Film Looks the Easy Way: FilmConvert Now Supports Canon C300 and Arri Alexa, BMCC Coming Soon
A solid color grade can very quickly take the edge off an image that looks "too digital." If you don't have much time to spend on said color grade, but you'd like to get a great look very easily, a film LUT that attempts to recreate some of the magic we get from Kodak and Fuji stocks could serve you well. We've discussed FilmConvert a bit before, but basically it's either a standalone program or a plugin for the major Apple and Adobe products that uses the color science of the specific camera you're using in order to precisely match the film stocks they have in their system. Now they've introduced another update, this time including support for the Canon C300 and the Arri Alexa.
Here is Sebastian from cinema5D testing FilmConvert with some Canon C-Log footage from the C100:
A little bit about his workflow:
In the video above I graded a short clip that I shot on a Canon C100 during a recent project. You can see the subtle difference between ungraded / graded / and filmconverted.
The C100 is a very underestimated camera. It is very ergonomic to use, fast, and has a powerful and lowlight capable sensor. Despite the AVCHD compression (you can see the compression artefacts in this very demanding source clip on vimeo: LINK) a lot can be achieved (We'll have a more detailed look at it soon).
Since FilmConvert works in a very specific way, you have to make sure you shoot in a color profile that is supported in the program. In this case, it seems officially that for this update they are only supporting Canon Log on the C300, but the C100/C300/C500 should all look very similar since they share the same sensor and similar color science.
You're never going to perfectly replicate celluloid in a digital realm, but with software like FilmConvert, you can come very, very close, especially since the way they are achieving the look is catered to each camera. If you're tossing on a LUT like this, it's probably because you want to get to a look you're happy with rather quickly, and from the results I've seen, FilmConvert does it as well as, if not better, than any other plugin or program out there. I also think it's worth mentioning that these looks are useful not just for people who want something that feels like film, but they can give you great skin tones immediately and save you time in post from having to create this sort of thing from scratch.
Since they have to make separate profiles, it's not fully supported with every camera out of the box, but there is word that they have an update coming for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera:
The C300/Alexa update is only for the stand-alone program, but support for the plugins will be coming soon. If you own the software, head on over to the FilmConvert download page, or try it out for free (with a watermark) to sample the goods.