Arri Look Creator for the Arri Alexa, is a really useful little piece of software that I didn’t really get into until recently. It’s still in it’s 1.0 beta, but the idea is that you capture a still .dpx image in LogC from the Alexa. You take the SD card out of the Alexa and bring the .dpx file into your Mac with the Arri Look Creator on it. You can make fairly detailed color decisions with the tools and create a “look” with the DP or director right there on set.
Sounds like normal DIT work right? But here’s the cool thing, you can then output a look file from the Arri Look Creator software, put it back onto the SD card, put that back into the Alexa, and then assign that look to the monitor out port. This allows everyone to see the final look applied in real time on set while you’re setting up the shot and recording. Of course you’re still actually recording the straight LogC or ArriRaw footage, but you’re monitoring the color correction in real time. This is going to be really useful, especially for very stylized looks to verify that what you’re imagining is what you’re going to get in post.
So what do you do when you’ve go the footage in the can, and you bring it to the colorist? Everyone was monitoring this awesome look, but the shoot wrapped weeks ago, and now all you have is the ungraded footage. Well it turns out you can translate that Arri Look file into a standard 3D LUT using the Arri LUT Generator. So by applying that custom LUT in Resolve or Scratch, the colorist can see identically what the DP and Director agreed on for the look during the shoot, and start their detailed corrections from there. It’s both a huge time saver, and much more accurate to replicate than from memory.
The downside to this software is that the controls fairly rudimentary for color correction, it only works on Mac, and there currently seems no way to output the image to a calibrated monitor from the Mac directly, so you will probably have some significant gamma and color shifts to deal with between what you see on your laptop screen, and what is in the monitors.
Still it’s a promising start, and I believe that in the future coming up with the initial look for a scene will move to be an “on set” process rather than a post process.