X-H1 Development Story #4
With the announcement of FUJIFILM X-H1, we have a new film simulation “ETERNA”. The name may not sound familiar for many, and you possibly wonder what it is. The film was not available to consumers back in the film days, and only handful of users have had an experience with the film.
If you are excited with the news, then you are probably in the cinema industry one way or another. “ETERNA” is coined from FUJIFILM’s motion picture film.
“What is the difference between motion picture and still film?”
That is a fair question.
“Isn’t motion picture just a sequence of pictures? Wouldn’t it become motion picture when the sequence lasts for a longer period of time?”
It is partly true, but as you learn the ideology behind the expression of each media, you will find that they are at the very opposite end of spectrum. This is precisely the reason why FUJIFILM developed both motion picture and still films in the past, and why we created the new film simulation “ETERNA” for cinema use.
Let’s examine the difference between photographic and cinematic expression.
In photographic expression, the basic communication is complete in a single frame. For that purpose we put emphasis on color as an important element to deliver the photographer’s message. For example, the blue sky is enhanced so when reflecting back to the memory, it is as clear as it can be. The colors are enhanced to an extent so that the image still looks natural. Other colors are treated the same way. In FUJIFILM, we refer the color reproduction as “Image Color”.
Cinema communicates differently.
In cinema, there are the transition of time, the movement of performers, and the sounds and voices. The image designing in cinema should complement all these elements to create a seamless flow. If the cinematic image design were completed in each frame in the same way as the photographic expression with enhanced colors, then the flow would not be so smooth.
In Cinema, the saturation is suppressed, so a particular color would not stand out. The tonality is wide to deliver the atmospheric vibe of the scene. This is the characteristic of cinematic image design. People often refer to it as “Cinema Look” or “Film Look”.
The film simulation “ETERNA” is designed to achieve the “Cinema Look” in one take. The dynamic range is 12-stop wide. The highlight and shadow tones are both soft. The difference is obvious when it is compared with PROVIA (with the dynamic rage set at 100%).
The dynamic range is comparable to that of F-Log. It has room for post production, so this also comes handy.
And most important of all is the color design. ETERNA is not just low in saturation.
Velvia is a good example of image color. When you compare it with the standard PROVIA, you can see that it is not just high in saturation. The saturation level is adjusted on each key color. Blue, for example is added with a touch of magenta, to reproduce the impressive blue sky. The image color is achieved by adding colors on top of each other. It is like an art of addition.
We take the same approach to achieve the cinema look, but in the opposite direction.
The saturation is suppressed and is slightly adjusted on each key color. A touch of magenta was added on blue to achieve the image color, but to achieve the cinema look, the color is shifted toward cyan. The blue sky in the background will then complement the story. The cinema look is like an art of omission.
The ideology behind the cinematic expression is different from the photographic expression. But it definitely is part of FUJIFILM heritage. FUJIFILM was first established to create cinema film back in 1934. Our history with cinema is actually longer than that of photography. Å