I have been a big user of the Sony FS100 and FS700 as you probably know and this has been for many reasons, cost of ownership, off-speed recording at 1080P and size – but mostly it’s the clarity of the image that I love about the FS700. However there are occasions when the image it is just too clean. But if you start clean it’s easy to degrade the image for whatever aesthetic or creative reason you want and so I have been looking at different plugins and standalone offerings to add film grain and that ‘more film like look’
In just the past few years, the art of filmmaking has gone through a fairly astounding technological revolution, with large high-‐resolution digital sensors becoming the norm. These new cameras however leave us with a slight conundrum: in the past, control of the colour and balance within the film image was at the mercy of the initial film stock, exposure, filters, and lighting, with some limited control available in post in the form of correction lights.
Now, of course, this correction is performed using software, which provides significant control, but with the trade-‐off of increased complexity, and all the difficulty that this plethora of choice implies. Enter into this mix, a new filmmaking tool called FilmConvert, from Rubber Monkey Software.
The film simulation, however, is where this tool stands out. Unlike other film emulators, FilmConvert takes pains to measure not only the film stock itself but also the full sensor and exposure response of the camera systems as well. With native support for the RED cinema camera, the Canon 5D, and the Panasonic GH2, and with more cameras on the way, this method of simulation provides significantly better accuracy. Additionally, this allows filmmakers to use a variety of cameras in a shoot, with confidence that they can be matched nicely with a minimum amount of trouble.
At the moment there is not preset for the Sony’s but I’ve just left it on the 5D Mark II and scrolled through the various looks in order to get something looking the way I want it to.
FilmConvert also includes a film grain algorithm based on measurements of actual grain responsiveness and look. Although generally considered an image artefact, the use of grain in breaking up areas that may be prone to banding is especially helpful, and more particularly, can serve to add that final touch of organic feeling to an image.
Personally I’ve bought the standalone version which means I export my final film (completed from FCP X) then import that Prores QT into Film Convert.
This is because my workflow on client jobs always goes through DaVinci Resolve for grading and I use a Grade 1, 10 bit monitor which is calibrated and I use the scopes within Resolve to ensure my levels are all within the acceptable range. Film convert has some grading controls also but for now I’ve opted to largely use it as a final pass for adding the grain.
You can check the tool out at their website: http://filmConvert.com
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