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Posted: January 31, 2012 in colorbyjorg
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Hello all. I know, i have been a lousy blogger for the past half year, but i promis to be a better person this year!

If you want to keep in touch outside this blog, friend me on http://www.facebook.com/jorgenescher

Thanks an hope to speak to you all soon!

 

Jorgen

I know it might sound childish or even presumptuous, but i feel pretty uncomfortable by this whole Technicolor hype. The “Marvels Cine Style” profiles i’ve developed the past years are much more advanced, better balanced and actually delivering more dynamic range. I really am a modest guy and you’d hardly hear me bashing other software developers, but this whole Technicolor style is actually sad. It’s curve suspiciously follows our Marvels Cine Style, with the blacks dialed up (limited!) and the whites dialed down (limited too!).

Warning to all users of the Technicolor Cinema-style flat-profile! Using the Technicolor style will severely limit your dynamic range!
Blacks are lifted and whites are limited! With only 255 values between black and white for each color, snooping 10% off at both sides is simple “DR theft”! You remove another 10% of DR when using the Technicolor LUT (via LutBuddy); that’s probably two stops total!
With the Marvels profile 3.4 you use all available digital space. You can make the Marvels profile as flat as the Technicolor profile by altering it’s curve, dialing the contrast setting further down.

Marvels Film (Martin Beek, and others) have not commented on this and my opinion reflected here is my own and not that of Marvels Film. Nevertheless, the Marvels Cine Style picture profile for Canon DSLR cameras can be downloaded here: http://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/marvels-cine-canon/

Jorgen.

I have been doing many hours of testing and measuring with the different types of recordings made with the GH2. I have one GH2 with the original firmware and one with the hacked firmware, both that can be connected to the Atomos Ninja.

I will post my findings in a number of future posts, but want to make one important fact clear.

People have asked me several times if the hacked avchd footage is better than the Ninja recorded footage, and this is my answer:

The Ninja recording still dwarfs the GH2 avchd, even the hacked version. There is a lot of  processing going on before it reaches the codec on the avchd part and the hdmi signal follows another path through the camera’s hard- and software.

I for example can understand if panasonic has digital lowpass filters installed in their 10-to-8 bit conversion, because that’s what you do when downsampling to another bitrate.

You can hack the camera’s codec, but should look further down the processing line.

It’s a bit simplistic to think that you can upgrade a camera’s quality by just raising the codec’s bitrate; you’ll need to upgrade the limiting factors along the processing line all down to the sensor.

I’m afraid that there are also hardware components involved that can’t be hacked.

More news to come…

Jorgen.

Wizard Ralph B over at DVXUser has revised the AviSynth script DRAMATICALLY. Please update your GH2 HDMI Recording Script from the original page at: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?237584-HDMI-Capture-Problem-SOLVED-AviSynth-RULES!

If you have downloaded my “quick start” make SURE you update that script!
Martin Beek has also posted a copy of the essential script at http://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/

Ralph B and PDR, thanks!

Jorgen.

Hello GH2 freaks.

I’ve done some tests last month together with Martin Beek over at Marvels Film, and read his latest post yesterday about recording from the GH2 HDMI port, and the problems (and workflow) you are faced with if you want to go that route. It looked pretty complicated at first sight and i imagine it confuses a lot of people, withholding them from buying a Ninja or KiPro recorder for their camera.

I have been tinkering with the installers and other files, and i have constructed a zip archive that contains everything you need (just a few files to install) including a ready-to-use setup including directory-structure and scripts. In fact, it’s nothing more now than just drop the zipfile in a harddisk location of your choice, unpack it, run a few automatic installers. Add footage & run!

The calling script is even multi-file aware, so it can do batch processing.

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Download and unpack this zip file (78 MB) on your Windows PC. Make life easy for yourself and put it in the root of your C drive.
  • Browse to the directory that has been created “GH2_AviSynth”
  • Browse to the directory “INSTALLERS”
  • Install in this order:
    • AviSynth
    • ffmpeg
    •  ProResDecorderSetup (ignore any warnings)
    • QuickTimeInstaller (ignore any warnings)
    • PC Avid Codec
  • Go back to the GH2_AviSynth directory and browse to the PROCESSING directory
  • Dump a HDMI recorder ProRes .mov file here
  • Double-Click on the demo script (this is the original script from the DVXuser thread) “GH2_CHROMAFIX.avs and Notepad will open the file
  • Edit the name of the video file to match yours
  • Run! Do this by double clicking “process_all.bat”
    • ffMpeg will run in tandem with AviSynth to process your footage and reports any errors along the way (hopefully none)
    • The resulting processed file will be a DNxHD 4:2:2 file in a MOV wrapper, ready to import on both Mac and PC editors such as Premiere and FCP
  • Done!

Note: if you want to output an AVI file (if you edit on Windows), edit the process_all.bat file and remove this part:
-vcodec dnxhd -b 175M or replace it with a reference to another codec, e.g. -vcodec huffyuv

I hope this all makes things a bit easier to understand and easier to work with.

DO NOT FORGET TO STAY TUNED TO THE ORIGINAL DVXUSER POST, BECAUSE SCRIPT IMPROVEMENTS APPEAR REGULARLY!!! 

Jorgen Escher.

The latest version of the Marvels Cine picture style for Canon HDSLR cameras is now out of beta and available on the blog of Marvels Film.

They have dedicated a “sticky page” to the subject: http://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/marvels-cine-canon/

Jorgen.

Martin Beek from Marvels Film has posted a first 2K “blown up” video from the GH2 on the Marvels’ YouTube page that we together made earlier today. It demonstrates two major things; first, the image holds up beautiful in respect to detail if blown up to 2K, and – alas – the codec is totally worthless for any kind of professional use. Color banding in the sky, in shadows, on jackets, on faces… brrrrrr…. Horrible.

If Panasonic doesn’t come up with a fix for the color banding or leaves the HDMI output crippled (so no recording can be made from it’s output), i see no way of using this camera for any professional work. Such a shame – the detail is great and i like the look of the picture.

Here is what Martin writes on the YouTube page:

2K (2048×858) DCP footage test originating from the GH2. Shot using the 24H cinema mode with WB corrected Nostalgic style. All style settings on lowest. Exposed to the right on histogram.

AVCHD internal recording on class 10 SD card.

Zeiss 35mm 2.8 prime lens.

Graded (only contrast & saturation) with Magic Bullet and exploded to 2K DCP-format using FCP. Added very slight TMTS Regrain filter afterwards (postproduction by Jorgen Escher).

Serious problem encountered: colorbanding in sky due to poor 8-bit colorspace codec. Tried different filters and recoding to get rid of this without avail… This same banding occurs in all gradients!! See weird blue and green color patches on leather coats, in shadows and sometimes even on faces. GH2=gradients=banding= unusable!!

If GH2 HDMI recording (e.g. via Atomos Ninja recorder) is indeed not possible, then the GH2 will need a serious firmware update to cope with the poor codec and noise performance. Poor codec and crippled HDMI output renders this camera useless for DCP and/or professional production as it is now.

Panasonic, please uncripple the HDMI output on the GH2 so it delivers 1080p23.98 or 1080i with proper uncrippled pulldown. You will sell a massive amount of extra cameras by this.

Panasonic, you have shown us pre-production cameras that were capable of producing 23.98p via HDMI and made us buy your camera. It’s not fair to remove (cripple) such a feature before they reached the shops. Will you refund me? I doubt it… I settle for a firmware update ;-)

Here is the link (select “Original” for resolution to see the 2K quality): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioPJWvvtv1s&hd=1

Jorgen.