The Science of Cinematic Color.

VisionColor ImpulZ is the largest collection of point-density-sampled film emulation LUTs ever made. What does that mean? It means that you get the real deal. The worlds best analog film stocks. Hand selected and mapped to digital color spaces with floating point precision so you can easily get real film looks in software you already know and use... We think it's pretty cool.

Two LUTs and a simple tone adjustment in the middle. Complex cinematic color is easy with ImpulZ

Trusted by Hollywood.

ImpulZ Ultimate 3D LUTs are used by tens of thousands of users - from aspiring filmmakers to Hollywood A-list editors and colorists.

 

Learn more about the how & why of film emlulation.

Learn more

  • ImpulZ Ultimate
  • Works for your camera (709 + LOG)
  • 4k Kodak Film Grain
  • The Film Look you've been looking for.
  • Got Questions? We're here to help!
  • Instant downloads & guided setup.

Seemlessly integrates into all modern hosts.

Film Emulation with ImpulZ

Creating a professional film look with 3D LUTs
Whether one is consciously aware of the underlying technical and resulting aesthetic differences or not, most people with a sophisticated eye can tell if an image is of higher visual quality than another. Since what we like is generally influenced by what we know to be good for various reasons, the measure of what makes images superficially beautiful is often defined by the works of artists we admire for their ability to communicate emotion through light and color. For most of us filmmakers these artists emerged from the Hollywood studio system over the course of the last 100 years. And while all of them have their own influences, preferences and working habits, their images have all been governed by the advancements and availability of imaging technology. You’ve probably heard the saying that when you give two directors the same script the resulting films will be completely different. Each director would choose a team of people both behind and in front of the camera to best help him or her materialize their unique vision of the story and inevitably this collective would largely influence the outcome of their production. But if both films were made with the intention to entertain a larger audience, which after all is the premise of most films, they too would be bounded by common denominators such as having an act-structure and a protagonist the audience can identify with. Even though this is a gross oversimplification of what makes films work, they are essentially triggering our deeply embedded sense and understanding of story which has been our main concept of escapism since long before technology allowed us to capture our dreams as images. The medium of film itself, like most technology is a conceptual derivative.

So how does this relate to the ‘Film Look’? Well, a lot of people would probably argue that there is no such thing. Not because the term is often thrown around without having a collectively accepted definition of it but because most are unable to detect the common, style-forming technological influences in superficially different images. Take a look at the screenshots below. Do they look completely different to you?



Sure, all of these images differ in framing, lighting, aspect ratio and more obviously in the actual contents of the frame. All of these images have been subject to digital color grading, emphasizing the mood and tone of each individual shot. The one in the lower left for example has been treated stylistically different from the one directly above it, rendering the greens more muted brownish as opposed to the vivid greens above which have more cyan in them. In spite of these obvious differences all of these images have one thing in common. They look like ‘Film’. In fact, all of the above images have been either shot on or emulate Kodak Vision3 250D 5207 film stock so even though they may appear to be completely different from each other they are all filmic in the truest sense of the word.
So besides the impeccable craftsmanship and creativity that go into color correction and color grading to get the most out of every frame captured by the cinematographer, it is this look the sophisticated viewer instantly associates with high quality, ‘filmic’ imagery. It’s not the software or plugins that are being used to achieve a certain look and it’s not a particular style like the infamous ‘Teal & Orange” or Bleach Bypass. Similar to a screenplay being uniquely interpreted within the framework of narratives , images can and should be uniquely altered based on an artists particular intentions and circumstances but within the bounds of underlying guidelines which are informed by established ideas that have proven to work both artistically and in consequence economically over long stretches of time. Like stories which have been structured in acts since ancient history, the look of movies is, to this day, largely influenced by the aesthetic characteristics of photochemical film. Narratives which lead to the experience of catharsis after the hero has overcome all obstacles to fulfill her desires at the end of act three can have many plots. And film has many looks. So if there was one common definition of the Film Look it would be one that describes the shared characteristics imposed onto high quality imagery by the aesthetic of analog film.
The Film Look is not a look. It’s what is beneath it.
Unique Negative Films
0
x 4 Gammas each
Unique Print Films
0
for Cineon Workflow
Total of
0 LUTs
3D LUTs

ImpulZ™ 3-Step Cinematic Color Process

Emulate the Hollywood Color Pipeline




Capture

During the process of capturing footage, either on film or digital, the creative choices and use of equipment determine much of the look of the final production. While the number of movies shot on film has continuously decreased over the past decade the digital cinema cameras used on high end productions now encode image data very similarly to analog film scans. Both film and “digital negatives” are usually encoded in a LOG gamma like Cineon, a standard introduced by Eastman Kodak. This flat, logarithmic representation of image data is ideal to preserve the high dynamic range of film and modern digial sensors. It offers substantial wiggle room for color grading in post where almost every aspect of the image can be fine tuned to taste.

Digital Intermediate (DI)

For the sake of illustration we’re going to summarize the digital intermediate (DI) as the process of digitally altering images which have been either scanned (film) or offloaded (digital) onto a dedicated computer. It is the DI colorists job to make both technical corrections to the footage like fixing underexposed scenes and wrong color temperatures (color correction) and to give the footage a distinct look which suits and enhances the mood the director wants to communicate (color grading). Depending on the project the complexity of these tasks can vary. It is also the colorists job to make sure that the film will look consistent across his monitors, theatrical projection and a later Bluray release.

Release Print

Traditionally a final edit of a fully color corrected and graded film was printed to a release film stock for theatrical projection. Since this positive film had a distinct way of rendering color, it was crucial for the colorist to make adjustments under a film emulation LUT to simulate how the images would look when projected in the theater. This LUT would also be applied when outputting for DVD/Bluray releases to ensure color consistency between what people saw at the movies and at home. Today with digital projection being the new distribution standard, Film Emulation LUTs are still being used on the majority of film productions because it’s the look we’ve come to associate with cinema for decades.

1 - Negative

The first ImpulZ LUT accurately converts colors from your camera to the color representation of a negative film scan.

2 - DI

Your turn. Any color grading you do at this point is processed based on the negative and gets passed through the print!

3 - Print

The second ImpulZ LUT is added after your grade. It emulates the color response of a positive release print.


  • Cineon LOG Workflow
  • 16 Negative Stock Emulations
  • 6 Cineon Print Film Emulations
  • 4 Cinema Gammas per Stock
  • 3 Step Hollywood DI System
  • Got questions? We're here to help!
  • Instant downloads & guided setup.

Seemlessly integrates into all modern hosts.