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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Rogue One low constrast (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Rogue One low constrast
Neil Brimelow
Film Handler

Posts: 4
From: Bay St. Louis, MS
Registered: May 2016


 - posted 12-18-2016 03:54 AM      Profile for Neil Brimelow   Author's Homepage   Email Neil Brimelow   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm just wondering if anyone else is noticing that the Rogue One 2D DCP suffers from lower than normal contrast? At first I thought something was amiss with the projector, but alas no. The Underworld trailer, and other trailers played fine. I asked a friend in another part of the state and they also relayed issues with the picture quality; low contrast and soft focus at their theater. The issue is nothing critical, mind you, we've had no complaints, and the image is satisfactory, just not as good as I had anticipated.

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Frederick Lanoy
Film Handler

Posts: 85
From: North of France
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 12-18-2016 05:52 AM      Profile for Frederick Lanoy   Email Frederick Lanoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Saw it yesterday in 2D with a Barco DP2K32B. Presentation was flawless. No problem with contrast.

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

Posts: 2913
From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 12-18-2016 10:06 AM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the days of film (remember those?) a low-contrast print was one made for television.

Soooooo....... [Big Grin]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10538
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-18-2016 11:46 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder if some viewers are confusing low depth of field with low contrast.

Many of the movie's live action shots were captured with the Arri Alexa 65 camera, whose image sensor is roughly the same size as a 5/65mm film frame. Combine the large sensor with Ultra Panavision style anamorphic lenses and that can make for some really low depth of field looking shots (if desired).

The anamorphic lenses were not needed since the Alexa 65 already has a near 'scope shaped image sensor, but the producers wanted to maintain an anamorphic look since all the other Star Wars movies had the 'scope look. But these lenses only apply a 1.25x squeeze to the imagery. So they have to push depth of field as low as they can to amply the effect of anamorphic bokeh.

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Richard P. May
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 240
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Jan 2006


 - posted 12-18-2016 11:56 AM      Profile for Richard P. May   Email Richard P. May   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw Rogue One last night at the Academy's Goldwyn Theater, about as good a venue as you can get. Overall, I thought the picture was purposely dark. Not the fault of the theater. It just left me wanting the film makers to turn on the lights or go outside in the sun.

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Terry Monohan
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 238
From: San Francisco CA USA
Registered: May 2014


 - posted 12-18-2016 12:39 PM      Profile for Terry Monohan   Email Terry Monohan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
May not look good at night on a drive-in screen if they have stray light in the lot. Will see It next week in a Imax theatre around the SF Bay Area in 3-D. I have never been a fan of Star Wars for some reason. Going to 'La La' on Monday on the largest XD screen in SF CA. At least I know It will be a nice bright scope picture on a curved screen at the Century 9.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10538
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-18-2016 01:26 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Either of those movies is going to be seriously letter-boxed, with LA LA Land being the bigger offender due to its 2.55:1 cropped image. The live action imagery from Rogue One was actually 2.76:1 due to the Ultra Panavision style lenses, but they chopped off the ends of the image to conform it to standard 2.39:1.

Either way, common width screens make 'scope suck.

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Tyler Purcell
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 153
From: Van Nuys, CA
Registered: Dec 2015


 - posted 12-19-2016 05:12 PM      Profile for Tyler Purcell   Author's Homepage   Email Tyler Purcell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw Rogue One at Arclight Sherman Oaks and it was very flat with low contrast. I've heard from other people the same thing. It's clearly colored that way and shooting with the Alexa 65 doesn't make it better as that camera works the best in low-con situations. Just watch the other two films shot with it recently, they both have that low-con look.

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 834
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-19-2016 05:39 PM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tyler Purcell
the Alexa 65 doesn't make it better as that camera works the best in low-con situations
I'm very curious as to why you say that, especially as the camera is capable of over 14 stops dynamic range. Even if it were true, as long as the show is output in uncompressed ARRIRaw, the DP and colorist can make the contrast whatever they want.

I'll tell you what I DID notice today at the local Dolby Vision screen. They go thru the whole pre-show rigamarole about how great the contrast and is, and they do the "Yes, the projector is still on" thing to show how deep the blacks are. And then the moment the file with the feature started, the image went from deep black to not-very-black at all, more of a gray. I started to wonder if there was an error in the Dolby Vision mastering for the show. The rest of the picture played with unremarkable contrast and seemed somewhat low in luminance, although there were spots that were quite bright, the final battle sequence for example.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 828
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 12-20-2016 07:14 AM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark, I've noticed that same thing with every feature I've seen in Dolby Cinema.

Pure black, then when the file hits, dark grey. It's like the projector is capable of more than what the content is providing.

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Tyler Purcell
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 153
From: Van Nuys, CA
Registered: Dec 2015


 - posted 12-20-2016 12:10 PM      Profile for Tyler Purcell   Author's Homepage   Email Tyler Purcell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think you'd find most cinematographers try to generate looks like that in camera. Sure, you could "fix" it in post if you wanted, but since the cinematographer is usually present for coloring, they will veto any major changes that don't fit their vision. Not saying the Alexa 65 is magical, but what the bigger imager and better electronics allow the filmmakers to do, is have less noise in the blacks. This is really what allows them to make a product with those flat mids.

In terms of the HDR laser projection system. Basically it's kind of a scam. All it does is roll-off a certain part of the black level into "mirror off" for that pixel. It's an encode, decode system however, so if the movie isn't specifically sent with the right packet data to be presented in HDR, it won't be. This is why the black level lifts after the demo, because Rogue One wasn't made that way. It would be easy for them to adjust the software on the projector to compensate, but Dolby wants people to pay for their licensing of HDR. So they want it to not look as good, hoping they'll eventually get some cash out of filmmakers for the future.

I'll say this much, with all the technology and money being spent on making digital projection look good, it still doesn't surpass a good 5/70 print with a proper calibrated projector.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12106
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 12-20-2016 12:28 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Seems like a lot of movies are going for that washed-out color/dull image look lately. I did notice that there were a lot of dark scenes in Rogue One.... made me glad that our 3-D unit is out of commission.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10538
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 12-20-2016 12:32 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I watched Doctor Strange at a Dolby Cinema theater last month and didn't notice the black level turn to gray as the movie was starting. I thought the Atmos mix could have been better however. But it's still pretty disturbing to hear the black level of this Star Wars movie isn't as deep as what viewers see in AMC's Dolby Cinema snipe.

One more thing to add regarding the depth of field in the movie's cinematography: contrast levels will be strongest in areas that are sharply in focus. There is a lot of shallow depth of field in this movie. It reminds me of the 15/65mm IMAX sourced footage in Christopher Nolan's recent films. A bunch of that stuff looked like it was shot with the lens aperture wide open.

If the post production people have goofed up the black levels in the DCPs for Rogue One that would only exaggerate the lower contrast in out of focus areas of the imagery.

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Connor Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 189
From: Sterling, VA, USA
Registered: Jan 2011


 - posted 12-20-2016 02:22 PM      Profile for Connor Wilson   Email Connor Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hate to put myself as some sort of Nostradamus but I'm pretty sure I saw this coming. Trailers hardly, and ever so rarely, represent the final film whatsoever. Jurassic World and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug are classic modern-day examples of this. I did not see Rouge One's theatrical release yet (I don't really plan to) so I cannot speak on behalf of the film's poor contrast. Like I said in the link, it could have been a stylistic choice above anything.

The funny thing about Laser projectors and contrast is that the black levels will hardly matter depending on the auditorium's lighting and the content. For IMAX with Laser (namely at the Udvar-Hazy Center), some content will have the blacks go as black as they can (Ant-Man, IMAX docs) and others are mastered for standard xenon projectors (Jurassic World, this was its IMAX-only second run later on). I guess the same happens at Dolby Cinema. Rouge One was indeed mastered in Dolby Vision (according to Dolby's website) so whether the contrast was intended to be mediocre or it was a DCP mastering goof, maybe visual effects artist-turned-director Gareth Edwards took advantage of the wider color gamut at the very least.

Even if you get the blackest of blacks, it won't matter if your exit signs are next to the screen. In the Dolby Cinema at AMC Empire 25 (I'm told this also happens at AMC Tyson's Corner 16), the red glow of the exit sign shines on the left corner of the screen, making it very distracting at dark moments. The IMAX with Laser setup at Udvar-Hazy still has a little light reflecting around the auditorium, not as bad as Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime but the screen sometimes look to have a minimal TV-esque glare. You can't trade off safety for perfect contrast.

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Kristo Nalo
Film Handler

Posts: 24
From: Skopje, MK, MK, Macedonia
Registered: Nov 2016


 - posted 01-03-2017 06:05 AM      Profile for Kristo Nalo   Email Kristo Nalo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How much is Barco DP2K32B?

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