Hollywood, Calif. — April 8, 2011. Utilizing the long-anticipated IIF-ACES workflow in its first real-world application, Encore colorist Pankaj Bajpai put the workflow to the test on the popular FX series, “Justified,” shot by Francis Kenny, ASC.
The IFF-ACES workflow maximizes the color gamut and latitude achievable with an ever-improving assortment of digital imaging sensors while establishing much-needed industry standards for grading technology for television programming. This technology had been tested but not yet implemented in a real production environment when Kenny and Bajpai first started discussions about the current season of “Justified” late last summer.
The two worked with footage shot on Sony’s SRW-9000PL and applied the technology with stunning results. The IIF (Image Interchange Framework) describes a whole new architecture for capturing, processing and retaining far more picture information than is possible in rec. 709 or even DPX space. ACES (the Academy Color Encoding Specification) is an open system designed to offer a dynamic range and color gamut that are conceptually unlimited. The combined technologies allow cinematographers to describe “looks” using very familiar terminology, such as “printer points,” and know that the resulting look will be wherever they do their post.
“In the linear video world that I normally work in, Bajpai explains, “if a cinematographer used photochemical terminology and asked me to add two points of yellow, I would move the trackball on my [Autodesk] Lustre interface in the direction of yellow and interpret what ‘two points of yellow’ means. It’s very exciting for me to be able to create a common, collaborative language with directors of photography.”
The Sony camera is the first to lend itself to this workflow, however many other digital camera manufacturers will likely follow suit. Says Curtis Clark, president of the ASC’s Technology Council, “This will enable cinematographers who are working digitally to focus on their images, rather than on the technology.”
Bajpai adds, “As a colorist I can now spend my time refining and fine-tuning the cinematographers’ imagery, rather than using windows and other techniques to compensate for the limitations inherent in rec. 709 space.”
Bajpai, Kenny, Clark and several others instrumental in developing the process will be speaking at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention in the session, “Justified” — The Debut of the Academy’s Groundbreaking Image Interchange Framework” on Monday, April 11th, 2PM-3PM at the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, Room 115.