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Author Topic: Film simulation software...  (Read 4830 times)

DavidPalermo

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Film simulation software...
« on: December 29, 2016, 06:12:17 PM »

Hello all and Happy Holidays!

I am lately thinking that digital files are a bit too "sterile" for my taste.  This may pass (may I need to drink more eggnog), but I am exploring tweaking my files to give more of a film quality to them.  There are a few solutions on the market that simulate different film stock.  Do any of you have any experience or opinions about any of these listed below?:

1.  DXO Film Pack 5

2. RNI Films 4.0 Pro

3.  VSCO Film

4.  Silver Efex Pro

There are more but these are the ones I am thinking about.

VSCO and RNI are LightRoom presets so they are non-destructive which is appealing.

VSCO doesn't have a trial version so I cannot test it on my own images ; (

DXO seems to have a very nice grain structure not present in the other offerings.  The other software's grain seems too uniform like PS Noise is.  DXO is more random like real film grain.

I am leaning toward DXO for that reason but I am open to any experiences you may have had with any of the software above.

Thanks!

David
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hogloff

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 06:30:50 PM »

Silver EFX pro is free so it's very easy to try out for yourself. I use it for my B&W conversions and am pleased with it's abilities and results.
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 06:55:56 PM »

Silver EFX pro is free so it's very easy to try out for yourself. I use it for my B&W conversions and am pleased with it's abilities and results.
Nik also comes with Analog Effex Pro where you can play with film looks - and it's free.
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DavidPalermo

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 07:08:42 PM »

Update:

I have and use Silver Efex...  I am wondering if Silver Efex has a better engine to produce the look of film over the other programs.  I am sorry, I should have been more clear!  ; (
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john beardsworth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 05:45:32 AM »

To be frank, I feel film simulation is such a waste of money. That's partly just personal preference, or gut instinct about the creative value of simulating a film you might never have used. And I do wonder how far developers (especially those expensive Lightroom presets) are just fleecing the gullible.

But it's mixed with other doubts that I think are less controversial if you think about the task. Just what is a typical [insert film stock here] look? Can you really define it or bottle this typical look? Really?

If you've ever done B&W in the darkroom you'll know that the same film actually looks very different depending on your processing techniques. Let's put aside how a coloured lens filter would change how the colours are represented as greyscale tones. Consider the developer chemistry - the same film developed in Agfa Rodinal would have very different grain pattern from the same film developed in Ilford Perceptol, for example. On thinking of Rodinal, it produced different grain depending how how dilute it was, and how you agitated the developing tank - eg continuously, x seconds per minute. Then consider the final output, the print. The same negative would look very different depending on which paper you used, which contrast you chose, which developer you used. If these simulations stated something like "PanF in Perceptol 1+20.... printed on Record Rapid grade 3 developed in Neutol WA" - one might be less scathing, but if a software developer is dipping its hand into someone's pocket for a film simulation, doesn't the customer deserve to know that your "FilmX look" is really not as much as it claims?
/rant

Providing you don't invest too much belief in the film simulation's veracity, Silver Efex Pro is a fine program for that task. And free too.
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scyth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 09:13:38 AM »

If you've ever done B&W in the darkroom you'll know that the same film actually looks very different depending on your processing techniques.

it seems that you miss the point that bothers the OP = "DXO seems to have a very nice grain structure not present in the other offerings.  The other software's grain seems too uniform like PS Noise is.  DXO is more random like real film grain. I am leaning toward DXO for that reason " ... it does not matter that same film get different looks ... what matters is that the simulated "grain" still will not be digitally "pseudo-random" there... DxO achieves that by having a database of scanned actual films and using that to generate grain structure, instead of pure math... math may be executed better of course in some other solutions, but it is clearly not the case w/ what the OP tested himself.
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john beardsworth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 09:16:05 AM »

And you seem to miss the point that the thread is titled "film simulation"....
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 09:57:19 AM »

it seems that you miss the point that bothers the OP = "DXO seems to have a very nice grain structure not present in the other offerings.  The other software's grain seems too uniform like PS Noise is.  DXO is more random like real film grain. I am leaning toward DXO for that reason " ... it does not matter that same film get different looks ... what matters is that the simulated "grain" still will not be digitally "pseudo-random" there... DxO achieves that by having a database of scanned actual films and using that to generate grain structure, instead of pure math... math may be executed better of course in some other solutions, but it is clearly not the case w/ what the OP tested himself.

If more realistic film grain simulation is wanted, then one should have a look at TrueGrain. They use actually scanned grain structure at various exposure levels for certain developers and film sizes, and offer additional exposure control for color filters. To me, that looks as close to what can be realistically achieved for a broad choice of films.

Cheers,
Bart
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scyth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 10:03:30 AM »

And you seem to miss the point that the thread is titled "film simulation"....

oh dear, the thread is titled "Film simulation software...", not "Film simulation"

and I suggest you to pay attention to the substance of what OP asks, not to the short titles in the future... it pays to avoid looking like Obama.
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scyth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 10:04:47 AM »

If more realistic film grain simulation is wanted, then one should have a look at TrueGrain. They use actually scanned grain structure at various exposure levels for certain developers and film sizes, and offer additional exposure control for color filters. To me, that looks as close to what can be realistically achieved for a broad choice of films.

Cheers,
Bart

yes, and so does DxO - which is the point... randomize prepared tiles from actual scans or attempt to do pure math.
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john beardsworth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2016, 10:33:07 AM »

oh dear, the thread is titled "Film simulation software...", not "Film simulation"

and I suggest you to pay attention to the substance of what OP asks, not to the short titles in the future... it pays to avoid looking like Obama.

Once a troll, always a troll, no matter how many times it changes its user name...
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Manoli

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 12:01:33 PM »

If more realistic film grain simulation is wanted, then one should have a look at TrueGrain. They use actually scanned grain structure at various exposure levels for certain developers and film sizes ...

Actually the first ( and IMO still by far the best) to do this was Alien Skin with their stand-alone/plugin Exposure. It's now been combined with Bokeh and you not only have finely tuned presets and emulations but also fine control over the final look. Attached screenshot. Useful for taking the 'digital out of digital'.
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Herbc

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 12:04:29 PM »

I have used Nik's stuff for years, paid many hundreds of $ for it before Google bought them - Silver EFX is excellent.  The post about rodinal has led me to my sink, on which sits an almost full bottle of Rodinal-time to shoot some film! 8)
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scyth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 12:26:20 PM »

Once a troll, always a troll, no matter how many times it changes its user name...

readers can clearly see that you neither capable of comprehending the question OP has nor even simple quote 3 words title :-)
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john beardsworth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 12:39:38 PM »

Readers can see you're just trolling. Bye.
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hogloff

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2016, 01:02:22 PM »

Readers can see both of you have no interest in this topic...so buzz off. :-\
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rdonson

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2016, 02:53:53 PM »

...
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Regards,
Ron

john beardsworth

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2016, 03:21:14 PM »

Readers can see both of you have no interest in this topic...so buzz off. :-\

Buzz off yourself. See my contribution before the troll....
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David Sutton

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2016, 03:55:52 PM »

I've used DxO and Silver FX and a few others. I think none of really give a good film simulation and it's probably a waste of time trying.
On the other hand, they all can give some useful digital effects if you want to change the "look" of your files.
To get closer to film you could try buying a Fujifilm camera. The files from the X series really have a different appearance.
Better still, buy a film camera and scan the negatives. I'm serious. I took a couple or 100 year old cameras to the Antarctic along with the usual digital gear.
B&W 120 film is still available, a developing tank is easy to get and use, and a reasonable scanner cheap to buy. Be aware that the scanning process can lift the shadow detail and give the files a digital look, so you may need to apply a curves adjustment afterwards to restore the tone response of film.
David

Edit: Or buy an older lens and adapter:
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/helios-44-2-58mm
http://www.ebay.com/itm/INDUSTAR-22-3-5-50-Russian-Lens-M39-Fed-Leica-Zorki-/331824842235
I have a good copy of the Helios. Unlike some Russian lenses the glass is not radioactive.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 04:16:17 PM by David Sutton »
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donbga

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Re: Film simulation software...
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2016, 04:43:14 PM »

If more realistic film grain simulation is wanted, then one should have a look at TrueGrain. They use actually scanned grain structure at various exposure levels for certain developers and film sizes, and offer additional exposure control for color filters. To me, that looks as close to what can be realistically achieved for a broad choice of films.

Cheers,
Bart

+1.
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