“It’s like selecting a film stock's character”

What are ARRI Textures?

ARRI digital cameras have a set of values that determines how they process images at their very core. These values, comprising various carefully balanced parameters, shape the amount and character of grain in the image and determine the amount of contrast at different levels of detail, which defines perceived sharpness (technically called the MTF curve).

In ALEXA 35 these parameters are accessible and can be set to different combinations that tune the image to your needs. We call them ARRI Textures.

Textures are exclusive to ALEXA 35

Up until now, ARRI cameras have been pre-programmed with a single, unchangeable texture setting that is optimized for the widest possible range of shooting scenarios. For the first time ever, the ALEXA 35 gives cinematographers the option to go beyond the default texture setting and choose from an evolving menu of ARRI Textures, each designed for specific image attributes. This unique feature allows cinematographers to fundamentally alter the way in which the camera records images, should they wish to. It is a major step forward in giving filmmakers creative control over the parameters of digital cinematography.

ARRI Textures are applied to the image before the EI sensitivity setting, which controls the camera's sensitivity, and before the ARRI REVEAL Color Science. Both determine the basic behavior of grain and contrast in your image.

Enabling ARRI Textures

There is always an ARRI Texture active in the camera. If you do not change the texture, the default texture for ALEXA 35 is “K445 Default”. With K445 the camera will capture a cinematic image no matter what the situation, in the same way as every other ARRI digital camera you have worked with before. By choosing an ARRI Texture other than K445, it is possible to change the grain and contrast behavior of the image in myriad ways. There are ARRI Textures that increase grain and contrast for a more organic look, others are optimized for shooting in low light, and so on.

See our Texture White Paper for in-depth information on each texture.

Textures are not reversible

Since ARRI Textures are settings for image processing steps that occur before the ARRIRAW image is created in the camera, ARRI Textures are always baked into ARRIRAW and ProRes.

Pre-installed & custom textures

ALEXA 35 ships with eight textures serving different image styles. As ARRI Textures are similar to look files - being small, easily installable files - we've created four additional, custom textures. Browse the textures using our Image Comparison Tool. The description text behind the info-icon will guide you in the use of these textures.

You can download the custom textures and a small installation guide down below.

ARRI Textures FAQ

  • The K445 Default texture matches existing ARRI digital cameras best. We have experimented with several other textures, but always found K445 Default to work best when matching ALEXA 35 with existing ARRI digital cameras.

  • The K445 Default texture works best for green/blue screen work. We also recommend turning Enhanced Sensitivity Mode off when working with green/blue screen

  • ARRI's Custom Textures are hand-tailored textures that cater the great variety of nuances in personal taste that define an image.

    As we gather more feedback from the field about what other types of textures are desired, we will create new Custom Textures and post them on the ARRI Textures and ALEXA 35 website. The “Nostalgic” pre-installed textures proved to be very popular and we had a lot of requests for variations on that theme, so the first batch of Custom Textures for download are exploring the Nostalgic theme.

  • ARRI Textures are a small binary files. Installing them works like a installing a look file. After downloading the custom set, put the textures in the corresponding subfolder of your USB thumbdrive: /ARRI/ALEXA35/TEXTURES

    Once plugged into the camera, the menu will list all texture files within the folder for installation.

  • No. An ARRI Texture is created by a combination of around 30 image processing settings that are complicated and influence each other. We have not figured out yet how to simplify them so a person that is not an ARRI color scientist can use them. Until we do this, you can use the textures included in the camera and those we will upload to our website.

  • ARRI Textures is a new feature for us and for cinematographers, DITs, and postproduction houses alike. So, we want to explore it slowly and carefully before we provide stronger options.

    The Textures do not stand on their own. Aside from the choice of location, set design, costumes, lighting, fog, and other such camera-external factors, the final image is created by the combination of the cinematographer's choice of lens, T-stop, filters, frame rate, shutter, exposure index and color look in addition to the ARRI Textures. All these factors influence each other. For instance, a high exposure index in combination with a very contrasty texture will make grain more visible, which is probably not a good idea. We think it will take us all a while to do some serious testing and to figure out what works best and what does not. To avoid bad images resulting from unintentionally chosen bad combinations of these factors, we have kept the textures subtle.

    How much an ARRI Texture is visible depends greatly on your viewing setup. Something that will be clearly visible on a 7" on-board monitor will be ugly and way too strong on a large, high-quality HDR display. Something that looks great on a large, high-quality HDR display will be barely visible on a 7" on- board monitor. We decided to be on the safe side and therefore provide subtle textures that will look good on large, high-quality HDR displays, even though they may be difficult to see on smaller monitors. We strongly recommend to test ARRI Textures in pre-production with a large, high-quality HDR display or DCI projector, so you know what you will be getting.