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LUT for a look 1973 film

alfonso parra
 

HI, Does anyone know of a Lut to imitate the look of the movies of the early 70s? I'm thinking especially about Serpico, shot on 35mm Eastman 100T 5254 and printed on Color Print Film 5381. Any ideas?
Thank you very much

Alfonso Parra AEC, ADFC
www.alfonsoparra.com
Tel Spain 34 639109309
Tel Colombia 57 3115798776

kate phelan
 

 "a Lut to imitate the look of the movies of the early 70s”

hi alfonso-
i just shot a promo last week that was splicing inserts into scenes from a 10 year old iconic tv show.
just by watching it i guessed the lens type and focal length and i knew it was film but matching to a kodak stock from alexa was tricky.

i lit it as closely as i could get it using a basic 709 LUT. from there my DIT took it into FilmConvert and tweaked the image to get it the rest of the way. 
the biggest issues were: contrast, dense blacks and red. the coolness of the chip was tough to mitigate.

it looked pretty darn close by the end. the biggest drawback was that it wasn’t a LUT but a post process and we couldn’t show director or client live. they had to look at test footage and then wait for the DIT grade
hope this helps & good luck!
k

kate phelan
917.744.3327
ICG 600


dapplegate@...
 

Currently my favorite LUT tool for making looks like this is a plug-in for DaVinci (and many other programs) called Film Convert.  It doesn’t emulate that exact negative/print stock combo but you can get some pretty great vintage looks and you have controls that once you find a look you like, you can export the LUT.

The next one you could try is ImpulZ by Color Grading Central.  They have a lot of film stocks emulated in LUTs including different print stocks so you can make the right combo.  My only problem with these is the color pallet can get a bit limited and you sometimes have to do a bit of work to get properly saturated greens and reds back.

Daniel Applegate -DIT
Los Angeles -323-707-1160

Geoff Boyle
 

I’ll third that :-)

It’s a very versatile and useful bit of software.


Cheers
Geoff Boyle
Cinematographer
EU Based
www.gboyle.co.uk
+31 (0) 637 155 076



On 28 Nov 2017, at 17:11, dapplegate@... wrote:

Currently my favorite LUT tool for making looks like this is a plug-in for DaVinci (and many other programs) called Film Convert

alfonso parra
 

Thanks to all. I´ll try with film convert. I used the Impulz luts in a TV series called The law of the heart, the result was good, but I had problems with skin tones, to get the right red.
Regards

Alfonso Parra AEC, ADFC
Tel Colombia 57 3115798776
Tel Spain 34 639 109 309





Marc Wielage
 

Daniel Applegate commented on the CML-General list:  "Currently my favorite LUT tool for making looks like this is a plug-in for DaVinci (and many other programs) called Film Convert.  It doesn’t emulate that exact negative/print stock combo but you can get some pretty great vintage looks and you have controls that once you find a look you like, you can export the LUT."

I think all these tools are total bullshit (for the most part). A good colorist can get the identical look without sacrificing white highlights or black detail simply by dialing in the same look by hand. Time, experience, and skill are a better choice every time.

 

I concede that LUTs are OK for editors and others who just need a "quick fix" for something to throw on to the image. But so-called "Look LUTs" are really just a lot of hooey. All they really are are just a way for people to make money on smoke & mirrors. I would argue that the "1973 look" lies more in lighting technique and lenses, and there's no way to fake that with a LUT alone. The high-contrast look of (say) Kodak 5254 is a lot more complex than you might think.

 

I have absolutely no problem with a customized LUT created from scratch for a specific project, and technical LUTs designed to get from one colorspace to another also have their use.

 

--Marc Wielage

senior colorist

ColorByMarc / Hollywood

 

_._,_._,_

Geoff Boyle
 

I totally agree Marc.
Most of the time...
Unfortunately we don't always have the possibility of working with great colorists as I found out after 35 years of working with incredibly skilled colorists.
When you move into low budget films and TV you often get a "colorist" I'm sure you understand what I mean, and in that case software like Filmconvert can save your project.

Geoff Boyle
Cinematographer
Netherlands

Paul Curtis
 

On 29 Nov 2017, at 07:47, Geoff Boyle <geoff@...> wrote:
When you move into low budget films and TV you often get a "colorist" I'm sure you understand what I mean, and in that case software like Filmconvert can save your project.
Also for emulation of a real stock, LUTs are the ideal vehicle for getting there, after all that's where they came from. Often the transforms aren't just a combination of curves. At the same time that could be considered pedantic if you're just trying to 'get the feeling' and what Marc says makes perfect sense if that is an option.

Also from another message, i'm pretty sure you can export a LUT from film convert if you need to take a snapshot of a particular transform.

cheers
Paul

Paul Curtis, VFX & Post | Canterbury, UK

Jonathon Sendall
 

Have a look at “The Deuce” set in 70's New York. Shot on Varicam but the colour I think is very well done. Probably not with a LUT though.

JP Sendall
DP
UK
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Director/DOP



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mob. 07813261793
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Colin Elves
 

the Impulz LUTS from Vision Color have Kodak Ektar 100 stock emulation for various cameras. 


Colin Elves
Director of Photography,
Berlin, London


On 28 Nov 2017, at 15:03, info@... wrote:

HI, Does anyone know of a Lut to imitate the look of the movies of the early 70s? I'm thinking especially about Serpico, shot on 35mm Eastman 100T 5254 and printed on Color Print Film 5381. Any ideas?
Thank you very much

Alfonso Parra AEC, ADFC
www.alfonsoparra.com
Tel Spain 34 639109309
Tel Colombia 57 3115798776
_._,_._,_

Bob Kertesz
 

It's about time someone wrote that. I've thought it for at least five years now. Thanks, Marc.

'Emulation LUTS' that purport to mimic film stock or claim to make one manufacturer's camera colorimetry properly emulate another's are mostly bullshit.

It's fine if you want to send me private hate mail, but make it amusing/interesting or I'll post it here and add derisive comments.

-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

DIT, Video Controller, and live compositor extraordinaire.

High quality images for more than four decades - whether you've wanted them or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *

On 11/28/2017 4:42 PM, Marc Wielage wrote:

Daniel Applegate commented on the CML-General list:  "Currently my favorite LUT tool for making looks like this is a plug-in for DaVinci (and many other programs) called Film Convert.  It doesn’t emulate that exact negative/print stock combo but you can get some pretty great vintage looks and you have controls that once you find a look you like, you can export the LUT."

I think all these tools are total bullshit (for the most part). A good colorist can get the identical look without sacrificing white highlights or black detail simply by dialing in the same look by hand. Time, experience, and skill are a better choice every time.

 

I concede that LUTs are OK for editors and others who just need a "quick fix" for something to throw on to the image. But so-called "Look LUTs" are really just a lot of hooey. All they really are are just a way for people to make money on smoke & mirrors. I would argue that the "1973 look" lies more in lighting technique and lenses, and there's no way to fake that with a LUT alone. The high-contrast look of (say) Kodak 5254 is a lot more complex than you might think.

 

I have absolutely no problem with a customized LUT created from scratch for a specific project, and technical LUTs designed to get from one colorspace to another also have their use.

 

--Marc Wielage

senior colorist

ColorByMarc / Hollywood


Steve Oakley
 

Ok. you can do things the hard way, or you can do them the easy way. LUTs and film emulators are the easy way but not always best. the trade off is  instead of screwing around for far longer than you’d like, some of these tools get you there faster and easier. Sure you can mostly manually grade a shot to match, but not everyone has the skill to do it, or has some one in the project who can.

as for just pure LUTs as a universal solution, at some level I’ll call them mostly BS. they are ok for crude previews mostly. the problem with LUTS is they can result in clipping even though none is present in the original shot / exposure. so just throwing a LUT onto a clip may result in unhappiness. you have to apply a correction grade first, then send thru a LUT to be correct and avoid clipping

the other side of LUTs is that they aren’t a linear transform. mathematically, they can be a one way trip where a reverse LUT doesn’t bring you back to the original image. so its possible LUTs are imposing a unique process / transform that a manual grade would be more hard pressed to emulate. 

as example, I will sometimes use Arri Log on cLOG3 material as a starting point. the reasons are that arri log won’t clip because its a smaller transform than using one of canon’s LUTs. it gets you 2/3’s of the way there and makes the correction grade smaller. I’ve tried manually matching this w/o the LUT and its a lot more work and not quite the same. so there is nothing wrong with working easier / smarter.

for shooting, having a custom LUT in your monitor to emulate your final output would not be a bad thing for PREVIEW  as long as everyone understands its a preview. that is indeed a handy tool to adjust lighting, contrast, color/gels as needed to help get it right in camera. meaning you are still probably shooting RAW or log of some flavor with your camera shooting bias towards getting the final look but still trying to retain as much info as possible… or not. 

at some point I get a bit sick in terms of not shooting an image with a look, but rather just being engaged in data collection and recording. I think thats a real lost point these days in terms of how exposing is done : fear of clipping rather than saying that what is clipping doesn’t matter, it would get graded to pure white / black anyway. what are we doing trying to preserve what is essentially garbage image data that will get tossed anyway at the expense of loosing gradation in areas we care about and need because we are crushing the overall signal to hold a few hilights that will get blown out in grading anyway. there I said it ! having watched a few camera ops obsessive over highlight clipping the last few months really brought this home.

the best LUT / camera combo is Alexa in my experience. their LUT looks great and is probably the closest to doing what the dream is sold as. that combo requires the least tweaking if any in general to look great. its probably the only case of LUT first, then grade.

that said, I find its often just as easy to manually grade SOME log formats like clog3 where some simple gain, offset, saturation  and a little curve will make for something good pretty quick. the upside is that in resolve, it won’t clip using native grades, or at least you can recover things with a second node or additional hilight adjustments.

however, in the end I may still reach for Film Convert and apply it as a final look. it helps unify the footage. while you again could manually probably dial up the same looks, it would take a lot more time than flipping between emulsion presets get a ballpark look then tweak from there. don’t dismiss a tool if if can make your life simpler faster easier because using it isn’t macho.




On Nov 29, 2017, at 3:04 PM, Bob Kertesz <bob@...> wrote:

It's about time someone wrote that. I've thought it for at least five years now. Thanks, Marc.

'Emulation LUTS' that purport to mimic film stock or claim to make one manufacturer's camera colorimetry properly emulate another's are mostly bullshit.

It's fine if you want to send me private hate mail, but make it amusing/interesting or I'll post it here and add derisive comments.

-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

DIT, Video Controller, and live compositor extraordinaire.

High quality images for more than four decades - whether you've wanted them or not.© 

* * * * * * * * * * 

On 11/28/2017 4:42 PM, Marc Wielage wrote:
Daniel Applegate commented on the CML-General list:  "Currently my favorite LUT tool for making looks like this is a plug-in for DaVinci (and many other programs) called Film Convert.  It doesn’t emulate that exact negative/print stock combo but you can get some pretty great vintage looks and you have controls that once you find a look you like, you can export the LUT."

I think all these tools are total bullshit (for the most part). A good colorist can get the identical look without sacrificing white highlights or black detail simply by dialing in the same look by hand. Time, experience, and skill are a better choice every time.
 
I concede that LUTs are OK for editors and others who just need a "quick fix" for something to throw on to the image. But so-called "Look LUTs" are really just a lot of hooey. All they really are are just a way for people to make money on smoke & mirrors. I would argue that the "1973 look" lies more in lighting technique and lenses, and there's no way to fake that with a LUT alone. The high-contrast look of (say) Kodak 5254 is a lot more complex than you might think.
 
I have absolutely no problem with a customized LUT created from scratch for a specific project, and technical LUTs designed to get from one colorspace to another also have their use. 
 
--Marc Wielage
senior colorist
ColorByMarc / Hollywood


ptaylor@...
 

I'm with Marc regarding the use of looks LUTs. They can sometimes get you part of the way there, but often leave you little room to breathe for those final tweaks. 

I graded a feature about a year ago in which the director and DP were looking for a somewhat gritty 70's-ish look akin to "The Friends of Eddie Coyle". After some tests and experimentation, I found that using a 3 Strip Technicolor technique in Resolve gave us the best results. Not exactly Eddie Coyle, but that reference was really just a starting point for us. And, since this an actual grade and not a hard-wired LUT, I had the freedom to tweak until we arrived at something we all liked.

Here's a few of those graded frames:











The project was shot on Arri in Prores4444.

Here is a great page that explains the technique along with a little history of this method and how to employ it in Resolve:  You do need to understand the process and how it works in order to do your tweaking and really make it work for you. Again, great starting point, and lots of room for adjustments.

Mitch Gross
 

To call LUTs worthless or a loan of bull is missing the point. A good LUT is a tool and nothing more. To me it is a communication tool, a way of letting a colorist, a director, a producer, an ANYONE who is not me get an idea of the kind of look I'm generally working towards. Of course you're going to tweak it. Of course you want to let skilled craftspeople do their jobs. But it's a way of sharing a sense of what you're envisioning in your head. A picture is worth 1000 words, so why can't we use a visual tool to help us reach our goals?

And yes, there are times where a preset LUT can be very useful. If you know exactly how the chain is going to be constrained in the end then you can light and expose specifically for that. Back in the day I used to shoot reversal to achieve a specific look, and I had to carefully light & expose precisely based on how the film stock & processing would reflect it. 

I'm not negating the value of a talented colorist, but there are many times when that's simply not going to be made available. Lighting to your LUT can be a good thing if you know exactly what you want. 


Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic Media Entertainment Company
New York

On Nov 29, 2017, at 6:45 PM, ptaylor@... wrote:

I'm with Marc regarding the use of looks LUTs. They can sometimes get you part of the way there, but often leave you little room to breathe for those final tweaks. 

I graded a feature about a year ago in which the director and DP were looking for a somewhat gritty 70's-ish look akin to "The Friends of Eddie Coyle". After some tests and experimentation, I found that using a 3 Strip Technicolor technique in Resolve gave us the best results. Not exactly Eddie Coyle, but that reference was really just a starting point for us. And, since this an actual grade and not a hard-wired LUT, I had the freedom to tweak until we arrived at something we all liked.

Here's a few of those graded frames:

<C_N_580a.jpg>

<C_N_782.jpg>

<C_N_01.jpg>

<C_N_05.jpg>

<C_N_08.jpg>

The project was shot on Arri in Prores4444.

Here is a great page that explains the technique along with a little history of this method and how to employ it in Resolve:  You do need to understand the process and how it works in order to do your tweaking and really make it work for you. Again, great starting point, and lots of room for adjustments.

<C_N_782.jpg>

Luis Gomes
 

Wow. Was waiting for Mike Most entering the discussion :-)
this is getting quite near the Mac versus Pc debate. 
I guess if you are a colorist Luts are as close to Satan as it can be. 
However as a cinematographer Luts allows you some control of your intended intentions. Aces?
well. Most colorists I know delete all the metadata and do their “magic” on scratch. 
Interesting discussion tough. I am afraid it will lead to nowhere. They are watching it on smartphones anyway. So why bother. 

Luis. 
Trying to survive. 
Finland. 
Mostly Video. 

Stuart Brereton
 

It’s great to work with a talented colorist, and have the time to work from scratch when arriving at a look, but it’s not always possible. I often work on movies where we have a very limited amount of time to color, and in that situation a LUT is invaluable. If I can use the same LUT all the way from set to color, then I know exactly what I am going to see, without interpretation by anyone else. Case in point: I recently shot a TV movie which had an extended sequence shot day for dusk. We shot at 3200k in daylight, and underexposed everything by 2 stops. When I got to the color timing, the colorist, who hadn’t watched the reference movie, and who hadn’t used our (very standard) LUT, had removed all the blue and brightened the images so that it all looked like broad daylight. He was kind of pissed when I told him it was all wrong, but if he’d just used the LUT, at least as a guide, then he wouldn’t have wasted his time getting it wrong, and my time putting it right.

There’s always an ideal way of doing something, but it’s usually expensive and time consuming, and when you have little money or time, LUTs can save you.

Stuart Brereton
DP, LA

On Nov 29, 2017, at 3:45 PM, ptaylor@... wrote:

I'm with Marc regarding the use of looks LUTs. They can sometimes get you part of the way there, but often leave you little room to breathe for those final tweaks.

Marc Wielage
 

Stuart Brereton commented on the CML-General list: " I recently shot a TV movie which had an extended sequence shot day for dusk. We shot at 3200k in daylight, and underexposed everything by 2 stops. When I got to the color timing, the colorist, who hadn’t watched the reference movie, and who hadn’t used our (very standard) LUT, had removed all the blue and brightened the images so that it all looked like broad daylight."

 

That won't happen with a decent colorist. The first two things I ask for prior to the session are a) give me a list of notes & frame grabs describing the time of day and mood for each scene, and b) let me have a reference movie showing the offline and the temp dailies grade (which may have been made with a LUT) so I know exactly what the director and editor have been staring at for the last 3 months. This reference movie is pulled along 100% of the time with the project so that at any point, we can hit a button and immediately see how it originally looked. And I also try to call the DP if he or she is not available for the session to at least get a verbal road map from them as to what their creative intent was. My first pass (usually unsupervised) is generally matching to that initial grade, and then we take it from there as far as what it should look like during final color.

 

Everything else is possible -- it's just a question of time and budget. If they tell me "we only have X days and Y dollars," then I say "OK, here's what we can realistically accomplish on that schedule." So it's basically a triage getting as much done as is practical. TV movies are traditionally done in about 3 days, maybe 4 if you're lucky. I've done about 200 of them over the years, some of them with fairly unmerciful schedules. I'll push for long days if possible, because color-timing a movie in three or even two 12-hour days is actually doable provided we're not relighting every other shot or dealing with tons of VFX. No LUTs required, and they won't save me even 1 minute of time. Taste, style, and communication all help most of all, and there's no button or plug-in for those. 

 

--Marc Wielage

senior colorist

colorByMarc / Hollywood

alfonso parra
 

I totally agree with Mitch.  Luts are a tool, nothing more. I believe that in our job, as cinematographers, there are no dogmas, no rules, except one, that what we do functions narratively for the spectator. In my experience, Sometimes the luts are a good approximation to the image that one is looking for, but they always need the adjustment by the colorists.

Thanks for frames, they are really nice

Alfonso Parra AEC, ADFC
Tel Colombia 57 3115798776
Tel Spain 34 639 109 309





Stuart Brereton
 


On Nov 30, 2017, at 5:21 AM, Marc Wielage <mfw@...> wrote:

TV movies are traditionally done in about 3 days, maybe 4 if you're lucky. I've done about 200 of them over the years, some of them with fairly unmerciful schedules. I'll push for long days if possible, because color-timing a movie in three or even two 12-hour days is actually doable provided we're not relighting every other shot or dealing with tons of VFX. No LUTs required, and they won't save me even 1 minute of time. Taste, style, and communication all help most of all, and there's no button or plug-in for those. 

My experience with TV movies is that after the unsupervised first pass, they are often colored in as little as a single day. The first pass is done as quickly as possible, and everything else is done as broad strokes, with only select or problematic scenes getting full attention. I’m not saying this is a good way to work, but it is an unfortunately reality. Sometimes, the DP is not invited to attend, for fear of slowing down the process. It’s because of this that I do as much work as I can in camera, and I insist that my LUTs go all the way through to color-timing. That way, even if the LUT is eventually discarded, everyone in the color suite knows exactly what my intentions were.

With longer schedules, it’s great to have that dialog with your colorist, and be able to shape a look from the ground up. I’m timing a movie at Fotokem at the moment, and the conversations between myself and the colorist have yielded some really nice looks, and taken the images in sometimes unexpected directions that would never have happened if he’d just plugged a LUT in,  but on other movies, all too often the schedule is ridiculously short, and LUTs have provided a quick, reliable way of getting to where we need to be.

Stuart Brereton
DP, LA

Rick Gerard
 

On Nov 30, 2017, at 5:21 AM, Marc Wielage <mfw@...> wrote:

 Taste, style, and communication all help most of all, and there's no button or plug-in for those. 

If at all possible I use on set monitors that will take a lut. Shogun Inferno or Atomos Sumo are marvelous. The LUT is not baked in but you can see what you are getting and when it comes time to color grade 90% of the work is done if you know how to filter, light and expose.  On the last job I did I created 3 different luts and loaded them in the Atomos, and the look was approved on set for every setup. Color grading was not much more than a few isolated tweaks on a couple of shots and a little bit of curve adjustment. 

When I was shooting 35 you had to be on within about a half stop if you did not want to dream about the lab’s color timer to be chasing you through the woods with a chainsaw. A good color timer could pull off some pretty impressive saves but it took a lot of time. Get it right in camera is the best way to go. I see far too many young film makers that expect to do all of the color work in post.


Rick Gerard
DP/VFX Supervisor
MovI Pro / Licensed Commercial Pilot Fixed Wing and UAV
Northern CA




George Palmer
 

Rant Alert,  Been waiting to “get this off my chest for years”

At the advent of digital camera, when Bob and the other 5 or 6 veteran VC’s and I risked the scorn of our fellow Video folks by assumed the leading edge DIT/VC title, RAW was true only with Sushi. Unprocessed Log Cameras in the hands of film crews was at the time pretty daunting.  As a result Oriducers, rental houses, and even that traditional bastion of film, IATSE were quite sure however that veteran vidiots were needed to bridge the gap between Vidiocy and  non electronic film professionals. Film crews themselves and post houses weren’t quite as accepting however, fearing the economic impact on their their film based work flow habits.  Heck, the IA in LA and NY solicited and received gratis, FREE goodwill  (the only available) “Digital camera training from members and non members for DPs, Operators, Assistants, and Loaders.

In the absence of Early RAW digital imagery, Log ruled the land. Viper, F900, Genesis, and early Arri cameras offered some form of LOG and limited WYSIWYG Monitoring, but the presence of a seasoned DIT/VC was reassurance of capturing an image that could be conformed properly in post.  And here is where the relevance to these LUT posts starts.  We early digital Camera mentors and practitioners used look LUTs from such as Speedgrade on set to reassure all the “nervous someone’s” that the Log footage they were lighting, framing, And exposing would grade OK in post.  In the interest of and respect for the post business and its processes I personally never represented my look LUTs as a finished grade, only for reassurance that everything was still “in the negative” for the post “chefs” to create visual delights. Now maybe it is just me since fellow pioneers like Bob and Dave ( you know who you are) had different experiences engendered by close post relationships during their Video careers. But for the most part, even with the best of intentions, I was seldom granted that level of professional courtesy often revealed in their disdain for my work with and advocacy for the pioneering unprocessed Log Viper camera, and expressed through limited communication with DI colorists and workflow by most of the LA post houses themselves. Nowadays of course that production-post production interchange is thankfully routine to the benefit of all.

But IMHO for all of the endemic boilerplate film production Community Cumbayah industry fiction, this Colorist anti On Set LUT thread is just another hypocritical reality. A bittersweet reminder that I am happy to be retired.

Using my retired DIT/Technologist get out of jail free card, ....if it works
On The WNY Tundra
--
George Palmer

George Palmer
 

Hope my responses aren’t automatically requoting previous msgs, but sorry didn’t include my name on my just previous and ( sorry) rant.

GEORGE Palmer
Tundra snow dog, WNY US
--
George Palmer

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