Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » Get Blender graphics on 35mm film


Get Blender graphics on 35mm film

on August 24th, 2010, by Ton

We’ve delivered 2 minutes of dpx files, straight from Blender sequencer, to the film lab Cineco here in Amsterdam. The first digital projection in their grading room looked brilliant! (Gigantic new Barco projector). It’s now being moved to the Arri Laser to make 35 mm film, anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect. In a few days we’ll get a screening. Exciting!

Thanks to Blender’s linear workflow now, we should be able to give them perfect linear DPX files, for them to convert to wonderful film colors. However, it’s never as simple as it seems!

Here’s how we did it now:

– Files rendered in 2048 wide, 872 pixels high. This matches the standard for film, so no scaling is needed.
– DPX files (3 x 16 bits color) saved as linear – default in Blender with linear workflow enabled – but with a gamma 2.2 applied (code not committed yet). That is the thing that confuses me most… but according the Arri operator at Cineco it is “the standard”. Their LUT conversion (lookup table) assumes this to go to film color.
– At first we made the mistake to test DPX files saved from 3×8 bits sources,  but these are not linear! So DPX ended up in the color space of the 3×8 bits graphics.

I also had to fix the header in DPX files to not denote a gamma anymore, for some reason that gamma value doesn’t denote what the data is, but what the files should be corrected for in displays (confusing!).

People with DPX and film pipeline experience are welcome to feedback here. A dpx file and the corresponding jpg can be downloaded below.

(BTW: the graphic looks a bit dark, but was in the screening room totally brilliant! Dark tones survive much better in projection than on screens. Do we have to make a special graded version for LCD and TVs)?


55 Responses to “Get Blender graphics on 35mm film”

  1. J. Says:

    No, I mean exactly what I wrote.
    Most labs in non-English countries also have an option to view their site in English. (if, for instance, an American production is shooting in your country and they want to use your lab for dev. and dailies etc. you know… 😉 )

    Putting his site into Google Translate or Bablefish doesn’t work, since it’s entirely in Flash. 🙁

  2. Antoine Says:

    To J.:

    Well I am not provinding directly prints, so we are not a lab, but we colaborate with labs, depending on the project needs.

    Yeah the website is in flash, but the information is in the documents which are pdf. But don’t try to translate them with some automatic translator, I don’t think it will give a good result.

    You have to understand that it is not a company, this is a 2 man association that just started. The first service we provide is grading not printing. We also are a non profit association and we first target local (swiss, belgium france) short and low budget feature film.

    I am sorry that we can’t answer your needs for now. However if you need some consulting for a particular project, I have no problem to communicate in english.


  3. J. Says:

    I don’t have any needs, I’m just interested to read such things. (altough it would be great to get a job in that business, I’ve to admit)

  4. Pascal Says:

    Congratulations. Those renders indeed look brilliant!

  5. PiPi Says:

    like the staff very much , wait for see , and thank at commit the good gives everybody , thank you very much ,