Thread: The Look of RED

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  1. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dease View Post
    What is the scientific reason RED looks so filmic (not noise or grain but depth to the image itself) vs Blackmagic (not even worth mentioning canon as I’ve never seen anything good from it) Even ARRI looks like video next to red?
    I doubt whether there is a single scientific quantifiable thing and also i'd disagree about Arri (obviously) and also say that 90% of this is experience.

    Red tends to always follow the same workflow and it works really well and 90% of the time you get the results you're looking for. I feel that other systems make you jump through hoops at times. If i process DNGs from a sigma fp in a typical 709 DNG workflow they can look meh. If i work with these underneath an IPP2 workflow i can pretty much match Red.

    But i'd also say that there is a tendency for people using Red to be better cinematographers, actually have lighting packages, know how to move and what to light and understand tonally what it is to be filmic. Conversely i've seen BMD work (John Brawley) which is also excellent and filmic. I suspect this has more to do with it than you think!

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  2. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair S. Paulsen View Post
    There are several aspects of the RED camera architecture that impact image characteristics. Additionally, to one degree or another, they are interactive.

    That said, IMHO, the key is that RED/Graeme use conservative image construction algorithms to avoid aliasing. Theory being, that downscaling the oversampled image will yield plenty of genuine edge definition. Many other systems do some sharpening upstream from quantization which can generate ringing on high contrast transitions - an artifact commonly associated with a video look.

    Cheers - #19
    Good explanation.
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  3. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karim D. Ghantous View Post
    I also imagine that the wavelet compression may have something to do with it. Maybe. I think a lot of systems have nice images. I like the GH5, for example, from what I've seen. I wouldn't knock Blackmagic as a lot of people love the look from those cameras.

    ARRI's image is great, too, and certainly does not look like video. Although personally I am not sure that you could justify ARRI anymore, given that we have Red on the high end (not to mention that 9K IMAX camera) and all sorts of nice cameras on the low end. But you tell me.

    LUTs have a lot to do with it. If you have sufficient information, you can make one thing look like another thing. To a point. LUTs won't fix DR, or rolling shutter, or other things like that. Those are just observations. I'm not a colorist.

    I shoot photos only, and there is no such thing as a 'video look' to digital photos these days. Of course you could dig down to the bottom of the camera barrel. There are some real stinkers down there!
    & Good explanation.
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  4. #14  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dease View Post
    What is the scientific reason RED looks so filmic (not noise or grain but depth to the image itself) vs Blackmagic (not even worth mentioning canon as Iíve never seen anything good from it)
    I would flip Canon and Black Magic. I think Canon makes pretty vibrant and living images compared to many others, especially outside of the top three, Red, Arri and Sony.

    But the main thing is DR and color science. Primarily it's about how colors balance throughout the DR range. Many lesser brands go all over the place and have colors just pushing beyond limits because they didn't spend enough time really balancing things when developing the sensor and color science. It might also be the very defining factor that makes a true cinema camera what it is; the time it takes to go through R&D of the sensor and color science.

    Then there's the fact that camera manufacturers often aim for the color science of chemical film. It's the very reason Arri is still kicking with their old sensor in a time when everyone else made like three or four iterations of their sensor designs. The color science Arri has was developed to match chemical film in order to make the transition from film to digital easier for a lot of professional cinematographers and directors. It's also why so many praise their color science because people are simply used to chemical film being the standard in cinema. So I would say that anyone trying to move away from chemical film emulation in their color science are doomed to fail against the titans of digital cinema. Even Red has struggled to convince many who favor Arri cameras and instead aimed for arguing for more pixels than better pixels.

    But there's also been a decade of over-grading where teal/orange dominated the look of digital. What we see now is that people start moving away from that and into a more pleasing natural look that uses on-location lighting changes than any manipulation in post. People start to become comfortable working with digital and it's matured past the shitstorm of bad grades and knowledge that's been going around for many years now.

    So hopefully, the brand "battles" between cameras will die off and people will just use the camera they feel most comfortable with. Personally, I feel that people spend way too much time pixel peeping images and not looking at what each camera can achieve. Like, the Komodo can be used in much more interesting ways than a large Alexa can or even the regular DSMC2s. Being able to free up the possible images you can shoot with a camera is far more important than how many pixels or how color science differ between the different systems. As long as you use Red, Arri, Sony or Canon it will not fail you in terms of colors. Anything else is a coin flip in terms of colors.
    "Using any digital cinema camera today is like sending your 35mm rolls to a standard lab. -Using a Red is like owning a dark room."
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  5. #15  
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    I attribute the 'Look Of RED' to a combination of factors that includes - the sensor design, the colour science, the resolution, the RAW encoding, the post-workflow and the form-factor (which is more about what hasn't been added in-camera that might have otherwise had an effect on the 'look').

    I think all of these things have been the result of deliberate decisions and choices made by Jim and Jarred and Graeme and the rest of the RED team, along with a fair bit of creative problem-solving along the way.

    I also get the impression a lot of those decisions have been made in accord with a general philosophy and in order to reach particular specific and primary goals. Those aims include making 4K acquisition and delivery not just possible, but more affordable than it might have otherwise been, with the overall intent of making a genuine alternative to analog film.

    I personally think they've achieved that, about seven years ago -

    Purely my opinion, but I'd also say they didn't achieve what they have by trying to mimic film, but by trying (deliberately or not) to reach the same end that film was trying to reach. In that, I think they were lucky they started from a clean slate and weren't obligated to incorporate or recoup investments in previous research or products, even if it meant having to go to 'war' to ensure they could do things their own way.

    They didn't have to try and make their video camera's look like film, because they hadn't made any video camera's. Likewise, they didn't have experience with film-scanning technology to help them imitate film even if they wanted to.

    At this point, as other manufacturers products become more and more 'good enough' (or even arguably better in some aspects), I just hope RED keep pushing into uncharted territory and we get to see how much 'better-than-film' we can get.

    Not really interested in the prospect of spending another decade going through a bunch of analog-imitation video iterations, with a smattering of actual 'Vision 3' thrown in just for old-times-sake.
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