How To Be A DIT – Insights From Working DITs
If you’re looking for the inside scoop on what it’s like to be a working DIT then Charlie Anderson’s excellent blog is well worth a read. In his most recent post he shares some battle stories, technical updates to his cart and some of his DP work. It’s a great example of the range of abilities a DIT needs to master; file based workflows, colour grading and colour management as well as an eye for artistry.
(I was working on) a 2 camera show shooting Alexa at 2k ProRes4444 on SxS cards. I was monitoring in LogC and then de-logging with the usual Film Emulation LUT provided by Company 3.
The shoot itself was pretty hectic, mainly using Boxx wireless to monitor and color a signal (which isn’t exactly ideal but we made it work) and also talking screenshots with Blackmagic Media Express (which is my favorite way to submit reference still BTW, just quick and precise and to the point).
The Lift Gamma Gain forum also recently had a great discussion called ‘Picking a DIT’s Brain’ which develops into the pros and cons of different carts and gear in different scenarios, and the intricacies of live-grading.
If you are grading – even basic LOG-to-Rec.709 – you need to know you have an accurate monitor that you can trust. The FSI CM-171 is a great choice. On features and series, I work with rented 10-bit panels like Cinetal B230, TVLogic XVM and Sony BVM OLEDs, but for the day that those aren’t available and the production insists on their own 17″ Panasonics, I will buy a CM-171. – Patrick Hogue
Lastly colorist Juan Salvo posted this twitter puzzle, the replies to which, are worth reading.
Puzzle for you: DP complains “my field monitor shows banding in an image w/ cam at 320ISO but not at 800ISO.” I said “of course!”, why?
— Juan Salvo (@j_salvo) November 14, 2013
Enders Game File & Color Pipeline
There’s been quite a lot of interesting internet fodder on the VFX and color management pipeline involved on Ender’s Game, not least the excellent 19 minute case study (below) on the “progressive data management and color pipeline” of Ender’s Game from Light Iron Digital CEO, Michael Cioni.
Studio Daily also have a decent interview with Cioni and Light Iron colorist (and co-founder) Ian Vertovec on the particular challenges of providing the film’s post-production file and colour management.
“With Red, it’s very straightforward,” Vertovec said. “We essentially just pulled the Red log film, with a Cineon curve, from the R3D files, loaded it as 10-bit RGB in log and then colored directly into P3 color space.” The DI was performed on a Quantel Pablo 4K connected to Light Iron’s GenePool shared-storage system.
Creative Cow has a nice written breakdown of the same Light Iron case study, but they also have some great HD sized screenshots fresh from colorist Ian Vertovec’s Quantel Pablo which are well worth a look.
Click through for more on Ender’s Game and resources on better understanding codecs and compression