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Cinefade


VARY DEPTH OF FIELD IN FILM

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Cinefade


VARY DEPTH OF FIELD IN FILM

CINEFADE VARIES DEPTH OF FIELD IN A single MOTION PICTURE shot AT CONSTANT EXPOSURE, ENABLING THE GRADUAL TRANSITION BETWEEN A SHARP AND A BLURRY BACKGROUND.

The Cinefade is a really useful and very subtle tool to use in moments of extreme drama. A way of immersing an audience inside the mind of a character during a pivotal moment.
— Christopher Ross BSC

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Immerse the viewer in your story.

There are a handful of moments in The Commuter where Liam Neeson’s character discovers clues while riding on a train. Director Jaume Collet-Serra and I wanted a severe depth-of-field shift to accentuate his experience - something to isolate him from his surrounding world. Cinefade was exactly what we were looking for.
— Paul Cameron ASC

The in-camera effect gives Cinematographers control over the sharpness of the background. The gradual transition between a sharp and a blurry background in a single shot enables a novel form of cinematic expression.

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Depth of field in motion picture is a powerful cinematic storytelling device. In the past, Cinematographers have always been limited to choosing either a shallow or deep depth of field that stays consistent throughout the shot.

A variable depth of field has vast creative applications. Instead of simply communicating the emotional state of a character, the effect of a changing depth of field may be used to express a shift in the subject’s emotional state.

The transition from a sharp background to a blurry background forces the viewer to shift his focus to the subject. The Cinefade could be used in narrative film and TV to immerse the viewer into a protagonist's world or in a commercial to make a client's product stand out from the rest.


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System


A custom lens control system and light filter

System


A custom lens control system and light filter

How to change depth of field at constant exposure.

 
 
Simplified drawing of two camera lens apertures or iris. The left aperture has a small diameter. The right aperture has a larger diameter. An arrow connects the left aperture to the right aperture signifying a change in aperture diameter and therefore depth of field.
 

The iris is operated to vary depth of field.

 
 
Simplified drawing of two light filters, each comprised of two polarizing filters. The left light filter is at maximum light transmission. The right light filter is at minimum light transmission. An arrow connects the left light filter to the right light filter signifying a change in light transmission to counteract the change in exposure caused by varying the aperture diameter.
 

A light filter keeps exposure constant.


 

Depth of field change blurs the background

Depth of field is manipulated by increasing or decreasing the diameter of the lens' iris. When the lens is focused on a foreground subject, the background will become blurry and go out of focus or vice versa become sharp.

However, by opening or closing the aperture more or less light hits the camera's digital sensor or film, affecting exposure.

 

a variable ND filter keeps the exposure constant

There are various ways of compensating for the change in exposure caused by a varying aperture size. Shutter speed and ISO sensitivity could be slaved to the iris but these methods cause distracting motion blur and sensor noise and can not be employed over a wide variety of different camera systems.

Cinefade uses a variable ND filter that sits inside a matte box in front of the camera lens and is slaved to the iris. This solution is compatible with any digital and film camera system and cinema lens. 

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Full Cinefade set up

The custom Filter Tray fits inside a matte box and is connected to the custom cmotion Lens Control System. The system will work with any digital and film camera and cinema lens with a manual aperture and geared ring.

Full Cinefade set up with cmotion Lens Control System connected to iris and variable ND light filter on Sony F55 camera

Benefits

 
Icon of two simplified cameras. A digital camera on top and an old film camera below.
 

Compatible with all cameras and cinema lenses.

Cinefade uses a light filter to compensate for the change in exposure rather than shutter speed or ISO compensation. The camera accessory is compatible with all film and digital cameras that use a cinema lens with manual aperture control

 
Icon of a simplified lens scale marked in T-stops with a limiter on top signifying a maximum Cinefade range of five T-stops.
 

Any Cinefade range Up to 5 T-stops.

Cinefade is not limited by the camera's shutter or ISO capabilities. It is possible to to achieve a Cinefade of up to 5 T-stops within the lens' limits without any loss in quality or undesirable artifacts, such as unnatural motion blur or sensor noise.

 
Icon of a simplified clock with two gear wheels on the dial, signifying the speed and ease of calibrating the Cinefade system.
 

Fast and easy set-up and calibration.

The custom cmotion software and custom Filter Tray work together to allow fast and easy calibration of lens and Filter Tray at the push of a button, as well as full control over the Cinefade via a slider on the hand unit.

 
Icon of a simplified Siemens chart signifying the optical quality of the Cinefade system.
 

No loss in optical picture quality

Cinefade uses Formatt-Hitech polarizing filters to attenuate the light with no loss in optical picture quality up to 5+ stops stops of extinction. There are no undesirable artifacts, such as unnatural motion blur or sensor noise to worry about.