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3842Re: Colour spaces

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  • Antoine Durr
    Jun 9, 2012
      Film, well, modern digital projection, has a pretty tightly defined standard, at least on the producer's side. Sure, the theaters are a mixed bag, but the variation from one to the next is, on average, pretty minimal. I only once recall going to a theater and exclaiming "wow, that was dark" -- something that is unfortunately fairly common in the fulldome world. Of course, IMAX (the analog version) has a super-tightly defined projection standard, which is part of why it's such a great medium.

      So while "flat" has a well defined producer's color pipeline, fulldome does not. Is it Rec 709? Is it DCI-P3? Is it something else? There is no target, even before the theaters (many of which run at reduced bulb count to save money and lose customers) impart their interpretation onto the source material. This, IMO, is the biggest issue in fulldome contributing to less than memorable experiences.

      -- Antoine

      On Jun 6, 2012, at 11:21 AM, Jan Toensmann wrote:

      Hi Alex,

      The situation you describe is common in any media production workflow, whether for TV or Film as well. In any production, there simply currently isn't a single 'one stop' solution that will both accurately represent colors on any medium, and match the light density between a monitor and projected surface, accurately enough for your eyes not to notice any difference, and provide guaranteed results (even though, yes, calibration solutions go a very long way).

      Welcome to the nightmare that is producing content for 'flexible solutions'.

      This has always been a problem in digital production for as long as I remember (I won't open the analog can of worms here), starting with noticeable differences between televisions and higher class professional monitors two decades ago when trying to grade TVCs for clients without the colors going bananas once it was broadcast (especially if one used 'budget' equipment), through to working digitally with film and printing it out again for celluloid projection, and now digital projection (which is what Cineon/DPX log format and a lot of modern LUT tools were originally developed for). Not to mention, even today, home television users can crank all the colors and brightness as they wish, imagine this to being similar to having huge differences in the shape, configuration, and sizes of domes.

      At least with film, there was a somewhat consistent projection standard of having a large, rectangular, flat projection screen facing the audience... Even today, however, shortcuts such as theaters using cheaper 'bulbs with lower lumens' or outdated early generation projection systems means many films aren't quite being shown as their Directors/DOPs/etc assume it to be either, even if the theaters are accurately calibrated to begin with.

      With domes, and all their variations, this becomes infinitely more complex, given both how light responds on a domed surface, where one sits, and how light and colors vary depending on these conditions beyond the content and projector's calibration potential. You're likely to find there isn't "one size that fits all", yet... And would, in your shoes, aim to find a happy medium (as the old sayin' goes) between what looks best on both sized domes simultaneously, if you're not prepared to individually customize the 'look' for each dome configuration you're aiming to show you content on (which I know, is a lot more work, and perfection doesn't come easy).

      At least, color fidelity can be a lot more accurate today than it used to be, albeit at the price of complexity -as our ability to distinguish fidelity increases with the resolution and quality of the content being produced every new day.

      Good luck! Aim for impact on where most users are likely to see your film, and make the best of it for now, or get stuck in quicksand of trying to make it perfect.


      Ps. These are just .02 cents I'm sharing. Don't pull my arm off.
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