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Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors

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Jeremiah Belt
Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Dec 1, 2009 at 9:41:22 pm

So I only run into this problem with RED footage every once in awhile.
I am grading a RED 2K short film in Apple Color through a Kona 3 via SDI to a calibrated broadcast CRT. I am working directly from the R3Ds in Color. All of my other work with this system when viewed on the air (commercials etc.) looks exactly how I intended it to and exactly how it looked on my calibrated setup.
With this RED project the SDI output is obviously what I am color correcting to. Naturally one can't trust Computer monitors and LCDs...however the difference is startling! The footage is much much more saturated and red and loses all of it's subtlety when viewed on the computer monitors. Normally I would ignore this because it looks accurate on my calibrated SDI monitor...however I burned a DVD of the corrected project and that DVD on a Television looked the same as the computer monitors!! Over saturated and murky. I can correct it to look right on an LCD but I don't trust that since the SDI calibrated setup then looks like crap! If I enable "Force RGB" in Color the SDI output changes dramatically. It actually from a saturation standpoint looks closer to the LCDs and the DVD export. However in that mode the blacks on the SDI are pretty crushed. I'm unsure what to trust at the moment...any suggestions or help would be great!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Dec 1, 2009 at 10:50:38 pm

What color and gamma spaces are you using in Color in the RED tab? That's pretty much all the mojo right there.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
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Jeremiah Belt
Re: Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Dec 2, 2009 at 6:21:39 am

Hey Noah,
I have done many different jobs and various workflows with the RED footage in the past and have never run into such a startling difference from my calibrated SDI output and the Computer monitors. There is always a subtle difference but not this great. I have the gamma in the Red tab set to PDLOG 685 and the color space to REDspace. I like to use the Log space, even though it would be rendered into Linear in the end, to help retain better control of highlight falloff and detail and avoid the severe clipping you get with a linear space. This is a nice workflow tip provided by FXGuide PHD. It has never failed me before. I think it may be something different in the latest build of Studio and Color. This is the first color job I have done with the new Studio 3. When I enable the Force RGB setting in Color and let the Kona 3 do the RGB to YCBR conversion the calibrated monitor looks a lot closer to the over saturated and murky output that I see on the computer monitors. I think that is the issue right there. I also havn't tangled with the REDspace to often...I usually set it to Camera RGB...but I felt I was seeing a smoother color curve in the histogram with Redspace this go around so I thought I would try it out.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Dec 2, 2009 at 4:21:03 pm

Are these build 20 or higher shots? Could be new color science support issue.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Jeremiah Belt
Re: Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Dec 2, 2009 at 7:27:54 pm

Ah there's an idea. I bet that has something to do with it as well! I'm not sure the build as this wasn't a project I was a part of shooting. Interesting. So instead of going through and color correcting the entire piece over with the "Force RGB" setting, I'm just going to basically slap a Primary out that corrects the piece to look like what I'm seeing on the SDI monitor. It then looks odd on the SDI monitor, but not on the computer or a DVD. Very uneasy work around though...I always trust my SDI monitor and this goes against the grain.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Dec 2, 2009 at 8:51:35 pm

Trick with RED, especially when you're grading from the R3D files is anything you look at is profiled live rather than baked in as you have with ProRes or any other non-raw format. So you need to figure out if you're really seeing the actual look of a shot or just having an issue with a particular piece of software that hasn't yet been updated for new color science. It's a jungle. :)

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera! Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio.
Call Box Training now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, and Panasonic DVX100.


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Jeremiah Belt
Re: Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Dec 2, 2009 at 9:26:17 pm

It sure is a Jungle. Your absolutely right...that is the issue with working from R3Ds. I will have to do some more tests in the future and see if I can iron out the kinks using different color space settings etc. It's just so much more convenient and higher quality to work from the R3Ds then taking the time to do a one light process of all of them to some other format....inevitably losing a little information on the way. Thanks


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Justin McAleece
Re: Color Difference of Kona 3 SDI output and other Monitors
on Jan 12, 2010 at 7:00:47 am

Jeremiah is super methodical when it comes to this stuff but in this case it is one of those issues that pops up between the Footage Build, the RED Codec Version, The Quicktime codec/plugin version and the Final Cut Studio version. Between all of those variables and a Kona card (which is hardly the weak link) it is really tough to stay on top of things and ensure that everything matches in the pipeline.

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Justin McAleece
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