Post Magazine

January 2018

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Page 33 of 43 32 POST JANUARY 2018 OUTLOOK COLOR SCIENCE O OUTLOOK O OUTLOOK R ed Digital Cinema is a leading manufacturer of professional digital cameras, sensors and accessories. The company's latest DSMC2 camera line — RAVEN, SCARLET-W, EPIC-W and WEAPON — produces high-quality images at resolutions up to 8K combined with wide dynamic range and a compact and lightweight design that is modular. Earlier this year, the company de- buted a new image-processing pipe- line (IPP2) that completely overhauls color management from image capture through post production, and is spe- cifically designed for high dynamic range (HDR) workflows. IPP2 offers users better management of challeng- ing colors, smoother highlight roll-off, improved shadow detail, more accurate mid-tone hues and standardized color space and gamma, among other enhancements. STRENGTHS: Today, color science makes the best images look better than ever before. But color science is a pretty esoteric subject. What's not esoteric is HDR. It's visibly superior; it's quick and easy to demonstrate, and audienc- es appreciate the results. Advances in color gamut and wider primaries can show benefits to images, but they're relatively subtle. However, the increase in color volume in HDR allows viewers to experience a much broader range of color while keeping brightness the same. That's something people can easily see and appreciate. We've all seen HDR at trade shows for a couple of years, but now it's mov- ing out of the lab and we're seeing HDR displays and content delivered in HDR. I'm from the camera side where every- thing starts. All RED cameras record a wide dynamic range, and now I can see legacy and newly recorded RED footage in the new light of HDR. I was doing some HDR development work when one of my kids saw an HDR image on the screen and said, 'Wow! That's a real sunset!' You don't need special industry knowledge or training to see the dra- matic gains achieved with HDR. WEAKNESSES: There is a plethora of HDR formats, which causes confusion and makes things seem more complex than they really are. There are a lot of nuances, in terms of what these various formats offer and how they work on the broadcast and delivery side. This proliferation of formats throws a wrench in the adoption of HDR and getting HDR imagery out to the market. Anyone currently involved in generating HDR content feels the pain. The market will have to sort this out. There are a couple of really good HDR standards in SMPTE 2084 and the BBC/NHK's Hybrid Log-Gamma. If we can hold on to them, display manufac- turers will come around and we'll have an ecosystem that works very well. Then, we need to develop advance- ments in editing tools so editors can look at HDR while they're working. In order for HDR to work without a hitch, there's got to be a chain that starts from the camera side and goes all the way through post production. OPPORTUNITIES: There are great opportunities for vendors who get HDR right. We're doing HDR in camera with RED's IPP2, a suite of enhancements to our image-processing pipeline. And on the post side, it's happening with color grades that work with scene-referred material, which gets you to the right spot very quickly. That material retains the dy- namic range and color that was captured by the camera without restriction and that data is carried through the pipeline. Grading understands HDR; grading has a good color science background. But on the editorial side, it's new to think that way. There are opportunities for the post production community to develop editing tools that work in an output-inde- pendent manner. They need to take ad- vantage of HDR and make it a lot more seamless for editing and client review and approval. THREATS: The biggest threat to color science is that people think the audience doesn't care about it. Consequently, they don't regard color science with the im- portance it deserves. And, as mentioned above, too many formats are causing market confusion. That happens with any new area of technology, and when formats are finally adapted we will all win. But in the meantime, we don't want HDR, which has such fantastic benefits, to go the way of 3D. OUTLOOK FOR 2018: The HDR chain starts with the lens and camera process- ing, and must be properly maintained through post and delivery. But it's all meaningless until the consumer can see the end result. I think we'll see greater adoption of scene-referred workflows. We're making good moves in that direction at the capture phase and in the grading suite, so I think we'll see that translate to editorial and other aspects of post production. BY GRAEME NATTRESS PROBLEM SOLVER RED DIGITAL CINEMA IRVINE, CA RED.COM BOOSTING IMAGE QUALITY WITH COLOR SCIENCE

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