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mercer

FilmConvert Workflow?

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As you guys probably already know, FilmConvert is having their annual NAB 25% off sale. That with Noam Kroll discount is a whopping 35% off regular price. I have had the trial plug in version in FCPX for about 6 months but due to my small screen, the Color Correction tool isn't easy on the eyes. And my slow computer brings FCPX to a crawl. But when I heard about the deep discount, I decided to give the Stand Alone version a try and I must say I really do enjoy it. With a neutralizing LUT applied during transcoding, I was able to bring the unedited, prores footage right into FilmConvert. With some quick and easy tweaks, I was able to get some very nice results.

This one is the ungraded 4K image, from the Panny FZ300 that I converted to 1080p prores with EditReady...

FZ300 Fallen Tree - Ungraded.jpg

And here it is again with just a few tweaks with FilmConvert...

FZ300 Fallen Tree - FilmConvert.jpg

Anyway, I really do like the program and was wondering if other users have the Stand Alone version, or the Plug In? If you use the Stand Alone, what workflow do you use... edit in NLE... correct and grade in FilmConvert?  

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3 hours ago, mercer said:

Anyway, I really do like the program and was wondering if other users have the Stand Alone version, or the Plug In? If you use the Stand Alone, what workflow do you use... edit in NLE... correct and grade in FilmConvert?  

My computer slows down to a snails pace with the plug-in version, but I edit everything first and then either add it clip-by-clip (if its short enough) or more recently I use an adjustment layer - having already done exposure on each clip via FCPXs colour settings.

I started with the trial Stand Alone version & just thought it would be easier to have everything in one place. Not sure what to recommend for you - correct first & then edit? You could always do minor tweeks to exposure/colour etc.. in FCPX if needed. Or just re-do the clip/s if need be & replace. It might not be practical to do it the other way round (edit & then cc).

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Same here. I have the FCPX plugin version. First i do all the editing, then start grading. I also bought Color Finale, but I have to admit that FilmConvert really is sufficient for me with their included tools. Usually i tend to bring the shadows down to zero and the highlights to 100, most often i find myself leaving the mids untouched. And i nearly always use FJ SuperX 400, bring the grain a bit down - depending on the original footage. I always use Super35 grain.

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44 minutes ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

My computer slows down to a snails pace with the plug-in version, but I edit everything first and then either add it clip-by-clip (if its short enough) or more recently I use an adjustment layer - having already done exposure on each clip via FCPXs colour settings.

I started with the trial Stand Alone version & just thought it would be easier to have everything in one place. Not sure what to recommend for you - correct first & then edit? You could always do minor tweeks to exposure/colour etc.. in FCPX if needed. Or just re-do the clip/s if need be & replace. It might not be practical to do it the other way round (edit & then cc).

The trial version has the ability to import XML files/timelines, but I never messed with them before. The plug in version does sound like the easier way... But the stand alone  interface is so much nicer. I guess I'll test the plug in again before I make up my mind. Thanks.

43 minutes ago, jase said:

Same here. I have the FCPX plugin version. First i do all the editing, then start grading. I also bought Color Finale, but I have to admit that FilmConvert really is sufficient for me with their included tools. Usually i tend to bring the shadows down to zero and the highlights to 100, most often i find myself leaving the mids untouched. And i nearly always use FJ SuperX 400, bring the grain a bit down - depending on the original footage. I always use Super35 grain.

To be honest your GM1 video is what made me give it another look... and the sale. I'm so used to the waveforms and the curves in Color Finale, but FilmConvert does seem to have everything I would need. Do you change the histogram range at all?

16 minutes ago, DevonChris said:

Unfortunately the Windows stand alone version is not compatible with 4K screens :(

I barely know how to use a 4K camera... Let alone a screen. 

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16 minutes ago, mercer said:

To be honest your GM1 video is what made me give it another look... and the sale. I'm so used to the waveforms and the curves in Color Finale, but FilmConvert does seem to have everything I would need. Do you change the histogram range at all?

To be honest, til today i am not really able to properly read histograms... I am always working with waveforms, especially the luma curve. Then i ad just shadows, mids and highlights to my likings. I also tend to play with the the exposure slider as well the one for temperature. this in combination with the filmcolor slider is really enough for me (and like i said, i dont have more skills than that).

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Plugin in Premiere. Too slow for real-time playback so I switch it off if I want to edit, or just export a LUT and bring it back into Lumetri, then it runs realtime. Then use seperate grain.

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I have both the plugin and the standalone version.

The color wheels part of the plugin GUI I find much to small and very hard to adjust. Then if you want to use the wheels to adjustments for many cuts, I would use the standalone version. In my normal workflow first of all I edit my footage to get the story right, then adjust exposure/levels and colors/saturation to my liking. Then I make secondaries, - masks for separate areas and so if needed. Sometimes I make compound clips for parts of the film. As the last part I add LUTs/looks - or make my own grading - and film grain if needed. This last step I normally do on an adjustment layer and this is where Filmconvert can be used the best as a plugin imo, - and it does not involve a lot messing with the color wheels.

If you don't have too much footage- or have reviewed and sorted the footage -  and you know for the most part before editing how you want the finished filmgrade to look, you might import the footage in FC standalone, make the grade and import that into FCP.  Some people import the final edited film into FC and do the grade. I guess there is no right or wrong here, it all depends on your on preferred workflow, - and on the power of your Mac it seems :-)

For some reason I like to stay in the same application for all steps of my editing and grading.

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I just bought Color Finale, because with the vectors, during the trial days, I was able to nail some nice grading. 

I also have the Film Convert trial and I like it for the grain possibility: do you think it worth to have both Color Finale and FilmConvert?

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Is it just me, of does FilmConvert really kill the quality of the footage? I use the plug in for Premiere, and when I do grades in DaVinci for grade it is crisp clean, but in premiere with FilmConvert it's mushy AF. I have grain on 0 and it just introduces so much artifacts it looks like it's shot on a DV Camcorder. I'm talking about BMPCC RAW footage. 

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H

1 hour ago, JazzBox said:

I just bought Color Finale, because with the vectors, during the trial days, I was able to nail some nice grading. 

I also have the Film Convert trial and I like it for the grain possibility: do you think it worth to have both Color Finale and FilmConvert?

Hi, - it's been a long time :-).

The short answer to your question: if you want both the easy way and the option to dig deeper get both FilmConvert and ColorFinale.

The long(er) answer: Well, well, - it all depends. As a matter of fact I also have the fairly new CoreMelt LUTx and have demoed the KojiColor. They all have their weak and strong points. If you want good looking results, quickly and  without much hassle - with LUTs - I think FilmConvert is a great solution. It has few LUTs, they are all good though, but FilmConvert can't load thirdparty LUTs. You can dig deeper in ColorFinale - due to the added curves, vectors and the layers, but ColorFinale has no LUTs preview function, - you have to add the LUT to see the result. The new $49 upgrade should include the option though. ColorFinale can load third party or your own custom LUTs

I would say ColorFinale is a much better grading tool if you want to develop your own grades than FimConvert, -  it is really good for both primary and secondary corrections. If it had masking tools it would be close to perfect. I find the color wheels are difficult to adjust though, but that might just be me.

If you want to mess around with lots of LUTs CoreMelt LUTx has great preview options and nice browser functions for organizing all the LUTs in the world. Has also pretty good color adjustment tools. KojiColor like FilmConvert has few but well executed LUTs and some nice color adjustment features. Does not load third party LUTs.

EDIT: If I should choose only one I would take ColorFinale. After spending a great deal of time lately with all the above plugins I think in the feature I´ll try and make my own style of "looks" and for that purpose ColorFinale is a better tool.

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3 hours ago, Turboguard said:

Is it just me, of does FilmConvert really kill the quality of the footage? I use the plug in for Premiere, and when I do grades in DaVinci for grade it is crisp clean, but in premiere with FilmConvert it's mushy AF. I have grain on 0 and it just introduces so much artifacts it looks like it's shot on a DV Camcorder. I'm talking about BMPCC RAW footage. 

That sounds wierd. Are you importing the raw straight to premiere or via resolve?

Do you get the same with Prores?

My guess Premieres rec709 conversion when importing is the problem. 

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8 hours ago, Turboguard said:

Is it just me, of does FilmConvert really kill the quality of the footage? I use the plug in for Premiere, and when I do grades in DaVinci for grade it is crisp clean, but in premiere with FilmConvert it's mushy AF. I have grain on 0 and it just introduces so much artifacts it looks like it's shot on a DV Camcorder. I'm talking about BMPCC RAW footage. 

Something seriously wrong then, because it shouldn't/doesn't introduce artifacts with BMPCC footage (RAW or ProRes).

I've been using it with some old Canon 60D footage recently & it doesn't introduce any artifacts with that either.

 

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13 hours ago, bluefonia said:

H

Hi, - it's been a long time :-).

The short answer to your question: if you want both the easy way and the option to dig deeper get both FilmConvert and ColorFinale.

The long(er) answer: Well, well, - it all depends. As a matter of fact I also have the fairly new CoreMelt LUTx and have demoed the KojiColor. They all have their weak and strong points. If you want good looking results, quickly and  without much hassle - with LUTs - I think FilmConvert is a great solution. It has few LUTs, they are all good though, but FilmConvert can't load thirdparty LUTs. You can dig deeper in ColorFinale - due to the added curves, vectors and the layers, but ColorFinale has no LUTs preview function, - you have to add the LUT to see the result. The new $49 upgrade should include the option though. ColorFinale can load third party or your own custom LUTs

I would say ColorFinale is a much better grading tool if you want to develop your own grades than FimConvert, -  it is really good for both primary and secondary corrections. If it had masking tools it would be close to perfect. I find the color wheels are difficult to adjust though, but that might just be me.

If you want to mess around with lots of LUTs CoreMelt LUTx has great preview options and nice browser functions for organizing all the LUTs in the world. Has also pretty good color adjustment tools. KojiColor like FilmConvert has few but well executed LUTs and some nice color adjustment features. Does not load third party LUTs.

EDIT: If I should choose only one I would take ColorFinale. After spending a great deal of time lately with all the above plugins I think in the feature I´ll try and make my own style of "looks" and for that purpose ColorFinale is a better tool.

Thank you very much for your precious tips my friend!
What I like more about FilmConvert is the grain simulation, but I have to try with some other third part solution, because Color Finale - especially thanks to vectors - is something that I really enjoy.

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So, I decided on the stand alone version. Even though the plug in seemed to make more sense, I just couldn't stand the sluggish workflow. Thanks for everyone's input. I learned a lot. 

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20 hours ago, mercer said:

So, I decided on the stand alone version. Even though the plug in seemed to make more sense, I just couldn't stand the sluggish workflow. Thanks for everyone's input. I learned a lot. 

So the standalone version is faster? Thinking about getting FC myself. 

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26 minutes ago, The Chris said:

So the standalone version is faster? Thinking about getting FC myself. 

The plug in version makes my FCPX run slow and stutter. If you have a powerful computer it probably won't be an issue, probably?

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7 minutes ago, mercer said:

The plug in version makes my FCPX run slow and stutter. If you have a powerful computer it probably won't be an issue, probably?

Did you try turning off background rendering? I have had no problems with lag and stutter since I did that with the plug in. Preferences -> Playback.

I would like to know if it helps for others.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 02.53.53.png

S1507_PlaybackPrefs.png

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