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Ideal settings for GH3? (color grading and a first example)

color grading settings gh3
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#1
Wit

Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

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So I shot my first footage on my first interchangable camera - the Pana 3.
I'm happy with the first impression but also unhappy with some effects and have to find out what caused that. All my material was handheld for future shots I will also use a tripod.
 
First GH3 tests shots | Winter Marocco
 
- On some of the shots  - asphalt or landscapes with lines I see a smur going on. Is this the aliasing and moire?
   Is this due to handhold or due to the settings? My settings All-I 24p, no color grading, contrast 0, sharpness 0,
   saturation 0, noise reduction 0 
- What are the ideal settings for the GH3 and why? 
- And how do I bring back the contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction in post? 
  Do I add sharpness and contrast by editing exposure, lowering the middle and higher the highlights? 
  And saturation by turning up the saturation in general, the higlights, midtones or shadows?
  What about the noise - do you wanna have that back? 
 
Thanxs so much for helping this newcomer!
 
 
https://vimeo.com/57284392
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#2
nahua

Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

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Wow that is some really great footage!  Must have been quite a trip!

 

I guess the question is how much post-processing work you can handle.  At the standard 0,0,0,0 settings, you will get moire and aliasing.  You also get banding in the skies.  However, if you have Adobe Premiere CS5.5 or CS6 you can do some simple corrections.  The most common is Fast Color Corrector and Sharpen. 

 

Fast Color Corrector can add contrast, saturation, and you can set levels.  The best thing is it can playback in realtime.  When you lower the contrast and saturation in camera, you get a "flat" desaturated image that you can work with in post.  But I suggest not lowering it too much otherwise there might not be enough information to bring back in post.  I've seen people go from -2 to -4.  I've been using -5 contrast and -3 saturation, and then I can play with gamma +.3 to +.5, and saturation 130% to 150%.  I suggest you test it out and see how much you can work with. 

 

Moire and aliasing are based on the in-camera sharpening.  I have dialed sharpening to -5 and it helps a lot.  In fact I rarely if ever see anymore moire or aliasing.  You can add sharpening in post with the Sharpen filter.  I suggest adding anywhere from 10-30.  But again, when you add sharpening even in post you risk adding aliasing, especially to sharp edges like lamp posts, roof lines, power lines, etc.  But at least in post you can render it and see how much you want to add.  If you do it in-camera, it's burned in and can't be removed.  Again depends on how much you want to do in post, but at least you get the flexibility to decide what you like.

 

Banding is unavoidable with an 8bit codec.  One thing you can do is to use the 1080P60P (or 50P in PAL) 50mbit codec.  This codec is better in a lot of ways than the 72mbit All-I codec.  1) digital noise characteristics is better 2) you can still do work in post 3) more recording time 4) great for slow-motion.  The only thing you can't do with the 50mbit codec is use EX Tele mode, that only works with 72mbit.  But for everything else the 50mbit codec is best (even in 30P or 24P).

 

As far as Noise Reduction goes, by dialing it down you get more noise in the image, but you also get more detail.  This also helps reduce banding.  I use Neat Video to reduce noise (very reasonable price at around $100).   It does a really good job of reducing noise and bringing in detail.  The penalty is that it requires HUGE processing time.  An hour of footage is easily 40 hours of rendering time (at least for my Mac Tower).  This is a significant consideration.  However it also enables you to shoot ISO 1600-5000, which can help in very low light interiors or night shots.

 

Another way to reduce banding is to use some kind of Film Grain plug-in.  I'm just starting to use this for sky or sunset shots.  You can look at my tests here: 

 

I think your footage is great, and I really like the results from your 12-35mm lens!  The OIS is awesome!  I know you have some jitters and movement, again this can be removed in post but at some cost (processor and $$).  Most common is Adobe After Effects and using the Warp Stabilizer.  But I have another suggestion.  I use a Joby Gorillapod.  This can be used as a mini-tripod as well as for stability.  And since you cycle and need things small and lightweight, I think it's perfect for you.  You can clamp it on your bike, chairs, poles, and you can also form it around your arm for stability.

 

http://www.bhphotovi...d_X_Bundle.html

 

Sorry this is a lot to cover, I hope it helps!


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#3
Wit

Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:31 AM

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thank you Nahua for your answers. I do have a tripod but didn't use it this time. Your answers regarding the sharpness and contrast in post are not for me as I use Final Cut Pro. So that's why I proposed the following solutions... 

 

 

- And how do I bring back the contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction in post? 

  Do I add sharpness and contrast by editing exposure, lowering the middle and higher the highlights? 

  And saturation by turning up the saturation in general, the higlights, midtones or shadows?

  What about the noise - do you wanna have that back? 

 

 

 

 

1.- The 1080P 60P (or 50P in PAL) 50mbit codec you recommend instead of my codec is a lesser HD. Why is this better?

 

2.- Just found out what the term banding means. Do you think my footage has banding?

 

3. - How much I should turn down the noise you suggest when I don't want to do any post work on it later (like you suggest)?
 

4.- By the way do I also get flat images (like RAW in photography) -optimized for post color correcting if I use the compressed AVCHD mode instead of the all I mode turning down the contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction? I will go on a long bike trip and won't be able to store all the footage in uncompressed files. 


Thanxs for the effort answering!

 

Blanche



#4
powderbanks

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:06 PM

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I think your footage is great, and I really like the results from your 12-35mm lens!  The OIS is awesome!  I know you have some jitters and movement, again this can be removed in post but at some cost (processor and $$).  Most common is Adobe After Effects and using the Warp Stabilizer.  But I have another suggestion.  I use a Joby Gorillapod.  This can be used as a mini-tripod as well as for stability.  And since you cycle and need things small and lightweight, I think it's perfect for you.  You can clamp it on your bike, chairs, poles, and you can also form it around your arm for stability.

 

http://www.bhphotovi...d_X_Bundle.html

 

Sorry this is a lot to cover, I hope it helps!

 

personally, i'm not a big fan of the warp stabilizer. it can end up causing some really weird warping and jelloing (which technically i suppose is working correctly, but i don't like it) in more shots than expected; if i need to do some stabilization i like using the motion tracking in AE. but that's kind of moot since OP is using final cut.

 

 

1.- The 1080P 60P (or 50P in PAL) 50mbit codec you recommend instead of my codec is a lesser HD. Why is this better?

 

2.- Just found out what the term banding means. Do you think my footage has banding?

 

3. - How much I should turn down the noise you suggest when I don't want to do any post work on it later (like you suggest)?
 

4.- By the way do I also get flat images (like RAW in photography) -optimized for post color correcting if I use the compressed AVCHD mode instead of the all I mode turning down the contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction? I will go on a long bike trip and won't be able to store all the footage in uncompressed files. 


Thanxs for the effort answering!

 

Blanche

 

1) it is and it isn't a 'lesser' HD. the difference is in the ipb frames, frame rate and bitrate. the all i hd mode means every frame at 24fps is its own individual 'picture,' whereas other modes there are predicted frames between the keyframes. this allows more compression of the video. for the most part, it's hardly noticeable, especially at 60fps. frame rate, 24fps vs 60fps, pretty obvious. if you take your 60fps footage and conform it to 24fps, you have some really nice ~40% slow motion. and with the lower bitrate as well, as nahua said, it will take up less space on your memory card (helpful for #4).

 

2) it looked like there was a little bit of banding in the opening fade in from inside the tent. though i think it was only exacerbated by the fade in.

 

3) i shoot with a gh2, but i have the noise reduction as low as possible, no matter what i'm shooting. if i get into the higher iso's, i just make sure i use a faster lens (or add lights to the scene if i can) to help lessen the amount of noise in the darker areas of the image. and if i go the whole way to 12800, the only way to make it really usable is to shoot it in b&w; and even then, bumping up the NR does very little.

 

4) the image flatness/color profile should remain near enough the same between the AVCHD and h.264 video


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#5
markm

Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

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Blanche whatever you're doing you're doing right! Footage looks great.



#6
Wit

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:44 PM

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Thanxs guys for having this crash course in the technics behind the Panasonic GH3. It really helps!

 

@Markm - Thanxs it surpizes me that a trial gots so many compliments. Even my editing wasn't up to scratch but hey here I go ;-) Hope to do some better work when I really know the camera.

 

@powderanks - the band in the tent shot was because I faded in I think. So I can go ahead with shooting AVCHD on the road and still have great footage to color correct in post when I turn all the settings low?!
 



#7
nahua

Posted 14 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

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1.- The 1080P 60P (or 50P in PAL) 50mbit codec you recommend instead of my codec is a lesser HD. Why is this better?

 

2.- Just found out what the term banding means. Do you think my footage has banding?

 

3. - How much I should turn down the noise you suggest when I don't want to do any post work on it later (like you suggest)?
 

4.- By the way do I also get flat images (like RAW in photography) -optimized for post color correcting if I use the compressed AVCHD mode instead of the all I mode turning down the contrast, sharpness, saturation and noise reduction? I will go on a long bike trip and won't be able to store all the footage in uncompressed files. 


Thanxs for the effort answering!

 

Blanche

 

Using FCP will take more time to render.  In that case I think you're doing fine just as you are.  Powderbanks has some great responses so I'll just add a little:

 

1) The compression is different between the 72mbit and 50mbit.  However for digital noise, there is a better "pattern" for the 50mbit codec that is more pleasing to the eye, not quite film grain but it is good.  It's also easier to remove the noise in post.  For some reason the 72mbit isn't and thus you will see more pattern blotchy macroblocking noise akin to some jpeg compression.  Very hard to remove accurately.

 

2) Most of the banding occurs in the sky shots.  The fade in of the window shot in the beginning is one.  It is exaggerated by severe compression from Vimeo too.  You can't eliminate it, but you can soften it.  Reducing contrast, saturation and noise reduction will help.

 

3) Turning down the noise reduction will of course introduce more noise.  It also brings in more detail.  But how much?  Well you have to test it out.  Since I want the most detail, I go all the way down to -5, but I can recover using Neat Video (there's a version for FCP too).  But like I said in my original post, there is a huge rendering penalty.  If you shoot mostly day shots, low ISOs of 200-400, then you won't notice anything.  ISO 800+ and yes you will see a lot.  Again, you have to test it out and see how much noise you can live with.

 

4) AVCHD and MOV are of little difference really.  Just that MOV is easier to edit right away with little to no transcoding needed.  AVCHD is actually very efficient and looks almost the same.  I know you need to conserve space, so there's nothing wrong with shooting in AVCHD.  And you can get the same results as MOV files.  So yes you can shoot very flat and get the same results.

 

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your next adventure!!!



#8
Wit

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

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@Nahua - thanxs a lot,  this really helps a amazingly lot! 

Luckily you can work straight on the AVCHD footage in FCP X - the encoding to MOV is a background task. As I will do some pre editing and sorting on the road during a longer trip I have to find out if I can do it and then remove the MOV's.  Keeping only the compressed material and then when the big editing begins back home, re connect the material. Hope this will work out. Have to experiment before at home though  ;)



#9
Wit

Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

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4) AVCHD and MOV are of little difference really.  Just that MOV is easier to edit right away with little to no transcoding needed.  AVCHD is actually very efficient and looks almost the same.  I know you need to conserve space, so there's nothing wrong with shooting in AVCHD.  And you can get the same results as MOV files.  So yes you can shoot very flat and get the same results.

 

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your next adventure!!!

 

@Nahua what setting would you recoment when I have to shoot  AVCHD concerning all the facts we spoke about in this tread? 



#10
GravitateMediaGroup

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:40 AM

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the whole shoot at 50mbs over 77 is silly to me.

what you gain in one area your are losing in others.

both are solvable with either A. slight noise reduction for the 77mbs or B. Slight amount of unsharp mask on 50mbs to gain a bit of detail.

 

as far as color I would shoot at -5 all the way across, and then adjust the colors how you want.  There is a reason a lot of professionals are wanting to see more "log" settings on cameras.  So basically you should always want to shoot as flat as possible, and make your colors look like straight crap, and then make your own magic happen.  You can create WAY better colors in post than what the camera has built in. 



#11
powderbanks

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:51 AM

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Thanxs guys for having this crash course in the technics behind the Panasonic GH3. It really helps!

 

@Markm - Thanxs it surpizes me that a trial gots so many compliments. Even my editing wasn't up to scratch but hey here I go ;-) Hope to do some better work when I really know the camera.

 

@powderanks - the band in the tent shot was because I faded in I think. So I can go ahead with shooting AVCHD on the road and still have great footage to color correct in post when I turn all the settings low?!
 

 

yup. i shoot -2 on everything on my gh2 in either 'smooth' or 'nostalgic' and end up with a very flat image (if anything i'll tweak the wb a bit warm or cool if i know that's what i want for the final product) and everything on the gh2 is avchd. and even in mjpeg, it's very flat. you do need to keep in mind that with the 8bit color space, there are some limitations to what you can do in post, but all in all, the flatter the original footage, the better.

 

how are you going to be storing all your footage on your trip? external hd? i'd just create a folder for each day, and in each folder, have a sub-folder for each disk you fill (if you have that much footage). just be careful when you're copying not to mess around with the hdd, there are some very fast spinning platters in there when writing, and slight bumps can cause write errors. generally though, not too big of an issue.



#12
nahua

Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:54 AM

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@Nahua what setting would you recoment when I have to shoot  AVCHD concerning all the facts we spoke about in this tread? 

 

There's nothing really wrong with the footage you shot.  And the standard settings are just fine.  If you don't want to mess too much with the profiles I would suggest just a minor tweak in the settings.  Maybe Contrast -1/-2, Sharpness -2/-3, Saturation 0, Noise Reduction -2/-3.  I think Portrait or Smooth might be too flat for your shooting.  Keep either with Standard or Vivid.  I actually use Vivid, I think it has the most range in the mid-tones, and then reducing saturation helps to flatten it out a bit.  But if you're too flat, then there might not be enough color information at all.  If I have time I'll try and do some settings with the different profiles, with a before/after post processing sample.



#13
GravitateMediaGroup

Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:58 AM

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@nahua

 

no.....just no



#14
GravitateMediaGroup

Posted 15 January 2013 - 06:08 AM

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before & after with -5 all the way down

this was done in 30 seconds

Attached Thumbnails

  • before.jpg
  • after.jpg


#15
nahua

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

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@ gravitatemediagroup

 

I'm not here to start a pissing war.  Blanche doesn't want to do a lot of post, so saturation doesn't have to be down all the way.  Did you even see her video?  Overall she doesn't need to do too much.  I think saturation isn't the question or how "flat" she should go.  She doesn't need to dial everything down to -5.  Just a subtle change is all that's needed.



#16
/p/

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

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@ gravitatemediagroup

 

I'm not here to start a pissing war.  Blanche doesn't want to do a lot of post, so saturation doesn't have to be down all the way.  Did you even see her video?  Overall she doesn't need to do too much.  I think saturation isn't the question or how "flat" she should go.  She doesn't need to dial everything down to -5.  Just a subtle change is all that's needed.

 

Nahua, I'v been using the settings you recommended in my thread.. What do you think of -3 sharpening? How big is the benefit of shooting at -5 (which was very soft) and sharpening in post, to shooting at -3 or -4 instead and keeping slight sharpening through the camera? If you could do a test on this It would be great. Also, do you sharpen each shot individually or do you just have a generic sharpen technique that you like to use on everything?



#17
Wit

Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:58 AM

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I'm not here to start a pissing war.  Blanche doesn't want to do a lot of post, so saturation doesn't have to be down all the way.  Did you even see her video?  Overall she doesn't need to do too much.  I think saturation isn't the question or how "flat" she should go.  She doesn't need to dial everything down to -5.  Just a subtle change is all that's needed.

 

 

@Nahua Please don't start a war over my question  :D



 

There's nothing really wrong with the footage you shot.  And the standard settings are just fine.  If you don't want to mess too much with the profiles I would suggest just a minor tweak in the settings.  Maybe Contrast -1/-2, Sharpness -2/-3, Saturation 0, Noise Reduction -2/-3.  I think Portrait or Smooth might be too flat for your shooting.  Keep either with Standard or Vivid.  I actually use Vivid, I think it has the most range in the mid-tones, and then reducing saturation helps to flatten it out a bit.  But if you're too flat, then there might not be enough color information at all.  If I have time I'll try and do some settings with the different profiles, with a before/after post processing sample.

 

@Nashua With settings I ment which mbit are best to use when I need to shoot AVCHD instead off all I because of storage issues being on the road for a long while

 

 

before & after with -5 all the way down

this was done in 30 seconds

 

@ gravitatemediagroup Brilliant !! - but done in your camera or in post and with what? 

 

@nahua

 

no.....just no

 

@gravitatemediagroup - why?



#18
GravitateMediaGroup

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

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Because nahua is wrong about the colors

And read close, I posted -5 for all, it looked like crap in camera, then did that in post just to show what's possible

#19
Wit

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

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Because nahua is wrong about the colors

And read close, I posted -5 for all, it looked like crap in camera, then did that in post just to show what's possible

 

I did a single shot everything in -5 and then colored & sharpned it afterwards and it also looks fab. I created a smoot look with it....guess what they called the film look  :rolleyes: 
I guess I will shoot a trial with the different settings and then decide myself. Thanxs 4 helping! I'll switch to the other machine to give screenshots here if I can upload it directly to this website



#20
GravitateMediaGroup

Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

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the goal is to adjust the colors how "YOU" want and not let the camera decide for you.  That's why shooting as flat as possible works best in post.  If you really want to make your gh3 footage pop using either 50 or 77mbs, throw a SLIGHT amount of "unsharp mask" on it in post.

 

If you want, you don't have to turn noise reduction all the way down, that way whatever noise reduction you use doesn't struggle too much.







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