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Re: HDR in the real world

Re: HDR in the real world

Kevin Shaw

On 25 Sep 2020, at 15:25, alister@... wrote:

but the grading suite should reflect a dim room rather than a blacked out room if we are grading for peoples homes. And that won’t ever change.

I agree. I was not suggesting anything else. I was trying to say that we have always worked in a dim room and that the grading conditions for HDR should remain the same, since the audience viewing conditions are also likely to be unchanged. I misused the word dark in my original post, I meant the same dim room environment we use for SDR, And that environment is indeed darker than the average viewer is likely to be in.

Perfect Master for whom? 
The perfect Master today is really an archival master that will stand the test of time and captures the creative intent. We then trim it for different audiences -Theatrical,  SDR TV, HDR tv, internet sometimes one of them, sometimes many of them

I believe this approach is fundamentally flawed as this is not what the most important people, our audience, will see. We don’t make content to satisfy the small numbers that will view it under perfect viewing conditions, we produce content that will look as good as possible in an average viewing environment to the majority of people.

This is the way we have always done it and it has worked out well so far. True the content will only look as intended under perfect viewing conditions that’s always been the case and is the driving force behind Filmmaker mode. Very few TVs have ever had anything like a rec 709 mode and so variations to take into account include manufacturer, technology and settings as well as lighting. We deal with that by working in a calibrated environment that could be recreated but usually is not. 

HDR adds complexity because a 1000 nit master only looks the same on a 1000 nit screen and consumer screens range from about 400 to 800 nits usually. So we have to anticipate tone mapping as well. Only Dolby Vision lets us check the tone map and trim it as needed and only Dolby Vision is the same across all manufacturers. 
We have to consider that anyone watching HDR is expecting to see more dynamic range, at least some of the time.

And as Geoff points out if your TV is already tone mapping down AND you put the lights up the resulting dynamic range perceived by the human eye is small. In some situations I would venture to say negligible.  

It may seem counter intuitive to grade in a different environment but it is necessary. I apologise for using the word dark in its colloquial rather than its color science sense. But our grading suites  are increasingly different to peoples homes. Homes are predominantly 2 technologies (LCD and OLED) which range between 100 and 300 nits for SDR and 400 - 800 nits for HDR with unknown tone mapping, unpredictable local dimming (spatial and temporal) and are rarely calibrated. 
Our best approach to satisfying such a wide audience is to use predictable technology in a calibrated environment at the highest standards. 

In about 5-10 years time I expect the capabilities of HDR in the home will more or less match our HDR grading standards today. Thats what happened when we switched from CRT technology in the SDR world. Masters we make today should look just as good when that time come as they do today.

Kind regards

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

mobile: +44 7921 677 369
skype: kevscolor

finalcolor: www.finalcolor.com 
ICA:          www.icolorist.com      

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