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Monitor Calibration and Dream Monitors
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Default Monitor Calibration and Dream Monitors - 04-30-2005, 06:45 AM

I have been wrestling with the calibration of my monitors. Typically I set my screen too bright and then when viewed any place else the work is very very dark. I was wondering about getting on of those "Spyder" calibration devices. There are several ranging from $100.00 to $400.00.
Obviously the higher price one is more professional. I was wondering what some of you who work in a production environment use to ensure that your screen comes as close as possible to the final output be it film or broadcast. I realize that many of us have home remedies for this sort of thing but I'm wanting to know what the pro user is doing.

Also what would some of you say the ideal monitor for matte painting is?

Cheers,
Tim


Tim Warnock - TheNextSide
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Default 04-30-2005, 08:16 PM

This is a great question to bring up. We use Spyder calibrators at my workplace( I am in the console videogame industry so I can't speak for you film guys) and they do an excellent job in regards to getting our whole team's monitors to conform. The only issue I need to consider when working with this device is that it seems to be a good idea to have your monitor on for at least an hour before calibration as your monitor's luminance/gamma value may be incorrect due to your hardware "warming up". Also, make sure that your monitor isn't more than a couple years old as the circuits(RGB guns etc) begin to wear out and you start losing luminence. At our workplace, we initially tried to calibrate on 5+ year old monitors and quickly found out that they were no longer capable of achieveing the minimum recomended luminence for our Spyder. We ended up upgrading the whole art team with new monitors because of this.

The good thing for you film guys is that you all seem to have "fairly" standardized luminance and color when comparing between theatres(THX standards etc). My guess for you would be to find out what the luminence standards are for theatre and try to get your monitor to match these.


Us video game folks are in a MUCH tougher situation in that TV color and luminance varies widely between television sets -especially comparing older tv's and the newer HDTV's that are on the market. Unlike theatres, television manufacturers don't have any sort of viable standards. A warm green and a cool green are all just "green" to the TV producers not to mention that they can't figure out which values represent a "true black". For us, the solution is to make the image look as good as possible on a wide range of tv brands and types. Unfortunately, it means sacrificing the "perfect picture" such as when you have a true black that pops perfectly off the image.
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Default 04-30-2005, 10:29 PM

I posted some links that you may find helpful here.

http://www.mattepainting.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=537

as far as monitors go I'm on a sony (trinitron I think) at work.


Brenton Cottman

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Default 05-01-2005, 12:42 AM

Well, I'm not sure I agree about calibrating for film purposes
being easier than video game applications. I've worked all
over the place, and there's no such thing as a standardized
calibration scheme based on average movie theater luminance
values.
In film, you're not calibrating for movie theaters, you're calibrating
for FILM RECORDERS, and everybody has a different film recorder.


Rick Rische
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Default 05-01-2005, 07:51 AM

Rick what sort of calibration process do you go through to make sure you're delivering what the Film Recorders need? Is there any particular monitor that you feel is "THE" monitor to be using as a matte painter?

Renderman24 do you know which Spyder you guys are using? Is it necessary to go with the top end package? The reason I ask is that if the bigger package only contains a wider variety of application for things like matching to print output then I would rather only spend money on what pertains to matte painting.

Bcottman thanks for the links.


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Default 05-01-2005, 02:46 PM

I believe we used a colorvision calibrator with photocal 2.7 software. Not sure what the exact cost was but our IT guys said it was a couple hundred dollars. I also believe this is supposed to be the "lower end" brand but it seems to do the job alright.

Here is a paste from THX web site about their standards. Maybe you can contact them about what they recommend. I also just discovered they have a home theatre/game standard now.

http://www.thx.com/mod/cinema/about.html

What is a THX Certified Cinema?
THX Certified Cinemas offer movie-goers the ultimate cinematic experience. Why? Because every THX Certified Cinema is designed and tested to ensure that it meets all standards for sound and picture excellence in categories such as:


Background noise controlled noise from HVAC units, projectors, exhaust fans & transformers
Room acoustics crisp accurate cinema sound through controlled reverberation and sound isolation
Image quality high resolution, clear images with standardized screen illumination and minimized distortion
Projection audience viewing angles, image cropping, and projector placement that result in the best possible picture presentation
Sound system THX approved equipment and alignment for optimal sound reproduction

The result is that cinema audiences experience movies that look and sound great. They enjoy:

Precise audio localization that tracks the action across the screen
A wide frequency range that delivers higher highs and lower lows
A naturally balanced sound and planned sight lines so that every seat is the "best in the house"
Accurate, true-to-life images
Highly intelligible dialog and decreased distortion
A clearer, more realistic movie-going experience




Quote:
Originally Posted by thenextside
Rick what sort of calibration process do you go through to make sure you're delivering what the Film Recorders need? Is there any particular monitor that you feel is "THE" monitor to be using as a matte painter?

Renderman24 do you know which Spyder you guys are using? Is it necessary to go with the top end package? The reason I ask is that if the bigger package only contains a wider variety of application for things like matching to print output then I would rather only spend money on what pertains to matte painting.

Bcottman thanks for the links.
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Default 05-01-2005, 04:15 PM

Color space can be a complete nightmare, not only do you have to paint in wierd color spaces but monitors have to be calibrated differently for film , tv etc. we use this system at work http://www.filmlight.ltd.uk/ which is very accurate for output to film, as long as your monitor is recalibrated every month or so.

unless you need to calibrate your monitor for a specific reason dont bother spending money just use the standard adobe calibration. In a production environment it cost a lot of time and money to use accurate color spaces and all the fx houses have different approaches.


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