SweetFX – Cineon DPX

015The SweetFX Cineon DPX setting allows limited post-production image effects that (somewhat) resemble the results obtained with the Cineon System released by Kodak sometime around 1992-1993.

Just as SweetFX Technicolor attempts to mimic the three-strip Technicolor process, Cineon DPX attempts to mimic the Cineon digital processing system by providing more color controls over the resulting image. The results produce effects different from SweetFX Technicolor and produce color effects that cannot be easily achieved with other SweetFX effects.

Whether SweetFX Cineon DPX is better than other effects or not depends upon the result trying to be achieved, but it does provide an added level of color control not possible with SweetFX Technicolor, and this can be used as a foundation for further effects.

First of all, what is the Cineon System?

Sometime around 1992/1993, Kodak introduced an image post-processing computer system (hardware and software) designed to enhance colors, clean up dust, restore images, and provide many other effects and enhancements to film, movies, and mass images. It was quite powerful, and it was intended for industry professionals. Kodak even included support for 2K and 4K film resolutions, which demonstrated how advanced it was for its time. This package was called the Cineon System, but Kodak eventually dropped support for it in 1997.

Even though the Cineon System is no longer used these days and has been superseded by improved technologies, it is important in the history of digital image editing because the technologies it pioneered and introduced laid the foundation for digital processing techniques used today in the motion picture industry.

Here are links for more information about the Cineon System:

Does SweetFX Emulate the Cineon System Completely?

As far as personal research has shown, no.

The full Cineon System offered a wealth of professional controls, tweaks, adjustments, enhancements, and processing abilities. The SweetFX Cineon DPX effect only offers color adjustments with RGB channels, saturation, gamma, and blending strength.

What Does DPX Mean?

DPX is the acronym for Digital Picture Exchange (.dpx), which was the filename extension for one of the Cineon file formats. (Another file format was .cin.) The DPX file format offered features not possible with the regular PNG, BMP, or JPEG file formats.

Why is the SweetFX effect named Cineon DPX? Hmm. Not sure exactly. Cineon apparently refers to the Cineon System while the DPX refers to the Digital Pixture Exchange file format. The SweetFX documentation provided in the SweetFX .7z package does not elaborate, so this is merely guessing.

According to the SweetFX_readme.txt file,

Cineon DPX : Makes the image look like it was converted from film to Cineon DPX. Can be used to create a "sunny" look.

That’s all for the bundled description besides examining the DPX.h shader file itself.

Apparently, much of the provided SweetFX documentation is lacking in accurate, understandable descriptions of what the effects accomplish and how to tweak them for certain results. SweetFX relies upon trial and error and experimentation. Hence, the writing of these articles regarding SweetFX, its effects, and their associated screenshots with settings.

Why Use Cineon DPX?

The SweetFX Cineon DPX effect provides probably the best color controls in one effect. RGB adjustment, gamma, saturation, and blending are possible to create colors, such as brilliant blue skies, that are not possible in the same way with other effects, such as Technicolor.

When combined with other effects, Cineon DPX can produce impressive results. The best effect is HDR. Cineon DPX produces brilliant colors and contrast when used with HDR, so HDR is highly recommended when using Cineon DPX.

Cineon DPX Settings

Enable Cineon DPX in SweetFX_settings.txt.

#define USE_DPX 1
//[0 or 1] Cineon DPX : Should make the image look like it's been converted to DXP Cineon - basically it's another movie-like look similar to technicolor.

Here is a listing of Cineon DPX settings from SweetFX_settings.txt:

/*-----------------------------------------------------------.
 / Cineon DPX settings /
 '-----------------------------------------------------------*/
#define Red 8.0 //[1.0 to 15.0]
#define Green 8.0 //[1.0 to 15.0]
#define Blue 8.0 //[1.0 to 15.0]
#define ColorGamma 2.5 //[0.1 to 2.5] Adjusts the colorfulness of the effect in a manner similar to Vibrance. 1.0 is neutral.
#define DPXSaturation 3.0 //[0.0 to 8.0] Adjust saturation of the effect. 1.0 is neutral.
#define RedC 0.36 //[0.60 to 0.20]
#define GreenC 0.36 //[0.60 to 0.20]
#define BlueC 0.34 //[0.60 to 0.20]
#define Blend 0.2 //[0.00 to 1.00] How strong the effect should be.

Blend, ColorGamma, and DPXSaturation are probably the most useful adjustments.

Blend 0.00 to 1.00

Blend is how strong the effect should be applied.

Higher = stronger, more intense
 Lower = less intense
     0 = None

If Blend is 0, Cineon DPX has no effect. Result is the same as the original.

ColorGamma 0.1 to 2.5

Adjusts how vibrant the colors should be.

Higher = closer to the original image, less vibrance
 Lower = more vibrant colors

DPXSaturation 0.0 to 8.0

Saturates colors.

Higher = more saturation
 Lower = less saturation
   1.0 = neutral

Screenshots

To demonstrate a few possibilities using SweetFX Cineon DPX, here are screenshots from the game Fallout: New Vegas with the Cineon DPX effect applied.

Without actually using a Cineon System, it is tricky to fully understand what the intended Cineon output should look like, so these settings are nothing more than random adjustments to improve the game’s appearance.

001

DPX 001

DPX 001

#define Red 8.0
#define Green 8.0
#define Blue 8.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.0

002

DPX 002

DPX 002

#define Red 8.0
#define Green 8.0
#define Blue 8.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.10

003

DPX 003

DPX 003

#define Red 8.0
#define Green 8.0
#define Blue 8.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 1.00

004

DPX 004

DPX 004

#define Red 8.0
#define Green 8.0
#define Blue 8.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.15

005

DPX 005

DPX 005

#define Red 1.0
#define Green 1.0
#define Blue 8.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.15

006

DPX 006

DPX 006

#define Red 1.0
#define Green 1.0
#define Blue 1.0
#define ColorGamma 0.5
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.15

007

DPX 007

DPX 007

#define Red 1.0
#define Green 1.0
#define Blue 1.0
#define ColorGamma 0.1
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.15

008

DPX 008

DPX 008

#define Red 1.0
#define Green 1.0
#define Blue 1.0
#define ColorGamma 2.5
#define DPXSaturation 8.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.15

009

DPX 009

DPX 009

#define Red 1.0
#define Green 1.0
#define Blue 1.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 0.5
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.36
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.15

010

DPX 010

DPX 010

#define Red 1.0
#define Green 1.0
#define Blue 1.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 3.0
#define RedC 0.20
#define GreenC 0.60
#define BlueC 0.34
#define Blend 0.15

011

DPX 011

DPX 011

#define Red 1.0
#define Green 1.0
#define Blue 2.0
#define ColorGamma 1.5
#define DPXSaturation 3.0
#define RedC 0.20
#define GreenC 0.60
#define BlueC 0.5
#define Blend 0.15

012

DPX 012

DPX 012

#define Red 2.0

#define Green 2.0
#define Blue 2.0
#define ColorGamma 2.5
#define DPXSaturation 6.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 1.0
#define BlueC 0.36
#define Blend 0.25

013 Lighter Pinky Purple

DPX 013

DPX 013

#define Red 2.0
#define Green 2.0
#define Blue 2.0
#define ColorGamma 2.5
#define DPXSaturation 6.0
#define RedC 0.36
#define GreenC 0.80
#define BlueC 0.36
#define Blend 0.25

Slightly lighter so the window in the left shows more detail.

014

DPX 014

DPX 014

#define Red 8.0
#define Green 2.0
#define Blue 2.0
#define ColorGamma 2.5
#define DPXSaturation 3.0
#define RedC 0.5
#define GreenC 0.5
#define BlueC 0.5
#define Blend 0.25

015 Cineon DPX + HDR

This demonstrates Cineon DPX with HDR enabled. In all cases, HDR always added depth, improved contrast, and made the scene appear more “film-like.”

This is one of several HDR enhancements, and the Cineon DPX + HDR combination seemed to preserve the post-apocalyptic atmosphere of Fallout: New Vegas while enhancing colors.

DPX 015

DPX 015

 /*-----------------------------------------------------------.
 / HDR settings /
 '-----------------------------------------------------------*/
#define HDRPower 1.35
#define radius2 0.85
/*-----------------------------------------------------------.
 / Cineon DPX settings /
 '-----------------------------------------------------------*/
#define Red 8.0
#define Green 2.0
#define Blue 2.0
#define ColorGamma 2.5
#define DPXSaturation 3.0
#define RedC 0.5
#define GreenC 0.5
#define BlueC 0.5
#define Blend 0.5

SweetFX Effects

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