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HDR in the real world


Geoff Boyle
 

I have never been convinced that HDR was a great increase in contrast in images watched at home.

Certainly there is a huge colour quality increase but as far as contrast goes...

 

I looked up the recommended light levels in a room used to view HDR, it’s 5 nits or LUX. That’s about .5 foot-candles or T1.4 with an ISO of 2500.

Now that’s bloody dark to me!

Especially when anything below 7FC is the point where things start to look dark. Thats 3.5 stops brighter than the recommended viewing environment light level.

 

So, this morning I grabbed the trusty Sekonic C800 and started taking light reading whilst watching various HDR images in both Dolby and HDR10....

 

0.55 fc or 6 lux is the closest I could get to the recommended level without the dimmers on my lights going weird.

3.71 FC or 40 lux was the level where the picture looked best balanced, below that the blacks looked too thin.

7.24 FC or 78 lux, remember the point that things start to look dark, at this level the shadows had lost detail and the overall picture was looking darker than it should

88.3 FC or 950 lux, normal 9am overcast day light level in my living room and the shadows had gone and the overall image was looking dark.

 

OK, this was an HDR400 not HDR1000 set but that’s 1.5 stops, if I accept that the shadows would have been 1.5 stops brighter with an HDR1000 TV that’s still 2 stops down and dark start point.

 

I’ve seen a lot of messages around and had a lot of private email about how some shows are so dark they are unwatchable.

 

What light level are the grading suites at? Because if they’re at the recommended level they’re 12 times less light level than when people start tom perceive their environment as dark.

 

All my jokes about having to watch HDR with windows blacked out, everything in the room painted black and wearing a burka to prevent kickback from my face are being proved by real world measurements.

 

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

 

cheers
Geoff Boyle NSC FBKS
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076

www.gboyle.nl

www.cinematography.net

 

 


alister@...
 

While I agree that there is a disconnect between the way productions are graded in very dark, controlled environments compared to how streamed movies and drama or other TV shows (as opposed to theatrical only releases) are viewed. What did surprise me was how much of a difference the type of panel in the TV makes.

While LCD technology has improved vastly in the last 3 or 4 years with blacks getting ever darker with better zone control. And they will continue to get better. But the way most OLED’s deliver HDR is still quite different to most LCD’s. When I switched the living room TV from a mid range HDR LCD TV to a high end claimed 1000 NIT OLED the difference was striking. I could not now go back to a lesser panel. The TV I currently have has a very good ambient light sensing system that compensates as far as it can for the ambient light. This is particular effective with Dolby encoded content. 



Alister Chapman 

Cinematographer - DIT - Consultant
UK Mobile/Whatsapp +44 7711 152226


Facebook: Alister Chapman
Twitter: @stormguy



www.xdcam-user.com    1.5 million hits, 100,000 visits from over 45,000 unique visitors every month!  Film and Video production techniques, reviews and news.


















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

I have never been convinced that HDR was a great increase in contrast in images watched at home.
Certainly there is a huge colour quality increase but as far as contrast goes...
 
I looked up the recommended light levels in a room used to view HDR, it’s 5 nits or LUX. That’s about .5 foot-candles or T1.4 with an ISO of 2500.
Now that’s bloody dark to me!
Especially when anything below 7FC is the point where things start to look dark. Thats 3.5 stops brighter than the recommended viewing environment light level.
 
So, this morning I grabbed the trusty Sekonic C800 and started taking light reading whilst watching various HDR images in both Dolby and HDR10....
 
0.55 fc or 6 lux is the closest I could get to the recommended level without the dimmers on my lights going weird.
3.71 FC or 40 lux was the level where the picture looked best balanced, below that the blacks looked too thin.
7.24 FC or 78 lux, remember the point that things start to look dark, at this level the shadows had lost detail and the overall picture was looking darker than it should
88.3 FC or 950 lux, normal 9am overcast day light level in my living room and the shadows had gone and the overall image was looking dark.
 
OK, this was an HDR400 not HDR1000 set but that’s 1.5 stops, if I accept that the shadows would have been 1.5 stops brighter with an HDR1000 TV that’s still 2 stops down and dark start point.
 
I’ve seen a lot of messages around and had a lot of private email about how some shows are so dark they are unwatchable.
 
What light level are the grading suites at? Because if they’re at the recommended level they’re 12 times less light level than when people start tom perceive their environment as dark.
 
All my jokes about having to watch HDR with windows blacked out, everything in the room painted black and wearing a burka to prevent kickback from my face are being proved by real world measurements.
 
Shouldn’t we be grading for more human viewing conditions?
 
cheers 
Geoff Boyle NSC FBKS
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076
 
 


Riza Pacalioglu
 

“When I switched the living room TV from a mid range HDR LCD TV to a high end claimed 1000 NIT OLED the difference was striking. I could not now go back to a lesser panel.”

 

I moonlighted almost a decade as an audio engineer at Abbey Road and had been a Hi-Fi enthusiast since teenagers. The above reminded me how Hi-Fi enthusiast talk. I just switched the device name on the above quote, and it is spot on.

 

“When I switched the living room amplifier from a mid range transistor one to a high end claimed 100W tube one the difference was striking. I could not now go back to a lesser amplifier.”

 

Like Hi-Fi equipment manufacturers had been doing for years, TV manufacturers had been aiming at producing “striking” images, not authentic, or should we say Hi-Fi images that reflect the mastering studios i.e. grading rooms. Some may argue that is wrong, but there is a reason why that is the case: Compare a recording studio and a grading room to your living room, like Geoff did, and you should see why.

 

Hi-Fi is a myth.

 

 

Riza Pacalioglu B.Sc. M.Sc. M.A.

Technical Supervisor & Producer

South of England

 

 


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

Best

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

mobile: +44 7921 677 369
skype: kevscolor

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

------------------
This message was sent by Kevin Shaw of Finalcolor Ltd. and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorised to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete this e-mail from your system. It is believed, but not warranted, that this e-mail, including any attachments, is virus free. However, you should take full responsibility for virus checking. Thank you for your cooperation.
------------------




alister@...
 

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.

Perfect Master for whom? 

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. The very fact that most audiences won’t ever see a large part of the darker range of the image should be a worry as it is all to easy to fall into the trap of producing something that looks great with the contrast range seen in a blacked out grading suite with dark walls, carpets etc but much less good when viewed in a typical living room environment where higher ambient light levels and a screens finite output means the viewer will only ever see a more limited contrast range. All that stuff in the deepest shadows disappears if we are not careful and the only people that master is perfect for is the colourists and production team that see it in that perfectly dark room.

It seems counter intuitive to me to grade for an entirely different viewing environment to the end use. Not saying we should be grading in bright rooms, 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.

Alister Chapman 

Cinematographer - DIT - Consultant
UK Mobile/Whatsapp +44 7711 152226


Facebook: Alister Chapman
Twitter: @stormguy



www.xdcam-user.com    1.5 million hits, 100,000 visits from over 45,000 unique visitors every month!  Film and Video production techniques, reviews and news.


















On 25 Sep 2020, at 13:54, Kevin Shaw <kevs@...> wrote:

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

Best

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

mobile: +44 7921 677 369
skype: kevscolor

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

------------------
This message was sent by Kevin Shaw of Finalcolor Ltd. and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorised to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete this e-mail from your system. It is believed, but not warranted, that this e-mail, including any attachments, is virus free. However, you should take full responsibility for virus checking. Thank you for your cooperation.
------------------





Jonathon Sendall
 

Alistair Chapman wrote "I believe this approach is fundamentally flawed as this is not what the most important people, our audience, will see."

From my experience most good grading suites will grade to exacting standards but also view on something shitty just to see what pops out the other end.
The same principal is applied in good sound editing suites. Listen through grade 1 monitors and then play it through downward spiralling quality until you
then play it either on an iPhone or small bluetooth speakers etc.

Jonathon Sendall
DP, London UK


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

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

mobile: +44 7921 677 369
skype: kevscolor

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

------------------
This message was sent by Kevin Shaw of Finalcolor Ltd. and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorised to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete this e-mail from your system. It is believed, but not warranted, that this e-mail, including any attachments, is virus free. However, you should take full responsibility for virus checking. Thank you for your cooperation.
------------------



Tobias Wiedmer // Cine Chromatix
 

I second Kevin’s opinion. Grading for a living room means chasing moving targets, so we definitely need a normed mastering environment. 5 nits as defined dim surround sounds appropriate to me. the problem should be tackled on the distribution side with the choice of a high end colour appearance model, which translates the perception of the image of the mastering suite perfectly into the living rooms, using the environment and maybe the white point as input and some kind of LMSish model under the hood. Curious how Dolby IQ will perform in that matter. But I agree that there is a problem right now.

just my 2 cents,

cheers,
Tobi
-----------------------------------------------------
Tobias Wiedmer, CSI
Lead Colourist / Colour Scientist


Cine Chromatix KG 
Goethestr. 85 
10623 Berlin 
Tel: +49 (0)30.327 805-88 
Fax: +49 (0)30.327 805-90 
mail@... 
www.cine-chromatix.de 
  
Vertreten durch die 
Geschäftsführer: Janosch Benz, Ufuk Genc 
Registergericht: Amtsgericht Berlin-Charlottenburg 
Registernummer: HRA 39272B 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
P before printing this email, think about the environment

On 25. Sep 2020, at 16:25, alister@... wrote:

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.

Perfect Master for whom? 

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. The very fact that most audiences won’t ever see a large part of the darker range of the image should be a worry as it is all to easy to fall into the trap of producing something that looks great with the contrast range seen in a blacked out grading suite with dark walls, carpets etc but much less good when viewed in a typical living room environment where higher ambient light levels and a screens finite output means the viewer will only ever see a more limited contrast range. All that stuff in the deepest shadows disappears if we are not careful and the only people that master is perfect for is the colourists and production team that see it in that perfectly dark room.

It seems counter intuitive to me to grade for an entirely different viewing environment to the end use. Not saying we should be grading in bright rooms, 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.

Alister Chapman 

Cinematographer - DIT - Consultant
UK Mobile/Whatsapp +44 7711 152226


Facebook: Alister Chapman
Twitter: @stormguy



www.xdcam-user.com    1.5 million hits, 100,000 visits from over 45,000 unique visitors every month!  Film and Video production techniques, reviews and news.


















On 25 Sep 2020, at 13:54, Kevin Shaw <kevs@...> wrote:

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

Best

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

mobile: +44 7921 677 369
skype: kevscolor

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

------------------
This message was sent by Kevin Shaw of Finalcolor Ltd. and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the addressee or authorised to receive this for the addressee, you must not use, copy, disclose or take any action based on this message or any information herein. If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and delete this e-mail from your system. It is believed, but not warranted, that this e-mail, including any attachments, is virus free. However, you should take full responsibility for virus checking. Thank you for your cooperation.
------------------






Bob Kertesz
 

All my jokes about having to watch HDR with windows blacked out,
everything in the room painted black and wearing a burka to prevent
kickback from my face are being proved by real world measurements.
Before this devolves into a 100+ post thread about pixels on the head of
a pin, as these things inevitably do, anyone else willing to kick in a
few dollars or euros to get a "We'd like to get a head-to-toe shot of
Geoff in a full burka!" fund going?

-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Mostly Retired Engineer, Video Controller, and Live Compositor
Extraordinaire.

High quality images for almost five decades - whether you've wanted them
or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *


Brian Heller
 

Since CoVid 19 lockdowns and quarantines, I have become habituated to watching films on whatever TV is handy, especially in the kitchen, for obvious reasons.

Therefore, I would like to turn myself in to whatever authorities have jurisdiction over my near total disregard for viewing conditions.

I also will admit to an occasional glass
of wine, which seems to eliminate any of the concerns I used to have about focus, lighting, acting, composition, hair, makeup, sound, continuity, dialogue, etc.

Mea culpa,

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


On Sep 25, 2020, at 12:37 PM, Bob Kertesz <bob@...> wrote:


All my jokes about having to watch HDR with windows blacked out,
everything in the room painted black and wearing a burka to prevent
kickback from my face are being proved by real world measurements.
Before this devolves into a 100+ post thread about pixels on the head of
a pin, as these things inevitably do, anyone else willing to kick in a
few dollars or euros to get a "We'd like to get a head-to-toe shot of
Geoff in a full burka!" fund going?

-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Mostly Retired Engineer, Video Controller, and Live Compositor
Extraordinaire.

High quality images for almost five decades - whether you've wanted them
or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *


Mitch Gross
 

On Sep 25, 2020, at 1:25 PM, Brian Heller <Brianheller1@...> wrote:

I would like to turn myself in to whatever authorities have jurisdiction over my near total disregard for viewing conditions.

I’ll get my best man on it.

When I care, as in when I settle in to watch a movie, I turn off the lights in the room. Short of what’s reflective from the photons emanating from my screen, I’m at 0.0fc.

Anything else, all bets are off. As far as I’m concerned I want to see stuff graded to a dark room and when I don’t care as much I can switch the TV to “vibrant” mode anyway.

I know, sacrilege. At least I keep off the damn motion smoothing.


Mitch Gross
New York


alister@...
 

I’m all for set standards, but the standards should refelect real world application. We are very good in this industry of creating standards that don’t reflect the real world and the way the majority view what we create but make stuff look nice for the lucky people that do get to view content in a perfect viewing room.

5 nits/5 Lux isn’t dim, 5 nits is pretty dark and not at all representative of any real world typical home viewing environment. Most living spaces are lit above 100 Lux, I can get my living room down to about 15/20 Lux before my dimmable LED’s start flickering, but I rarely go that dark in an evening as I’m likely to break my neck tripping over one of our dark grey dogs. In most countries public spaces that require a dark environment such as galleries are not supposed to be darker than 20 Lux for safety reasons. 5 Nits/5 Lux simply isn’t representative of the vast majority of home viewing environments. So why was 5 Nits chosen?

And most of us writing/reading this understand that if we want to get a good viewing experience dimming the lights is necessary. I would suggest that the majority don’t dim their lights to anywhere near to 5 Lux. So why was 5 Lux chosen? Who is the target audience, because it doesn’t seem to be people at home. Has any research been done into how grading for a 5 Lux grading suite impacts real world viewing? Any blind tests with an unbiased audience at home comparing different grades produced under different light levels? Or have we just assumed darker is better?


Alister Chapman 

Cinematographer - DIT - Consultant
UK Mobile/Whatsapp +44 7711 152226


Facebook: Alister Chapman
Twitter: @stormguy



www.xdcam-user.com    1.5 million hits, 100,000 visits from over 45,000 unique visitors every month!  Film and Video production techniques, reviews and news.


















On 25 Sep 2020, at 16:00, Tobias Wiedmer // Cine Chromatix <tobias.wiedmer@...> wrote:

I second Kevin’s opinion. Grading for a living room means chasing moving targets, so we definitely need a normed mastering environment. 5 nits as defined dim surround sounds appropriate to me. the problem should be tackled on the distribution side with the choice of a high end colour appearance model, which translates the perception of the image of the mastering suite perfectly into the living rooms, using the environment and maybe the white point as input and some kind of LMSish model under the hood. Curious how Dolby IQ will perform in that matter. But I agree that there is a problem right now.

just my 2 cents,

cheers,
Tobi
-----------------------------------------------------
Tobias Wiedmer, CSI
Lead Colourist / Colour Scientist


Cine Chromatix KG 
Goethestr. 85 
10623 Berlin 
Tel: +49 (0)30.327 805-88 
Fax: +49 (0)30.327 805-90 
mail@... 
www.cine-chromatix.de 
  
Vertreten durch die 
Geschäftsführer: Janosch Benz, Ufuk Genc 
Registergericht: Amtsgericht Berlin-Charlottenburg 
Registernummer: HRA 39272B 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
P before printing this email, think about the environment

On 25. Sep 2020, at 16:25, alister@... wrote:

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.

Perfect Master for whom? 

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. The very fact that most audiences won’t ever see a large part of the darker range of the image should be a worry as it is all to easy to fall into the trap of producing something that looks great with the contrast range seen in a blacked out grading suite with dark walls, carpets etc but much less good when viewed in a typical living room environment where higher ambient light levels and a screens finite output means the viewer will only ever see a more limited contrast range. All that stuff in the deepest shadows disappears if we are not careful and the only people that master is perfect for is the colourists and production team that see it in that perfectly dark room.

It seems counter intuitive to me to grade for an entirely different viewing environment to the end use. Not saying we should be grading in bright rooms, 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.

Alister Chapman 

Cinematographer - DIT - Consultant
UK Mobile/Whatsapp +44 7711 152226


Facebook: Alister Chapman
Twitter: @stormguy



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On 25 Sep 2020, at 13:54, Kevin Shaw <kevs@...> wrote:

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

Best

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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Art Adams
 

>Therefore, I would like to turn myself in to whatever authorities have jurisdiction over my near total disregard for viewing conditions.

 

I bought an HDR TV just before lockdown. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, but I did want to replace my 12-year-old HD TV with an affordable HDR option. I ended up with a Sony LCD HDR TV.

 

There’s a table lamp about 6’ to the right of the TV that I turn on at a low level when watching at night. That tends to make the blacks look dark enough that I don’t mind the low-level glow of the backlight in dark scenes. It’s not perfect, but it’s 100x better than what I had.

 

-Art

_______________________________________________________
Art 
Adams
Cinema Lens Specialist
ARRI Inc.
3700 Vanowen Street
BurbankCA 91505
www.arri.com 

 
aadams@...

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Bob Kertesz
 

<We> make stuff look nice for the lucky people that do get to view
content in a perfect viewing room.
AKA clients, or Those Who Pay The Bills. Of course we do.

Way too many variables in the home, though, and if you dim your lights
to view content, that's another one. Incandescents that go down to a
very 'yellow candlelight' 2000K, and dimmable retail LEDs whose CRI and
spectral rating is always based on not being dimmed affect color and
contrast perception. The recessed LEDs in my living room, which aren't
bad in those areas when not dimmed, go a consistently very slight pastel
green-ish when they are. And I chose those after rejecting almost a
dozen that were much worse. At least they're all the same color when
full up or dimmed as low as they'll go (the only two states in which
they live).

-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Mostly Retired Engineer, Video Controller, and Live Compositor
Extraordinaire.

High quality images for almost five decades - whether you've wanted them
or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *


Video Assist Hungary
 

When I renovated my flat, I have designed my living room totally around the tv (and the two vintage Tannoys). When it turned out the sweet spot on the sofa (60 degrees from each speaker) is not directly in front of the tv, I designed a rail system where the whole cabinet slides two feet to the left, thus blocking the staircase, but coming to the right place.
I also have a ‘smart home’ where written several scenes controlling the lights, one called TV (lots of lights dimmed but generally not very dark) and Movie, where I actually measured levels to be in the standard. Then I took our calibrator home and set the 65” HDR OLED up properly.

Generally, I went a lot of trouble and cost having it exactly right. I wanted the perfect conditions.

I don’t think I used Movie more than three times in two years. Almost all movies we watch at the TV setting. If we’re watching tv series or a rom-com we just leave it at normal. The movie setting is so dark you knock your glass over, bathroom breaks have to be programmed and the dog goes in the other room. It’s unusable.

Balázs Rozgonyi
CEO
Video assist hungary


Mike Nagel
 

On Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 07:26 AM, <alister@...> wrote:
Perfect Master for whom? 
 
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
No, your approach is flawed.

You have no idea what the "avg viewing environment of the majority of people" is. Matter of fact, you have ZERO idea. Because it is not only a demographic, regional but also a temporal moving target.

In other words: you don't know the character attributes of your audience (most importantly vision, as that will change w/ age) but also financially b/c some folks (young or old) will have better TV sets and/or calibrated environment, but you also don't know where on the planet the "majority of people" is that watches your stuff and what their avg viewing environment is. Asia is drastically different than Europe. Always has been, always will be.

So even if you buy the current (as in: today) top 10 TV sets, use all of them as client end screen, non-calibrated and find somehow a middle ground where it looks somewhat decent and/or acceptable - you still have ZERO idea which TV settings your audience uses, picture mode etc that will all mess up your compromised "grade".

It's impossible to accommodate for all factors here alone.

Enter father time:

in the future, your audience will watch your content on newer TV sets, not the old, outdated ones that you optimised for, newer sets that will be closer to standards and perform much better. Your content is static, and b/c you compromised it will never look as good as it could have.

You can't win this.

Your only true chance is to master to known standards on calibrated equipment, THIS is how you position yourself dead in the center and this is also how you achieve logically the least amount of avg distance to your audience, who all watch on different sets and in different environments w/ different settings and variable vision.

Mike Nagel
Director/Producer
L.A.


Geoff Boyle
 

Of course we need standards in grading, I’m not arguing against that.

What we need are output transforms that more accurately reflect viewing conditions.

On my domestic set I have 2 calibrated options for day or night, for Dolby I have bright and dark.

I simply think we should have a few more options including “bloody bright” 😊

Also, it’s all very well having a domestic monitor in a grading suite but if the suite isn’t lit to domestic levels then it’s pointless.

 

I think we’ve found next Wednesdays discussion topic!

 

cheers
Geoff Boyle NSC FBKS
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076

www.gboyle.nl

www.cinematography.net

 

 


Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC
 

To respond to Mr. Nagel- Many of the TV set manufacturers are now agreeing to and have already began tp put into their newest sets a "filmmaker's choice" type of setting where the TV will automatically set itself through metadata from the source to the grade and output that the director / dp have decided is the right one as established by their "master" grade. One can only hope that this is built into every TV set from here on in to guarantee (as much as possible due to individuals viewing conditions) that the image is presented on the set as intended by the filmmakers.

--
Roberto Schaefer, ASC, AIC
Venice, CA
ganzo@...
The Key To The Light Is In The Dark


Ken Parker
 

"Also, it’s all very well having a domestic monitor in a grading suite but if the suite isn’t lit to domestic levels then it’s pointless."
It is like having "Auratones" (or, as we called them in my audio days, "Monotones") in an utterly silent mixing theater!

Ken P.
(415)279-4184 (mobile)


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [cml-raw-log-hdr] HDR in the real world
From: "Geoff Boyle" <geoff@...>
Date: Fri, September 25, 2020 11:02 pm
To: <cml-raw-log-hdr@...>

Of course we need standards in grading, I’m not arguing against that.
What we need are output transforms that more accurately reflect viewing conditions.
On my domestic set I have 2 calibrated options for day or night, for Dolby I have bright and dark.
I simply think we should have a few more options including “bloody bright” 😊
Also, it’s all very well having a domestic monitor in a grading suite but if the suite isn’t lit to domestic levels then it’s pointless.
 
I think we’ve found next Wednesdays discussion topic!
 
cheers
Geoff Boyle NSC FBKS
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076
 
 


Steve Shaw
 

You may want to have a read of this:

https://www.lightspace.lightillusion.com/uhdtv.html

We explained the issues with HDR in the real world to Dolby when they first introduced PQ HDR, and that is exactly why they have now added IQ to Dolby Vision - which totally breaks the PQ standard...

Steve
Light Illusion