Saturday, 14 April 2012

Cinestyle loving

For those who don't know (and you really should by now) The Cinestyle profile for DSLR's from Technicolor is an uber flat looking profile that sits on your SD card and enables you to have the maximum amount of dynamic range available - whichever camera you happen to be using. I here it was made specifically to get the best from the 5DMK2 but it works very well on all the others as well. I tried it out during a behind the scenes shoot (previous post) for my brothers band, Fed To The Ocean.

Now il be honest here - I probably shouldn't have used Cinestyle for this particular shoot. It was for all intensive purposes, a documentary, albeit one without proper sound because we didn't bring a microphone. Since this profiles really meant for extensive grading and 'the film look' this shoot really didn't need it. I was actually halfway through moving house at the time of this shoot and really had no time at all to do anything crazy good, so I threw a quick edit together for the band, knowing that without decent sound we really didn't have a massive amount of usable footage, at least not without the video ending up a crap attempt at a music video.

However.....since that shoot just over a month ago I have had chance to really get to grips with After Effects and some colour grading. Learnt loads....and thats what its all about really isn't it? trying, failing, trying again, getting there, finding something new, having a brain wave, a new lease of creative life and going at it! I took some inspiration from this guy right here -
He's got some incredible films on there and obviously knows his way round a camera as well as colour palette.

Im off out tomorrow to shoot a video photoshoot with my girlfriend and a few friends. This is just a bit of fun and I will be using Cinestyle, and probably grading the bajezus out of it in post. No idea where were gonna end up yet and what the weathers gonna be like. This is England after all. Il post the film when its done, along with some screen shots. Lets see how much better I can get it.

Few pointers for people using Cinestyle for the first time:

- Set the shot up and expose WITHOUT cinestyle turned on. Use 'Neutral' or Standard. Its much easier to get the correct exposure when your looking at a proper image as opposed to a super flat one.

- If anything, underexpose! DONT overexpose because your highlights wont come back. No fancy software, however expensive will bring them back.

- Shoot with half a mind of what you want your shoot to look like at the end. I would say that for every shoot though, whatever profile your using.

- Focusing with cinestyle on is hard. Especially if you have a decent lens, shallow depth of field and all the rest of it. Get yourself an external monitor and if you can, set it up to display a different profile. It'l help trust me.

- Not really a cinestyle issue, more a generic filming one. Shoot at your camera and lens sweet spot aperture wise. Yes shallow depth of field is lovely and everyone wants to shoot wide open. But it will be soft, I did a most shots at 2.4 - 3.2 and its still slightly soft. I find on my lens here (Canon 50mm 1.8)  the best spot is around 4 - 5 .6

If you want to comment, give me any pointers, ask me anything, help me on a shoot or give me any cake, please do......Its all about collaboration kids. I know loads...but like most people,  I need to know a lot more.

Cinestyle - Ungraded

Cinestyle - Graded

Nautral profile - Slightly tweaked, sharpening off completely, saturation down 2 notches, contrast down 2. Just to show that these can be graded as well.

....and graded to match the previous shot.

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