“CPF-LOG” PICTURE PROFILE for the SONY NEX-FS100 with LUT!

New “LOG” type flat gamma profile perfects for grading, with in-camera look-up-table.

After rigorous testing, the battle-hardened “CPF-LOG Picture Profile for the Sony NEX-FS100” is ready for the public.  We have done quite a bit of research on what exactly each menu item in the picture profile settings do and what how we can manipulate them, to achieve the best desired looks after minimal and/or extensive color grading.

8-BIT AVCHD COMPRESSION

The Sony NEX-FS100 is an 8-bit camera that is compressed quite heavily.  Though a robust and very efficient codec, AVCHD video clips are not meant to be pushed very far in the grade.  The result could mean enhanced aliasing, moiré, “mosquito noise,” and other undesirable issues.   We found out early on that a dramatically flat picture profile is NOT the way to go.  But there IS a safe medium, and we believe we found it.

DESIGNED FOR COLOR GRADING

The CPF-LOG profile is designed to maintain highlight and shadow detail and also a pleasing color gamut that grades very nicely whether you do alot of grading or a quick fast-color correction.  This profile is created as a part of a workflow that is setup for color grading in post.  IF YOU DO NOT INTEND ON COLOR GRADING IN POST, THIS PROFILE IS NOT FOR YOU.  In the very least, it is recommended that you correct the black and white levels, pull the middle grey down to around 35-40%, and adjust saturation to taste.

IN-CAMERA LOOK-UP-TABLE

One of the biggest and most unique features of the CPF-LOG Profile we wanted to include is a LUT (Look-Up-Table) that can be used in tandem with each other on the set.  A LUT is designed to give the camera operator or any other viewer on set the ability to see a preview image of the video with a filmlike gamma curve and color setting applied.  A LUT is NOT intended for actual grading.  Even if you wanted to, applying a LUT to footage as a final grade defeats the whole purpose of shooting a LOG image and color grading in the first place.  A LUT can also be use to apply to dailies and other temporary files.  We do not currently have a LUT to apply to clips outside the camera, but hope to have something you could apply on the fly for dailies or editing proxies.

WORKFLOW

First, you want switch the camera profile to the CPF-LOG IN-CAM LUT.  This is what you use to light your scene, expose your shot, set your ISO, set your color temperature, and any other settings.  It’s important NOT to adjust any of the profile settings, as they BOTH designed to match perfectly.  An adjustment to the LUT and not the LOG profile will result in improper exposures and/or color.  You should also switch to the LUT when showing clients and other crew members (like makeup) so they can see a more accurate color/contrast rendition of the scene.  It’s also a good idea to switch back and forth to the LOG profile because it will show any possible details you may have missed…but you DO NOT want to use the log profile to adjust exposures/lighting, etc.  It is also recommended you set your ZEBRAS to 100% and if you see them show up on highlights, stop down/adjust ISO or shutter until they are almost about to disappear.  When you switch to the LOG profile the highlights will be exposed properly and have enough information for grading.  You will also notice the shadows get brighter when you switch to the LOG profile.  Resist the temptation to stop down!  If the shadows look good with the LUT, then trust that the colorist will have the necessary information to play with them.  If you stop down or otherwise adjust exposure when looking at the LOG profile…you WILL end up under exposing the shot.  Trust in the LUT.  Expose to the LUT.  Record to LOG.  These are the rules to live by when using these profiles.

After you have set your exposures, run rehearsals, and other adjustments switch over to the CPF-LOG Profile before rolling the camera.  Don’t forget to switch over!  Tell your support crew to remind you to switch over just in case.  Also don’t send us angry emails because you got in trouble by recording takes using the LUT.  Believe us, we wish there was a way to force-record to a dedicated profile.  After awhile you’ll probably find yourself switching over to the LUT periodically to check exposure and lighting, then switching right back to the CPF-LOG just to be safe.  That’s what we do and it works fine.

WHY YOU DON’T WANT TO SHOOT SUPER-DUPER FLAT IN 8-BIT AND GRADE IN POST:  vimeo.com/23067790

CPF-LOG*
After setting exposure and lighting, switch to this profile and record.
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Black Level:  +8
Gamma:  Standard
Black Gamma
Range:  Low
Level:  -3
Knee (Manual)
Point:  80.0%
Slope:  -2
Color Mode
Type:  Cinematone1
Level:  +8
Color Level:   0
Color Phase:  -5
Color Depth
R:  -4
G:  +2
B:  +3
C:  0
M:  +2
Y:  +2
WB Shift
Filter Type:  LB-CC
LB [ColorTemp]:  -3
CC[MG/GR]:  -3
R Gain:  -1
B Gain:  +1
Detail (No Manual):  -7
CPF-LOG (In-Cam LUT)*
Use this profile while setting exposure and lighting. Not intended to be recorded, just a preview.
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Black Leve:  -8
Gamma:  Cinematone1
Black Gamma
Range:   High
Level:  +7
Knee (Manual)
Point:  90.0%
Slope:  0
Color Mode
Type:  Cinematone1
Level:  +8
Color Level:  +4
Color Phase:  -4
Color Depth
R:  -4
G:  +2
B:  +3
C:  0
M:  +2
Y:  +2
WB Shift
Filter Type:  LB-CC
LB [ColorTemp]:  -3
CC[MG/GR]:  -3
R Gain:  -1
B Gain:   +1
Detail (No Manual):  0

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE CPF-LOG PROFILES

THESE PROFILES AND WORKFLOW TECHNIQUE TUTORIAL IS FREE.  IF YOU FIND THIS INFORMATION USEFUL, PLEASE JOIN OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR MORE DIGITAL CINEMA TIPS/TRICKS!

*Use profiles at your own risk.  Your mileage may vary.  Please test the workflow and profiles before implementing.

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