

Edited by Robin R Probyn, 14 May 2016 - 07:52 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:27 AM

I'm sure the DIT made sure that nothing was clipped even with the overexposure, because a large clipped area of the frame would look even worse once everything was darkened in post.  So given that and the wide dynamic range of the Alexa, it sort of makes sense because they weren't going for the sort of silhouetted, black shadows look of some DFN.


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 11:06 AM

Whatever they did, I have to be honest: I thought it looked ridiculous.


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#4 Stuart Allman

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 11:26 AM

Robin,

 

I attended John's ASC coffee talk.  He said they overexposed by 2 stops and the Alexa could handle it.  I believe it was his DIT who did initial tests and developed a look in Lightroom before they recorded a frame.

 

While it didn't look real, I figured it fit the artistic feeling of the film.  The whole film was a brave experiment.

 

S.

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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 08:38 PM

Yes Im sure nothing was clipped ,for sure the DIT guys knew exactly what they were doing on a big film like that.. and yes a question of going for a totally "life like" real night time look.. or a mood /sense for the film.. which does seem to have worked for that film, as the camera work was much praised, oscar nom etc..

 

Ive never shot D for N.. except on a very small scale on REC709 video years ago.. I just still find the concept of over exposure by 2 stops for that effect is amazing..I never would have thought of that .. interesting times now that even for my type of tv work,a universe anyway from that of John Seale .. with a relatively very cheap camera (Sony F5) I also have 14 stop DR gama curves to work with.. and the learning curve to get over too! 


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 14 May 2016 - 08:43 PM.

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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:34 PM

I think it worked mainly because of the headroom on Alexa images; other cameras do weird stuff as you get near the clipping point.


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#7 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:51 PM

Yes could be.. and Arri processing of the image is for sure the gold standard.. Sony Slog3 is almost exactly the same as Log C and the both of them them are based on Cineon..  and there is no shoulder .. but yes I wouldn't push it more than 2 stops thats for sure.. Slog3  is max is 94 IRE clip I believe.. 

 

I wonder what gamma curve was used on the F65 on the Woody Allen film..


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#8 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 09:59 PM

When he says 'Over-exposed by two stops' is that 2 stops over what would be considered a 'normal' exposure for DfN, or two stops over a normal daylight exposure?

 

If the rationale for the over-exposure was "if they needed , or the colorist needed, to roto a person /face etc they could pull that area up and not have any digital noise", then surely a normal daylight exposure would have been adequate.


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:14 PM

I would think they meant 2-stops over normal daytime exposure, otherwise they would have just said they exposed it normal for daytime instead of saying something like "we overexposed it by two stops over our normal 2-stop underexposure for day-for-night"...

 

But yes, I agree that a normal exposure should have given them enough shadow information to play with in post without noise problems, but perhaps they had some particularly dark and dirty faces to deal with in color-correction.


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#10 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:16 PM

I presumed over a normal daylight exposure .. just to fill the data bucket to the max..  I dont know about the Alexa.. but with the F55 its seems to be almost standard practice to rate the camera 1 to 2 stops slower in EI ..mostly due to noise worries..  Maybe the Alexa doesnt have this issue.. ?


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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:30 PM

I presumed over a normal daylight exposure .. just to fill the data bucket to the max..  I dont know about the Alexa.. but with the F55 its seems to be almost standard practice to rate the camera 1 to 2 stops slower in EI ..mostly due to noise worries..  Maybe the Alexa doesnt have this issue.. ?

Alexa is quieter at 400iso, but has better highlight handling at 800iso.

 

I can understand the over exposure in a low key situation, but to do it in full sun in the desert seems unnecessary if retaining shadow detail in faces was the aim, and it would have made holding detail and tone in the skies almost impossible.  I'm sure they could do sky replacements if necessary, but it would seem simpler to expose normally, and use more fill than normal to keep faces lit.


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#12 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 10:46 PM

Yes see what you mean.. maybe the DIT side kept on insisting on 2 stops over because John Seale was stopping down when they weren't looking.. :)... 

 

Im not in the features world at all..although I was a loader/FP.. way back .. but now alot of non drama TV work,and corp stuff is being shot log.. where now saving high lights is less of a worry than saving shadows.. its very weird to purposely over expose things by up to 2 stops.. as you have that latitude now..when you have always been told to guard high lights..  clipping is still clipping of course..!  its an interesting time now with these feature/drama type gear/gamma,s etc are suddenly normal in pretty average tv.. 


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#13 Tom Yanowitz

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 04:49 PM

So when some random dude on the web talks about ETTR evryone dimisses him as a clownn, but when John Seale does it (or accepts to do it), suddenly it becomes the new hip thing.

 

http://www.avclub.co...-visual--220462

 

Jackson even pioneered a brand new technique of overexposing all the daytime shots so they would look better when converted to night.

 

BRAND NEW right...

 

I'm not even sure what overexposing means with the Alexa.

I'm guessing they're reffering to EI 800.

EI 800 overexposed 2 stops is just EI 200 with the wrong metadata, it's also the same as EI 1600 at +3 or EI 50 at -2.

 

 

So they shot their DfN at 200, that's it, which goes well for the high contrast high saturation night look they went with.

 

D4N_8-00073.jpg?af897a

 

For shots like this one, 5.5 stops of overexposure (ei 200) was probably enough. If it turned out some elements were going to be clipped, they would have close the aperture (= gone for a higher EI), that's how ETTR works.

 

Maybe they did clip some specular highlights though :

 

Mad-Max-Fury-Road-Charlize-Theron.jpg


Edited by Tom Yanowitz, 09 June 2016 - 04:49 PM.

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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 06:06 PM

Not particularly bothered how they did it - it looks like tremendously bad day for night.

 

P


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#15 Keith Walters

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 12:35 AM

MR RHODES!!!

What an awful AWFUL concept!

What has whether you think the the picture looks any good or not to do with anything?!

At least I've learned that much in my years of posting here. 
I fully understand that there is a secret organization that hacks into digital projectors, to purposely maladjust them whenever you or I go to look at movies shot on certain brands of camera. How else do you explain the conundrum of how pictures from certain brands of camera generally look like pus to you or me, but other people find them be effulgent icons of cinematic verisimilitude, less than 0,2% removed from actual reality. NO! BETTER than reality!

I must admit I am rather shocked to hear that someone actually managed to shoot a poor image using an Alexa, but I suppose if you shoot enough footage, statistically it must happen eventually.

It's rather like that old adage that if you had an infinite numbers monkeys typing on an infinite number of keyboards, one of them will produce something significant.

Now, thanks to the internet, we know that's not true.... 


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#16 Mitch Gross

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 11:35 PM

It was a hyper-stylized look and even if it was kinda insane they went with it and in the end decided that they liked it.  Otherwise given the landscape and environment it should really have been just pure blackness.  It's such a stylized film anyway that I just thought "well, okaaaay," and went with it.

 

I'm also quite sure that they overexposed two stops (meaning, rated the camera at ISO 200) and let it clip.  Then they did sky replacements as necessary.  There's so much sky replacement throughout the film as it is, that was really no big deal.

 

Overexposing by a consistent two stops expressly to pull out shadow detail is very different from ETTR.  ETTR is just efficiently filling a bit bucket and not considering at all how shots intercut.  It's just giving information in post without making decisions on set.  It's good for stills work but I find little use for it in motion picture work where one must have consistency between shots in the edit.  For that one must consider the level of the key and keep it as consistent as possible within the scene, while controlling the relative contrast of the rest of the image based on that key level.  True ETTR loses that out the window and shifts exposure in every shot to just capture the most information.  I don't always want the most information, but instead the information I consider important or consistent with the rest of my shots.


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