Superproducer Ted Hope on...

December 6, 2012

Want Film-Like GH2 Footage? FilmConvert Now Supports GH2, More Canon Profiles, and Final Cut Pro 7

Not too long ago we told you about a color corrector plugin/standalone software solution from Rubber Monkey that not only tries to mimic the looks of many film stocks, but does it in a way that is particular to the exact camera you're using. Until now the only cameras that were guaranteed to work properly with FilmConvert to achieve the specific look were Canon DSLRs and RED cameras, but now they are adding support for the Panasonic GH2, as well as support for more Canon picture profiles, and a brand new plugin for Final Cut Pro 7.

Here is what they said on Facebook about the support:

GH2 and more 5D profiles are available now for our fine FilmConvert Pro and Premiere / After Effects products.

All new and shiny profiles, specifically built for your GH2.

Also, we've included custom builds of the 5D Technicolor, Flaat, Marvels Cine, and Prolost profiles.

This is the list of profiles for the DSLR/Mirrorless cameras that have been added:

If you haven't seen what it's capable of, here is a tutorial for FilmConvert:

This is what Kristoffer Stranden said about his GH2 sample below:

... the grain is to resemble a more dirty 16mm type look, but I get what you're saying, another reason it was a little exaggerated was to survive the vimeo compression...Lenses were mostly Nikkor-H (Nippon Kogaku) 50mm and Voigtlander 25mm. Last shot was done with a 7D using Rokinon and Zeiss lenses.

As some people have been talking about on other posts, it may be that FilmConvert is something for people who actually grew up watching movies on film, and that the new generation may not appreciate the grain -- since it is inherently a flaw. Until that point, however, plugins like FilmConvert will still be doing a fantastic job recreating the look of old film stocks, and doing it in a way that does it far quicker than anything else out there because it's manipulating the information from an uncorrected sample from the sensor in order to match as closely as possible.

What do you guys think about this? Is this something you may use with your GH2?

Link: FilmConvert

Your Comment

42 Comments

I paid for it, and I like it a lot as a GH2 user. It doesn't really make my footage look like film - but it cuts down on about 80% of my colour grading.

But I have to say - these articles are dangerously close to advertorials!

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Fresno Bob

If it sounds that way it's because I really like what they are doing and how they are achieving the look.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I'll be posting a test next week. It's an interesting product in that it's not a grading app, it's almost like a LUT. You're still going to color correct most of the time but it gives a definite "out of the box" look.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Yup! My first step now includes de noising my footage and then adding Film Convert to the mix. Then I color correct and grade. It's a nice first step to add some film like qualities to your digital files.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

C'mon Bob, cut Joe some slack, will ya? ;-) . After all, which kind of advert would blatantly say "this is a product for last century folks who grew up watching last century movies.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply
Jay

Recently purchased the AE plug in for $99 and I love it! It's becoming my first of three passes in my color process with Scarlet footage. Really like the film stocks they have.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

Luke, any suggestion how to buy it for this price, I checked the website and it is 199 for the plugin.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

I think this is your answer:

Our Standard Edition and you:
To all the folks out there who have the standard edition of FilmConvert, our apologies for the confusion.

Although we're no longer directly selling the lite version of our software due to the confusion that it seemed to be causing people, never fear, your software will continue to work.

To update to the latest new camera profiles, simply grab yourself the latest pro version, and use it with your current license.

Your standard license will unlock the same standard film stocks that you had previously in the standard version, but with the addition of the new GH2 and 5D camera profiles. You'll also be able to grab new camera profiles as we make them in the future.

Apologies for the confusion.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Nevermind...my bad. I paid $199.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

I like how they've approached the interface and the options, and the results are good - but since I already have Colorista II, Looks 2, and Speedgrade in my arsenal I'm not sure this makes the most sense for me. For now, at least.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

And yes, I'm primarily a GH2 shooter - so it's nice to know that I have another option for toying with my footage in post.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

If you want footage that looks like film, just get a film camera. Honestly I have a cheap 16mm film camera along with my digital. It's not just the grain, but the colors, blur, and the texture that makes film look more beautiful than digital. If you have a digital camera, then don't try to make it look like film. Just make it look the best it can look as a digital camera. Roger Deakins said he added no grain to "In Time" and "Skyfall" and both those movies look amazing.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
James

He probably didn't have to do any noise reduction like most of us. And I rather have a bit of grain than a plastic noise reduction look and heavy digital noise.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Hampus

Well look at the big brain on James.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

I have a very big brain.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
James

Well obviously.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

You need to relax, swollen brains ain't a good sign for health.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply
Natt

Most of us reading this site don't have budgets for a Deakins-sized crew and kit.

I love shooting on film, it just usually doesn't make fiscal sense. Simulated film grain notwithstanding, tools like this and others help us make digital look as good as it can.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

Beware guys, 16mm cameras, while cheap on ebay (I see full kits going for 600 all the time), are 4:3 format, super 16mm is the widescreen one and those cameras are a lot more expensive, at least 2k for a body.

Not to mention the insane prices of film stock and the even more insane prices of development/telecine and actually being able to edit your footage on the computer.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

Yeah, because using a $70,000 Alexa, which already produces a very beautiful image with its own unique grain, is worth comparing to cameras used by individuals reading this blog, sub 10k price range. We need some sort of additive to the files to improve the look.

December 8, 2012

0
Reply
Kevin

Purchased the standalone for a project 2 days ago...I'm in love. The cinestyle profile and XML is a plus. Barely use the grain. When done well it takes a bit of bite off digital in a way unlike the norm color tools.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Jon

Plugin for FCP7? I know some people don't accept it is dead, but GH2 footage and AVCHD in general works so much better in FCPX.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Tulio

Actually, I see on their website it works for FCPX too, why the article doesn't mention it?

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Tulio

It already had support for Final Cut Pro X, but Final Cut Pro 7 support is new. The previous article we posted mentions what was already supported before.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I'm curious. Would using FilmConvert make it easier to cut together footage from 5DM3 and lets say a RED? Taking into account maybe final delivery only in 1080p? So still using the 5DM3 for the full frame look and on prolost settings and using the RED for lets say 120fps in 2K? If you run them both through Film Convert would the resulting footage cut together cleanly?

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Samir

that depends on how well the 5D footage was lit and composed and if the same lenses were used on both cameras and a whole lot of other variables external to the editing situation. Usually, RED footage and dslr footage don't cut well at all- but since you were shooting at 2K, you might be ok. Again, there are a lot of variables involved.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
john jeffreys

Thanks John and Gabe. I guess the best way to find out is to do some test shots using the same lenses and lighting conditions.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Samir

Probably...the makers of FilmConvert used charts to match the specific camera sensors to film stock, so it ought to get them in the same ball park at least.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Gabe

I've been using it for a couple months and love the options, variety and control of the parameters. It really sings on a large screen and it truly unifies c300, 5d, alexa and even ex3 footage I've been working with. I really see it in the reds as they are rendered more pleasing (less saturated and realistic) to my eyes.

In my workflow I use it as the last step before outputting final masters. I lean on the Fuji VD and RL stocks as my favorites as of now...and I hover around 40-70 for color amount and rarely more than 50 for grain (35mm full frame) as my basic starting point. I find it easier and more realistic than the rGrain and Gorilla in my opinion.

I bought the full AE/Premiere plug in and will apply FilmConvert to an adjustment layer over my final timeline in Premiere and then export using Media Encoder.

I get almost realtime playback at 100% resolution in Premiere and full rate playback at 50% resolution. Overall very satisfied and the new camera presets really allow me to dial in even more accurate contrast right off the bat.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply

I spend hours of rendering time trying to get noise out of my GH2 footage. Now you're trying to convince me to put more noise into it!?! Has the whole world gone mad!?!

Really, though. This does seem to give a nice baseline for a grade. I'm wishing Speedgrade had an interface as nice as this one. Even the scope seems more intuitive and easy to use.

Is the plugin version as full-featured as the standalone? I'd love to give this program a shot.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Derik

Just download it for free from bitTorrent. That's how I got all my software. Hell, if I could download a RED Scarlet or an Alexa, I would, but I was probably born too early for that - the next generation has a lot to look forward to!

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
KFrizzle

Dick.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply
Fresno Bob

Why would you knowingly get on the bad side of karma? Seems counter productive.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply

Replace bad noise with good noise is the idea. Compressed digital noise tends to be ugly, clumpy, banded and with crazy chroma. Desaturating the shadows is one beneficial step. Better is to capture with less compression. Best is to light well and shoot at native base ISO. NR for when all else fails, and then the addition of grain or whatever "good noise" you like can add life and texture and take away plasticky video look.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply
Peter

What sucks is it is only compatible with CS5.5 and above AND the standalone is Mac only at this point. No love for the CS5/Windows crowd...

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
Tony

Why should there be? CS5 is already two entire product cycles old.

December 6, 2012

0
Reply
hummer

Yeah, well hummer...

Windows isn't two entire product cycles old though....

And not everyone upgrades their software every cycle. I know of many that still work with even earlier versions.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply
Tony

I like grain emulation as an option, not as so called "texture" that film has. More options is good, this is what digital is all about.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply
Natt

Love this product, and we now use it on ALL our projects, across RED and DSLR.

December 7, 2012

0
Reply
marklondon

Off topic, but look at the negative chemistry between the actors, the awkwardness, and the change of expression after the embrace esp. the guy's micro-expressions and muscle twitches around the eye. Wow, perhaps the director was taking a snooze?

December 7, 2012

-1
Reply
brett

It isn't off topic, at least it shouldn't be. I am a techie and it amazes me how easy it has become to sound like an 'expert'. A person is just a person until the public decides otherwise. Making a 'film' doesn't make you a director, no more than having a camera on your phone makes you a photographer (or Henri CB's leica at that).

December 9, 2012

0
Reply
steve

Wonderful article! We are linking to this great article
on our site. Keep up the great writing.

March 10, 2014

-1
Reply