in between projects


Blender 3.0 lighting tests, converting a finished drone footage trailer from SDR to HDR in FCPX and filming with the new iPhone 13Pro in the ProRes format.

Blender 3.0 entered the beta phase, so I thought it is time to update the Blender and ACES 1.2 page. I found a Blender lighting tutorial video on YouTube from FlippedNormals.com and this animated me to follow along with the Blender 3.0beta version.

A fun tutorial to follow along.

At the same time I was testing the latest version of the AMD RadeonProRender 3.3 for Blender as my 2020 iMac has a Radeon Pro graphics card.

I ended up rendering some stills of the sculpture head in Blender 3.0 with ACES 1.2. As the view transform I used sRGB.
The Radeon ProRender does not officially support Blender 3.0, so I used Blender 2.93.5 and Filmic to light the scenes.

My three renders in SDR.

The finished renders I imported into Resolve in ACES 1.3 mode and for the ODT I chose the HDR output ST-2084 1.000 (P3D65limited). My iMac does not show me a proper output on the UI viewer in Resolve, so I simply graded the stills to around 700 Nits peak brightness with the help of the scopes and checked the results on an iPadPro XDR.
For the SDR version, I switched to the ACES/sRGB output and started the color corrections from scratch.

The HDR version or the three renderings.
Why not keyframe the three light situations and create a light animation. Rendered with the AMD ProRender engine and with Cycles in ACEScg and the same light animation, but different shaders and light intensities.

And last but not least, the two render sequences using the OpenDRT (0.090b2 from Jed Smith) display rendering transform and some additional grading in FCPX.

A quick test with the OpenDRT instead of the ACES RRT&ODT.

And here is another little test that I was able to for a personal project of Florian Zachau from Sehsucht that he shot on his SKYDIO 2 drone. He sent me his finished edited and graded project as a UHD ProRes file, I gave it a shot and converted it in FCPX to HDR.

The camera source files and his graded master are done in SDR, but the overall images have already such a big contrast, so it was easy to stretch the sun and lights even further out and make them brighter. I tried to hide the sun disc a little bit more and desaturated areas around the sun. A bit of grain was added and the converted ProRes file handed back to Florian.

Sure, there are compression and other artifacts from pushing the material even further, but on a mobile screen the image looks just cool! Thanks to Florian to be able to add a bit of “spice” to his cool trailer video.

Amazing drone footage shot by Florian Zachau, edited and graded in Resolve.

For the last little project I did a walk alongside the Elbe in Hamburg and filming close to dawn on a sunny autumn day in November.

The shots were filmed just from the hand holding the phone in HD 1080p@60fps in ProRes. The 20 GB heavy clips I imported into FCPX and created a little edit in a HDR/WideGamut. The source files are shot in HLG mode, and I tried in FCPX to to a conversion to PQ, but there is not much more that I could pull out of that footage. So I uploaded the slightly graded film from a ProRes HLG master file.

iPhone 13 Pro ProRes footage shot in HLG and finished in HLG
The same edit, but converted to PQ in FCPX and finished with some additional grading steps.

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