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Exporting Rec 2020 footage

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Ben Lithman
Exporting Rec 2020 footage
on Apr 11, 2018 at 1:51:31 pm

Hi, I work as a freelance cameraman and editor and am in the process of transitioning from shooting and editing standard Rec709 to Rec2020.

For the most part I think I understand the theory and practice behind it, but am getting stuck at the exporting process.

I should state, that all my projects are delivered to web, not for broadcast and not watched on HDR screens. The reason I want to shoot and edit Log footage is so I can rescue what would be heavily clipped and blow-out highlights in Rec 709...

My issue is that when I've finished editing and colour correcting my log footage (on a rec2020 timeline), and I send to compressor to create an MP4 I get really horrible looking footage out the other end. See here (image cropped to remove client logo)



I get the same result even if I change the colour space of the MP4 presetin compressor to Rec 2020 or Rec 709.

The only way I've found to get decent looking footage is to create a M4V direct within FCPX. Obviously most clients want an MP4 not an M4V. See here.




Any help appreciated. Again and just to clarify, I know Rec2020 is meant for HDR displays etc etc. However what I want is to use it to rescue highlights etc.

Many thanks!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Exporting Rec 2020 footage
on Apr 11, 2018 at 10:44:47 pm

Rec2020 has nothing to do with protecting highlighted and HDR. It is a color space container. Unless you are exporting 4K targeted for 4K displays that support 2020, stay in Rec 709.

Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Exporting Rec 2020 footage
on Apr 12, 2018 at 12:30:17 am

To add to what Oliver is saying, you can still shoot and grade footage in 709. We do it everyday.


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Ben Lithman
Re: Exporting Rec 2020 footage
on Apr 12, 2018 at 9:23:11 am

Footage shot in Log has a much greater dynamic range than something shot in non Log. The only way to work with log footage is in a wide colour gamut space.

Why is it wrong to want to shoot and edit in something that has a much greater dynamic range, where highlights that would have been completely blown in something shot in a rec709 colour space, salvage those blown out highlights, then deliver in to Rec 709???


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Oliver Peters
Re: Exporting Rec 2020 footage
on Apr 12, 2018 at 12:56:29 pm

There’s nothing wrong in shooting log. Simply post this in a Rec 709/Standard Dynamic Range color space. The reason for this is because then, when you color correct it, you will be working within a range that is complatible with current displays. Bear in mind that color space (Rec 709, P3, Rec 2020) defines color gamut, not dynamic range. Then you have dynamic range standards - HDR (high dynamic range) and SDR (standard dynmaic range).

Part of what you have to do in the color correction stage is to make decisions as to how best to handle highlight areas that potentially could be blown out again when you expand the range from log. In theory, yes, you could post in Rec 2020, however, that color space supports a wider color gamut than any display can actually reproduce. The widest color gamut many displays reproduce is P3, which is much closer to Rec 709. So for now, Rec 709 is most compatible. That’s color, not dynamic or contrast range.

Preserving extreme highlights gets you into the area of high dynamic range, which today is the wild west. Without the proper hardware, it is impossible to properly color correct for HDR. So, stay within Rec 709 and color correct for the best possible image.

Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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