[Tig] colour decision list

Frank Hellmann frank at opticalart.de
Tue Mar 10 14:41:06 GMT 2009


I hope a reason why we as a mostly film-based post-house are not using 
them is also OK.

In my humble opinion CDLs are useful in digital or video based 
productions, because then you'll have common ground to start from. For 
example, a DoP of a video shoot can adjust or pregrade a shot on-set 
with the video signal available there and this signal will pretty much 
be the same that a colorist starts from. If you then apply this in 
editing and even start pregrade certain scenes there, this being 
exported towards the grading suites, might work quiet nicely.

If you consider film based productions, you'll never know if the 
viewfinder/video output taken from the film camera has anything to do 
with whats recorded on the negative. Therefore any grading decision done 
on-set or in editing with this video will not be that easily applied 
back to the original negative, as you have two different medias and 
starting points. Some one might argue, that if you use certain vendors 
calibrated telecine workflows this drawback of film can be compensated, 
but honestly I wouldn't rely on this to be anything close.

Also, if you start out with a telecined negative for editing and you 
will go back to scan this on a different scanner the CDLs won't 
necessarily match again.

But, I think the biggest drawback is, that these decisions are done 
under a lot of time pressure. The DoP usually doesn't have time to sit 
back on a set to do some pre-grading. The editor needs to get the story 
right and not the look. So most of the time I find the Look-Books (is 
there an official term for that?) that a DoP does by just taking some 
digital stills and giving them a look at his hotel suite later on more 
useful to abstract what he wants.

As I said, just my humble opinion...


OPTICAL ART             Film & Special-Effects GmbH    Waterloohain 6-8
Frank Hellmann          DI Supervisor                  22769 Hamburg
frank at opticalart.de     http://www.opticalart.de
Tel: +49 40 5111051     Fax: +49 40 43169499

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