As mentioned in the report of the previous workshop, Louis Lumière is a unique school for upcoming cinematographers, where students and teachers work on a deep level of (physical) understanding regarding their tools - investigating both the technical and creative aspects. The latest workshop was organized by Alain Sarlat (professor for sensitometry and colorimetry) and was part of the final year of the specialized class called “PHY” (for physics).The workshop is part of an extension course focusing on the technical configuration of cameras.
Most of the students attended the presentation we held in May, so we quickly engaged in discussing questions they had concerning the camera. In the third year the students are preparing their thesis and we examined how the AXIOM could be a useful tool for their research. Their subjects of study range from “filming at night” to “how digital imagery renders colors” and “how to improve ergonomics in digital cameras”. Louis Lumière will be acquiring an AXIOM Beta in the near future, which is very fortunate for its students as they came up with interesting ways to use the camera for fine tuned experiments and specific case studies.
After we checked out the progress reports of the apertus° project, we took a close look at both - the AXIOM Alpha and the AXIOM Beta hardware. Given that the school is about to become a partner of the apertus° association we worked on fullfilling a task from the task management system: lab.apertus.org in order to integrate the students in the community.
The school officials and teachers want to use the AXIOM camera as a pedagogical tool and thus they decided to acquire one of the early Betas. This way they will have access to the camera as soon as possible, which will allow them to study it and give feedback to the community but also to get the student familiar with it so they can eventually contribute to the software and hardware updates/upgrades themselves. For this workshop we went through some basic notions of shell commands and Command Line Interface (CLI) in general so students will be able to operate the schools own AXIOM Beta as soon as it arrives. Even if CLI is not a subject they are familiar with in particular “PHY” students are used to work with analysis software such as MatLab so it was quite easy for them to become acquainted with the subject matter. They took a few raw-snapshots with the AXIOM Alpha and then prepared the AXIOM Beta for sensor characterization.
The sensor characterization consisted of four series of raw snapshots: a series with an integrating sphere with luminance variation; a series with a “carbon” test pattern, which consist of 21 steps of exposure (half a stop each); a series with the integrating sphere again with color temperature and luminance variations; and a fourth series where we generated specific wavelengths of light to measure the sensors color response.
The workshop was an opportunity to start a larger conversation about the open-source philosophy and its links with pedagogical issues a school is facing, such as: should they only teach their students how to work on “industry standards” tools knowing that tomorrow the tool will be different or should they teach a more general (and perhaps theoretical) way of approaching the craft - using tools they can shape to their needs. The discussions with teachers and administrators brought to our attention that the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research (by which Louis-Lumière is funded) is really pushing the post-graduate schools and the universities to engage in open-source on a larger scale. Moreover, it seems that our presence and workshops at Louis-Lumière is supporting their shift to open-source solution: e.g. Alain Sarlat is now looking for a FLOSS alternative to MatLab that would suit their needs, as a result of our work there.