[Tig] HDR and CinePaint plug-ins

Robin Rowe rower at movieeditor.com
Wed Mar 12 22:02:21 GMT 2008

> "Actually 256 levels is enough, and all printing is done at the 8 bit  
> level, so you might ask what the point is of having 12 bit data."

There are two very good reasons 8 isn't enough, one general, the other 
specific to CinePaint.

1.) Headroom is always needed when editing. For example, in the days 
before DVD when everything was distributed as a VHS tape, nobody wanted 
to *edit* in VHS because the picture quality would fall apart. In the 
digital realm today, nobody wants to edit in JPEG, MPEG2 or MP3 that's 
been fully compressed for distribution. If this output=input logic 
worked, then nobody would use RAW because no one will output to it.

2. CinePaint can go 16-bit all the way to the print. Gallery-quality 
photography is supported with the Gutenprint printer drivers.

Of course, for motion picture output, film printers have more than 8 
bits of output channel depth. That this is true is why it's treacherous 
to work in 8-bit for output to film. It may look fine on 8-bit monitors, 
but will show banding on film unless you're very careful or deliberately 
add noise to gradients.

> plugins for Cinepaint, which is missing several that The Gimp  
> offers.

Which ones do you want? CinePaint can fool most GIMP plug-ins into 
compiling as CinePaint plug-ins without significant changes. However, a 
programmer needs to add a switch/case to the CinePaint version of the 
plug-in to define what it will do when it encounters 16-bit or 32-bit data.

Robin Rowe
CinePaint Project Leader
Beverly Hills, California

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