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Asked a question 9 months ago

In order to use kodak film emulation LUTs that are set for tungsten or daylight do I need to white balance the scene in case the lights are not exactly matching the planned color temperature?

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Great question @Massimo Franzese - most people are not even aware of the fact that film is calibrated for tungsten or daylight. 

If you want to take the purist approach you could only use tungsten film emulations with tungsten lit footage and daylight emulations with daylight temperature footage. Cinematographers would traditionally throw a CTO gel over any light sources that are too cold and a CTB over anything too warm. You can achieve similar effects by changing white balance in post or in-camera when shooting digital.

That said, I think that the real beauty of being able to work with these digitized film colorimetries is that you're not forced to use them "correctly". And just like some cinematographers (Deakins, Chivo come to mind) deliberately use tungsten film for daylight and vice versa, you can do the same to achieve incredibly cinematic effects with film emulation LUTs. With ImpulZ this works quite well because the LUTs map the entirety of the analog color space. I prepared two examples below (never mind the image quality)

Example 1

This was shot under late daylight with a fairly cold white balance. Certainly a little colder than neutral. The cold white balance becomes noticeable with the Tetrachrome LUT from ImpulZ applied at the bottom left. Tetrachrome is a variation of Kodak 500T 5219 - a film stock calibrated for tungsten. With the real film stock you would need a 85 filter for daylight usage. But because the ImpulZ LUT covers the entire color spectrum, the result is quite cinematic and "it just works". 

In order to use kodak film emulation LUTs that are set for tungsten or daylight do I need to white balance the scene in case the lights are not exactly matching the planned color temperature?

On the top right I've taken the original Image into Photon and quickly made the image warmer to emulate a really strong CTO gel effect in post. At the bottom right I applied the same LUT. There's less color separation between the actor and the background because I applied such a strong filter but the overall color response of the orange tones is still very filmic. I did this to illustrate that the LUT really doesn't care if you're using it correctly or not. It transforms all colors equally, according to the internal mapping.

Example 2

Here's the opposite of the above example. The color temperature of the original shot is a little warmer than neutral. On the right I've completely neutralized the image with Photon prior to applying the same LUT to both the original and the neutralized base. Very different moods on both sides but both with an overal cinematic color quality.

In order to use kodak film emulation LUTs that are set for tungsten or daylight do I need to white balance the scene in case the lights are not exactly matching the planned color temperature?

Conclusion

Use color temperature changes under a film LUT to your creative advantage. There's no right or wrong way to do things. The LUTs cover entire color spaces and handle even extreme color shifts gracefully in most situations.