Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The ALEXA LUT Generator is Born


Today, a bit past 7 in the morning PST, an engineer known only as "Harold" made an announcement on the Arri Digital Forum:

"The LUT Generator for the ALEXA (and D-21) camera is online: http://www.arridigital.com/technical/luts."

Ah ha! And you thought there'd be press releases and bombast involved! How wrong you are, sir.

So the LUT Generator is live. And? It's really just for post-production purposes. As of now it is very rudimentary. After all a LUT (Lookup Table), in image processing, is used to transform input data into a more desirable output format. Turn X to Y. Grey to Black. Or Grey to White. There is no creative component to this. It is simply a coded transform. And in this way ARRI's LUT Generator works as advertised. The goal here it to simply pick your output application (Apple Color, Scratch, Nuke, DaVinci, etc.) and generate a LUT to enable you to work natively with ALEXA's Log C. The biggest draw here is the "Linear Gamma" tab. ARRIRAW here we come!

So lately we've started using LUT's creatively on the set to "pre-grade" a project. Systems like Technicolor's DP Lights, Filmlight's Truelight, or Iridas' SpeedGrade OnSet have the ability to not just apply a simple transform LUT but can also generate a "look" for dailies or even as a reference for the final DI session.

I'd love to see ARRI's LUT Generator move eventually into this territory. It would be fantastic to have a simple on-camera tool to apply creative LUT's. Something akin to the ALEXA Frame Line Generator, maybe? You know, so we can see what we're messing with by pushing all those shinny little buttons. I'm just saying...

And just in case you didn't get yesterday's announcement either: we now have audio, playback, and false color. Download ALEXA's 3.0 firmware here.

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