Low Light Grading Questions And Example

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awppollock

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Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostTue Aug 16, 2022 11:27 pm

Hi all,

I’m working on a short film and as I near the end I an deciding whether to try and grade the piece myself or hire someone to do it. Here is an example of a shot that, though darker, was exposed well enough, and yet for some reason, it feels like unless I crank the full scope as high as possible I am running to blocking when uploaded to Youtube. Now, I’m not saying my goal is Youtube, but that may be where it ends up. So I’m wondering, all yee geniuses and experienced craftsmen, what am I doing wrong. How bright does something truly need to be to avoid macroblocking and at what point are we destroying the intended mood by brightening things to the point where youtube isn’t devastating the shot. It could admittedly probably be brighter, but does anyone have any experience with this and advice? If this was to be graded for submission to festivals would one need to worry about such issues or is this exclusively an internet video service issue? Thanks for any help you may offer.
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Stephen Buckley

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 12:13 am

awppollock wrote:How bright does something truly need to be to avoid macroblocking


I would think this would greatly depend upon the type of camera, codec and bitrate you are using. Aside from that you could do noise reduction.
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awppollock

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 1:06 am

Stephen Buckley wrote:
awppollock wrote:How bright does something truly need to be to avoid macroblocking


I would think this would greatly depend upon the type of camera, codec and bitrate you are using. Aside from that you could do noise reduction.



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Dermot Shane

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 2:55 am

can you upload a short clip of cam orig + DRX of your grade??

gradeing a low light scene and artifacts are really not the same topic

here's a trailer for a film i graded recently, really dark, no NR anywhere, no artifacts anywhere...

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awppollock

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 11:16 am

Dermot Shane wrote:can you upload a short clip of cam orig + DRX of your grade??

gradeing a low light scene and artifacts are really not the same topic

here's a trailer for a film i graded recently, really dark, no NR anywhere, no artifacts anywhere...




Sure. Nice work, by the way, though I do still see youtube really crunching it in the dark areas of your video as well, at least on a larger screen, so maybe it's simply unavoidable to some degree.

Here are the pieces you requested. There is, admittedly, more noise in the original footage than I felt I remember there was. I believe I shot it at a 1.4.

The "grade" is just a very basic contrast/balance node with the lamp on the right not quite reaching 1023 and a CST:

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Rec 709
Gamma 2.4


I tried to upload the drx file and it was rejected by the forum requirements. If you have another solution please let me know. Thanks for your response.

Attachments
Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 6.57.37 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 6.57.37 AM.jpg (853.11 KiB) Viewed 418 times
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Jim Simon

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 2:59 pm

Do you see the artifacts in the export, or only after upload to YouTube?

What format/specs are you exporting to for upload?
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awppollock

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 3:50 pm

Jim Simon wrote:Do you see the artifacts in the export, or only after upload to YouTube?

What format/specs are you exporting to for upload?



There are no obvious artifacts in the quicktime export. Maybe a little noise, but nothing crazy that I can tell, especially after some NR. Here's a still from another grade of the same shot, with better results on Youtube, but still noticeable artifacting and heavy, fake looking NR.

Attachments
Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 11.44.39 AM.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 11.44.39 AM.jpg (821.68 KiB) Viewed 374 times
Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 11.43.55 AM.png
Screen Shot 2022-08-17 at 11.43.55 AM.png (432.09 KiB) Viewed 374 times
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Jim Simon

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 4:11 pm

OK.

Try exporting and uploading a Cineform AVI file. I find I get better end results on YouTube using that.
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Joe Shapiro

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Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 5:33 pm

awppollock wrote:I tried to upload the drx file and it was rejected by the forum requirements. If you have another solution please let me know.


Zip the file or files and you’ll be able to upload the zip.


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awppollock

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 5:47 pm

Dermot Shane wrote:can you upload a short clip of cam orig + DRX of your grade??

gradeing a low light scene and artifacts are really not the same topic

here's a trailer for a film i graded recently, really dark, no NR anywhere, no artifacts anywhere...




now attaching drx...
Attachments
Grade_3.130.1.drx.zip
(30.86 KiB) Downloaded 6 times
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awppollock

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 5:47 pm

Joe Shapiro wrote:
awppollock wrote:I tried to upload the drx file and it was rejected by the forum requirements. If you have another solution please let me know.


Zip the file or files and you’ll be able to upload the zip.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk



Roger that. Thank you.
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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 6:30 pm

Do you have RAW controls? Can you change the exposure there as starting point by a full stop?
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Dermot Shane

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 10:11 pm

awppollock wrote:I do still see youtube really crunching it in the dark areas of your video as well, at least on a larger screen, so maybe it's simply unavoidable to some degree.

any artifacts in there are youtube's doing

i have the master of the trailer on my system, it has zero artifacts to be found either by eye or with QC software

as long as i ship a master that has the DP and director's approvals, and passes QC, what ever happens downstream i don't let myself be overly concerned about

slower / lower bandwidth at the reciveing end = higher compression files being fed to a given screen, no control over that, no control over how poorly a given screen is set up

that said, we did skirt the edges of visibale on that film.. that was shot on Alexa/ArriRAW & Lecia glass, i just looked at it on a producer's MBP and some stuff was near impossiable to see, pretty far from the master

i only deliver a master file to a facility that does versioning and dubbing, so i don't create or upload anything

in that show's case it was a facility in LA that took the master across the finish line. i've asked them to send me the file they uploaded
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awppollock

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostWed Aug 17, 2022 10:51 pm

Dermot Shane wrote:
awppollock wrote:I do still see youtube really crunching it in the dark areas of your video as well, at least on a larger screen, so maybe it's simply unavoidable to some degree.

any artifacts in there are youtube's doing

i have the master of the trailer on my system, it has zero artifacts to be found either by eye or with QC software

as long as i ship a master that has the DP and director's approvals, and passes QC, what ever happens downstream i don't let myself be overly concerned about

slower / lower bandwidth at the reciveing end = higher compression files being fed to a given screen, no control over that, no control over how poorly a given screen is set up

that said, we did skirt the edges of visibale on that film.. that was shot on Alexa/ArriRAW & Lecia glass, i just looked at it on a producer's MBP and some stuff was near impossiable to see, pretty far from the master

i only deliver a master file to a facility that does versioning and dubbing, so i don't create or upload anything

in that show's case it was a facility in LA that took the master across the finish line. i've asked them to send me the file they uploaded



Ah, interesting. so you get it where you need it on your end, send them the appropriate file(s), they turn it into whatever versions are needed (web, festival, etc)?

Thanks again for offering your assistance here.
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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostThu Aug 18, 2022 1:59 am

i had over a master that has passed QC... full stop....

the typical dubbing / versioning costs for a 3-5m indie feature are around 15-20k, and takes a lot more resources than i wish to invest in, and work i wish to take on

there's facilities in LA (and chicago) that exist to take a QC'd master and create the long list of stuff the distb asks for

i'm happy to send off a master and wish it well on it's journey, and start gradeing the next film....
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awppollock

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostThu Aug 18, 2022 1:15 pm

Dermot Shane wrote:i had over a master that has passed QC... full stop....

the typical dubbing / versioning costs for a 3-5m indie feature are around 15-20k, and takes a lot more resources than i wish to invest in, and work i wish to take on

there's facilities in LA (and chicago) that exist to take a QC'd master and create the long list of stuff the distb asks for

i'm happy to send off a master and wish it well on it's journey, and start gradeing the next film....



This is another whole can of worms I'll be looking into. Learning is painful lol. In your experience, what would a colorist generally charge for a 20-25min short film? And how long would that process take?
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Low Light Grading Questions And Example

PostThu Aug 18, 2022 2:15 pm

Dermot Shane wrote:i had over a master that has passed QC... full stop....

the typical dubbing / versioning costs for a 3-5m indie feature are around 15-20k, and takes a lot more resources than i wish to invest in, and work i wish to take on

there's facilities in LA (and chicago) that exist to take a QC'd master and create the long list of stuff the distb asks for

i'm happy to send off a master and wish it well on it's journey, and start gradeing the next film....


I will take the same approach: it looks good in a professional calibrated environment and pass QC.

next.

However, knowing that black get munched, i might take the liberty to grade a bit softer blacks of what I wish if I know that at the end nobody will see anything otherwise (a la game of throne...)
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