Technicolor CineStyle available – What it is & Why

Technicolor CineStyle

UPDATE: May 10, 2011 - Tim Kang from TSK Pictures has posted a preset file for Adobe Premiere CS5:

As those of you that shoot DSLR video with Canon cameras may know, Technicolor (the big name movie post-production facility) released a new Canon picture style to aid in post production toning. You can download their file here, but if you don’t have a LUT plugin it’s hard to make use of it in Premiere.  I have been doing some testing and will update this post with a complete review on the update, but for now I will post the Premiere CS5 preset file that I hacked and hand coded in the exact values within Technicolor’s supplied S-Curve LUT.  Right click “and save target as” this link to download it.

To download it, please check the original post.

UPDATE: May 6, 2011 - Technicolor has released a CineStyle LUT update:

New! S-curve look-up table (LUT) is now compatible with the LUT Buddy plug-in and Apple’s Color, and may also be compatible with other software that support 3D LUTs in the .mga format

Please go to Technicolor Cinestyle page to get it (download link below).

UPDATE: May 4, 2011 – See more details and information below.

There were many sources covering Technicolor alliance with Canon at NAB 2011.

But the best news came few days ago: Technicolor has recently released their Picture Style for Canon HDSLR cameras.

Why is this so important? Take a look at the quoted text from their website and the comments, explanations and tests below:

The Technicolor CineStyle™ is a Picture Style (profile) for Canon EOS DSLR cameras that optimizes the dynamic range in the image by leveraging the capabilities of the Canon imaging chipset. Cinematographers and their post-production partners will have greater flexibility in color grading and finishing their projects.

To receive your free copy of Technicolor CineStyle, please fill out the following form and agree to the end-user license agreement below (EULA).

Image credit: Technicolor

BRIEF EXPLANATION

Picture Styles make a huge impact on the video recorded by Canon EOS HDSLR cameras, because the user cannot get RAW footage from these cameras (yet), so every color and exposure related settings directly affect the image being captured, compressed by the h.264 codec and then saved to the memory card.

Similarly to a .JPG file, the recorded video offers a limited amount of adjustment, color and exposure correction, as opposed to a RAW picture file which offers much more flexibility in the post production process.

That’s why it is so important to properly choose the best Picture Style for your needs, and also adjust the correct camera exposure settings before shooting video.

It is very important to note that Technicolor CineStyle Picture Style is intended to deliver the highest possible dynamic range and the highest possible flexibility in post production, allowing more flexibility of grading and color correction.

Due to that reason you will notice that the video recorded to the memory card has very low contrast and color saturation when compare to a video recorded using Standard Picture Style. When using Technicolor CineStyle you will get a footage “similar” to RAW video capturing.

Technicolor CineStyle is not intended to deliver the best result right out of the memory card, but to give the best possible latitude and flexibility in the post production process instead.

USE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

It is also interesting to note that Picture Styles are also used to take pictures. In fact, they are always used by the camera when processing an image to produce the .JPG file.

So many photographers may take advantage of this particular profile as well. Of course, it will depend on your needs and you should do some tests before any serious work.

DOWNLOAD & DOCUMENTATION

Download Technicolor CineStyle from this page:
http://www.technicolor.com/en/hi/cinema/filmmaking/digital-printer-lights/cinestyle

There you will find lot of very important information, including FAQ, User Guide and additional documents.

Some of the available documentation links are:

MORE INFORMATION

You can find more information at many websites and forums. Just to mention a couple of them:

TESTS (updated)

There are many tests already done by different people (and will certainly be lot more soon). Some of them are:

This is a quick test I did of the new Technicolor CineStyle picture style for the Canon 7D (developed for the 5D, but works just fine on others).

Very basic color correction was added. I shot under some extreme contrast conditions to get a sense for how well CineStyle would preserve white and black levels—I would say it does the best job I’ve seen out of all the picture styles available!

As noted on Cinema5D forums, it’s difficult judging focus thanks to extreme low contrast in camera…I’m sure if I had my monitor attached I could dial it down a bit.

Additional comments by Bryant:

I used a basic 3-way color correct filter in FCP—nothing too serious, just wanted to see a quick grade test. These files were transcoded to ProRess 422 (LT) via MPEG Streamclip.

I’ve added some Waveform screenshots to illustrate the corrections—as you can see, CineStyle is condensed, but expands pretty well without clipping. Neutral has a broader spectrum, but doesn’t seem to render as well (to my eye, at least). CineStyle was real easy to correct, too—just sort of set the basic IRE blacks and whites and then slightly adjusted gamma. The Neutral color style may be misrepresented, a bit in my example *technically*, but in a real-world situation, I did these by eye and found the Neutral style to be quite more troublesome on the correcting.

SCREENSHOTS

Images credits: Bryant Naro

This is a quick test with the CineStyle Picture Style – with and without the S-Curve for CineStyle LUT – + tests using the Standard and superflat picture styles.
LUT applied in Final Cut Pro 7.03 using the LUT Buddy plugin.
No grading has been done to the footage.
Will hopefully get some outdoor shots and maybe some real world shooting tests up soon.

Shooting Settings:
25fps & 1/50
ISO320
50mm f1.8 @ f3.2

CineStyle Standard superflat
Sharpness: 0 Sharpness: 3 Sharpness: 0
Contrast: -4 Contrast: 0 Contrast: -4
Saturation: -2 Saturation: 0 Saturation: -2
Color Tone: 0 Color Tone: 0 Color Tone: 0

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