film grain emulation (2 replies and 7 comments)
Mr. Deakins, when shooting in a digital format, does your footage have a film grain emulation applied to it, such as Live Grain, or is no grain added in post?
I don't think Deakins uses grain in Post, but we've been in lots of tests and think CineGrain is the best grain, as they actually took the time to film every stock.
Live Grain is expensive, but not only does it scan as many stocks as they could get, but they scan them under, over, and normal exposure and then map the grain over the digital image so that the underexposed grain goes into the dark areas and the overexposed grain goes into the bright areas, creating a more dimensional effect than a single layer of grain added over everything.
What do you think about Filmconvert nitrate? It also seems like they base their film grain on real scans, and have tone mapping of grains that you can manually control, and you can adjust their size, softness, intensity etc. They even have cineon log scan based film conversions, and they don't cost that much.
the new version "nitrate" i use on everything , excellent, the earlier versions were unusable for me as they increased render times ridiculously, , if i understand correctly its doing something similar to what is explained above and isn't just a scan layer. For indie productions this final layer really helps even out shots from different cameras and difficult grades.
I remember back in the 90s, companies like Quantel and Cintel going to great lengths to get rid of grain. I think it was Quantel that produced the first viable digital wet-gate that reduced grain, as well as getting rid of blemishes and scratches.
It seems like back then everyone wanted to reduce grain as much as possible. Now it seems everyone wants to embrace grain.
When digital starting taking over the majority of narrative shoots, the push to make film stocks sharper and finer-grained ended. I think if Kodak brought back its grainy 800T stock, it would do well now (relatively)...
It seems that most cinematographers who choose to shoot on film now pick Kodak Vision 3 stocks. When I watch a movie shot on Vision 3 stocks, the footage seems almost indistinguishable from digital footage shot on a high end camera such as an Alexa. The Vision 3 stocks are quite sharp and fine grained, so I wonder why someone would choose these if they deliberately wanted a grainier look?
Because Fuji and Agfa stopped selling motion picture stocks, so there isn't really any choice but Vision-3. However, there have been grainy movies shot on Vision-3 stocks, either by using smaller formats (Super 16 or 2-perf) and/or push-processing 500T stock. And people shoot film for other reasons than wanting to see grainy images.