GH4 V-Log L Not For You? Then Try dLOG by CCiM, To Flatten Then Stylize Your Cinelike D Footage.

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

Movie production studio CCiM aka Comp Card in Motion – nice idea, moving images of models for use in casting – has its own angle on the recent trend for moviemakers to create their own LUT-based looks built on, usually, a modification of the GH4’s Cinelike D photo style.

CCiM is calling theirs dLOG and it works in conjunction with a set of 7 looks LUTs in the CCiM set as well as a Rec.709 LUT to convert the footage flattened in dLOG LUT to what some industry experts characterize as “what you see is what you get” color and tone. What you saw when you shot the footage as opposed to how dLOG flattened it.

The Alternatives to V-Log L

Now that we finally have a price, a delivery method and a range of estimated availability dates around the planet for Panasonic’s Lumix GH4 firmware update 2.3 containing V-Log L, it is time to consider the alternatives.

The jury will be out for a while on what V-Log L is best for and how to get the best out of it. We have seen some encouraging, even amazing V-Log L footage shared online by Panasonic’s beta testers.

The legion of software makers, especially LUT creators, who would benefit by understanding V-Log L then supporting it through their products may only be receiving their copies of V-Log L the same time as we do. For them, weeks of trying, testing and adding that support are ahead.

Still frame from GH4 movie footage shot in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, Australia. dLOG 3.0 and the Blockbuster LUT applied for the now classic, cold, contrasty, dark big summer feature look

Still frame from GH4 movie footage shot in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, Australia. dLOG 3.0 and the Blockbuster LUT applied for the now classic, cold, contrasty, dark big summer feature look

This is closer to how the scene looked and felt to me that day, at least when a little more sun peeked through the clouds.

CCiM’s dLOG 3.0 and the Candy LUT. This is closer to how the scene looked and felt to me that day, at least when a little more sun peeked through the clouds.

CCiM’s dLOG 3.0 and the Organic LUT. Reputedly the best LUT in the set for accurate representation of foliage, though that was in short supply in the Mall that day.

CCiM’s dLOG 3.0 and the Organic LUT. Reputedly the best LUT in the set for accurate representation of foliage, though that was in short supply in the Mall that day.

The contents of the CCiM dLOG LUT set - seven looks, one dLOG and one Rec.709, in the .3dl and .cube formats.

The contents of the CCiM dLOG LUT set – seven looks, one dLOG and one Rec.709, in the .3dl and .cube formats.

For us, we have weeks and more likely months of trial, error, waiting for that support and looking out for tutorials in order to get used to V-Log L.

If, as some cinematographers tell us, it takes a year to get used to a new lens and what it can do, then regard a new photo style like V-Log L as if it were a new film, if not a new lens through which to see the world.

During the analog era, not so very long ago, it took a while to become accustomed to all the ins and outs of any new photographic emulsion. Photo styles are the emulsion of our time. So are sensors. They are all part of the equation.

And so, in their way, are LUTs, though an analogy to photographic printing papers and processing chemicals might be more apt. British fashion photography great Nick Knight pushed color photographic processing and printing as far as it would go in the 1990s. The digital era has brought all that exploration of color and more to everyone, if we want it.

In the absence of V-Log L, some LUT makers have discovered ways of simulating the look of the flattened log curve through input or camera profile LUTs, also known as camera patches. Others have built that flattening, extending effect into their looks LUTs instead of seeing them as a secondary stage.

Input then output LUT, camera patch then looks LUT, either workflow can create results almost as rich as those produced with V-Log L. And when V-Log L may not be the answer, then consider the more well established alternatives.

dLOG is the latest. We have covered other log-simulating LUT sets as well as variations in GH4 photo styles like Supertone. I have come across cinematographers working with modified Neutral, Standard and Cinelike V photo styles, sometimes sharing the LUTs they have made to go with them.

I'm also recommending keeping an eye on well established LUT producers like LookLabs, DeLUTs, VisionColor, Ground Control and more. And don’t forget hometown-favorite-across-the-Tasman, Film Convert. Sure as Kiwi eggs, they will all be at work on V-Log L and V-Log L-like color grading solutions.

Won't wait weeks for GH4’s V-Log L? Try dLOG's flattening then stylizing variant on Cinelike D. Click To Tweet

CCiM dLOG LUT Package

Via Comp Card in Motion:

After quite a lot of time, it’s finally here: dLOG (Cinelike D to LOG/Style).

This set contains highly optimized luts which correct your footage or give it a stylized look or make it compatible to a whole universe of different LOG to REC709 luts. It’s your choice.

Changes:
dLOG contains various improvements over Panasonic’s color science like:

  • Better skintones (colder, compressed color range, nice rolloff, reduced green hue)
  • Better green tones (less saturated, many different shades of green, from cold to warm)
  • Better red tones (less saturated, nice rolloff and less yellow hue)
  • Various other improvements like less saturated highlights and shadows, warmer blue etc…

Supported software:
dLOG is supported by many programs natively or by third party tools. Both .cube and .3dl versions are included for maximum compatibility.

Native support:
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2014 and later (Lumetri), Photoshop CC 2014 (Color Lookup), After Effects (Apply LUT), Speedgrade, Davinci Resolve, GoPro Studio, Nuke etc…

Third party support:
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5/CS6 (Magic Bullet LUT Buddy), FinalCut 6/7/ProX (LUT Utility)

Included luts:
The following luts are contained in this package:

CCiM dLOG LUT Package

Some examples

Click Image to View Full Size

Click Image to View Full Size

More sample images and info about CCiM dLOG LUT Package HERE.

(cover photo credit: snap from Panasonic)

Karin Gottschalk

Karin Gottschalk

Karin is a documentary moviemaker, journalist, photographer and teacher who conceived and cofounded an influential, globally-read, Australian magazine of contemporary art, culture and photography. While based in Europe, contributing to the magazine and working in advertising, she visualised a future telling the same sorts of stories with a movie camera and audio recorder. Now back in her home base in Sydney, Karin is pursuing her goal of becoming an independent, one-person, backpack multimedia journalist and documentary moviemaker. Mentorless and un-filmschooled, she is constantly learning and sharpening up her skill set.
Karin Gottschalk

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