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.
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. [bctt tweet=”Won't wait weeks for GH4’s V-Log L? Try dLOG's flattening then stylizing variant on Cinelike D.”]
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.
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…
dLOG is supported by many programs natively or by third party tools. Both .cube and .3dl versions are included for maximum compatibility.
The following luts are contained in this package:
More sample images and info about CCiM dLOG LUT Package HERE.
(cover photo credit: snap from Panasonic)