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kye

The peer-to-peer colour grading thread

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Welcome to the free peer-to-peer colour grading course! 😎😎😎

The idea is that we all have things to learn from each other, so we all grade the same clip and then you explain what you did if someone is interested in your grade.

These are the rules:

  1. No criticism.  NO CRITICISM!!  Seriously.
    • If someone asks for constructive feedback then sure, give a few helpful pointers (and not an essay), but this thread is about learning from each others strengths, not pointing out each others weaknesses.
    • We are here because we are not professional colourists, and some of us only do this for fun and aren't pros, so give us a break.
    • If we criticise then no one will grade, and...
  2. If no-one grades, no-one learns anything.
    • You don't have to grade to participate, but please do if you are able to.
    • You can post multiple grades if you want.  Try different looks, see what works and what other people might like.  Grading is subjective.
  3. Anyone is free to post a clip/still to grade, BUT,
    • You must post two grades of other clips before you post your clip for grading.  Otherwise we'll have a thread full of clips and no grades.  See rule #2.
    • If you post a clip, please include what colour/gamma profile it was shot in.  This helps to transform the colour space.
    • Please post the file SOOC if possible (if it's not too large a file size) or at least a completely ungraded unprocessed clip from that file.  Be sure to maintain bit-depth and resolution.
    • Please post relatively nice clips, not ones that are impossible.  Try to remember that we're trying to learn colour grading, not show off our troubleshooting skills.
  4. Don't be an asshole.  Seriously, just play nice and get along :)

I am serious about Rule #1.  Posting your creative work is an act of courage - criticising others is an act of cowardice.  If you are an asshole I will call you out, and I will not be polite about it.

All that said, here's clip number one.  Have at it!

https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D8480669_08693060_6029821

Clip shot with GH5 in 150Mbps 4K HLG, shot with sharpening turned all the way down.  I have reason to believe that the HLG on the GH5 is neither rec.2100 nor rec.2020, but rec2100 is probably good enough to get a decent grade.  I shoot auto-WB so it probably needs adjusting, and there's a bit of noise too, but it's not too far gone - I shoot in way worse conditions than this.  The clip is from a tour of a traditional village temple in Nha Trang Vietnam.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Looks good!

I had a similar goal, since I also prefer the organic, filmic feel to the image.

Before:

Untitleda_1.1.2.thumb.png.40f992eec19c21ecf9614029eaae4ff9.png

After:

Untitleda_1.1.3.thumb.png.1ba0e943a78b96723359f47dfc5c6f52.png

(My God, these stills weigh almost 24MB each..)

 

And a quick look at my node tree:

Untitled-1.thumb.png.a2d6d2aa8de1afb1543c05e0c25d3e03.png

Almost all of the 'effects' are the result of ongoing discussions / experiences shared in other threads.

 

It may seem like a time-consuming grade, but the whole node structure is saved as a still, which I just apply on every clip and then tweak a little depending on the footage.

It doesn't take more than 5 minutes to grade each clip.

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24 minutes ago, heart0less said:

And a quick look at my node tree:

Untitled-1.thumb.png.a2d6d2aa8de1afb1543c05e0c25d3e03.png

Almost all of the 'effects' are the result of ongoing discussions / experiences shared in other threads.

If you export 1080 stills they're a lot smaller :)

That's definitely a node tree and a half!

My grade was much simpler:

  1. Node 1 is contrast and Node 2 is CST from rec2100 to rec709.  What I do is setup the conversion Node 2 and then reduce contrast in Node 1 using contrast/pivot until I get the whole DR into legal values.
  2. Node 3 adding Saturation
  3. Node 4 soft-edged window around guy increasing contrast
  4. Node 5 soft-edged window around whole frame decreasing Gain for a vignette

I just did an A/B where instead of lowering contrast before the conversion I just use Luminance and Saturation mapping (which rolloff the extremes) and I tried removing the contrast after the conversion and it doesn't work, you end up with something that looks contrasty and flat at the same time in comparison.  Interesting.

I just love the DR of the GH5 and being able to push the image far enough to keep highlights but still expose mid-tones correctly without the codec breaking.  I guess it gives me that high-DR cinema camera feel.  I'm still learning the camera but that's a technique that I found early on and really liked.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

That's definitely a node tree and a half!

My grade was much simpler:

That's why I wanted to participate in the first place! 

Just to see how other people tackle grading and how much simpler it can be. 

Like you said a couple of times, it's highly probable that masters of craft use only two/three tools to achieve the look and just smile when they see our sophisticated attempts to recreate that. 

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6 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

I went a different direction.

Grade_1.1.2.thumb.png.d9b85d084b53f2f80501678de24e19c0.png

Three nodes, one for CST and a bunch of curves, and then a second one with a power window on his face for a slight gamma boost. Last node is for noise reduction.

Punchy!  It really makes the subject and the writing pop.  

Nice :)

What kind of film / genre / mood would you use such a grade for?

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18 minutes ago, kye said:

What kind of film / genre / mood would you use such a grade for?

Idk lol, I initially decided to make it super rich, and then made a bunch of little adjustments with no clear reason other than "this looks cool." I think I increased brightness on the yellows to make those yellow bits on the red poles stand out, I think I increased saturation on the blues to make his shirt jump out. As usual for my grades, I decreased saturation in highlights to make blown out areas a little less "angry."

In hindsight maybe I'd use a similar grade for an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery. Mildly stylized with a loose connection to reality, but sadistically intriguing in how it teases out people's dark secrets.

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This is intriguing. I've never worked with GH5 footage so this was pretty interesting to try out. Somewhat challenging compared to BM footage.

Anyway, here's my take:

gradetest_1_219.2.thumb.jpg.39607c71e9811b983e2ab9435fd769e0.jpg

Not a fancy grade/process, I wanted to see what it looked like if I'd just put it through the usual routine I use on my corporate/commercial work. Most work was on balancing the noise/NR on various tones.

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Do you guys can see the same colors after uploading to this page?

I had to bump up the saturation almost +50% to get the same results after uploading the graded image here. So it's completly oversaturated in resolve, and looks ok here right now:

P2P_Deadcode.thumb.jpg.46a57d60941e0ecac4ed925b437b1dd7.jpg

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which browser are you using? Chrome seems to be most color-accurate.

As for export process, i did a Grab Still -> right-click Export, then PNG. no big look differences.

Or are you running some color profiles on your screen?

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1 hour ago, Deadcode said:

Do you guys can see the same colors after uploading to this page?

Sort of... but in my case it's mainly a mis-calibrated monitor. I'm using a fairly nice 4k TV as my monitor at the moment, whereas usually I use a nice (but very old) monitor, which is what my computer is calibrated for. So I'm 100% sure the colors on this TV aren't accurate, and I've got a calibrated LUT for previewing in Resolve so really it's anyone's guess what I'm seeing at this point.

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1 hour ago, Attila Bakos said:

Here's a quickie. A BT.2020-Rec.709 conversion, a curve to highlight the person, some vignette to darken everything else, Kodak 2383 D55 on 40%, slightly boosted saturation and desaturated shadows.

p2p.thumb.jpg.4cda5641e82857563ccbf91e74d9ba78.jpg

Would you use the vingette in a video for that purpose or just still images? 

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1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

 

Would you use the vingette in a video for that purpose or just still images? 

I do sometimes. With some wide shots you have to let your highlights blow out a little bit and a vignette can be a subtle way to help reign them back in.

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Great response everyone, interesting to see what people do with the same clip :)

@KnightsFan @heart0less the setup for a colour grading suite is very particular, from memory:

  • Colour calibrated display (of course!)
  • No daylight - completely artificial lighting
  • Neutral coloured walls
  • Nothing bright behind the operator (so no reflections in monitor)
  • nothing next to the monitor - you have to be able to see the walls around the monitor
  • A light behind the monitor creating a kind of halo around the monitor
  • Wait for the lights to stabilise before grading

The light behind the monitor combined with the neutral coloured wall gives you a constant grey reference when grading so your eyes don't adjust to your grade.

You spend thousands on this setup, then hours and hours grading properly, then the client goes and looks at the result on their grandmothers 15 year old TV and goes ballistic on the phone to you that you've screwed up the grade and you have to educate them that every display is different and there's nothing you can do about it, but somehow it was still worth the money to grade it professionally anyway.

:)

8 hours ago, Deadcode said:

Do you guys can see the same colors after uploading to this page?

I had to bump up the saturation almost +50% to get the same results after uploading the graded image here. So it's completly oversaturated in resolve, and looks ok here right now:

I just compared Resolve to the exported JPG in Preview (Mac) to Safari to Chrome and Resolve had darker black levels, Preview and Safari matched, and Chrome had the lightest blacks, so was furthest from Resolve.

Of course, all of this is system, monitor and colour profile dependent.  Basically, it's a nightmare, and welcome to the world of colour grading.

6 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

Sort of... but in my case it's mainly a mis-calibrated monitor. I'm using a fairly nice 4k TV as my monitor at the moment, whereas usually I use a nice (but very old) monitor, which is what my computer is calibrated for. So I'm 100% sure the colors on this TV aren't accurate, and I've got a calibrated LUT for previewing in Resolve so really it's anyone's guess what I'm seeing at this point.

Your computer should be smart enough to have separate colour profiles for each monitor, so I'm not sure your logic is correct?  

Regardless, I get the impression that basically the pros calibrate their reference monitor and then just expect that everything else will look different and just deal with it.

Interesting side-note - Resolve is designed to work with the BM output devices and they include their own colour management and calibration functionality for that setup.  One of the reasons they don't have the best UI for grading on your system monitor is that they say you can't properly guarantee you can calibrate it because the OS gets in the way etc, and they have absolute control over their devices in a way that they don't have over the system monitor.

There may be a bit of "buy more of our products" but it's an interesting thing.

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