Technicolor’s New Picture Style: CineStyle
Last week we discussed story and not getting caught up in all the tech/gear frenzy. Now, I want to provide a cinematographer’s on Technicolor’s new CineStyle picture style. Having a picture style that will give us more latitude and enhance our visuals is a great thing, but it’s the person behind the capture device that makes it sing. You have to know how to light as well as understand mood, contrast, composition, and exposures.
I don’t want to sit in the corner as the crotchety old DP and say, “Well Sonny, that HD is for the birds.” There are many people that call themselves cinematographers but are they? Do they have the experience to back it up, or do they rely on the colorist in the DI or telecine bay to do their work for them?
Canon 5D Format
The reason I gravitated toward this format was two-fold. First, it was the right tool to tell the story of Act of Valor. Second, it put the power back into the hands of the cinematographer. I found myself filtering again for a specific look that I wanted to bake in. I treated the Canon 5D like reversal film stock, which means you have to get it close. What you see on the back LCD is what you get. That excited and inspired me because it was fresh, new, and innovative.
Who thought we all would be capturing drop-dead gorgeous footage from a 2.5 lb. prosumer still camera? The fact that I have to get it right with all of the right exposures on the day, challenges me. This is what the photochemical process was like before the DI color bay.
That said, I love a little wiggle room and that is what Technicolor has designed with their CineStyle. They have engineered a beautifully balanced color space. CineStyle delivers the most latitude out of the Canon 5D camera, period, a standard.
CineStyle Picture Style
Now let’s talk tech for a minute. Dealing with flat picture styles are very difficult to expose. So here are my suggestions.
Set your picture style to Neutral when exposing and lighting your image. Once you’re set to record, slide over to Technicolor’s CineStyle without adjusting exposure. This will give you a LUT (lookup table) so that you can properly expose your flat picture style and give you the best wiggle room in post.
This Neutral is just a base. Say you want your film to look like bleach bypass then download that picture style. If you want it to feel like Ektachrome or cross-processed, whatever your creative vision for the project, start with that, then slide over to the CineStyle. When you download the CineStyle Technicolor
Obviously, you can design a picture style that your film, commercial, music vid, etc. wants to look like: Ektachrome, cross-processed, bleach bypass, whatever you dream up. However, this is what you have to light to and expose with.
This is the look that comes loaded with CineStyle. It suggests you alter your saturation because your picture profile comes up:
- Sharpness: 0
- Contrast: -4
- Saturation: 0
- Color Tone: 0
I have done a simple set of three pics. That way, you can see how it works with the CineStyle at 0 -4 0 0 and with the Picture.
Technicolor’s suggestion of desaturating their picture profile a little bit.
- Sharpness: 0
- Contrast: -4
- Saturation: -2
- Color Tone: 0
Notice the added detail in the blacks and how the red is taken down several notches. This CineStyle is amazing and I’m finding much cleaner results in the post-color correction process.
Picture Style with Color Science
Have at it; soak it up; relish in the fact that someone designed a picture style with color science behind it. It is not something that someone cooked up on their laptop, which is the road I took.
With this format, I feel that there are way too many choices. This is good and bad all at the same time. There needs to be a set of standards. In order to create at your full potential, you do need boundaries and rules. At the ASC we have been striving for excellence and quality control throughout every aspect of photography and filmmaking for over 80 years. We live and breathe it. So now there is a picture style standard that has Technicolor’s name on it.
How To Work with CineStyle
Another standard to get very familiar with is rec. 709. This is the benchmark that all HD video is color corrected with. It’s a color space designed years ago to give you the most accurate color and contrast rendition when going to film with HD files.
This soon became the industry standard to light and expose with while using a flat picture style like what Technicolor made. You need a LUT (lookup table) that throws contrast, color, and saturation into this very flat, mundane style.
Try lighting and exposing with this CineStyle and you will soon find yourself underexposing your 5D footage. My suggestion is to go with a picture style that you want your film to look like dialed into your camera. This is what you light and expose with. Then, before rolling you slide over to CineStyle and record flat to get some wiggle room.
Technicolor’s CineStyle is a Tool to Hone Your Skills
Every cinematographer’s journey is unique and based on individual preference. Technicolor has given us a gift from the gods. For the cinematographer-in-training, it’s a great tool to hone your skills and gain confidence in the results. But, remember you will make mistakes. I have done it a thousand times and many of those times the screw-up was a new experiment. The others completely boned me. HUGE.
I was with my very good friend, Roberto De Angelis from Rome, who operated on six of my feature films, last Friday. He is in town shooting Michael Mann’s new HBO show Luck.
Roberto said, “Whatever camera you put in my hand, I will make work. I don’t have to know anything about it. The frame lines are the same.”
Now, that’s coming from probably one of the best Steadicam operators in the business today. Needless to say, I see his point. On the other hand, we as cinematographers, have to light it, and knowing the limitations of the format is very important.
The Bottom Line
Generally, picture styles can bury you if you don’t choose the right one for your project. But your ability to know how to light and understand exposures comes with experience. Film experience. Don’t be afraid of falling backward. Because it takes that confidence to move forward.
At this point, film is still the ultimate capture medium. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. What the Canon 5D gives you is the ability to think outside the box.
We are not in the mass movie business anymore. Use it to liberate yourself as a cinematographer, to challenge you, to inspire you, to say, “I will find another way.”
This is why the Canon 5D rules. Put it in places that were never before imagined. Trust no boundaries with your creative ideas. Although, have a set of standards that guide you.
Carpe diem!!! Seize the moment, seize the story, seize the exposures, and seize the light. By training and building your experience, you will very well seize the day.
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Since 2014, Johnson has worked as a freelance colorist and commercial projects that include Cartoon Network, The History Channel, and Jeep. Other color work includes the documentary The Undocumented Lawyer (streaming on HBO) and Broken (ABC series) as well as music videos and short films.
Johnson works as a Digital Imaging Technician and colorist on feature films, television, and commercials where he values each project as an opportunity to collaborate and learn. As of 2020, Johnson also works at Streamland Media as a Software Operations Specialist supporting numerous feature films and episodic projects. Taking a holistic approach, Johnson pulls from his vast knowledge of set work and post-production to help inform his work.
Thanks Shane for sharing!
If you would have to shoot something very contrasty, like direct sun/skies with shades from buildings, etc in the same shoot and the result you need to get is the most naturalistic look. Would you chose CineStyle or Neutral?
Have you done much skin tone testing with the CineStyle? Were you able to get natural skintones like those you might get from Neutral? Do you start with the technicolor LUT or have you created your own?
Could you say anything about the weaknesses you have found with the Cinestyle, if any, other than the potential to miss exposure?
Thanks so much for the time and effort you put in.
Hi Shane rod from down under. I have been waiting for your post on cinestyle and as usual you come up with the goods!
Thoughtful, technical and taking it further than other people who are talking about it.
I can’t seem to make the download take on my 5d but will keep trying, any tips?
Thanks for your enthusiasm, just what we need!
Thank you for this…I was hoping you would post your thoughts about the Cinestyle. Your posts and mor importantly your whole ideology is easy for me to understand and relate to. But I’m torn on using this style or not.
One reason I abandoned ultra flat profiles some months ago and tried to go for in camera looks, because I found that in the compressed 8bit 4:2:0 space the artifacts are more apparent when contrast is added back in. There’s a superb video on the BH Hdslr Hub that shows this point quite well. http://www.hdslrhub.com/news/hdslr-color-grading-before-or-after.htm. It seems it is miles better to burn in a look that’s closer to your desired end result only requiring minor pushes in grading, therefore reducing the chances of having footage fall apart.
Now the Technicolor CineStyle is the best you can get when it comes to flat profiles….there’s no denying that. However, it doesn’t fix the fact that you’re recording in that h264 codec and 8bit. In my tests, when I add contrast back in, banding appears in the smoother gradients; like the sky for example.. It seems the Cinestyle is a dream picture style stuck within an inferior codec that cannon do it justice…and it’s a shame.
What are your thoughts on this?
On a side note, going to premiere a film at New Filmmakers in LA this month, would love to meet you! Do you autograph 5dMkII’s? Haha.
Are you making sure that when you ingest your cinestyle footage that you’re going right to ProRes before you start grading or applying a LUT? I’ve been shooting cinestyle, then using the EOSutility to go right to ProRes and I’ve been getting nothing but amazing results with virtually no banding at all…
I don’t ingest. I import natively using Adobe Premiere. Please visit the link I provided and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Thank you very much for restoring some sanity to the “fix it in post” mentality of today. I agree with you wholeheartedly that one of the greatest things about this medium is that you’ve got to know your stuff on set, and not to use post as a crutch, which is what FAR too many today do. I’ve found some of the most vocal opponents of the 5D are the ones who almost treat shooting on set like a chore, they just want to get it done as quickly as humanly possible so they can take it into the computer and play around….and frankly, they are about as fluent in cinematic language as I am in Esperanto. The heavy post-emphasis has, ironically, led to filmmakers LIMITING themselves on set, when they claim they’re trying to do the opposite!
No real question here, just wanting to take the time to express my gratitude for someone making clear that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution and that it takes lots of time and honing of skills to get better at our craft.
Erik A., I want to thank you for your kind words, these are what continue to inspire me. You all ROCK!!!
Ha! I literally just discovered that exposing on the neutral picture style will yield better results once you switch over to technicolor for recording. Shooting a feature up in Inverness, Cali using your great tips at the moment. Thanks so much for taking the time to publish this stuff!
Shane with regard to exposure do you stay strictly within the 16 – 235 luma range?
Thanks for sharing your techniques with us!
Do you plan to use the Technicolor CineStyle for every DSLR shoot going forward? Would there be times when you would choose another picture style instead of CineStyle? If so, what factors would go into your decision? Do you feel that if you are shooting content with a more limited contrast range that another profile would be better in those situations?
Thanks again for all your insight!
Incredibly useful blog as ever Shane.
Do you think the moral of this is if you know you will be producing an ultra contrasty image maybe the flat style isn’t the best option?
Whats your take on this video shane?
I did some test and if the footage is underexposed with the CineStyle profile it does expose a lot of noise when it is lightened up.
Greg Greenhaw, that is exactly right, this is why the only way to use this picture style is to light with Neutral and then flip over to Cine style to record.
Thought the technicolor pic style is good…but two man things for me that I didn’t like shooting tests between my usual pic style and technicolor was
1. I found Run n gun style shooting a lot trickier to rack focus, keep focus due to everything being so flat and kinda washed out.
2. After applying sharpness back on the technicolor footage, it didn’t look as sharp or as good as my other pic style.
Maybe a great use for low light scenes to maintain latitude, I might just be crap but I found this pic style was a draw back for me at the moment.
Would love to know if anyone else has a few tricky focus moments with this pic style ;)
Daniel (imacanon), the reason it looks not as sharp because it is neutral, which I have been shooting with for over 31 months. No sharpness, it makes it look like HD, which in turn makes it look like video. Softness is a good thing. Embrace it, it is more cinematic.
I found bringing the sharpness up to 1 or 2 preserves more of detail that can not be retrieved in post.
I don’t feel like sharpness at 2 it makes it look like video at all.
With the sharpness at 0 the recorded footage was much more soft than the footage in the lcd specially when i zoomed up to the eye lash. At a sharpness of 2 the recorded footage more closely matched the lcd.
I believe that canon sharpens each frame before reduction and compression which could prioritize texture info before compression.
Greg Greenhaw, here are my thoughts on the sharpening tool. We are all trying to get to the benchmark of 35mm film, not HD. Taking the sharpening out of the image is what gets it closer to the look and feel of film.
Thanks Shane and Greg for your input…much appreciated :)
Wow, this is good stuff. Your idea to setup the scene with one LUT and then shoot it with the flat LUT really sounds great.
Isn’t that what Red Digital Cinema is doing with their RedCodeRaw? What you see on the camera display is determined by the LUT/wb/color-space you set but what’s recorded is the raw data without the look backed in.
If the Scarlet ever comes out @ ~$6K that might be a winner.
Robert Shaver, yes, that is exactly right. Thank you for all of your support.
This isn’t right, RED does not matrix the colours together in camera, therefore images out of RED are true RAW. The 5D does matrix (lock) the colours in camera and therefore makes it much harder to grade. This Technicolor lut bears no resemblance to the flexibility of REDS RAW R3D’s.
I’m not sure you understand what he means by LUT. He uses a picture style for lighting and setting up aperture and iso (the LuT), then flips to technicolor to record. The neutral is his LuT, and the technicolor is used for exposing…two different things. And nobody said it matches 10 bit log space like Red. (by the way, Redraw isn’t true raw…it’s simply a 10 bit log curve that red developed. True raw wpuld be something like what the 5d can capture in stills mode.) :)
If you wrote an article about life we’d all reach enlgihtennmet.
Sorry…red is 12 bit linear…by bad.
Greg, Technicolor recommend you expose to get your shadows at 16. Be aware that if you use QT to decompress your movs that QT first upsamples chroma to 4:2:2 and then squeezes your below 16 and above 235 into that restricted range ready for conversion to RGB in the NLE. So what QT gives you after decompression is NOT what was captured on camera.
If you decompress your movs with a codec that does not squeeze the luma as this induces contrast and saturation you’ll find your real levels in those movs are somewhat brighter with better shadow detail.
To the extent that a Neutral shot takes on a striking resemblance to a Technicolor one where luma has been compressed.
How do u expose shadows to 16? Can you explain in camera the process?
I use 5dtoRGB to transcode with the follow settings:
Decoding Matrix BT.601
Gama Flag: None
Chroma Mode: Default
I leave all checkboxes unchecked
Is this the optimal settings for 5dtoRGB?
Is there a Log ProRes setting?
BTW using the qtscale at -12 in magic lantern I was able to briefly produce a 125mbs clip. The Cinestyle causes the buffer to overflow much quicker.
For me this line said it all:
“There are many people that call themselves cinematographers but are they? Do they have the experience to back it up, or do they rely on the colorist in the DI or telecine bay to do their work for them?”
I don’t remember how many times I had complain about this subject on twitter because I know A LOT of people that thinks that after applying a magic bullet colorista’s preset you can call yourself a “Cinematographer”.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not against color correction, but I think of it just like another tool for the job, if you want certain look you need to go for it since you are in pre-production asking for the right equipment so when you are shooting you can light the way you feel it will serve the story.
If we do not force ourselves to have the discipline of think what are the “look” going for and how we can get it, and we leave it all to a new picture style, we will end up like technicians instead of filmmakers or cinematographers.
Hug my friend.
Jerry Rojas, wonderfully said my friend. I could not agree more. You have to fall to see why and what made you fall, a flat picture style is there so that you can never fall, and odds are you are never going to get up. Hugs Hugs
Hello again Shane!
Hello from the Holy Land once again – Jerusalem, Israel. This post was great, just what I needed to fill in the gaps of my knowledge (i’m sure there is plenty of gaps) to properly take advantage of this new picture style. So awesome of you to take us out of the dark on many issues and basically save us from getting burned and having to settle on mediocre results. This one post alone has a value that one should be willing to pay loads of mullah for!
I thought I would share my reel with you shane (www.avivvana.com) and hope for some feedback as to where my skills lie and what my “level” as a cinematographer is.
Because of what I have been able to create with your help I have been hired quite a bit over others. I have pushed many towards this format and “tutored” them through the essentials to get them started in learning the DSLR game so they can also, affordably, be in the running :-) It’s been quite a ride – and the advancements keep on coming!
Aviv Vana, I want to thank you for your kind words and support. I checked your reel out. Very nice composition and style, loved the feel. I would shorten it a little, loose all of the green smoke shots. Not needed. Tighten a little and rock it out.
Awesome! How do you have the time my friend!? Thanks for the tips!
Thanks for giving us your opinion of this topic, the more info we can find on these new tools the better and you always seem to give fantastic information. Keep up the good work!
Paul Pierce, Jr., you are so welcome. It takes me a little bit, but I want to vet it out myself first.
Shane “You amaze me” how someone like you can give up there time and even share so much to the budding filmmakers on the planet BLOWS me away… I just want to say THANK YOU!!!
Kevin Evans, thank you for these kind words, you inspire me with all of this support. ROCK ON!!!
Only problem with Cinestyle is that it apparently uses 16-235 steps instead of 0-255 as Neutral. This means it has about 30 steps less DR.
On the plus side it does have slightly more latitude especially in the shadows. Highlight handling unfortunately is not as good as Neutral. Neutral has a nice gradual shift from overexposure, where Cinestyle has a more harder cut off. So I will still be using Neutral as it is better than Cinestyle everyway except in the shadows. I may switch to Cinestyle on a really contrasty day.
Awesome explanation, Shane. You just helped me improve my workflow and rethink how to use the Cinestyle.
One strong question though.
I now transcode my source files to Cineform, which does a Luma correction and 422 upscale. If I’m already shooting flat as it is via Cinestyle, is it a good idea to transcode any longer? Will Cineform be “stretching” the image too thin?
Should I NOW leave the images alone and edit in the raw format (I use ppro CS5)? Or does it not matter at all and should I continue to transcode with Cinestyle captured images?
Thank you so much for all your work on this blog, Shane. You’re my main go-to reference on everything Cinematography and DSLR Cinema based.
Kahl, Here is what our Adobe guru Mike Kanfer says. KahL should bypass the Cineform step, and go straight into Premiere Pro or After Effects with his “Cinestyled” Canon footage. This would offer the cleanest decode (especially since the image is flat looking based on that picture style) and then he is working at 32 bit float within Premiere Pro or After Effects. Since the Cinestyle emulates a flat looking log type of profile, he can use the curve tools and 3-way color corrector within Premiere or AE to easily flip that around and create a “normal looking” video image. He can also work with the FREE new Colorista and LUT buddy plugins from Red Giant Software that allow you to import 1D and 3D luts into Premiere and AE. So for instance, if he is handing over footage to a colorist or DI facility, he can ask them for their viewing LUT. He then works in Premiere or AE doing color correction underneath that overall LUT, and never has to “bake in” the corrections until he is ready to output. Another advantage of working directly with the Adobe color correction tools on the “Cinetsyled” footage is that if he has a suitable nVidia card (listed on the Adobe website) his color corrections using the Adobe tools can all be real-time as they are GPU accelerated.
Thanks for this reply, Shane.
I just recently did some tests w/ Premiere CS5 using a raw .mov file and Cineform .avi
The tests IN Premiere showed that they looked identical completely and handled nearly the same (scrubbing was smoother in Cineform though). But as far as the 10bit 422 conversion, you guys were right. PPROCS5 indeed does seem to do what Cineform does in transcoding.
Hi Shane –
This is my first time writing in. I just wanted to say that I love your site. It is one that I look at daily in hopes of new stuff. You are really great for sharing all of you knowledge and experiences with us. Thank you so much. It says a lot about someone who works in the industry and freely gives of himself to help everyone else realize their dreams. You are the MAN!
I have just a quick question. I am looking at purchasing a set of the Tiffen White Water sets, and had wondered if I only got one, which one is more helpful outdoors the INDIE or the INDIE PLUS?
David Moore, thank you so much for all of those kind words and support. I would go with the INDIE. This will give you the ND you need.
Great, now what do you do with it?
I really don’t understand the flat/neutral craze. Why flatten something in order to bring it back to pretty much what “standard” picture style gives you anyways? Is it just to get that iota of detail in the lights and shadows? In my experience, the average viewer couldn’t care less, that is, if they can even notice the difference. Sounds like a lot of post work for a minimal result. Granted, the big guys don’t do their own post, but to the small one-man-band production companies, these picture styles seem like a waste of time. Any one have any constructive caveat for me?
I agree with you. It’s up to you to decide in which project you should use the standard Pic-style (those projects that doesn´t require fine tuning, and that time is really an important factor), and there would be others that you will really need more space for grading and fine tuning. That been said, I have to say that a neutral/flat Picture style can really save your ass.
MARIO ANTILLON, I feel that standard is not even an option. You have to stay away from any sharpening. Leave that baby on neutral and you will be good.
I am taking that switching over to a different profile to pull exposure to heart. It is really hard to tell what is contrasting from the back of the screen with this new profile but It give you SO much more room in post for grading and correction. If you would like to see my short experience with the profile I put up some pictures on my blog
I first want to say thank you for being an encyclopedia that I refer to constantly. I have always had the mentality to get the best exposure (still or motion) and then make small tweaks later in post. I am new to the HDSLR seen but I have a good amount of experience of other camera systems. I’ve been going back and fourth for months now wether to get a 7d or a 5d. I will be using it on several projects I have coming up both still and motion. It seems when one as a feature I like a lot it lacks another feature the other one has and that goes for the 7d, 5d, and 1d. If you get a chance could you shed some light on the pros and cons of these Canons?
Don Hankins, thank you so much for those kind words. The Canon 5D is king all the other Canon’s are trying to climb up the hill. It has to do with mega pixel size. The 5D has much larger mega pixels than the 7D and 1D, so the light flows into them in a more filmic way, you have a beautiful fall off into the shadows as well as a more graceful blow out in the highlights.
have you watched the recent great camera shootout Zacuto has documented with Steve Weiss running the tests?
in there overexposure test, the 7D held the highlights more so than the 5D.
Chris Morgan, yes I did. I use both of the Canon’s side by side on everything that I shoot. I find that the ability to shoot with the Panavision 11-1 zoom on the 7D is a huge benefit when shooting the lifestyle spots. They are both incredible cameras and I felt they held up very well.
I am still experimenting with Cinestyle.
What I found that it is not easy to achive saturated, contrasty look in post. Maybe I need more practice in grading (as I work as one man army :/). I just finished music video and I am not sure if I could achieve this “fun and party look” in music club with cinestyle (used desaturated neutral).
Anybody tried to get colorfull video?
Using several tools can help that, but I find in this order it helps most (ref. pproCS5).
1. Levels- will help you crush blacks in the darks and mids. Balance it out from here can help and you’ll immediately gain the contrast and saturation you’re looking for
2. Luma Curve- will help your mids and highs even further. Especially for skin tones.
Hopefully that helps.
I’ve already tried and and in my opinion it’s harder to colorize video (recorder in cinestyle) in such way (noise!!!). Although it works great when you want to achieve desaturated movie look. Guess we have to wait for smoe RAW format in canons ;)
Did you record at the native ISOs? Such as multiples of 160 (160, 320, 640, etc.)? That usually helps eliminate the noise factors pretty well. Especially if exposed well.
If your getting alot of noise you are under exposing that is what shane is saying above.
I know the answer my question may be obvious to most here but better safe than sorry:
The Cinestyle file as downloaded from Technicolor is a .zip file. I assume it has to be extracted to its native .pf2 file before downloading to the camera?
you assume correctly!
Thanks Shane ,for sharing this valuable information, a master class!!!!!!
From Uruguay , South America.
Thanks for the great post Shane. Recently I posted up a Premiere RGB Curves preset file that applies Technicolor’s supplied S-Curve LUT that goes with the CineStyle picture style. I hand-coded in the precise values found in their suppled raw LUT file, so it should be identical or at least extremely close. You most likely won’t need this, but other readers may see the need for it if they don’t want to buy LUT plugins to fully utilize CineStyle. They can download it here:
While studying the file, I found it interesting that Technicolor clipped off 5 values from both top and bottom of the S-curve, about half a stop less than the full 8 bit dynamic range.
Loved the article post and have enjoyed playing around the Technicolor plugin and BTW the HDSLRHUB video, gives a great intro.
Free LUT Plug-in for FCP/CS5 From Red Giant
I have installed it but have not tried it out yet
You raise some great points Shane, thank you. The Cinestyle for me is the perfect balance of having options in post, more so than simply shooting with contrast down, but not too much room for manoeuvre that you never make any decisions on set. In trying to get used to lighting for a contrasted look and shooting Cinestyle, I have been guilty of forgetting to flip to Cinestyle before we turn over. Definitely another thing to remember to do, to switch it back over at the last moment! Given the limitations of the platform having Technicolor on our side is incredible, they’ve done the profile amazingly well, and like you say there’s now a new standard for the Canons that we can all finally agree on. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Oli Kember, you are very welcome, but be advised. It is not the end all to be all. Stay with neutral when you can. The camera rules, everyone else is just a tourist.
Hey. I am in pre production on a feature that will be shooting with the 5D. I intend on using cinestyle as my profile but am wondering about grading. While I know CS5 handles DSLR filed natively, would there be something gained still by converting the footage to cineform 422 10 bit before grading?
I’m curious about this too. I’ve been eying Cineform’s Neo software not only for the renderless non-destructive colour correction but also for the ability to up grade to 422 10 bit Cineform files. Do you think there’s much to gain from this?
Hello Shane, been following the blog for a while and really keen to try at the Cinestyle. Still learning with my 7D but wanted to ask a quick question.
Is it literally a case of lighting/exposing using the neutral profile, flicking across to Cinestyle and then hitting record? That straight forward?
Also, I tend to use the super flat settings that are popular, is it still best to light/expose with neutral then flick to Cinestyle and ignore the superflat entirely?
Dave Green, yes the same rules apply, but the super flat picture styles suck. Stay off of that as much as you can.
I shot a test with the CineStyle picture style and the 7D, applying the LUT in FCP. I’m not sure if I have to adjust the color more after the LUT is applied but any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Hello Shane. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us.
I´ve tested the CineStyle vs Neutral and to my suprise the bitrate in CineStyle is much shorter (around 38MbS) than with the Neutral Profile (around 44mbs). I don´t know if someone has test this issue.
To me, with all respects for the Technicolor people and his advocates, this profile does not look as good as the Neutral Profile. I am not a Pro, and maybe I don´t have the skills to take the full potential of CineStyle. Thanks.
UPDATE: The ABOVE assumption is WRONG. It was made with a build of Magic Lantern that has problems with the bitrate, now it´s fixed and IS THE SAME BITRATE (almost).
My apologies, feel free to delete it.
Thanks and sorry
Really enjoy your work. On the related topic of optimizing a film look with Canon DSLRs, I believe you stated during one of your videos on dslrhub.com that using a diffusion filter (pro mist for example) is generally not a good idea. Are there any scenarios where you would recommend using a diffusion filter (aside from reducing aliasing)?
You made this remark somewhat quickly in the video, so if I’ve misinterpreted I apologize.
Jack C, Hi Jack, what I was saying is try to do it with lens choice. The HD world is way to sharp for my eyes and I prefer using glass that was made before 1982 on my cameras. It is sharp but not hype sharp, you need the cream in the coffee. If I want to help an actress out with her skin or create a cream sequence, I would use promists, or soft efx’s filters. But they do flare and create issues that you will have to deal with.
I also want to be thrilled by this Technicolor contribution and have done several tests. I don’t know if I do this incorrectly but to me, seems like an Apple to Apple comparison is the only proper way to test and compare this fella.
So I have done a lot of shots with my 5D neutral setting configured with same settings:
– 5D Neutral with Sharpness: 0 Contrast: -4 Saturation: -2 Color Tone: 0
– Technicolor picture profile with same, Sharpness: 0 Contrast: -4 Saturation: -2 Color Tone: 0
– Then I apply the LUT Curve to all Technicolor shots
– Lens used Carl Zeiss ZE Prime 1,4 50 mm
(I also have all settings in my body according to your Episode 1 from http://www.hdslrhub.com when I do this comparison)
In many cases, the technicolor profle does not open up shadows but in fact darkens the picture and leave less room for details compared to the Neutral Native setting. If I increase the brightness and contrast, on both profiles to keep the Apple to Apple comparison, yes then I can see more details in the shadows, but the picture gets noisier compared to the Neutral Native Profile.
Can you or anyone please let me know what is the proper procedure to get to experience what you guys seem to see, assuming ya’ll compare Apple to Apple. Needless to say, I understand that using the Default Neutral Native Profle with its Manufacture Default Contrast and Saturation in Netural, gets a big difference, but then it is an Apple to Pears comparison right?
Please let me know how I can be thrilled as well ;-)
Thanks,for sharing this valuable information!!!
Congratulations shane this and all your posts are excelent for learning more about this art.
How can I expose with a sekonic 308s directly in the picture style?
Congratulatons and thanks a lot. Greetings from Mexico
When you record with Cinestyle do you use Unsharp effect in post producion?
I’ve been following your site for quite some time, thank you so much for doing this, it’s such an awesome resource!
I just had a quick question – when using the Cine Style picture-style I’ve been finding it very hard to maintain accurate focus after opening up past 4/5.6 or so… with the extremely low contrast image there’s no hard edges to follow and with the SD output, even to the Dreamcolor, it makes it even harder. How do you combat this issue? Do you review everything?
Thanks again – Love your work!
Danny, from Australia.
I was curious to find out, what’s your approach to exposure with the 5D/7D
Mostly I go by the histogram (which is not really very precise) and also by using the spot meter and a 18% chart, also I find tat the actual lcd is also very accurate as well as using the highlight alert.
Thanks for all your insight, it’s amazing to have this resource.
Francisco Bulgarelli, I never use the histogram, or highlight alert. I go by my eye. Feels like the best approach. I am glad you enjoy the blog.
So now going back, I’ve begun using the Cinestyle’s LOG profile, slightly modified (boosted contrast back to the center instead of -4) and I haven’t looked back.
It’s really not even a comparison at this point to use other styles for me and I have more flexibility in post color than I ever had before.
KahL, I will have to try that. Haven’t gone there.
Please help me with some basic. I read DSLR CINEMA and have watched yours and Philp Bloom’s tutorials.
Agreed picture style is Neutral.
Please advise which the best setting using Neutral.
– 5D Neutral with Sharpness: 0 Contrast: -4 Saturation: -2 Color Tone: 0
– 5D Neutral with Sharpness: 0 Contrast: 0 Saturation: -1 Color Tone: 0
– 5D Neutral with Sharpness: 0 Contrast: 0 Saturation: -2 Color Tone: 0
HUGE thanks to Shane, this blog and everyone contributing to it. I’ve been reading everything from suggested lenses, to workflow improvements and everything has helped tremendously.
That said, with this Cinestyle LogC setting, I’ve completed two more commercial spots, with another on the way. At this point, I think I’m addicted to LogC.
MTA GOING YOUR WAY:
I’d definitely love to hear more experiences from this profile.
Shane – great site, well written stuff and so informative, you’re a decent bloke sharing tips like this afterall you’re a big gun in Hollywood, very generous of you, you deserve all the success you have.
Chris Ryan, Thank you very much for the support. I try my best to give information that inspires storytelling, not just gear heads.
Hi guys, what if i just wish to use cine style to take natural skin tone colour, more like what i see with my eyes appear what capture on my camera, what are the changes on the cine style i need to tweak? Thanks in advance
Thank you for this, I have been shooting in Neutral and still have not really gotten the look that I am trying for.
Thomas McConnell, you are very welcome. Glad I could help
Hi Shane, great post.
I really like your suggestion of building the image with a Neutral PS an then switch to Cinestyle. I’ve found very difficult exposing directly with Cinestyle and for this reason I had a lot of trouble in post.
Alessio. Thanks for the kind words and support.
This is great information. Is “Cinestyle” kind of like a preset for the settings, or does it do something else to the camera to get the flat image? Would we get the exact same image without Cinestyle by changing our contrast, sharpness, tone, and saturation to the suggested settings? Are there any other settings internally that Cinestyle alters?
Hi Chris.The cinestyle picture profile does more than just adjusting the settings in camera. Its a gamma curve made by Technicolor to give you more latitude in the highlight and shadow areas. By doing this your image feels like it has less bit depth, so I reserve it for extreme shooting condition. Like shooting into the sun.
Love all the info. One question. When using cinestyle I’ve noticed that skin tones are really flat, and I lose much of the color. I’m not a great colorist, but I can work well in color or with final cut’s color correction. Is skin tone usually an issue with cinestyle? (btw, have not tried exposing with neutral yet. Will do that!) Thank you.
Neil. Thanks for the comment and support. I only use cinestyle in extreme lighting conditions because when coloring its harder to get good skin tones out of the footage. You sacrifice bit depth in the skin tones for the additional latitude.
You note that you only use cinestyle in extreme lighting conditions. What picture Style are you using under normal lighting conditions? I use Magic Lantern v2.3 with my 5D mark II and it allows me to use any chosen picture style for viewing but will automatically change to another chosen picture style (like cinestyle) when you begin recording. Magic Lantern v2.3 is incredible.
Jerry Greer, so sorry for the delayed response. I would use Neutral -3 Contrast -1 Saturation
Shooting in a urban environment this upcoming weekend, nighttime shoot with some HMIs. Will be shooting wide open in the 1.2/1.4 area. Would you recommend using the cinestyle to get more detail in the shadows? Or shoot is straight? Thanks so much for the advise.
Stephen, set you camera in neutral -4 contrast, -1 saturation, 0 Sharpness 0 Color Tone and see how it looks. Cinestyle will lower your BIT depth, but give you more latitude. Under sodium vapor lights I advise 3800 degrees Kelvin.
Shane – thank you very much for your great blog entries. I was wondering how you adjust your WB using Canon 5d, do you make it colder or warmer depending on the desired final look of the scene? Thank you.
Edward Smyła, you are very welcome, and thank you for your support. It all depends on the scene and what the practicals are, being day or night. There is no set rule other than when I shoot day exteriors I am at 5200K
Thank you Shane, my observations is that is due to the limited room for changes in color corection sometimes it is better not to reflect the reality in WB but go after the disared look the scene needs to have finally.
Unfortunately the Cinestyle S-Curve LUT is not available anymore on the technicolors webpage! Do you know where I can download it or you might upload yours that I can get use out of the Cinestyle picture style?
Thank you so much!