Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

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Robert Tomassi

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Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostFri Sep 04, 2020 5:54 am

I'm looking for a LUT that looks similar to the old film of the Mary Tyler Moore Show and shows like it. I have ripped a sample clip you can download here: https://mega.nz/file/guw20AaD#Cq4PuxtFH ... ql_h_KZh68 or here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yFpCaq ... DADJdcUd6/

I'm not experienced enough in coloring to do it myself and I was wondering if anyone knows of any LUTs like this available or if anyone wants to to take a crack at it themselves in Resolve. I know that lighting has a lot to do with it and I think all or nearly all of the show was shot indoor except for the intro. I love the over exaggerated contrast and colors of this show and want to use it in some of my work.

Let me know what you think.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostFri Sep 04, 2020 10:00 am

Shows of that era were shot with high key-lighting and Kodak 5254 (and later 5247), plus a lot of great art direction (over at CBS Television Center in Studio City, which is still there). A LUT has nothing to do with it. The vast majority of this work was done in front of the camera.

A lot also depends on how you're judging the show depending on when it was scanned to video. 1970s syndication was mostly done on 16mm prints; 1980s syndication was done mostly on low-con 35mm prints; later syndication was done from 35mm interpositives. And then when HD came in, they often went back to the 35mm camera negatives. Each of those has a different look, plus the technology of each of those decades is different (and theoretically got better over time).

I think you're chasing a dream, not something concrete and viable. That show looked good because of really skilled people doing great work. I've worked on maybe 45-50 sitcoms in my time, and a classic show like Mary Tyler Moore is probably in the top American TV series of all time, and that also includes the look.
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Robert Tomassi

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostSun Sep 06, 2020 3:39 am

Thanks for all the technical information. I wouldn't say I'm chasing anything, this was just a casual request. I fully understand about the scanning as well but whatever I took from the DVD I have is what I want regardless of when or from what source it was scanned.

Very obviously this show didn't use a LUT or anything digital but I've seen people shoot 16mm film and digital with the same framing and to the naked eye after a lot of color correcting you really couldn't tell a difference (if you're interested:
). I think as long as you light correctly and use the correct filters you can reproduce the look and feel of film like this with some serious grading and color correction. maybe not exactly but close enough. I could be wrong sure, but I would still try anyway. If anything I'll learn something about coloring.
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Peter Cave

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostMon Sep 07, 2020 2:26 am

The issue with using a LUT to create a final look is that the sensor type, source clip exposure, color temp etc will affect the final look no matter which LUT you use. The LUT does not guarantee the final look will match an old film example. The only way to get a good match is to do it by eye using the colour controls, or setting up the camera to be as close to the final look as you can get within the limits of the camera.

I generally grade manually in clip mode while using a film LUT (at about 20-30% gain) in a timeline node to modify the color very slightly.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostMon Sep 07, 2020 5:48 am

Robert Tomassi wrote:Very obviously this show didn't use a LUT or anything digital but I've seen people shoot 16mm film and digital with the same framing and to the naked eye after a lot of color correcting you really couldn't tell a difference (if you're interested:
). I think as long as you light correctly and use the correct filters you can reproduce the look and feel of film like this with some serious grading and color correction. maybe not exactly but close enough. I could be wrong sure, but I would still try anyway. If anything I'll learn something about coloring.

Well, my point is you can't take absolute crap photography and lighting, throw a LUT on it, and get a bright, high-key look like a 1970s Mary Tyler Moore sitcom. Honestly, 80% of it is not the camera or the medium or the colorist -- it's mostly the lighting and the art direction. People don't want to accept this, but it's really true.

If you want to read more about digital techniques to get closer to a film look, read these:

Resources on the film look:

GRAIN
http://cinegrain.com/
http://www.crumplepop.com/
http://filmlooks.com/
http://www.filmwash.com/shop/
https://www.fxphd.com/store/stock/scrat ... ge-bundle/
http://gorillagrain.com/
https://www.holygrain.com/
http://indieessentials.com
https://lensdistortions.com/
http://www.rgrain.com/
https://www.rocketstock.com/video-packs ... -overlays/
https://www.smashworkshop.com/film-overlays
https://vamify.com/collections/vintage-8mm-overlays
http://vegasaur.com/film-grain

Each of them has pros and cons, but I generally find I return to Cinegrain most of the time. Crumblepop, FilmLooks, and Indie Essentials have some good damaged film bits, as does Warren Eagles with his ScratchFX bundle on FXPHD.

If you want to know why film grain looks the way it does, here's a link to a French research paper (in English) which goes into the math and science of it:

https://www.ipol.im/pub/art/2017/192/article_lr.pdf

Here's a long discussion about Halation & Gate Weave on LiftGammaGain:

https://liftgammagain.com/forum/index.p ... ave.13056/

Noted DP Steve Yedlin has some interesting theories on what distinguishes film from digital:

http://www.yedlin.net/OnColorScience/

I would point to Yedlin's work as being pretty definitive, and he's done superb work on several blockbuster films over the last few years (even those shot digitally).
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
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Peter Cave

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostTue Sep 08, 2020 12:14 am

Marc is 100% correct. Most 'looks' are lighting and art direction, not grading.
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Robert Tomassi

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostWed Sep 09, 2020 5:07 am

Thanks again for the info Marc, that french paper is pretty crazy.

One day, onnnnne day:



Purple, mmmmmhhhmmm
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Robert Tomassi

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostWed Sep 09, 2020 6:00 am

The whole game could be changed here within the next few hours:

Good ol' AI is up to bat.
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David E King

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostThu Sep 10, 2020 12:41 am

Damn that's fast... :o
Definitely going to be interesting to see how well the integration in Resolve works.
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Peter Cave

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostThu Sep 10, 2020 12:54 am

Robert Tomassi wrote:The whole game could be changed here within the next few hours:

Good ol' AI is up to bat.


First version will be Resolve Studio, Mac only.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostSat Sep 12, 2020 9:35 am

Robert Tomassi wrote:The whole game could be changed here within the next few hours:

Naw, it can't replace a person. At least 60-70% of what I do has to do with tracking windows and keys and keyframes, which Colorlab can't do. As long as directors want to change things, colorists have a job. There's far more to the work of a colorist than what they're demonstrating. It's no more profound than AI writing a script.

Also, nothing can take the place of lighting on set. I've had to explain to filmmakers many times, we can't add a backlight to an actor, or an eyelight, or provide fill light that's not there. No knob, no control, and certainly no automatic mode can do that. You really have to have the artistic talent on set to get that done... and that also applies to a very bright, upbeat 1970s film sitcom like The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
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Glenn Sakatch

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostSun Sep 13, 2020 4:42 pm

You have to look at the Colourlab as a way to get started in a session, but i agree, it won' replace a colourist, but if it can do the initial stage of leveling out the clips to a base standard, it could save a lot of time.

I have it downloaded, but have to update my hackintosh to Catalina, before i can see how it performs in a typical situation.
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Uli Plank

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Re: Mary Tyler Moore Show LUT

PostMon Sep 14, 2020 1:16 am

Well, Epicolor has done this for about two years.
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