We all know the Canon Picture Style Editor, which is a clumsy tool that lets you draw b-spline-assisted curves on a tiny grid (10 points max), and gives you some limited control over color representation; too limited to call it a professional means of color correction. Many people flood the web with home-brew picture profiles that should give professional (better?) results when shooting video with your Canon DSLR camera. Some profiles are targeted towards shooting “flat” and try to create more latitude by lowering the contrast, others aim for cinema looks by also making the picture more flat and adding color correction to mimic specific film stocks.
All very nice and noble, but done while lacking a reliable tool to do so – and that apart from people lacking total talent, insight and knowledge (sorry guys…) – also lacking the proper means of measurement…
I have been contracted by Martin Beek of Marvels Film to develop a stand-alone Picture Profile creator that can output s-curves (and any other mathematical curve) based on 16 8-bit nodes with interpolation.
This application that i will develop, using Adobe Flex (compiling an Adobe Air application for both mac and pc), will not be all that sexy in the first version, but will calculate and draw mathematical correct curves instead of accepting mouse input. Functions for drawing typical filmstock s-cruves (and others) in respect to the existing camera’s curve and profile will be provided and can be selected from a list, as well as entered as a mathematical function.
The resulting picture profile can than be loaded either into the camera or into the Canon Picture Profile Editor (don’t touch the curve!) to allow for further “color correction”.
I did not have time yet to dig into the canon DSLR SDK to see if we can maybe blow the profile to the camera directly via USB , but i think that’s a real possibility.
The first test version is planned for the first week of february and that will be (and maybe remain) an in-house application – so NOT (yet?) for distribution. I am working on it as we speak and will continue to work on it next week. I have a meeting with Martin Beek in Venlo (which is halfway between his office in the Netherlands and my home in Germany) to finalize the functional specs.