View Full Version : Calibrated for skintones/dynamic-range

Hunter Hampton
12-21-2007, 01:16 PM
After owning this camera for a few months now and shooting a lot of people, I have been struggling to achive accurate skintone reproduction, It seems like many HD cameras have this problem. And dont get me started on skintones! Everyone knows when skintones are off and it is very difficult to get real-life skintones with video. So after shooting and calibrating dslr cameras, and studying film scans, and a few grabs from the f23. I think I found my favorite calibration for the HPX500 (when people are present in content or you want film-simulation). It reminds me of the dynamic-range stretching and film-rec on the varicam. For nature and landscape a more contrasty scene file may do.

( Disclaimer: the hpx will not come close to replacing film or the f23 in dynamic range)

The models skin is incredibly accurate on my calibrated monitor (she stood right next to me and I made the comparison from her real-life flesh color. Just play a bit with curves in post and this image will rock!
Heres the jpeg:
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/23459/1198270268.tifClick here for the Raw Tiff :

If you like it, I can post the scene file.


Luis Caffesse
12-21-2007, 01:25 PM
I think you forgot to post the image...or a link to it.

Or I'm blind.

I just found the address by quoting your post:
Maybe it's not working with the IMG tags for some reason.


It looks great

Hunter Hampton
12-21-2007, 01:50 PM
Thanks for posting the link, I wonder why the IMG tag isnt working?

Luis Caffesse
12-21-2007, 02:06 PM
No idea - but let's talk about something more interesting....
Could you give us some detail on the scene file you settled on - but more importantly (for me at least) maybe explain a little about the idea behind the scene file?

Meaning...what are you doing to the image exactly?
For those of us (like me) that are not shooting on the HPX - it might be good to know a bit about the process, instead of just the numbers.

It's a really nice look you got in that grab - the colors look great, at least on my monitor.

Hunter Hampton
12-21-2007, 02:53 PM
So the DVCPROHD codec is 8-bit at a non-variable bit-rate. How you set up your image parameters before it gets compressed is important. So what i wanted here is all of the senor data I could get in the from the blacks to the high-lights (looks like a low-contrast, flat image). If you have a lower-contrast, not over-saturated, not over-exposed, not under-exposed, not over-shapened image before you hit compression. It is much easier in post to add contrast and adjust gamma and add saturation and sharpness (if you want shapness) in post with a compressed image, than to subtract those things from a compressed image. Basically, if you dont have a nice platform for post, your colorist will struggle to make-up for the mistakes you made in setting up the camera.

I wanted the look of film not video with nice skintones, seemingly more dynamic-range and uniform noise. (The film-look does not come from use of 35mm adapters)

Here is what the scene file looks like:

detail - 1
v detail level 0
detail coring +1
chroma level -2
chroma phase -1
color temp a 0
color temp b 0
master ped +8 (<--- Thats the key for cine-D, I never liked cine-D because of the noise in the midtones/shadows, this fixes it for me. It also gets all of the data from the shadows) * also the hpx500 has an adjustable pedistal from -100 to +100
a. iris level 0
news gamma off
gamma cinelike-D
knee mid
matrix norm2
skin tone detail off
v detail freq thick

The cine matrix settings are just too over-saturated for me, also the b-press and cine-v gammas black levels are too black, it seems like all of the shadows just turn black with the other gammas.


Here is a jpeg of a quick-grade:
The funny banding in the shadow is from re-compression of 8-bit to tiff to jpeg. It doesnt look like that in the actual video.

Luis Caffesse
12-21-2007, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the explanation and details.

I know you're not big on charts... but if you happen to get a chance next time you're shooting - do you think you could possibly get a shot of a macbeth chart (or some other standardized thing?)

I'd like to see how close I can get to this setup on an HVX (and having something I can aim at replicating would be key - like a Macbeth chart).

I assume I wouldn't be able to get too close , seeing as you're dealing with scales of -100 to +100, while the HVX has a whopping -10 to +10.
But, it's worth a shot.

Hunter Hampton
12-21-2007, 11:06 PM
If I had a color chart, I would. Maybe I can borrow from a friend? You can most likey get this look from the HVX, it just might be a bit noisier.

Noel Evans
12-21-2007, 11:16 PM
Hunter, I am regularly using a setting almost exactly the same. The only real difference is my detail is set at 0 and my detail coring is at -2.

Thanks for posting.

04-01-2008, 08:46 PM
hunter are these the settings you used for good sam? i like the skin tone here but also like good sam and was curious if they were the same. If not what changed?

How are you projects coming? Saw you sold another p2 card. I was to slow, it was gone before I saw it.

Hunter Hampton
04-02-2008, 10:51 PM
Yep! I just changed turned the coring levels down for goodsam.

Projects have been good, Thanks for asking. I just finished shooting day 1 of a music video for the dennis mitchell band, and I am in pre-production stages of my other projects, I just got hired to shoot an indie-feature on Red as well, pretty exciting. Right now, Im just doing little here and there half-days to pay the bills. You know the deal.

04-03-2008, 07:52 AM
Heres a still from a recent shoot I did. Standard cine D but with make-up.
One 500 watt mickey and bag w/ 1/8 blue and opal for a key. Ambient fill. No rim.
What they wanted. I think the camera renders skin pretty well out of the box under tungsten. Outside is another issue.

Hunter Hampton
04-04-2008, 11:32 AM
Looks good! Dolly?

04-04-2008, 12:11 PM
No. A good day for me is any time I can plop my fat butt on a Fisher 10 and say move the key an RCH to the left but this wasn't one of those days. We actually had 2 500s side by side one shooting wide and one shooting tight. If they had been shooting the same shot we could made EX Presidents: 3D!

Brad Neal
04-04-2008, 01:48 PM
Wow! That's quite an honor to work with a former President.

04-04-2008, 04:00 PM
I've actually worked at the Carter Center a lot. Jimmy and Rosalyn are great folks who've done an awful lot of good in the world.

This was for Corporation for Public Broadcastings new promos. Can't put any of it on the reel yet because it hasn't aired.

I've got some other stuff of them on my website www.manwhopro.com under demos.
The site is undergoing renovation so be careful over there if you check it out.

10-24-2008, 10:12 PM
Hunter, you mentioned that a more contrasty scene file would work better for landscape shots.... Do you or anyone else have a scene file that you use for scenic landscape / wildlife shots?? If so, would you mind posting the recipe and a tiff, thanks

Hunter Hampton
11-04-2008, 02:33 PM
This thread is back from the dead! I sold my hpx500 about 10 months ago but I rented the hpx500 for a gig a few weeks ago, I set up this same profile and it worked great. I just tweak in a little gamma curve as needed in post. The only thing I could think of would be to boost the saturation a bit before the image gets recorded. Sorry no tiff ; )