View Full Version : working with 16 bits pict in ps8

11-09-2004, 01:04 AM
i ve tried to do a 16 bits matte painting using a cineon plate for foreground and a lot of raw pictures for background.
The workflow was so slow that i had to this in 8 bits and with a previous version of ps (5.5 which is very fast compare to 7 or 8).

Do you guys already work in 16 bits?
please share your experience..


11-09-2004, 09:18 AM
Was it slow because your file sizes were really large? That's
what we encountered when we did "Day After Tomorrow" in
16 bit. We were using Boxx machines running Windows 2000
Professional. We also needed to disable the file browser because
of network issues.

16 bit files are a lot bigger than 8 bit, that's for sure. The next upgrade
for me will be a faster, more powerful machine with a LOT more RAM.

11-09-2004, 10:06 AM
I did a series of Ö
I donít know which one was more effective, but itís now much better.

Update Photoshop CS with the latest patches from adobe
Get new hard drive to separate Temp drive in a dedicated hard drive
Lower the memory use by Photoshop Cache from %95 to %75 !!!
Clean Windows Registery
Disable all the un-necessary services in windows
Stop all other program related to network (when Iím working with big files)
And Itís a Dual Xeon, SCSI, 2G, XPÖ

Also upgrade to After Effect 6.5 if you are using it.

11-10-2004, 12:44 AM
thx for the replies ill try the memory cache thing :wink:
So you are already working in 16 bits... :shock:
I m also working with a dual xeon and a 60g scratch disk but it was all pain&sufering.
the load and save process was incredibly slow even when i started with 3 or so layers. The brushes.....argh....it remind me the days i was working with a quadro macintosh.

The images were not that big, like 18 to 24 meg per picture (ps 5.5 ate those file very easely).
so i m still working with several exposure pictures (highlights/midrange/shadows) and its still lighter.

it this worth giving an another shot to 16 bit comp in cs?

11-10-2004, 01:27 AM
Is 16 bit matte painting worth the pain and suffering?
The heartbreak of huge files and slow performance?
Good question. When I first started working on the computer,
8 bit artifacts and limitations were things that really bothered
me. A lot. Especially when I worked on really dark movies
like "Sleepy Hollow".
But over time, you got good at compensating and working
around the problem.
I think you have to decide on a case by case basis if it's worth
the pain to get an improvement in PQ.
Because a 16 bit pipeline effects more than just the matte artist,
it's good to discuss pros and cons with everyone involved.

11-10-2004, 06:35 AM
dear rrische,

as you say it, this is a good question! a very good question , i mean.
but could you share your exp on "day after"?
i'm really interrested by the process you followed to manage 16 bit matte painting, did you use raw textures or hdri.

according to the fact that the most powerfull PC give us powerfull and faster results, it's obvious.
may be there is some tips and tricks that you know and that are interresting me for the near future...

thank you by advance.


11-10-2004, 02:15 PM
I agree with rrische, when your working on dark daytime shots, or alot of night scenes, it may be best to work in 16bit. However, about 95% of the shots I've done have been in 8bit and have no objectionable artifacts. Other than dark shots you have to watch for "banding" in skies. Because daytime skies have gradations that sometimes don't look good in 8bit (especially after contrast or color correction), you might want to leave your 16bit cineon skies as 16bit, but create the rest of your matte painting like buildings or terrains in 8bit. You can always put a temporary 8bit copy of your sky behind your buildings and terrains for your own visual purposes, but leave a pure 16bit copy of the sky for the compositor.

11-10-2004, 11:57 PM
hmmm....I remeber when i was doing some of the dark shots in hellboy, we went 8 bit. It was completely sufficient. I'd say don't go 16 unless you absolutely need it, afterall there are tons of awesome paintings all done in 8 bit. Everyone wants to go 16 bit now, its the new thing. I don't think its worth the headache and downtime personally.

Secondely, make sure that you do not load in a 16 bit tiff(dont know if its the same with raws). That will bring it to a grinding halt. By default, I don't think CS deals with 16 very well. Also ...as long as you have 2 gigs of ram, that should be sufficient. photoshop cannot deal with more than 2 gigs of ram, thats just its limitation.

11-11-2004, 03:35 AM
i have no problem either with 8 bits mattes. Thats why i ask if u guys already use 16 bits comps.

i build my matte using the "log" aspect of the cineon footage, meaning that i m reacreating a fake larger range of info into a 255 level of grey space.
By using log aspect your black level is clamped at 24 meaning that you can work on dark shadows under this value. and your white point is at 171
which give you 86 level of grey to work with specular lights.
if you know what your doing night scene and bright skies are not a problem anymore.
Ramp are still doing some ugly banding artifact but you can correct it by displacing it or/and blend with textures or just replace with a 16 bit ramp in compose.

Maybe i put it wrong, i m not searching for solution, im just looking for people to share their experiences with 16 bits comp in ps. Did you try it?
are you happy with it? what kind of footage are you using? did it worth the pain?


11-11-2004, 09:42 AM
Here is some of my experience to share.
Once I had to paint a transparent glass, where there was nothing in the footage
(10 bit 2K cineon). I started to paint almost invisible glare, reflections and very fine finger prints.
First I tried it with 8 bit which is the first choice and it was horrible. It looked like a bad mask.
Then I used raw photographs and 16 bit mode with Photoshop CS.
And It worked out just fine.

Another experience was when I converted a 10 bit cineon file to 8 bit and used it. It was a very sharp image of jungle with very fine details.

The director wanted it to be rich in color and sharp. He did an edge-to-edge comparison of the source image and mine.
Long story short, redid that in 16 bit and no problem anymore.

11-13-2004, 12:18 PM
I painted in 16bit for AVP we knew the shots were going to be dark so we figured it would help. No slow downs at all at double res, lots of layers on G5's.

But saying that, all the paintings ever done in 8 bit have always been fine.

12-07-2005, 03:28 AM

12-07-2005, 12:58 PM
Cineons are a type of file format, like a tif or jpeg. they are 10 bit and usually Logarithmic. Basically when neg comes in it gets scanned into a digital format so we can work on it. if you are working in log then they are usually cineon files.

12-07-2005, 08:55 PM
thank usir, but ihve not much exposureon the studio processing,now only ipracticing some mattepaintings.some basic questionsfor me plz explain iwill be greatful to u.

1.blending the pictures or painting the background ,which is most preferable?

2.i have two images of different qualitybut same resoltuion,how i manage these tasks?

3.is there any websites for explaining the processes of matte painting from
concept art to the film?

iam not in the position tobuy the dvds.so understand my interest

plz explain me

Dream Artisan
12-07-2005, 11:34 PM
1.blending the pictures or painting the background ,which is most preferable?

Your goal should be for the matte to be the most believable. The corrollary to that is how much time you have to complete it (unless you are doing this for fun). Painting from scratch will take longer than having photos as a basis.

2.i have two images of different qualitybut same resoltuion,how i manage these tasks?

Do you have to use both images? If you do, than you will be spending a lot of time painting over one to match to the other, using it as a base. You could post up those images which would help us know what you're trying to achieve. Is this for learning or an actual project?

3.is there any websites for explaining the processes of matte painting from
concept art to the film?

If you read through the previous posts on this site, you will probably get many of your questions answered and see examples of how people create mattes.

Have you looked at the resources on this site? http://www.mattepainting.org/index.php?categoryid=13

Also look at cgnetworks.com in the gallery for some visual ideas: http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=138

Good luck.