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Clipping Highlights and Shadows

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Randy Rubin
Clipping Highlights and Shadows
on Jan 22, 2015 at 4:08:21 pm

Hi There,

When I grade I typically try to keep my highlights at or below the reference levels of 1023 and 0. My understanding is that these reference levels are for broadcast safe and inform you that you are losing information in anything that clips above or below them. Sometimes though, I want my highlights to blow out or my shadows to go to black, is it ok to blow past these reference levels? Everything I've graded so far is for the internet, but I'd like to be working to quality standards typically expected.

Thanks!


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Sascha Haber
Re: Clipping Highlights and Shadows
on Jan 23, 2015 at 10:11:53 am

Well, the first thing is that broadcast save is not 1023 but 940.
Here is a (kinda shallow but understandable) article about some level talk.
http://www.adhishyajnik.com/broadcast-709-levels-and-rgb-levels.html
When working for the internet you will encounter a whole different set of restrictions.
But yes, in a way you do not need to care for BCS.
In the olden days we had something like SUPERBLACK or white and that information was used to carry masks in one video stream.
So stuff you left in the area below 16 or above 235 was cutting a whole in your video stream...fun times :)
Its a bit like the audio at the side of a film strip.
So if you creatively decide to blast away your highlights or totally crush your blacks, that is entirely up to you or your client.
Visually it will end up black or white in digital media but as soon as someone tries to use that in a Video Color space environment you might encounter dark grey or bright grey instead of your black and white, and that has to do with the way it is interpreted fron the host.

A slice of color...

Resolve 11.1.2 - Smoke 2015 - Sapphire 8
Colorist / VFX Guru / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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Randy Rubin
Re: Clipping Highlights and Shadows
on Jan 23, 2015 at 3:37:47 pm

Hi Sascha,

Thanks, that's really helpful and makes sense. It's sometimes easier for me to let the highlights go and crush the blacks than try to get the same kind of contrast within the limits of broadcast safe, but I'll probably try to stick to the limits moving forward.

Best,

Randy


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Sascha Haber
Re: Clipping Highlights and Shadows
on Jan 23, 2015 at 4:14:12 pm

Don't crush it, bend it :)
even the smallest amount of "life" in dark blacks is better than a digital 0.
I never go under or over, but i draw extreme curves than are almost like tangents to infinity.
That's the way...imho

A slice of color...

Resolve 11.1.2 - Smoke 2015 - Sapphire 8
Colorist / VFX Guru / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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Joseph Owens
Re: Clipping Highlights and Shadows
on Jan 23, 2015 at 6:47:44 pm

[Sascha Haber] "Here is a (kinda shallow but understandable) article about some level talk."

And also a bit misleading.because it talks about "compressing" the dynamic range into shallower value extents. It is really more of a case of defined limits. It does get worse if you are working in 8-bit, but 8-bit is not really suitable for working in HD from a fundamental standpoint.

I am really trying to wrap my head around this issue to try to come up with something a little more definitive -- but talking about it is not straightforward in any way. Just yesterday, I tried moving a property between FCP and Media Composer in DNxHD and got completely different renditions, even though *all three* versions look exactly the same when decoded in Resolve.

Its infuriating.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Sascha Haber
Re: Clipping Highlights and Shadows
on Jan 24, 2015 at 9:58:57 am

I agree....codec manufacturing and licensing brought that to us.
I am very happy I could convince my TV studio to drop Avid all together for color work.
We are not even using it's effects or media generated by it anymore.
We went back to a classic offline/online workflow where they are digitising everything into XDcam during the edit, and I go straight back to camera footage.
In an environment of 40 AVID machines and one Resolve, that is quite and achievement ;)
When going back to Avid from Resolve for broadcasting i only export .mxf files which we directly slip into Avid , no import, no export, no encode, no trouble.
And thanks to .aaf my online workflow is now quite easy too, just the time effects have to be done in Smoke because ...well you know why.

A slice of color...

Resolve 11.1.2 - Smoke 2015 - Sapphire 8
Colorist / VFX Guru / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber


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