Is it possible to pull stills from a moving picture? In theory its been possible but the reality has been a complete different story. Pulling stills has been some kind of last resort to grab something from an event that might not be up to standards.
So I figured I give it a go and see how much you can pull out of an moving image. When the project at a steel factory came along the opportunity was there. The brief was to capture the craftsmanship is a very automated factory. To illustrate the human behind the manufacturing. As a reference we used Phil Hollands newly shot “Forged” which is captured in a Weapon 8K forged camera and one of the absolute first showcase films for 8K. Hope to see more of them.
What we used on the day was a mixture of HMI and Tungsten to get a mixture of color together with the available fluorescent lights in the background. This particular scene we did in 300FPS more to see what actually happen while welding. We knew there was gonna be flicker but what we didn’t know was that this type of flicker could actually work to our advantage. Its a manufacturing process and very hard to control, the fact of the slow flickering even adds to the slow motion.
So I pulled a few R3D files of the raw clip and graded them in REDCINE-X and then took the same clip through Adobe Premiere using the same LUT and settings only to find out that you do get the same result from pulling an image from the video if you use RAW as a base. As soon as you produce a TIFF or similar you will change the parameters and end up with something that might differ from the quality you got with the R3Dfile.
We usually shoot with the Canon 1Dx while doing stills photography and by further investigation, the RAW file the canon produce is a 12-bit image. RED produce a 10-bit image but while export a frame for stills work you can upgrade that to a 16-bit image. Photoshop likes an 8-bit image.
Wanna try out the workflow? Here’s a tutorial from RED that explains the workflow of how to work with stills image in REDCINE-X.
REDCINE-X PRO: Motion to Stills Workflow