Colorist: We Don’t Need A Display That Mimics The Sun’s 1.6 Billion Nits

First, we had a prominent colorist proclaim, “That’s the conventional wisdom that I hear a lot, like, the conventional wisdom would be like, ‘oh, if you’re doing a 1000-nit master, your brightest stuff in your image should be a thousand nits, you should have plenty of like speculars and highlights and things in your grade that are regularly hitting at a thousand nits’, which turned out to be demonstrably false. None of the major studios, streaming networks or broadcasters have any such policy.

Now, we’ve got the founder of liftgammagain, the colorist forum, claiming that people are somehow confused about actual scene luminance and artistic representation. We’re not aware of a single colorist, DP, HDR evangelist, manufacturer or studio anywhere advocating for excessively bright images that intentionally cause discomfort in the viewer; and the average picture level of many if not most HDR programs is actually the same or even less than SDR. The reality is that most Netflix HDR shows are practically indistinguishable from SDR and 99% of shows have zero HDR intent whatsoever – they’re monitored in SDR, they’re lit in an SDR environment, the first time anyone sees HDR is in the colorist bay and in most instances the decision is made preemptively that the HDR grade should not depart radically from the low dynamic range version. The illustration merely demonstrates that we see in HDR and that it’s SDR that is the aberration. In short, no one’s conflating anything.

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