Author Topic: Reverse Engineering Picture Styles  (Read 154667 times)

aceflibble

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Re: Reverse Engineering Picture Styles
« Reply #350 on: October 28, 2020, 12:05:18 AM »
Still, I don´t really get the 10bit reference, or source, since all that was done creating the pic style is done with the 8 point(or 10, can´t remember), curve tool in the pic style editor. All in eight bit. Unfortunately no "blackbox magic" in the pic style.
But that's the thing, we all assumed that for years but it turns out it wasn't created that way. They could not have possibly put in these values in PSE. It's literally not possible for that software to do it. So either Canon clued them in to NakedPSE all those years back (unlikely given it has apparently only ever existed in Japanese and if it was being offered around you'd think we'd have heard of it sooner) or Technicolor had some other method not using any version of PSE in order to set those values. So our previous assumption that they just knocked something together in PSE is wrong, they had something else going on back then and I'd love to track down one of those developers and find out what they used.
But however they set the values that way still leaves me wondering why they used the 10-bit values, when they could have created effectively the same curve shape using the 8-bit values every other profile uses, and of course it doesn't explain at all how it is the Canon systems can recognise and action those 10-bit values when they're supposed to be working with 8-bit values and only applying them to 8-bit files. The only thing I can think of is the slim possibility that the cameras actually do work in at least 10-bit (if not higher) before the gamma curve is applied. This tallies with ML being able to get 10-bit video out of older cameras (albeit usually with a crop or strict time limit) but the assumption there has always been that that was some kind of extra-tough hacking wizardry that ML was creating and Canon had no clue about... but these profiles and the cameras supporting 10-bit values suggests Canon was working towards this themselves, but for some reason never completed the functionality. I mean, I just can't think of any other reason why Canon would make sure their system could work with 10-bit values on a post-capture processing ruleset unless they actually thought they might include some kind of 10-bit (or higher) recording. (Outside of raw photos, which of course aren't affected by these curves.)

As I said earlier, the whole thing is mind-bogglingly strange.

I really like the Cinetech picture style for my shooting style from Visioncolor for shooting 8 bit .h264. More dynamic range compared to neutral (prolost settings). Maybe a little bit more noise but you can clean this up in post.
I'm afraid as we've pulled apart the files, there isn't anything which can capture more dynamic range than the stock Neutral profile already does with its true bare-bones matrix. What you're seeing in those boosted styles is not more dynamic range but simply a reallocation of the range, typically brightening shadows up (hence why you're seeing more noise) at the expense of cramming the mid tones further together. There's actually a good example of this type of 'expansion' much earlier in the thread. If you look on page 5 you'll find Danne trying to work out a more linear DCP profile and thinking they may have seen more dynamic range (but to their credit, acknowledging they may have been imaging it) and dfort following up a few replies further down pointing out that after careful inspection there wasn't more range, it's just that the peak brightness was a little lower so it made the same detail look slightly better-defined. What you're getting with your noisier Cinetech profile is the same thing at the opposite end of the scale, as I said before; the same range, just gaining definition in one area at the cost of definition in another.

Canon's own plain ol' Neutral is the matrix that renders the widest range and the most detail. Not necessarily the most clearly-defined detail and range, but the most in a total sense. You simply can not get purer than that 1/1/1/0/0 matrix.

But, as I said as part of my much longer comment above, if what you're using is working for you and getting you the results you like then don't worry about whether or not some other method is or isn't technically better, or easier, or more popular, or whatever. If the final image you get is how you wanted it to be and you like the workflow then just keep doing what you're doing. 8)

Before anyone suggests it, I've already tried using 0.9 and 0.5 matrices and then boosting saturation back up later, and they don't improve anything. Dropping the initial strength of each channel does improve clarity in mid tones but takes it away from shadows and highlights, so again it's just a trade-off. There's no actual improvement on the simplest matrix, unsurprisingly.
If you want to shoot in black & white then I have found a totally even 0.3/0.59/0.11/0/0 matrix does seem to give more mid tone nuance at no cost to shadows or highlights compared to the stock monochrome profile, but personally I like my black & whites to be a bit more punchy than true-to-life.

Nigel95

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Re: Reverse Engineering Picture Styles
« Reply #351 on: October 28, 2020, 02:58:00 PM »
I'm afraid as we've pulled apart the files, there isn't anything which can capture more dynamic range than the stock Neutral profile already does with its true bare-bones matrix. What you're seeing in those boosted styles is not more dynamic range but simply a reallocation of the range, typically brightening shadows up (hence why you're seeing more noise) at the expense of cramming the mid tones further together. There's actually a good example of this type of 'expansion' much earlier in the thread. If you look on page 5 you'll find Danne trying to work out a more linear DCP profile and thinking they may have seen more dynamic range (but to their credit, acknowledging they may have been imaging it) and dfort following up a few replies further down pointing out that after careful inspection there wasn't more range, it's just that the peak brightness was a little lower so it made the same detail look slightly better-defined. What you're getting with your noisier Cinetech profile is the same thing at the opposite end of the scale, as I said before; the same range, just gaining definition in one area at the cost of definition in another.

Canon's own plain ol' Neutral is the matrix that renders the widest range and the most detail. Not necessarily the most clearly-defined detail and range, but the most in a total sense. You simply can not get purer than that 1/1/1/0/0 matrix.

But, as I said as part of my much longer comment above, if what you're using is working for you and getting you the results you like then don't worry about whether or not some other method is or isn't technically better, or easier, or more popular, or whatever. If the final image you get is how you wanted it to be and you like the workflow then just keep doing what you're doing. 8)


Interesting stuff. At least the Cinetech gives me a faster workflow with colour grading in post compared to Neutral. The noise doesn't bother me as it's very easy clean up with a plug-in like Neat video. Thanks for the explanation.

aceflibble

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Re: Reverse Engineering Picture Styles
« Reply #352 on: November 09, 2020, 09:01:50 PM »
Just a vague update, I've been in pretty poor health this last week or so—on-going back problems—so I haven't been able to sit down at the computer and work on that neutral-standard profile or, well, anything really. I realise this is inane to most people but since I did say I'd work on it and be back in a week, I just wanted to drop in quickly and explain why I'm a bit slow.

While I'm here I'd like to again request for help, from anyone capable and that has the time, in investigating whether we can get NakedPSE to open and save .pf3 files properly (thus keeping the useful 'six axis' changes from regular PSE) or if we can get regular PSE to honour the matrix and curve changes that NakedPSE can make. There are some changes that are simply quicker and easier to make with the .pf3 six axis option than within the matrix or the specific colour adjustments, plus it's a bit suspicious how the .pf3s are 100x larger than .pf2 files even when no changes have been made and it'd be great to know what's happening in all that extra data.

markanini

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Re: Reverse Engineering Picture Styles
« Reply #353 on: November 20, 2020, 07:21:29 PM »
Thanks for the update, hope you are doing better by now. I've considered doing the neutral-standard profile myself. Maybe using a shot of a Kodak grey scale chart and color picker windows app as a guide should work?
Gear: Canon 600D & Magic Lantern Nightly.