Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

class="style8">Photoshop Help

>Published : 3rd February 2005

>Before anyone screams that this isn't the right topic.

>I'm experimenting with using digital stills cameras for time lapse.

>I've had this work well at both SD and HD but for those I used minimum compression JPEG files and could automate everything I wanted to do in Irfanview..

>I'm now at the next level and am experimenting with 2K film res images that will eventually be tested out to 35mm.

>So, what's my problem?

>Well I'm not that good with batches or automating Photoshop and hope that there's someone here who can help me, it's really boring doing it all file at a time.

>I need to open a RAW file, apply RAW conversion to it, this corrects the colour and exposure, it means loading a pre-set that I've made, then I need to apply a shadow/highlight correction, this automatically opens with the right setting as I've saved it as the default, I then need to save the result as a TIFF file as Combustion doesn't recognize the Cineon files created by PS.

>Not that this is a problem at the moment as Combustion keeps falling over.

>The re-sizing down to 2048 is done by the RAW conversion.

>It's PS CS that I'm using.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based
www.cinematography.net


class="style9">>Well I'm not that good with batches or automating Photoshop...I need to >open a RAW file, apply RAW conversion to it

>Here's how you do it :

>First reset the palettes (Window->Workspace->Reset Palette Locations).

> Look for the Actions palette, third from top on the right side, tab in back. Click on the tab to bring it forward. Click on the "Create New Set" (folder) icon at the bottom of the palette and make one called "Geoff's Actions" or whatever. Then, with that selected, click on the "New Action" icon (next to the trash can) and call it "RAW-TIFF", don't worry about the other options, and click on the Record button. Now, train the action by opening and saving a file exactly the way you want it done, including DPI, bit depth, ICC tags, CC changes, etc., and the flavour of TIFF you want including byte order, LZW compression or not, etc.

>After closing the sample file, stop the recording (bottom of Actions palette), and quit Photoshop. Actions get saved on quit, and if you crash before quitting, it'll be lost. Restart Photoshop, and go to the File menu, File->Automate->Batch. Choose the correct Set and Action. The file paths get saved into the action, but can be overridden with the "Override Action Open Commands" so you can apply to it any directory available - your RAW interpretation will still be used.

>Set the Destination directory, overriding or not, and any name changes, then hit OK and run it. The only caveat is that the PS-CS UI can get stuck when changing context while running a batch on MacOSX. Use the Cmd->Tab program switcher rather than clicking on UI elements.

class="style9">>Not that this is a problem at the moment as Combustion keeps falling >over.

>Use After Effects instead. I bet you'll be much happier.

>Tim Sassoon
Sassoon Film Design
Santa Monica, California


>I have just released a program which does batch-image-processing. It can do the exposure and color correction and save to the TIFF file, however, it cannot yet read the RAW conversion, but I can add that if somebody points me to the specs (as far as I know, there are different raw formats).

>http://www.belle-nuit.com/imagefilter/

>Matthias Bürcher
Editor
Lausanne, Switzerland


>Geoff Boyle writes :

class="style9">>I'm experimenting with using digital stills cameras for time lapse.

>Regrettably I can't help you with your Photoshop questions, Geoff... but I'm curious as to how you're handling your original exposures over long time spans.

>Are you metering and constantly re-setting manually? Relying on auto-exposure?....

>Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


>I've been playing with digital time lapses for the last few years now - what I've found is that auto-exposure causes too much flicker and that the stuff that I shoot (mostly sunrises) needs to be on a constant aperture and exposure. Some of it involves guesswork - I set up in the dark, take a meter just before I start the sequence, and then pull the exposure down a few stops to allow for the extreme range. Number of stops depends, for instance, on whether the sunrise will be cloudy vs. clear (ie. higher range or lower).

>Here are some tests.

>http://66.226.87.244/downloads/031201sunrise.mpg
http://66.226.87.244/downloads/031210sunrise.mpg
http://66.226.87.244/downloads/HonoluluSunrise1.mpg
http://66.226.87.244/downloads/HonoluluSunrise3.mpg

>The Honolulu1 sunrise merits some discussion - looking past the MPEG compression, you can still see the slight 'flicker' in the buildings due to cloud cover and radiosity bounces off of other buildings. It's almost an impossible phenomenon to eliminate completely, unless you take a rotoscoped median across 3 or 5 frames in order to 'smooth out' the exposure - but that starts to venture into visual effects territory..

>Alan Chan


class="style9">>I'm curious as to how you're handling your original exposures over long >time spans.

>Experimenting with finding a fixed exposure that works for me

>Just like I do with film.

>My present combination of 50EI, in camera ND, 85BPola, Harrison NBRA3 with F8 and 2.5 seconds seems to do the job.

>I like sequences that start dark and go to normal exposure then go dark!

>I have tried auto exposure and just don't like the effect.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based
www.cinematography.net


>> http://www.belle-nuit.com/imagefilter/

>Matthias,

>Looks like you've got a mini-Shake brewing there! What's your development plan for this app? Looks very interesting indeed.

>Stu Maschwitz, chief nerd among other things,
The Orphanage, SF/LA


class="style9">>Looks like you've got a mini-Shake brewing there! What's your >development plan for this app?

>I have worked on several platforms including rayz which was bought by Apple in 2002 to be included in shake. As an editor, sometimes online editor and researcher I need a platform to test my algorithms. As rayz disappeared and after effects has a too complicated API, I decided to write a framework one of my own. it will grow with the needs of particular solutions on my or other peoples editing projects. I will add all my current algorithms and new as i develop them, the framework will is here now.

>It does, of course, not have the features and speed of shake (nor its price), but it has some unique features like pdf-rendering or mimikri.

>On my wish-list for the next steps is :

>- better integration of alpha-channel (and maybe layers that you can save as a photoshop file)

>- some kind of time-based processing (to allow interframe filtering)

>- distributed rendering

>- some kind of keyframed interface (timeline, but i am not very far with the concepts).

>- a better graphics generator

>The biggest restriction for some time will be the 8bit-resolution.

>I could add support 10/16bit for many filters, but not for some that rely now on os-x interfaces and i would have to write completely from scratch.

>But it's fun.

>Matthias Bürcher
Editor
Lausanne, Switzerland


>The first results of my tests are on the web site, in case it helps anyone else...

>www.cinematography.net/dstime.htm

>The sequences, a 320 * 240 Sorenson 3 QT file, a 720 * 576 DV file and a frame of DPX at 2048 * 1556, have been rendered from the original files in Combustion with the exception of the smallest file which was generated in Sorenson Squeeze from the DV file.

The process was...


capture RAW
convert RAW to 16 bit TIFF and resize from 2546 to 2048 in Photoshop, a
little shadow/highlight filtering was done at this stage
import TIFF frames into Combustion
slight sharpen
motion blur
add 5245 grain
colour correct

>Render out to whichever file format I wanted, this took around 1 hour for the 4 second DPX sequence on a 3.2Ghz P4 with 1Gb of memory, Hyper thread enabled.

>There are still faults with the tests, dirt on the lens :-) matte box in shot, motion blur isn't right yet (I'm still learning about this)

>Setup was G5, internal ND on, Tungsten Balance, Tiffen 85BPola, Harrison NBRA 3, F8 at 2.5 seconds per frame.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based
www.cinematography.net


>Geoff Boyle said :

class="style9">>Render out to whichever file format I wanted, this took around 1 hour for >the 4 second DPX sequence on a 3.2Ghz P4 with 1Gb of memory, >Hyper thread enabled.

>A wonderfully useful conversion program, Graphic Converter (which is shareware),can be found at

>http://www.lemkesoft.de/en/index.htm

>This program could possibly simplify your post process. Results look so far so good.

>Simon Higgins
DP
Sydney,Australia.


>Hi Geoff,

>Encouraging stuff.

>Have been toying with the idea of getting a G5 for a while now, the time lapse capability was one of the things which intrigued me, but couldn’t really find any real world information about it.

>Certainly seems a lot less painless than the experience I had recently with an intervalometer and a faulty Aaton LTR...

>What are you thoughts so far about the possible use of this or a similar system in a real production situation?

>Ross McWhannell
DP/VFX. Leeds, UK


>Files have now been updated, black crush & white clip fixed.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based


>Simon Higgins wrote :

>>A wonderfully useful conversion program, Graphic Converter (which is >shareware),can be found at
>http://www.lemkesoft.de/en/index.htm

>Yep, it's very useful.

>But do they make a Wintel version?

>Jeff Kreines


class="style9">>What are you thoughts so far about the possible use of this or a similar >system in a real production situation?

>That's why I'm testing it.

>Seriously I can see it working well in situations where in the past I've used a second body for the TL sequences.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based


>>A wonderfully useful conversion program, Graphic Converter (which is >shareware),can be found at
>http://www.lemkesoft.de/en/index.htm
>This program could possibly simplify your post process.

>Is this anything like "Xnview"? http://www.xnview.com

>Jeffery Haas
freelance editor, camera operator
Dallas, Texas


class="style9">>Seriously I can see it working well in situations where in the past I've >used a second body for the TL sequences.

>I am almost certainly being a bit premature in asking but, what I meant to say was, given what you have learned so far from your testing, what would you say you say were the pros and cons of using this approach compared to the 'traditional' way of doing it with a second body.

>I imagine cost and physical practicality being a plus and media capacity (barring tethering it to a laptop) being a minus. Any other thoughts (shooting & post)?

>Ross McWhannell
DP/VFX. Leeds, UK


>Geoff Boyle writes :

class="style11">>capture RAW
>convert RAW to 16 bit TIFF and resize from 2546 to 2048 in Photoshop,

>So, what was your intention in making the .dpx files? If you want to go out to 35mm, I would respectfully suggest not sending the service bureau white-clipped linear files, but rather, do a lin-log conversion from the RAW files, before color correction (with a log-lin view LUT), in order to maintain proper film gamma and extended highlight information, so that things like the flower petals don't flatten out and color-cast. Also, once you saw it on film, I bet you'd rethink the saturation boost.

>The 5245 graining is IMHO a waste of time unless you intend to match to film on HD output, i.e. no film-out, because, obviously, if you shoot it out to 5245 you'll get your grain for free! It's really only a technique for matching, and subtle graining rarely survives the film recorder anyway. For motion blur, we love ReVisionFX's RealSmart Motion Blur (plug-in for AE, FCP, C, PR, etc.), which does an optical flow analysis (pixel tracking) to construct the blur vectors.

>Tim Sassoon
Sassoon Film Design


>Jeffery Haas wrote :

>>Is this anything like "Xnview"? http://www.xnview.com

>Yes, very similar, and it appears that Xnview is freeware.
Graphic Converter is about 50 bucks after the trial period expires.

>It has basic grading and softening controls.

>Simon Higgins
DP
www.simonhiggins.com


class="style11">> So, what was your intention in making the .dpx files?

>I've quoted the one line so you know which message I'm replying to.

>It's all an experiment at the moment, certainly I do intend to try going to film, no I won't add grain when I go that route or the saturation boost.

>I'm learning about LUT's give me a chance

>It's all a test to see whether it's worth going further, I think it is.

>Part of the idea is that I often fins myself in places that lend themselves to TL library stuff but all the kit is being used for the "real" shoot, this is a cheap and easy way for me to get the TL material for myself.

>I actually have the ReVision Motion Blur plug-in somewhere, I got it for Prem and didn't think about using it in Combustion, here goes....

>If anyone feels like mailing me any LUT's that they think would be useful I'll be happy to use them and put them on the website, a lot of people are interested in this, probably just to SD or HD but you never know.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based


>Xnview is in the files section of the www.cinematography.net site.

>Has been for a long time.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based


>Geoff Boyle wrote:

class="style11">>I'm learning about LUT's give me a chance

>Perhaps Tim could write the official CML primer re LUTs?

>Jeff Kreines


>Jeff Kreines writes :

class="style11">>Perhaps Tim could write the official CML primer re LUTs?

>I'm sure Tim could write a fine primer on LUTs, but until he's done with that...

>The DI Guide on the Quantel website is a fantastic tutorial on DI and DI workflow (including LUTs,) available for free in PDF form. Not trying to do a plug here, as I do work for Quantel -- it is a genuinely great learning resource.

>http://www.quantel.com/domisphere/infopool.nsf/html/DIGuideIntro

>Lucas Wilson
-------------------
HD/2K Online Los Angeles


class="style11">>so that things like the flower petals don't flatten out and color-cast

>You'd be amazed by the luminance level of those foreground petals on the original files!

>They're a good 2 stops brighter than anything else in the scene.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based


>Lucas Wilson writes :

class="style11">>The DI Guide on the Quantel website is a fantastic tutorial on DI and DI >workflow (including LUTs,) available for free in PDF form.

>It's very good, and free, though a lot of product plugs. I gave out their Digital Fact Book for years to my Art Center students. The discussion of log, lin, Cineon, LAD, calibration, etc. is right on.

>Need to update it to reflect the DCI draft at least, IMHO.

>Tim Sassoon
Sassoon Film Design
"Going on a post-fast"


>Geoff,

class="style11">>Well I'm not that good with batches or automating Photoshop and hope >that there's someone here who can help me, it's really boring doing it all >file at a time

>Have you tried batching it with ImageMagick?

>Although not available yet, we have a batch tool coming in CinePaint too.

>Robin Rowe
Hollywood, California
www.CinePaint.org