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Re: HDR in the real world

Re: HDR in the real world

Kevin Shaw

On 25 Sep 2020, at 09:21, Geoff Boyle <geoff@...> wrote:

Shouldn’t we be grading for more human viewing conditions?

I would argue no, there is nothing wrong with our grading room conditions. Grading in a dark room allows us to see more detail to make a perfect master. We intentionally want to see the same or more, never less, than the audience.

I do worry about the problem you describe though - most people do not see HDR as intended. 
As I see it the problem is more that the display is not bright enough than the room is not dark enough. 

The reason we need 1000 nits without tone mapping to make hopefully future proof masters is that at anything less than 1000 nits it is hard to judge the effect of extended contrast - indeed I would say there is a tendency to just make everything brighter. 

With many TV sets pushing over 200 nits for SDR and many others arguing that they can show (tone mapped) HDR at 400 nits or sometimes less, the only thing that is clear is that it can be confusing.

For now turning off the lights to enjoy HDR is imho an acceptable compromise. When we get tvs hitting 2000 nits and above we can put the lights back on.

Meantime we are all learning and experimenting with what we can do creatively to take advantage of HDR technology. Somethings work across the range, somethings work at brighter levels only and somethings just don’t work. All technologies need to be mastered, I think we are lucky to be the ones that can set new examples for the next generation. 

And if I may add to the debate, my hate are those (Netflix) shows that choose to raise the mid tones in the HDR master. They argue that it mimics the brighter conditions of a sunny day etc. But to my eyes it lowers the effective contrast and looks really fake. A good example of something we can do, but probably shouldn’t. Just like those early marketing demos were the saturation was pushed to the bleeding edge. I think someone on this list once wrote that any technology based on its worst examples would be rejected. Its up to us to make the best examples that set the standard. 

There are now some great uses of HDR so I think we are getting there


Kevin Shaw, CSI
kevs@...          colorist, instructor and consultant

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