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Re: what this button does?

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Steve Bentley
Re: what this button does?
on Mar 28, 2019 at 8:39:36 pm

We use it a lot to check black levels and white levels - or more accurately "near" black levels and "near" white levels.
The eye is terrible at seeing differences in the shoulder and toe of a luminance curve so "almost" black can look like true black - depending on your monitor, the lighting conditions, the color space you are working etc. It used to be. back in optical effects days, the compositing work might look fine in the theater, but once it got to TV the garbage mattes and compositing in the shadows stood out like... well, bad mattes!
Its still true today but for different reasons. Everyone it seems has their monitors and their TVs tuned up to something different. Even theatre projectors are often "goosed" just to get a bit more brightness out of a cheaper projector. ('cause as every knows a brighter image is a better image right? No!) Then there's the ever present compression on things. Any of these can bring slight differences between levels into glaring focus. If you have ever seen an FX shot and gone, "I just don't know whats wrong with it but it just doesn't look right", it's usually poorly matched black levels within the composited elements.

That button is also great for seeing possible banding. It might look fine in your 16bit comp but compress it a few times and it will look like the growth rings of a tree.

When working with raw footage you can also use that button to see just how much head room you have left before crushing the shot to get that Game of Thrones blue or Matrix green effect.

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