Retro8 Image Seq - Super8 Neg inconsistent colour grading

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supa8
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Retro8 Image Seq - Super8 Neg inconsistent colour grading

Post by supa8 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:28 pm

Hi
Having heard of similar experiments previously on this forum, I tried to experiment with batch processing of tif sequences on Photoshop (PS), that I had captured via the Retro8 Pro.

While the colours and contrast on individual frames are vastly improved (neg scans look very undersaturated and there is a lot of colour noise in the highlights, but there is still a lot of information there to work with), the enhancements I have carried out on Photoshop come with a major downside: I am not getting enough consistency on the final footage.
Indeed, the way I have done this batch was by recording the following action:
- Copying the frame to a new PS layer
- Selecting the image area without the blackbars on the side of the 16/9 frame (in order to apply proper auto-levels, otherwise the black masks would have hindered that process)
- applying Auto-Levels (Ctrol+Shift+L) to the selected image area on that new layer
- Reducing the opacity & fill of that new layer to 75%, or so, to avoid an overcontrasted look
- Merging both layers then saving to a new .tiff image

Later on, I imported this new image sequence into Adobe Premiere and applied some denoising with the Neat Video plugging, as some of the white had some not so nice looking colour noise.

Should I have applied Auto-Colour to that action as well?
Here are a couple of stills exported from the sequence to illustrate this.

Maybe someone has a script they have been using in conjunction with the Retro scanners and Kodak Vision Negative film. Any assistance or feedback would be most welcome :)
I should add that the numbered image sequences from Moviestuff's Retro8 Software are 16-9 by default, so for those who would have considered using Film9 or Fred's avisynth script (which needs files with no blackbars on the side, so 4/3), some cropping would need to be done via photoshop first and possibly more messing with file types, so photoshop and certain plugins is probably the best for processing.

Original Image
Image
After Auto-Levels script, most shots on that scene had kept a reddish hue
Image
After Auto-Levels script - that one frame turned greener for instance
Image
Same frame before NeatVideo denoising (all footage has previously been denoised via the Retro8pro software by the way)
Image

If I add auto colour balance in Photoshop (Ctrl+Shift+B), the colour inconsistency issue is less visible and the final image looks better.
Image
Same Auto Color Balance applied to the other frame. Colour is now nearly the same, as you can see
Image

Tscan
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Re: Retro8 Image Seq - Super8 Neg inconsistent colour gradin

Post by Tscan » Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:39 pm

I've been scanning Vision3 with the Retro units for a little over 2 years now. There's a little bit of a learning curve and a lot of different possibilities with negative film. I pretty much do everything manually to get it how i like it.

First, i use the exposure setting to get a certain desired density. Then i'll fiddle with the scanner software color tools to sift out most of the red bias that's usually present on the inverted neg, After scanning and processing, I'll import the image sequence to Sony Vegas and remove the auto re-sampling.

Once i have it in my timeline, I usually start with some leveling, gamma and contrast adjustment. Then I move onto manual color correction on the low, mid tones, and highlights separately. After that i'll occasionally use a secondary color corrector if i still need a little more balance. It takes a lot of eyeballing and very subtle tweaking, usually scene to scene but i enjoy it. Lastly, if needed, I will do some grain reduction with Neat Video Profiles I made for the different stocks, then cut the reduction by about 30-50% for a more pleasant grain.
Reborn member since Sept 2003

supa8
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 4:18 pm

Re: Retro8 Image Seq - Super8 Neg inconsistent colour gradin

Post by supa8 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:27 pm

Ok thanks for the reply.
What do you mean by "removing the auto-resampling" in vegas.
I have been getting pretty good results from the auto-level then auto-color balance on photoshop for this project.

One thing that persists though that I hadn't had with any other scanners is the crazy colour noise on certain white sections on certain scenes.
What is this due to? The camera's lack of dynamic range? How to best prevent it? How to solve it? (there was a post about possible HDR recently, so maybe rescanning with less light?)

Here is quite visible on this links:
original scan (has denoising selected on the retro software and auto-exposure on, so thought maybe that was the cause, but after checking no matter what setting, I do get those artifacts)
Image

After Photoshop auto levels
Image

After Photoshop auto levels + auto colour balance
Image

supa8
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2003 4:18 pm

Re: Retro8 Image Seq - Super8 Neg inconsistent colour gradin

Post by supa8 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:44 pm

When you look at the original, it looks like a bunch of pixels with that sort of colour (#939cd3 from Photoshop's color picker), which is purple/mauve color for the highlights, where these white areas should mostly have some greyish tones.
Maybe there is a way to run a script changing the hue of those very tones

See a close up from that screenshot
Image

Tscan
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Re: Retro8 Image Seq - Super8 Neg inconsistent colour gradin

Post by Tscan » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:38 am

I couldn't see the pics earlier but now i can. I think the first issue would be to go either/or with the scanner grain reduction vs Neat Video. Apparently the scanner grain tool just removes the sharpening tools from the camera. If you go that route, instead of applying NV just apply sharpening with photoshop. According to Roger, NLE sharpening is usually better than the sharpening tools that video cameras use.

When capturing, I usually slide my red between -10 and up the blue to about 8. I also use the boost feature to give some density (the boost feature on the new scanner gives the negative a really good pop). You may have to deal with a little green at this point, but just try to fiddle around to get rid of as much red cast as you can during the capture.

If you're using NV, download and print their noise profile and you can use that profile to shoot your own test targets, and use it to create your own noise profiles for different stocks and different lighting conditions. Learn how to use the tools in NV, if you haven't already, to adjust sharpening and noise levels. In the end, you should end up with a much sharper image, because what you have right now is really mushy.

As far as color correction goes (which should be done before applying NV), you should be able to clean up those hues manually. It'll just take some time and patience and practice.
Reborn member since Sept 2003

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