A new take on Pool Shark


Here’s another take on something that might now be familiar.

I was grading in at Digital Pictures one of the episodes of Puberty Blues.  I was able to wrangle a little time with the great colourist Annelie Chappel with some of the material I shot from last weekend.

We did a few different looks just to see where we could take it.  We managed 5 different grades in only an hour so we were rushing a little, and I’ll try to upload the others shortly.

I did notice there were some differences in this material.  For starters, there’s a few more “jaggies” compared to the first clip I uploaded.  Now I’ll put this down to the workflow, because it was all very last minute at DP and we were grading on Baselight.  The shots were first converted from ProRes to DPX because that’s their workflow.  They were then rendered back into uncompressed QT’s and I then rendered 264’s from those.

I haven’t had a chance to talk to DP about their backend workflow because I wouldn’t have expected it to be any different from my Resolve workflow.

They really really look best when viewing in video space, not on a computer.  I say this because this is how we graded them.  So do me a favour and look at them on a monitor or TV rather than on your laptop or computer screen please !  This is how we graded them.  This is how we want you to watch them.

I did also notice that on her red jacket there is a bit of what looks like a kind of chroma clipping on the last shot.  This has been totally introduced by the very extreme grade in this particular version and I think in our rush we missed it.  I would have expected that we could have EASILY recovered this so take my word it’s more something we could have fixed than something that’s *broken*.

If I can paraphrase, Annelie was also very impressed by how the images sat with their system (even though they don’t grade with Resolve).  She’s clocked up hundreds of hours grading Alexa material and said to her it felt very similar. She mentioned that she was making the same default grade moves as she would with the Alexa and that it has a lovely softness to it (meaning more DR rather than resolution)


About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
This entry was posted in Black Magic Cinema Camera, Equipment and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to A new take on Pool Shark

  1. Cedric says:

    “She’s clocked up hundreds of hours grading Alexa material and said to her it felt very similar. She mentioned that she was making the same default grade moves as she would with the Alexa and that it has a lovely softness to it (meaning more DR rather than resolution)”

    This is very reassuring, Thanks. I would have like variable frame rates in the camera. But I am gathering the funds to make my purchase regardless. Hey you can’t beat 2.5K for just under 3K.

  2. Sandy Campbell says:

    Looks good.Thanks for all your hard work

  3. “So do me a favour and look at them on a monitor or TV rather than on your laptop or computer screen please !”

    Can someone explain to me please if monitor or TV any better than laptop or computer screen? Why should I watch it there? Why should anyone prefer TV if they have good computer screen?

  4. Brian taylor says:

    They may have mentioned this already, but does the Blackmagic cinema camera display a histogram?

    • johnbrawley says:

      You can only get histograms if you do it via the thunderbolt connection and use the (Mac only) ultra scope software. The camera has built in zebra only. You can also get external monitors that can generate histo of the HD-SDI output.

  5. EricEric says:

    Sorry, but I really don’t like this grade. The first one was much better.

  6. John says:

    The previous grade was spectacular and really created a buttery smooth look of something much more expensive and really shows the class of this camera (mine is on pre-order). I think this bleach bypass grade reminds me of the colour-sucking/high compression HDV type cameras I’ve owned. No disrespect as I appreciate all you fantastic work.

  7. Sandy Campbell says:

    Possibly the simple answer to preferential display is grade/edit/correct/encode to lowest display, then all markets are satisfied. What u have shot via excellent Lemac lens is always going to be difficult to match. I am going for Sigma 8-16 EF-S for the moment, and hoping that cinema feel is maintained.

  8. Looks like it’s gone wrong in the post processing, as it seems to have been tagged as interlaced somewhere along the line. Vertical resolution appears to have been halved as a result. Look at the ceiling around 0.21 and there are jaggies everywhere. (This is easy enough to do by accident, just check “deinterlace” on footage that doesn’t need it.)

    • Sandy Campbell says:

      Pop it out to 1080P, no jaggies even to 60inch monitor.

      • I’m watching on a 1080p monitor, as I did for the first version. That one was fine, this one is jaggy, especially noticeable in the opening wide shot. Scaling is off in Vimeo and it’s filling the screen. Checked in Chrome and Safari.

  9. There is probably an interesting reason why there is more noticeable moire in this version.

  10. Fluoro says:

    Looks great! Thanks for trying a different look. I wish I had Annelie’s experience…

  11. Ron Coker says:

    An interesting variation. Variety is the spice of life.

  12. alvin says:

    Hi John, I processed the hell out of “casey_1-13-2”, through my photo workflow, Nik Fx plug ins..and I must say that it came up beautifully ! almost like the .nef of my D200…(12bit) so this is very encouraging(for me at least) ..since that was just a grab ..1.0Mb of compressed jpg… thanks for all your posts !

  13. Sico van der Plas says:

    John, Do i see lineskipping in the wide shot on the pool table? What about aliasing?
    Can you give us more information about the post process?

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi. if you read my posting, i explained that this was caused by the conversion to DPX and through it’s rendering out. If you look at the original clip that I posted , you’ll find it won’t have the same issues.

      This camera doesn’t line skip.


  14. Jay says:

    Hi John, do you know if you will be able to get good results with standard canon ef lenses (non L series) and will they need ND filters?

  15. JB: Thank you (and BMD) for all your hard work. Much appreciated. Can’t wait until my BMCC arrives from Texas Media Systems … soon I hope! Cheers!

  16. johnnym says:

    Great info (I did like the previous grade much better, though 🙂 I noticed the similar DR to the Alexa already. I think this camera will give aspiring cinematographers a chance at that rich Roger Deakins look. Thanks John. I wish you were allowed to show us more though. Looking so tasty.

  17. Donnie King says:

    I appreciate you trying something different just to show what can be done with the footage. As far as the negative comments, just buy the camera, learn how to color grade and stop complaining.

    • John says:

      I don’t people are being necessarily negative or complaining for the most part. Constructive comments or opinions other than gushingly positive should be welcomed (as JB always graciously does) as I wouldn’t want the BMD Cinema Camera community to devolve into the fanboy only forum that is reduser.net. BMD Cinema Camera is an amazing camera that will only get better and for that people are grateful I’m sure 🙂

  18. Joe G says:

    I, for one, would love to see some other lenses. Wasn’t there talk of a PL adapter that can convert it to take cine lenses?

    • johnbrawley says:

      You can get EF mounts for some common PL mount lenses. The Zeiss Compact primes. Also most of the Angeniux Optimo lenses as well as the Zeiss LW zooms.

      These aren’t PL adaptors, but specific adaptors for those lenses that adapt to EF mount.


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