Posts tagged cinematic look

Film grain

Cinematic Look, Part 4: Film Grain

Film grain is possibly the single most differentiating factor of film images when compared to digital images (in both stills and video). It is also the first characteristic of the film look the average viewer would pick if they had to point their finger. This part of the cinematic look series explores some of the properties of film grain and how film grain relates to image perception. We also talk a bit about digital sensor noise, which is the closest perceptual relative of film grain in the digital video world. Read More

Kodak Vision3 5219 characteristic curve

Cinematic Look, Part 3: Dynamic Range

Images are all about light. Light is captured, transferred through the various storage and processing stages of the workflow and finally reproduced for viewing. The adventures of scene light on its way to the viewer of the final images have some implications for the cinematic look. More precisely, this article is about the dynamic range of the image capturing medium. The differences in the dynamic range of film and digital camera sensors are explained. We also get to talk a bit about transfer curves and gamma. Read More

Frame Rate and Shutter Speed

Cinematic Look, Part 2: Frame Rate and Shutter Speed

In the first part of this series we addressed some of the cinematic properties, which follow from the size and proportions of the capturing frame, be it film or digital. This second article is concerned with the temporal aspects of the cinematic look. More precisely, the characteristics of the image following from specific frame rate and shutter speed choices. For decades these characteristics have been almost unchanging, with deviations only used for special effects. This constancy has made them perhaps the most defining features of the cinematic look. Read More

Home Sweet Home

Frame Rate as Artistic Choice or What Can We Learn from Silent Films

In my previous article I argued that high frame rates are good for 3D. This was based on both philosophical grounds and on reasons connected to ease of perception when watching 3D. But there is another side to the debate, and I have unintentionally alluded to it with arguing that 3D is as a step towards realism. So lets have a go at the idea of shooting at a specific frame rate as an artistic choice. Read More

The Hobbit

Cinema and Reality, or Why 48 fps is Good for 3D Movies

The screening of 48 fps footage from The Hobbit at CinemaCon has certainly divided the opinions in the movie industry and amongst film fans. We have been conditioned for decades to expect and appreciate the jerky and motion blurred look of 24 fps cinema. This new 48 fps fluid and crisp look is uncomfortable and unappealing. It is not cinematic. It reminds of cheap vintage television shows.

But 48 fps actually comes with benefits. Well, for 3D at least. Read More

Cinematic Look, Part 1

Cinematic Look, Part 1: Aspect Ratio, Sensor Size and Depth of Field

With the advent of the digital SLR as a video capturing device in recent years there is a lot of raving on the internet about the “cinematic look” one can achieve with DSLRs. Cinematic look is often opposed to video look or TV look. On forums and blogs one can read both delusions and truth regarding this distinction. As is often the case with any hype – hype has the tendency to self-amplify – a lot of noise gets picked up and reiterated in such a discussion. This series of articles will attempt to examine in some detail the various characteristics of the cinematic look and then explore how they relate to the image of video capturing devices, including HDDSLRs. Hopefully, some myths will be cleared in the process. This first part in the series is focused on aspect ratios and sensor sizes and the closely related topic of depth of field.

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