The American Society of Cinematographers

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Key Terms
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ASC CDL: Key Terms

ALE (Avid Log Exchange): Avid’s standard file format for logging information. The CDL can be added in the form of two new fields, SAT and SOP.

Baked-in Correction: A color correction that is applied to the signal and therefore visible.

CMX: The longtime standard list of time code in- and outpoints used to conform the final edit to a master. The CDL can be added in the form of comments.

EDL (edit decision list): List of time code in- and outpoints that comprise a video edit.

Film-Emulation LUT (or Viewing Transform): A transform function or LUT often used to previsualize on a video monitor what the final film print will look like.

FLEX (Film Log EDL Exchange): Da Vinci’s standard list of telecine shot starts and stops, and associated film key numbers. The CDL can be added as two extra fields, SAT and SOP.

LUT or 3-D LUT: Look-up table. A form of color dictionary that replaces every input color with another output color in order to change a look, or emulate the look of film on a video monitor. A 3-D LUT can yield more accurate emulations.

Offset: Akin to brightness. Offset changes the brightness of the R, G or B input. The normal value of 0 yields a line that goes through the graph’s origin.

Power: The only nonlinear CDL function. It changes in the middle of the transfer curve, bending the R, G or B mid-tones while leaving the black and white extremes the same. The normal value is 1.

Saturation or SAT: The amount of color in the signal. The normal value is 1. Zero yields a black-and-white image.

Slope: Akin to contrast. Slope changes the R, G or B highlights without changing the black reference. The normal level for slope is 1, which yields a transfer line at 45 degrees.

SMPTE Rec 709: The modern standard for a video signal or its associated color space, typically used for projects destined to be viewed on television.

SOP (slope, offset, power):
CDL parameters with RGB values.

XML: A simple, flexible format for making lists of data.

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