“It’s like selecting a film stock”

What are ARRI Textures?

ARRI digital cameras have always had a ‘texture’ setting that is programmed into the way the camera processes images and that has always been baked into the subsequent ARRIRAW and ProRes outputs. That texture setting, comprising many carefully balanced parameters, determines the amount of grain in the image and the character of that grain. It also determines the amount of contrast at different levels of detail in the image, which defines the perceived sharpness (technically called the MTF curve). You can think of choosing an ARRI Texture like choosing a film stock.

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.

Behind the three main image characteristics of grain volume, grain character, and perceived sharpness, are around 30 image processing steps that occur early in the imaging chain inside the camera, even before the ARRIRAW image is created.

The camera comes with several ARRI Textures pre-installed, which can be chosen in-camera in a similar way to ARRI Look Files. Like with ARRI Look Files, additional ARRI Textures can be loaded into the camera in the future.

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

Default Texture “K445 Default”

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.