Monitor calibration question.

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Christopher Cox

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Monitor calibration question.

PostTue Mar 03, 2015 2:39 am

When looking into how to use the Color Match tools in Resolve Lite I got the message loud and clear that calibrating my monitors must come first.

So, what I'm looking for is a solution to calibrate my current monitors. Some might suggest different hardware, but for now I'm stuck with my current monitors.
My current hardware is 2x Dell "Ultrasharp" monitors fed by DVI-D cables coming from a single Nvidia GTX 670 4GB with dual DVI outputs. The picture is the same on both monitors. I have it set up this way to suit my disability.

What kind of calibration device and software should I use to get the best possible result with my current hardware? I ask this question keeping in mind that the result can only be a compromise since my PC's hardware isn't designed for colourists.

There's something else I must mention. The Adobe CC suite is also used on the same PC I use for Resolve Lite, so it's imperative that any changes don't cause problems for those Adobe applications.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostTue Mar 03, 2015 5:32 am

You can't calibrate color-correction monitors coming directly from a computer DVI output because the displays are not color managed (i.e., functioning outside the operating system). You have to use a compatible BMD display card and calibration software.

Steve Shaw of Light Illusion has a good explanation on why and how calibration has to be done:

http://www.lightillusion.com/why_calibrate.html
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Christopher Cox

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostTue Mar 03, 2015 8:34 am

Marc Wielage wrote:You can't calibrate color-correction monitors coming directly from a computer DVI output because the displays are not color managed (i.e., functioning outside the operating system). You have to use a compatible BMD display card and calibration software.

Steve Shaw of Light Illusion has a good explanation on why and how calibration has to be done:

http://www.lightillusion.com/why_calibrate.html


I understand why calibration is necessary. Is there no way at all my setup can be adjusted to make it less inaccurate than it is now?

The other output terminals coming from the GTX 670 are HDMI, and Display Port. Can either of those support colour management ?
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ChrisWilliamson

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostTue Mar 03, 2015 9:17 am

Marc Wielage wrote:Steve Shaw of Light Illusion has a good explanation on why and how calibration has to be done:

http://www.lightillusion.com/why_calibrate.html



although I agree with the sentiment, the logic of this argument doesn't seem to be correct. For the majority of my career I've delivered commericals from an online suite with correctly calibrated equipment, but always did it from the point of view that 'at least I know its correct' fully knowing that the vast majority of the target audience will be watching it incorrect one way or another (using the 'showroom' setting on a commercial television).

I have to play devils advocate and say, statistically speaking, if you work on a run of the mill uncalibrated system you have just as much chance of the intended audience seeing it as you intended as you do it looking different from how you intended. The real problem here being when it is different, it will be likely _more_ different than if you did it from a calibrated system.

To say that a viewer with the same setup will have a compounded error based off the relative difference when comparing it to correctly graded material is incorrect, as it ignores the fact that that same relativity applies to the user of the uncalibrated grading system. There are definite advantages to working from a calibrated delivery point, but they are not this:

"If you have graded on a poorly calibrated display their relative judgement on their still un-calibrated display will define your images being yet more inferior."

as once again, it ignores the relative judgement of the user on the uncalibrated grading system...
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostTue Mar 03, 2015 2:28 pm

The argument of color on an non calibrated environment because everybody else is not calibrated make me chuckle every time. ...

Then use a black and white monitor, because you know, everybody chroma setting is different. ..
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostTue Mar 03, 2015 4:57 pm

You can definitely calibrate your GUI monitors using something like the i1 Display Pro, and while this is still not going to be as accurate as a calibrated grading monitor like Flanders Scientific, Sony OLED or the like, it will be much better than using totally uncalibrated monitors. Comparing a calibrated grading monitor to the GUI, every monitor will have slight variations in some hues, like yellows, oranges, but using a probe, you can get it pretty close.

If you are delivering for the web, then this would probably be an acceptable solution. If you are delivering for broadcast then you should really think about a blackmagic mini monitor and a professional grading monitor. Some of which can be bought 2nd hand for a lot cheaper than you may think.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostTue Mar 03, 2015 9:38 pm

waltervolpatto wrote:The argument of color on an non calibrated environment because everybody else is not calibrated make me chuckle every time. ...

Then use a black and white monitor, because you know, everybody chroma setting is different. ..


That made me chuckle too, how on earth would you grade color on a black and white monitor? And would you use a calibrated black and white monitor, because everybodys luma will be different... Maybe the answer is to not use a monitor at all, and grade through text-to-speech on calibrated speakers?
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 2:00 am

ChrisWilliamson wrote:That made me chuckle too, how on earth would you grade color on a black and white monitor? And would you use a calibrated black and white monitor, because everybodys luma will be different... Maybe the answer is to not use a monitor at all, and grade through text-to-speech on calibrated speakers?

I had to color-correct some really grisly medical procedure films back in the 1980s, and I opted to turn the main monitor to B&W and just color-corrected completely from scopes, particularly after lunch. I asked the client the next day how the films looked, and they said, "everything looked great -- terrific job." :shock:

But I wouldn't want to do this as a general rule. You have to have some reference standard by which compare your work for a "real" job where everything had to match. Otherwise, it's a slippery slope if you've timed everything on a monitor that covers up serious problems, and yet over-emphasizes very minor issues, both with color and density.
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Peter_r

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 3:59 am

You could try using a BMD output card with a passive converter to get to DVI, or grab a second hand BMD box with DVI output.
That way at least the signal getting to your screen will be consistent and not messed with unkowingly by the OS and settings etc.
Then grab an XRite i1, and dspcalgui or whatever it is called and calibrate as best you can.
That way, you will have something that gives repeatable results each time, you will just have to keep in mind the non-uniformity/linearity etc. of the screen and try to correct accordingly.
I wouldn't want to use it on a job where someone else had to work with the files, but it would be okay.
I would also invest in a reasonable quality TV (like a Sony or similar) that has good calibration options, and drive it via a BMD output card, and calibrate it with the i1 probe. That way at least you will have a reasonable television screen that would be somewhat indicative of what your client would likely view the final results on.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 4:01 am

BTW, a 2nd hand BMD card can be had for around $100, so it isn't an expensive investment.
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 5:15 am

Marc Wielage wrote:
ChrisWilliamson wrote:That made me chuckle too, how on earth would you grade color on a black and white monitor? And would you use a calibrated black and white monitor, because everybodys luma will be different... Maybe the answer is to not use a monitor at all, and grade through text-to-speech on calibrated speakers?

I had to color-correct some really grisly medical procedure films back in the 1980s, and I opted to turn the main monitor to B&W and just color-corrected completely from scopes, particularly after lunch. I asked the client the next day how the films looked, and they said, "everything looked great -- terrific job." :shock:

But I wouldn't want to do this as a general rule. You have to have some reference standard by which compare your work for a "real" job where everything had to match. Otherwise, it's a slippery slope if you've timed everything on a monitor that covers up serious problems, and yet over-emphasizes very minor issues, both with color and density.


When I was showing to a new colorist how the scopes worked, I actually blanked the whole projector an color a trailer using only the scopes. It was so and so, but in the ballpark... That was flight by instruments...
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Christopher Cox

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 6:09 am

I'm still trying to get my head around all this, and figure out what is an affordable and realistic option for me.

A few have suggested I should use a "BMD card". What model/s would suit my PC and not mess with the other applications I use on the same PC?

Here's some of the specs (the one's I'm assuming are relevant in this case).

Motherboard-- ASUS P9X79 PRO. Intel LGA 2011 Socket. https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P9X79_PRO/

OS-- Windows 7 Professional. 64bit.

GPU-- Nvidia GTX 670 4GB.

Current monitors-- x2 Dell "Ultrasharp" monitors, with the display set to "duplicate these displays".
Input terminals: DVI-D, VGA, and Display port.
There's also a good Samsung LCD TV next to those, but it's currently not hooked up to the PC in any way, and I don't know if it's 10bit. I'd be surprised if it is.

Applications used on said PC--
DaVinci Resolve Lite. Cinema 4D. The full Adobe CC suite (mostly Premiere, Photoshop, After Effects, and Illustrator).

If I add a BMD card, can I still use the GTX 670 the same way as I've always used it?
How does a BMD card and/or external monitor fit into the system? Would it let me use a third monitor, and that third monitor being fed by the BMD card?
If it's to run an "external monitor" I would assume it doesn't effect other parts of the system? am I right to assume that?
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 6:23 am

I think you should look at the DeckLink MiniMonitor. It's like the Mini Monitor box, but it's a card. It will output SDI and HDMI, and you can calibrate the display.

You end up with an additional display that is for video preview only. There's no GUI, and you can't use it as desktop space. It only shows the video preview being fed to it by the Mini Monitor.

For compatibility, you should wait for one of the Windows Wizards to weigh in -- I'm a Mac guy.

The nice thing about the MiniMonitor is that many apps can use it. Premiere and After Effecs will send a preview out to your calibrated display, just like Resolve will.

If your Samsung TV isn't 10-bit, consider replacing it with a VIZIO 10-bit LCD or a used Panasonic plasma. They are only a few hundred dollars, but they are 10-bit and do a good job.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 8:44 am

waltervolpatto wrote:When I was showing to a new colorist how the scopes worked, I actually blanked the whole projector an color a trailer using only the scopes. It was so and so, but in the ballpark... That was flight by instruments...

Yep. Trust me, when it's surgeons in a room, and you have lots of black reference and white reference, you can get a workable picture (for a medical documentary) just from scopes. Instrument flying for sure.

I think not a lot of colorists around today remember the days of color correcting "on the fly." That's a lost art, and probably just as well. But even back then... we had calibrated monitors.
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Christopher Cox

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 9:07 am

Lee Gauthier wrote:I think you should look at the DeckLink MiniMonitor. It's like the Mini Monitor box, but it's a card. It will output SDI and HDMI, and you can calibrate the display.

You end up with an additional display that is for video preview only. There's no GUI, and you can't use it as desktop space. It only shows the video preview being fed to it by the Mini Monitor.

For compatibility, you should wait for one of the Windows Wizards to weigh in -- I'm a Mac guy.

The nice thing about the MiniMonitor is that many apps can use it. Premiere and After Effecs will send a preview out to your calibrated display, just like Resolve will.

If your Samsung TV isn't 10-bit, consider replacing it with a VIZIO 10-bit LCD or a used Panasonic plasma. They are only a few hundred dollars, but they are 10-bit and do a good job.


That sounds like a good option for me, Lee. It's affordable, and sounds like it won't effect my other component's functions.

Any Windows users here who can comment about compatibility of the Decklink MiniMonitor with my Windows PC?

By the way: Thank you all for your suggestions. I'm giving all the options mentioned consideration, and I'm reading up on each one. Anything else you can add that helps me understand how calibration works, please do so. This is all new to me, and I want to get it right the first time.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 1:26 pm

It works fine in windows, as do the intensity cards.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostWed Mar 04, 2015 11:28 pm

Laughing at this. I also had to color correct surgical footage, and I did not think to switch the monitor to mono, but I definitely kept my face buried in the scopes.

On the fly corrections... mostly running footage, often hours of it, long chase/tracking shots and helicopter shots of various vehicles... the struggle was in staying awake, sometimes. :cry:

And yes, calibrated CRTs in those days. Buying one was around $50,000 IIRC, and we scrutinized the candidates closely for "tea stains" and other non-uniformities. :shock:

Marc Wielage wrote:
waltervolpatto wrote:When I was showing to a new colorist how the scopes worked, I actually blanked the whole projector an color a trailer using only the scopes. It was so and so, but in the ballpark... That was flight by instruments...

Yep. Trust me, when it's surgeons in a room, and you have lots of black reference and white reference, you can get a workable picture (for a medical documentary) just from scopes. Instrument flying for sure.

I think not a lot of colorists around today remember the days of color correcting "on the fly." That's a lost art, and probably just as well. But even back then... we had calibrated monitors.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 12:58 am

Mark Sterne wrote:Laughing at this. I also had to color correct surgical footage, and I did not think to switch the monitor to mono, but I definitely kept my face buried in the scopes.


I once did a print job of color stills of a surgical procedure... at the time I had no access to a color analyzer so I had to wave color correction filters over my test prints to get the 'right' values to dial in... no ability to turn on B&W mode...
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 4:48 am

I'm in the same boat as the Original Post(er), and even have the same equipment (dual Dell 2408's?).

This whole topic is vastly deep, but I've boiled it down to this and thought I'd share for other newbies, and would love to be corrected if I've got anything really wrong:

-Computer monitors are (in simplest terms) RGB.
-TV's are (in simplest terms) YUV.
-I had thought my market was online / web viewing. I had thought RGB was going to displace YUV.
-I now think my market / output will be people screencasting the web onto their TV's. That means my output colorspace is YUV.
-So I need a YUV television (I cannot afford a reference monitor), not plasma, but LED / LCD to use as a monitor.
-And I'd need a good reason not to go with an UltraStudio Mini Monitor (for $145). HDMI out to my LED LCD.
-And I'll need a hardware calibration device (looking at either the X-Rite ColorMunki Display [around $169.00] or the X-Rite - i1Display Pro [around $249.00] to tune in the TV monitor, and my computer displays.
-And I'll be close. Not perfect, but in the ballpark of where I want to be.

Any advice most welcome, and thanks...
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Christopher Cox

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 7:05 am

Ian MacLean wrote:I'm in the same boat as the Original Post(er), and even have the same equipment (dual Dell 2408's?).


Mine are the slightly cheaper 23 inch Dell versions which lack HDMI terminals.

Ian MacLean wrote:,
-And I'd need a good reason not to go with an UltraStudio Mini Monitor (for $145). HDMI out to my LED LCD.


Since my PC doesn't have Thunderbolt, I'm thinking the Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Monitor
might be a better option for me, assuming it does the same job. does it?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/9 ... m/alsVwDtl

As for choice of screen. I've found an inexpensive Sony LCD TV which I think is 10bit.
Manufacturers aren't so keen to give out that information for some reason.
I looked at second hand Panasonic plasmas available in my area, but the only one I know for sure is 10bit is $1,000. That's more than I'm willing to pay for a used plasma.

This (see link) Sony LCD appears to be edge-lit by LED. Is that likely to cause problems when calibrating the screen? I mean due to possible inconsistencies in brightness across the screen.

http://www.sony.com.au/product/KDL-32W7 ... 0000004020

I'm under no illusion that using a consumer TV with a Mini Monitor will give be the degree of accuracy a proper external monitor would give, but hopefully it will get me closer than I am now.

There's one thing that does worry me though. That is say I do the calibration incorrectly; with my current knowledge I have no way of knowing if I've done it wrong. How do I assess the result ?
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Christopher Cox

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 7:23 am

Peter_r wrote:It works fine in windows, as do the intensity cards.




Thanks, Peter. The Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Monitor looks like a goer for me.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/9 ... m/alsVwDtl

Now for calibration tools and software...
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 8:02 am

Chris,

I'm gonna give u the quick rundown - anything else u can research:

1) first off u need a probe, a colorimeter. Then u need a spectro to create reference offsets for the colorimeter.

ur best and only budget choice: i1D3 (colorimeter) & i1Pro1/2 (spectro)

2) besides the useless other options (visual cal etc), u're looking at either ICC cal or LUT based cal. ICC is not-recommended for color critical application, do not let anybody tell u otherwise, besides Resolve does not use the active Windows ICC profile. So u need LUT based cal, which is the best.

3) for LUTs u either need an external LUT box (such as the eeColor) or a monitor that has built-in LUT storage (which ur low-end screens don't have). Third option is to use Resolve's built-in preview LUT option which can be used as applying a calibration LUT so that the output to a dedicated preview monitor is (now) accurate. This is not the best (IMO least recommended) out of these 3 options, but unless u wanna spend cash, it's ur only option.

4) now u need a BMD output card, so that u can use the signal path described under (3)

5) last, u need a calibration sw that profiles ur display and then creates cal LUTs for it. Use Lightspace, don't look back. If u can't afford, look into Argyll, which may be more time that u have to invest (to learn and get good results), but it's free.

6) understand that ur cLUTs can only be as accurate as ur equipment is (--> meters) and/or as good as the cal sw's color math is... two very important factors, that are not related.

7) no LUT in the world can fix the uniformity issues that u have with these displays. In order to get out of that hole u need to step-up to OLED, which is in ur (hopefully not so distant ;-) ) future... so, base critical grading decisions on colors that are more towards the center of the screen, as that is where the probe samples, ergo the LUT will correct for...


Hope this helps.

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 9:00 am

If u can't afford, look into Argyll, which may be more time that u have to invest (to learn and get good results), but it's free.


dispCalGUI is a more user-friendly implementation of Argyll, also free.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 10:42 am

If you really have to just go on and buy Eizo monitor and get it done, make sure to use DisplayPort http://www.eizoglobal.com/products/colo ... index.html

No one is doing feature films from their home so there is absolutely no need to overcomplicate your workflow. I'm very positive that 99% of the people here have experience with color and know exactly what they are doing on their existing prosumer equipment and blowing money on BDM decklinks and OLED TVs will get them maybe 5% better results.

Most of the TV spots we see on TV are done by freakin Red Giant coloring presets anyway and it flies with the viewer. Hell some of the TV shows are graded with presets and once again it flies. I find this disgusting but it is a reality so if you don't have the company behind you to provide you with the additional hardware just work with what you have. But if you have to go and blow few grand then just go ahead and by the proper monitor.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 10:47 am

Vladimir LaFortune wrote:No one is doing feature films from their home so there is absolutely no need to overcomplicate your workflow.

Oh, trust me, there are people doing feature films from their homes. Not A-list $100 million films, but there are very definitely small indie films in the $100K-$500K area being done out of home offices and studios.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 10:51 am

Marc Wielage wrote:
Vladimir LaFortune wrote:No one is doing feature films from their home so there is absolutely no need to overcomplicate your workflow.

Oh, trust me, there are people doing feature films from their homes. Not A-list $100 million films, but there are very definitely small indie films in the $100K-$500K area being done out of home offices and studios.


1000%
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 12:01 pm

My work is mostly seen on mobile devices, laptops, and desktops. Maybe soon on national television at 3am in the morning. I do what I do for Art's sake. For that purpose I want my creations to have the colours looking close to what I choose, not what whatever comes as the result of a misleading monitor.

I don't want people's faces coming out green or magenta. Can't stand that.
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Subrata Senn

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 1:56 pm

Marc Wielage wrote:
Vladimir LaFortune wrote:No one is doing feature films from their home so there is absolutely no need to overcomplicate your workflow.

Oh, trust me, there are people doing feature films from their homes. Not A-list $100 million films, but there are very definitely small indie films in the $100K-$500K area being done out of home offices and studios.


Absolutely true.
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John Clark

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 6:21 pm

Marc Wielage wrote:
Vladimir LaFortune wrote:No one is doing feature films from their home so there is absolutely no need to overcomplicate your workflow.

Oh, trust me, there are people doing feature films from their homes. Not A-list $100 million films, but there are very definitely small indie films in the $100K-$500K area being done out of home offices and studios.


I have no doubt that there are many people doing this and with lower budgets to truly No Budget.

The problem with the 'pro' advice, is... well... if I had the money to buy high end equipment, I probably would have enough money for the projects to actually hire a colorist who has the high end equipment...

Since I don't have any money... the alternative is to make do with what I have... or if I really need to acquire a piece of equipment, given limited resources, what is available.

In my personal case, there are two general categories of 'distribution' or 'presentation' that I have in mind. The most obvious is Internet distribution. The second is various film fests.

In the latter case, I would probably strongly consider monochrome, aka B&W. Which significantly reduces the 'color' problem.

By the same reasoning, I may produce mono-audio as well, and not worry about not having a $$ sound stage to produce 5.1 or 7.1... or even stereo for that matter.

Do I want to produce material that has a high likelihood of 'looking ok'... sure, but do I have to spend big bux, for some value of that phrase... no.

So, my solution is to use some sort of calibration device on the displays I have, which also happen to be for the most part, my 'gui' display. Due to various reasons, I have a number of generations of Sypder devices... so, that's what I use. I also use the Sypdercheckr for determining what my cameras 'capture'. Which may not be as good as the DCS charts... but that's what I can afford.

Am I aware that this may not measure up to broadcast standards... you bet... do I truly worry about that... not really. I do look at my material on a number of devices that I do have, such as the 'work' Windows box which has a really crappy display... but I did get an upgrade from a Windows 2000 box a year ago... my set of 'mobile' devices, etc. to see if what I have produce looks reasonably 'good'.

And... that damn dress is Gold and White... at least the image that has been passed en mass around the web...
(Who the hell knows what the Real(tm) dress actually was...).

In that regard some of the 'hints' about how to achieve more consistent color, given that one does not have the budget for higher end equipment, are better.
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Subrata Senn

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 7:44 pm

John Clark,

Are you serious? You want to go for internet distribution and to film festivals and you don't have money? Well, I don't have either...

Which is the festival that insists on mono sound and monochrome pictures? I'd be very interested to know. In fact, I'll be grateful if you could list them as that would solve plenty of our problems. But well, one problem will still remain:there are plenty of monochromes in life and the well-known "mid-grey".

Even with limited resources or nothing at all, we still need to do a film which will pass the technical parameters of a film festival. We don't stay in Hollywood and we still do it. The dollar terms are often sixty times exaggerated than what we think in our country. That's besides the point.

But, the point is, you still need to make a film which needs to fulfil the technical parameters if you insist on film festivals. For Youtube, you kissing your pet cat can be uploaded there. But for serious kissing, you need to maintain certain technical parameters. At least as of now. And I am not talking about just money. Even "no budget" things are important. We know that here.

I don't belong to the elitist group here. But would still insist that certain things are necessary, because things are not that simple.
Last edited by Subrata Senn on Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 7:48 pm

John Clark wrote:In the latter case, I would probably strongly consider monochrome, aka B&W. Which significantly reduces the 'color' problem...


Not so fast amico mio...

Recently spent a couple of sessions working through a (shot-in-color) short subject finished in B&W. It was all about texture, and what got hypercritical was the tonality, so the grey-scale rendition had to be dead-on. There is some discussion around that topic which deals with a texture/chromatic relationship. What determines the fidelity of grey scale, really, is the ft-Lambert (brightness) correspondence of the display. So how do you confirm that is actually correct, let alone the rest of the gamut, when there is no real benchmark similar in practice to Pluge or blue-only for how many lumens your screen is producing?

Yes, you sure can just turn the saturation down to zero. I guess that's black & white...
and if that dress is going to intrude here, how many see that image as blue-and-gold? And their second thought is, wow somebody sure effed-up the auto-white.

BTW, did the short art-subject mostly in the monochrome/Preserve Luminance-unchecked mode, so that I had RGB re-balance control to affect light and shadow with pseudo-tones. Yes, for the most part, a festival film, with a 2K DCP release.

jPo
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 8:39 pm

JPOwens wrote:
John Clark wrote:In the latter case, I would probably strongly consider monochrome, aka B&W. Which significantly reduces the 'color' problem...


Not so fast amico mio...

Recently spent a couple of sessions working through a (shot-in-color) short subject finished in B&W. It was all about texture, and what got hypercritical was the tonality, so the grey-scale rendition had to be dead-on. There is some discussion around that topic which deals with a texture/chromatic relationship.

jPo


I'm pretty aware of the various problems with how B&W Film film maps 'colors'. I'm also aware that Superman's 50's TV show outfit was 'brown' shorts not 'red', just for those types of considerations.

So, I just don't turn down saturation and think that's all there is to it. When the subject comes up, I recommend people get a Wratten 90 filter and learn in some sense how things are going to be mapped in 'monochrome', which was people use to do in the olden days, and how I learned how 'color contrast' was different form 'value contrast'.

As for converting an RGB image into a 'monochrome' I usually go with some form of 'channel mixer', which allows one to weight the contribution of R, G, and B.

The display issue is an issue, but at the moment, I don't have a 'good' solution, other than the somewhat imprecise avoiding 90+ % IRE values.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 8:51 pm

Subrata Senn wrote:John Clark,

Are you serious? You want to go for internet distribution and to film festivals and you don't have money? Well, I don't have either...

Which is the festival that insists on mono sound and monochrome pictures? I'd be very interested to know. In fact, I'll be grateful if you could list them as that would solve plenty of our problems. But well, one problem will still remain:there are plenty of monochromes in life and the well-known "mid-grey"..


I don't think there are fests which only accept monaural... I would submit my work as such, because it is easier for me to insure the 'mix' I create is more likely to be heard 'correctly', than if I try to do something else.

Even 'stereo' has issues with phasing and distance of screen/speakers to observer, if one were to use 'broadcast' or 'theater' standards. That's not to say that monaural is unproblematic.

Likewise for monochrome... but these two 'simplifications' I feel are much more controllable by me than the other options.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostThu Mar 05, 2015 8:56 pm

I don't do B&W projects, those things are really time consuming and really hard to get right. I tried it once and I had to retreat, said thank you for the opportunity and that was about it. Thank god I never made a promise I could pull it off.

To reply to "from-your-home feature film production" people:
As far as the indy films go I'm freelancing on one right now, its a $100+ production and guess how much Im getting paid for coming up with the mood setting color palette, some invisible vfx and creating/comping the opening shot. Just under $5,000! Good thing is I wont be using any of my equipment except Scratch subscription. It is what it is, producer is my dad's best friend so I got even more than what he would have paid someone else to do all of that. Plus I have a notion this project would drag on forever due to flexible editing deadline. I don't see this as a better financial option than doing the TV spots unless you want films in your portfolio.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostSun Mar 08, 2015 3:32 am

How do we test to see if our calibration was done correctly ? With stills I could send an image to a trusted printing service and see if the print matches what I saw on my monitor. With video however, how do I check this? Just trust that I've done the calibration correctly?

Having never calibrated a monitor previously, I'm not confident that I'll do it correctly.

I thank you all for talking the time to post suggested solutions to my problem here.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostSun Mar 08, 2015 3:51 am

Christopher Cox wrote:How do we test to see if our calibration was done correctly ? With stills I could send an image to a trusted printing service and see if the print matches what I saw on my monitor. With video however, how do I check this? Just trust that I've done the calibration correctly?

Having never calibrated a monitor previously, I'm not confident that I'll do it correctly.

I thank you all for talking the time to post suggested solutions to my problem here.


u need dedicated test footage... there are specific calibration reference test disks and/or experienced peeps have been collecting sample footage of movies or other content that can be used to qualify the performance of a screen (e.g. DARK CITY for testing low light, greyscale etc)...

but just to clarify, as per my other post:

YOU need to know that u've done the calibration correctly, ergo that u've executed the correct workflow and did not introduce errors or contamination urself...

The ultimate performance of a calibrated screen depends on many factors, such as that u've done the cal correctly but also the general characteristics of the screen (uniformity issues, high MLL, blue undersaturation at full stimuli etc), the limitations of the display technology (CRT, LCD, Plasma, RP, PJ, OLED, etc) but also the sw u used and last but not least: how accurate ur meters are (because the cal sw cannot know that ur meters are inaccurate).

- M
Display Profiling & Calibration Tools, Lightspace discount: http://displaycalibrationtools.com/
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostSun Mar 08, 2015 6:13 am

Reading through this topic make me realise just how much I have leaned in just the last six months since I built my own dedicated 'Resolve' PC. There are so many variables with GUI colour that it really is essential that you have a reliable 'reference' and that your computer's internal colour processing is bypassed. This requires:

1) a monitor (10bits/colour) which you can accurately 'calibrate' and
2) as a starter, a simple and cheap BMD 'mini-monitor' PCIe card with dual HDMI and SDI outputs

There is one proviso, though. If you can afford it, I would go with SDI and avoid the card's HDMI output altogether. According to reports on this forum, some BMD products have been shown to use 10bit processing internally but only output 8bit through HDMI. HDMI is a consumer format so is subject to too many variations and is limited to relatively short cable runs. In my case, my mini-monitor card's HDMI output showed only 8bits/colour compared with a genuine 10bit from the card's SDI output. (I have since replaced it with a Decklink SDI 4K I/O card.)

There are several SDI to DVI or DP converters available and as Peter_r says above, these can be picked up cheaply second hand. I can confirm that the HDMI output of Blackmagic's 'SDI 4K to HDMI' converter is indeed 10bit or better.

There are now quite a few 'affordable' (ie: under $1000) high quality 'colour managed' 10bit monitors available and are designed with a wide colour gamut for the photographic and 'pre-press' trade. They can be accurately calibrated with internal 14bit 3D LUTs and they offer DP, DVI and HDMI inputs. Some even offer Rec709 presets but although they will display video at upto 60fps, some designed for accurate still image reproduction may not display video super smoothly.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 2:57 am

Mike Nagel wrote:
u need dedicated test footage... there are specific calibration reference test disks and/or experienced peeps have been collecting sample footage of movies or other content that can be used to qualify the performance of a screen (e.g. DARK CITY for testing low light, greyscale etc)...
- M


Where do we obtain that test footage from ?


Craig Marshall wrote: There are so many variables with GUI colour that it really is essential that you have a reliable 'reference' and that your computer's internal colour processing is bypassed. This requires:

1) a monitor (10bits/colour) which you can accurately 'calibrate' and
2) as a starter, a simple and cheap BMD 'mini-monitor' PCIe card with dual HDMI and SDI outputs

There are now quite a few 'affordable' (ie: under $1000) high quality 'colour managed' 10bit monitors available .


Any particular sub-$1000 10bit monitors you (or anyone reading this) have tried and found easy to calibrate?

I'm considering this (see link) Dell monitor.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/prod ... u=225-4148
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 3:25 am

--> calibration reference test disks- but clearly u need to know what u're looking for when viewing dedicated test footage

try to find a used Eizo that has internal LUT storage (CG series), best thing would be a CG series 24" that is 1080p - get a dedicated 1080p screen as Resolve's output will be 1080p so that u don't get uneven pixel wear on larger res screens (when watching windowed, 1:1 mode), and u never want to upscale the 1080p image to a larger resolution to cover the entire screen as making grading decisions of that defeats the whole purpose of having a dedicated, calibrated pipeline...

that Eizo is ur entry level, low budget "solution"... with the alternative of maybe a NEC with an external LUT box (eeColor)...

next one up is FSI CM171...

all LCD, with the inherent problems, but OLED is out of ur budget...
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 4:01 am

If I can't find a CG series Eizo second hand, will a Eizo CS230 do?

hhmm. The CS230 doesn't come with software included.

http://www.justmonitors.com.au/eizocs230.htm
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 4:16 am

Color Navigator is free (or used to)... in any case, u should try to get ascreen with BUILT-IN LUT storage... that's the important factor...

CN is not recommended, see here...
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 4:29 am

Christopher Cox wrote:Any particular sub-$1000 10bit monitors you (or anyone reading this) have tried and found easy to calibrate? I'm considering this (see link) Dell monitor.

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/prod ... u=225-4148


I've been using a 24" 1920 x 1200 10bit IPS monitor from Benq as my colour reference. The model is PG2401PT and each unit is issued with a pre-delivery calibration report. A recent test by Tomshardware in the US considered it to be one of the most accurately calibrated monitors 'out of the box' that they had ever tested but of course., calibration drifts in time so the PG2401PT has 14bit 3D LUTs built in, comes with 'Palette Master' calibration software, accepts most of the common probes and is FOGRA Certified for Pre-Press colour accuracy. The screen uniformity is excellent and the monitor even has a preset for Rec709 so works a treat with Reslove when driven from a BMD 'HD-Link' SDI to Display Port converter!

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/benq-pg2401pt-24-inch-monitor,3848.html
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 4:33 am

Craig Marshall wrote:
I've been using a 24" 1920 x 1200 10bit IPS monitor from Benq as my colour reference. The model is PG2401PT and each unit is issued with a pre-delivery calibration report. A recent test by Tomshardware in the US considered it to be one of the most accurately calibrated monitors 'out of the box' that they had ever tested but of course., calibration drifts in time so the PG2401PT has 14bit 3D LUTs built in, comes with 'Palette Master' calibration software, accepts most of the common probes and is FOGRA Certified for Pre-Press colour accuracy. The screen uniformity is excellent and the monitor even has a preset for Rec709 so works a treat with Reslove when driven from a BMD 'HD-Link' SDI to Display Port converter!

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/benq-pg2401pt-24-inch-monitor,3848.html


looks like a full on Eizo clone... does the native gamut exceed Rec 709 ? does the sw it comes with allow reference spectro offsets ? what is the size of the internal 3D LUT ?
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Craig Marshall

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 4:44 am

Yes, it is a 'wide gamut' monitor. I picked mine up for only $600 as a 'factory demonstrator' and have been very pleased with it's performance. Most of your other questions might be answered in the following links:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/benq-pg2401pt-24-inch-monitor,3848-4.html

http://www.benq.com.au/product/monitor/pg2401pt/

http://www.photoreview.com.au/reviews/peripherals/monitors/benq-pg2401pt-monitor
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 4:50 am

Craig Marshall wrote:Yes, it is a 'wide gamut' monitor. I picked mine up for only $600 as a 'factory demonstrator' and have been very pleased with it's performance. Most of your other questions might be answered in the following links: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/benq-pg2401pt-24-inch-monitor,3848-4.html andhttp://www.benq.com.au/product/monitor/pg2401pt/


the article doesn't answer any questions, but they also don't have a clue how to calibrate a screen... their "reviewing" the screen, merely stating the specs...

I can only very strongly advise to stay away from included/bundled calibration apps... i1Profiler is absolute crap and the article states the includes sw derives from that.... ;-)))))

the built-in LUT may be 3x3 so pretty much useless...
Display Profiling & Calibration Tools, Lightspace discount: http://displaycalibrationtools.com/
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 4:59 am

Strong words Mike. Given you seem to be the expert, this monitor has been around for over a year now so I'm surprised you have not tested one. By the tone of your last response, I do suspect some product bias... Take a look at the additional links I've posted as they may assist.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 5:17 am

Craig Marshall wrote:Strong words Mike. Given you seem to be the expert, this monitor has been around for over a year now so I'm surprised you have not tested one. By the tone of your last response, I do suspect some product bias... Take a look at the additional links I've posted as they may assist.


Craig, I'm just saying as the OP is new to this and needs to know what the best case, recommended workflow is... clearly his budget is not there, but if u're understanding the general road ahead of u, u can make ends meet with "compromises" based on ur budget, being fully aware what u are lacking in ur signal chain (THAT is the important part)...

I have nothing against this screen and I am very happy for u that u like the screen, but since u don't know what the internal 3D LUT size is, u did not answer if the included "cal sw" allows reference spectro offsets (which clearly u must know, unless u do not do spectro offsets) and u said "it's a wide gamut monitor" after I asked whether the native gamut exceeds Rec 709, which also does not answer the question... so it seems to me, u would not be able to tell me "how good" this screen can be calibrated, ergo how much use it has in color critical application, which is what the OP is looking for. ;)

i.e., u can have a very wide native gamut and still clip a lot of Rec 709... and that is the usual case with a few screens, especially on the lower end, ergo they are not recommended... also happens on the lower end Eizos...

you get what you pay for, and u must be aware of that. if ur screens gamut clips a lot of blue, u must be careful when grading memory colors, such as the sky... what u see on ur screen is not what u get on other screens...

Benq / NEC are below Eizo CG when it comes to minimum entry level, because Eizo CG has a large built-in 3D LUT and it does cover Rec 709...

the links u posted are useless as they merely state general tech specs.
Display Profiling & Calibration Tools, Lightspace discount: http://displaycalibrationtools.com/
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 5:39 am

Vladimir LaFortune wrote:Most of the TV spots we see on TV are done by freakin Red Giant coloring presets anyway and it flies with the viewer.

Maybe your local furniture store spots on basic cable are done with presets.
But the reality is most TV spots are done at the largest and most expensive color houses by the highest paid colorists, supervised by agency creatives agonizing over every pixel on every frame spending at least a day grading :30 seconds of content.
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Craig Marshall

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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 5:52 am

Mike Nagel wrote:...you get what you pay for, and u must be aware of that. if ur screens gamut clips a lot of blue, u must be careful when grading memory colors, such as the sky... what u see on ur screen is not what u get on other screens... Benq / NEC are below Eizo CG when it comes to minimum entry level, because Eizo CG has a large built-in 3D LUT and it does cover Rec 709...


Well I'll admit to not being a calibration expert (hey, I'm a Producer so what would I know?) and 50% of my paid work is stills photography but my video clients do love the PG2401PT as most have never seen their pictures look so good and they are happy to pay me well for my editing and CC work. Given so much low budget video ends up on youtube or vimeo these days (where any sort of broadcast 'standard' seems non existent - or dare I say, here in Australia, end up on DVD!!) and not in the Cinema, then surely everything is relative.
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Re: Monitor calibration question.

PostMon Mar 09, 2015 6:13 am

Mike Nagel wrote:I'm just saying as the OP is new to this and needs to know what the best case, recommended workflow is... clearly his budget is not there, but if u're understanding the general road ahead of u, u can make ends meet with "compromises" based on ur budget, being fully aware what u are lacking in ur signal chain .


Correct. My budget doesn't allow for an Eizo. I need to know how to make a comprise option work reliably.
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