Nice grade in Sony Catalyst Browse

Screen Shot 1

Below are some frame grabs from a recent series of commercial spots my production company was hired to shoot for Philips, which I worked as the Director of Photography on. The looks shown here are not the final grade and only the result of some playing around in Sony Catalyst Browse software which I have been using since it’s release in December 2014. You can find my full review of Catalyst Browse & Catalyst Prepare in one of my recent articles.

Cameras & Settings:

To increase coverage we used two Sony F55 cameras on this production. I set both F55 camera’s to CineEI mode using slog3/sgamut3.cine and purposely rated the camera ISO higher¬†at 2000 ISO rather then the camera’s native rating of 1250 ISO. I decided to underexpose by 2/3′rds of a stop since I was dealing with lots of highlights on glass, food, metal and plastic and wanted to retain the specularity and not have anything clip. Underexposing in CineEI mode also gave my B-cam operator some flexibility to sometimes expose by monitor and again giving me some overall safety to the underlying recorded footage. The project was shot in High Definition using the XAVC 10-bit codec and I set the color temperature to the 3200k preset. Since we were shooting in slog3 I used the camera’s built-in 709(800) 3D LUT to feed two dedicated 17″ Panasonic director’s monitors for video village. The images in the monitors with the 709(800) LUT looked absolutely fantastic and everyone up and down the client chain was very pleased with the look we were getting on-set.

Lenses:

The main camera (Camera A) was equipped with a Canon PL cine zoom 15.5 – 47 mm f2.8 and the second camera (Camera B) was equipped with a Canon PL cine zoom 30 – 105mm f2.8. Zooms on both cameras made it possible for quick reframing without having to move entire camera setups around too much. ie. Camera A was on a dolly so having using zoom was a time saver and unfortunately my set of CP.2 Zeiss lenses stayed in their case the entire time and never made it out to the party.

Grading in Catalyst Browse:

For these really quick grades I did in Catalyst Browse I did not use any Sony or 3rd party LUTs at all. The ease of grading the images are testament to slog3/sgamut3.cine and within Catalyst Browse I used nothing more than a bit of lift and gamma on the wheels, some curves to create contrast where I wanted it, and lastly a few small tweaks to temperature, temp and saturation. The last image in the series (flame) was S&Q with the 709(800) LUT accidentally baked in and hasn’t been altered too much at all from what was originally recorded.

Here’s the Catalyst Browse color settings exported into a loadable CB Preset incase anyone wants to give it a go on their slog3/sgamut3.cine footage, maybe it will make for a nice look: CB Preset. As as bonus I’ve also included the look as a 3D Cube file which can be used on any FS7/F5/F55 camera or in post: 3D LUT

  1. Maxim DryginMaxim Drygin08-03-2015

    How long did it take you to render the files via Catalyst Browse, Dennis? I can’t seem to figure our whether Catalyst browse and Catalyst Prepare are CPU or GPU driven when it comes to render? Both are pretty slow with or without a fairly decent gtx 980 with a not usually too bad intel i7 4790… Please share your thoughts.

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