Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kye

Orange and Teal look deep dive

Recommended Posts

The Orange and Teal look is famous, and I've seen it in many different contexts and this thread is about trying to make sense of it.  Specifically, why we might do it, and then what the best ways are.

From what I can tell:

  • It simulates golden hour (where direct sunlight is warm and the shadows are cool as they're lit by the blue sky)
  • It creates more contrast between skin-tones and darker background elements, making the people in the shot stand out more
  • It is also part of the look of (some) film stocks, so is mixed up in the retro aesthetic, and of course the "cinematic footage" trope

There might be other reasons to do it too.  If you can think of some please let me know.

I've played with the look in the past and I just find that when I apply it to my footage it looks awful.  Film, on the other hand, often looks wonderful with bright saturated colours, which I like a great deal.  This probably means I'm not doing it right, and that's probably because I don't understand it sufficiently enough, thus this thread.

As usual, more to come...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I've been using it for years because I do like the complimentary colors and I was in the habit of trying to make video look more like film.

The world of media is forgetting film now, and the kids doing stuff aren't aware of that legacy, so the color tricks to mimic it are less popular. 

But I'll stick with it a little bit as I'm not into accurate color. I like my footage a bit outside of "reality."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's start with film emulation.

Resolve comes with a bunch of Film Emulation LUTs, let's play with the Kodak 2383 D60 LUT.

885764069_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_09_24pm.png.41a8bcbc7d9bb74dea2edf954b6c3037.png

Firstly, here's a greyscale to see what it does to luminance:

730758667_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_06_47pm.thumb.png.b46cadedb76d540987fb4fad466ccf7d.png

39865895_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_06_59pm.thumb.png.b00eb9f8e788122832cf08e4a9dad1ca.png

The first is unprocessed, and so has nothing on the vectorscope as there is no colour.  

The second clearly shows that there is a push towards orange in the highlights, and a push towards teal in the shadows.  If we change to a smoother gradient and zoom into the vectorscope further (by saturating the image hugely), we get this:

324852564_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_23_09pm.png.b377b87b825d17e9bb61cf2430655994.png

From this we can see that it saturates the upper and lower mids more than the highlights and shadows, and that it isn't a straight application of two hues, but the hue varies.

If we crop out the highlights and shadows in order to confirm which bits of the image are which bits in the vectorscope then this is what we get:

1362801003_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_21_50pm.png.983f0843828dce9232a4dc100fea2f8d.png

Which confirms that the 'hook' parts of the vectorscope were the highlights and shadows.

So there are changes in saturation and also hue applied to greyscale tones, but this is the OT look in this film stock.  I suggested to the guys on LiftGammaGain that the film emulations in Resolve must be pretty good and was met with skepticism, however, if we assume that any lack of rigour on the part of the person creating these LUTs would tend towards making them overly simplistic rather than overly complex (a relatively safe assumption, but one all the same) then that suggests that this type of non-linear application of tint is likely in film stocks.

So, what does this LUT do to colour?  This is a very handy LUT stress-test image courtesy of TrueColor.us:

1231131675_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_33_07pm.png.13e22309e537b8a7157a8422a5c21071.png

274989956_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_33_31pm.png.146a1efb8a5909a3ff65865d6664d074.png

Before image shows that the test image has hues that are in-line with the primary reference markers on the vectorscope, and that all the lines are straight, indicating there is also equal saturation of the image.

After image shows a number of interesting things:

  • The most saturated areas of the image are reduced saturation but the mid-levels of saturation are increased, giving a non-linear saturation response that would tend to increase saturation in the image without clipping things, very nice but not relevant to the OT look
  • In terms of relative saturation, the Yellows are the most saturated, Cyan is next most saturated, Red and Magenta are in the middle of the range, and Blue and Green are the least saturated
  • In terms of Hue, Cyan got pushed towards blue a bit, Yellow got pushed a bit orange, Magenta got pushed a little red, and RGB seemed unaffected

@Juan Melara made an excellent video re-creating this LUT (he did the D65 version, which has a warmer white-point, but the overall look should be the same):

The video is interesting as he uses a range of techniques that apply OT elements to the image:

  • He uses a set of curves which apply a cooler tint to the shadows and a warmer tint to the highlights, and by having different curves for the Red and Green channel, gets some Hue variation across that range too
    1220365410_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_55_03pm.png.d10cf14ce5cb760d23d9589ae5f5ed2d.png
     
  • Then there's a Hue vs Sat curve that saturates Yellow and Cyan above the other hues:
    1432286081_ScreenShot2019-12-29at2_02_48pm.png.e64c28222b0fea74b706837ba3314d62.png
     
  • Then a Hue vs Hue curve that pushes Yellow slightly towards Orange, Green towards Cyan, and Blue towards Cyan (up in the graph pushes colours left on the rainbow in the background of the chart):
    1811756445_ScreenShot2019-12-29at1_59_08pm.png.4e51fb93c6be888717d3748f15f8f8e6.png
     
  • Then he has two YUV nodes each with a separate Key that are too complicated to explain easily here, but affect both the hue and saturation of the colours in the image.

Juan also has the Resolve Powergrade available for download for free on his website, so check it out: https://juanmelara.com.au it's in his store, but it's free.

So film tends to have elements of OT.

Here are some additional film emulation LUTs in Resolve for comparison - note that all of them have Yellow and Cyan as the most saturated primaries..

1656199463_ScreenShot2019-12-29at2_14_42pm.thumb.png.aa368967a965415c19c6e7d840f66425.png

544470720_ScreenShot2019-12-29at2_16_21pm.thumb.png.8e9920b507a6ae34bc6d3aed618ef375.png

697665022_ScreenShot2019-12-29at2_17_24pm.thumb.png.a14283db02c1d2fd065722dda9563d22.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the basics.

Dial it in however you want, you're essentially pulling colors around in the mids. Making warmer in the upper mids, cooler in the low mids.  The dark and bright stay clean, even desaturated to taste. 

I've never done a deep dive into being a colorist, just looked at stuff and pulled things around to my liking. Very dillitante'ish, as usual.

Still have the first video I really gave it a go at the technique, shot over 10 years ago on an actual video camcorder using dem dere videos tape thingies we used to have.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive come to hate the WILDY overused teal/orange post treatment, bc WOW IS IT BORING

i like films that use color wisely and have variety, not TWO FRICKIN COLORS FOR TWO HOURS

u guys kno what im talking abt — there was a TON of content like that for awhile. maybe less now

on the plus side, putting a strong complimentary grade on your footage will certainly give it a look, and its a GREAT way to pull together a bunch of crappy poo shots.

a strong teal/orange grade can HIDE a lot too, a highly reductive palette is great for that, and can be super useful in post when you have non art directed footage to work with

WHY you would design a feature to look like that in its entirety i cant tell ya

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason it gets used so much is simple. If you look at a color wheel orange and teal are complimentary, opposites. And opposite or complimentary colors create high contrast of color, which makes them pop, and adds intensity. Any set or pair of complimentary colors has this affect. 
 

Now the reason for orange and teal is because all human skin falls into the orange spectrum, making teal the complimentary. Also orange and blue is used a lot, think Avatar. Regardless of the fact that it is used  frequently, these are winning combinations. They pop and add contrast, and therefore intensity. You’ll see this in its extreme in movie posters. It just works. (Though I’m not saying we should always do this.)

By the way, the opposite of this is using affinity of color which is using colors from the same spectrum. Like orange on orange. You’ll see this a ton in fashion photography. Ignoring the skin tone, you’ll see red on red, green on green, white on white, and so on. It’s a very intentional use of color.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kaylee said:

ive come to hate the WILDY overused teal/orange post treatment, bc WOW IS IT BORING

i like films that use color wisely and have variety, not TWO FRICKIN COLORS FOR TWO HOURS

u guys kno what im talking abt — there was a TON of content like that for awhile. maybe less now

on the plus side, putting a strong complimentary grade on your footage will certainly give it a look, and its a GREAT way to pull together a bunch of crappy poo shots.

a strong teal/orange grade can HIDE a lot too, a highly reductive palette is great for that, and can be super useful in post when you have non art directed footage to work with

WHY you would design a feature to look like that in its entirety i cant tell ya

This is what I used to think, but if we think about film stocks and how they have these tints (IIRC there were other film stocks that had magenta/green tint instead of yellow/cyan) then here's the issue - every film ever shot on these film stocks would have this look built in.  And the problem with that is that every film shot on film didn't look like it had only two colours, or that it was boring, or that it hid a lot.

So, if film stocks had these things and didn't look like the POS that most orange/teal grades have, then I figure I must be missing something.  Thus this thread.

Maybe we're not missing things and in the film days they just designed sets and lighting to compensate, but maybe not.  I'm no-where near done with this :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main thing with creating a look is to do it with set design, props, and lights, rather than in post. Taking a random, colorful scene and pushing the colors to be teal and orange will look fake, whereas a thoughtful image composed of a nice balance of teal and orange props with lighting to match will look natural but stylized. Just to pull some random examples from Google images:

This looks fake: https://images.app.goo.gl/ss12w9oiff1gkoh49

These all look fake: https://images.app.goo.gl/UhkK4WPkANy8ujVv9

This looks natural using natural light: https://images.app.goo.gl/9b5pGmxKUfvB7nMaA

This also looks natural using Hollywood lights: https://images.app.goo.gl/VjMp9oaK4JvLUXDN8

The other aspect worth mentioning is that for any complementary color scheme, you usually do not want equal shares of the two colors. Usually with teal and orange that means more teal than orange because then the small amount of orange (which is often human skin) pops out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

The reason it gets used so much is simple. If you look at a color wheel orange and teal are complimentary, opposites. And opposite or complimentary colors create high contrast of color, which makes them pop, and adds intensity. Any set or pair of complimentary colors has this affect. 
 

Now the reason for orange and teal is because all human skin falls into the orange spectrum, making teal the complimentary. Also orange and blue is used a lot, think Avatar. Regardless of the fact that it is used  frequently, these are winning combinations. They pop and add contrast, and therefore intensity. You’ll see this in its extreme in movie posters. It just works. (Though I’m not saying we should always do this.)

By the way, the opposite of this is using affinity of color which is using colors from the same spectrum. Like orange on orange. You’ll see this a ton in fashion photography. Ignoring the skin tone, you’ll see red on red, green on green, white on white, and so on. It’s a very intentional use of color.

To the letter.

Every inch Joker's cinematographer Lawrence Sher said from that video posted by @Emanuel a couple of posts above...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, kye said:

And the problem with that is that every film shot on film didn't look like it had only two colours, or that it was boring, or that it hid a lot

100%. im strictly speaking of digital, relatively recent post work. im a huge fan of film...

film kinda “just worked” in terms of color (mostly lol). horses for courses, but in general that ‘analog’ palette it just a lot more pleasing. the over saturated colors, the fake red and greens, theres a reason that filmconvert is so popular lol

a ~subtle~ cool/warm grade is PROFOUNDLY effective, and theres degrees of that. im talking abt this over the top super reductive color palette thing thats been so in since everybody got a mbp lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/28/2019 at 10:13 PM, fuzzynormal said:

The world of media is forgetting film now, and the kids doing stuff aren't aware of that legacy, so the color tricks to mimic it are less popular. 

I would have to disagree. “The kids” are the ones shooting tons of actual film right now. Largely driven by millennials it seems.

There is so much 16mm and 35mm being shot right now, I would imagine 10 times more than what was being shot 5 years ago. Nothing beats the real deal if you can afford it. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, BenEricson said:

“The kids” are the ones shooting tons of actual film right now.

In the industry, I'd agree that legacy attitudes and craft work will remain.  People that are considerate of what they're doing tend to make more artistic decisions. 

However, The YouTubers and social media influencers will be leading a certain aesthetic moving forward, I think.  Hard to run from that avalanche.  We'll get used to (have gotten used to?) 60p and vertical video, for example. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Orange and teal/blue works when you shoot with mixed lighting sources.

The reason is simple: Shoot with a tungsten source and a daylight source and WB somewhere in the middle, and you'll get orange and blue tints on the lights. Then you can apply this to use colour contrast to separate your subjects/background/compositions in realistic situations. Warm interior light mixed with "moonlight" coming in through a window. Dusk exteriors with flames or lanterns drawing focus. A candle or warm overhead lamp to make one table stand out in a restaurant/bar scene. By emulating real mixed-lighting situations, we can use the colour contrast very effectively. Pretty much every scene that uses mixed-temperature lighting is using the orange-teal technique to create contrast and draw focus or interest.

If you're just throwing a couple of LUTS and maxing the saturation on a scene that lacks colour contrast, it's not going to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to a nice sunset, I took a few RAW photos that are interesting.  Here's the first one - sunlight and shade on the fence (which is made of small sticks).

478101240_ScreenShot2020-01-03at7_36_12pm.thumb.png.7e5beae331dcf365b09cb5ffc0c768dd.png

The image looks fairly neutral, if perhaps a little warm.  In realty the sticks are pretty neutral, doing the silvering that weathered wood tends towards.

If we apply some OTT saturation for diagnostic purposes, we get this:

1186358317_ScreenShot2020-01-03at7_36_52pm.thumb.png.dbc68934b3f5951c30c30fc1654f54fe.png

That looks fine, not counting the over-saturation, but is well within the colour palette of cinema.

If I shift the WB a little towards "neutral" and put some colour in the shadows then this is what we get.  You'll note from the vectorscope that this has had a slightly non-linear effect (I did this adjustment with the Offset control in the first node, so not sure why it would do that) but I don't think it takes us too far from reality:

1887016405_ScreenShot2020-01-03at7_37_42pm.thumb.png.7c2671e5a9b637417a73e2f25cc4c485.png

So, this is the natural colours created when the suns light is scattered by the atmosphere, which is why sunsets are orange/red/purple and the sky is blue.

The sun is a pretty good approximation of a source of full-spectrum black-body radiation:

There appears to be a spectrum from Blue to Red that objects follow, depending on their colour temperature.  Here's a chart showing the colour temperature of various stars for example:

Hertzsprung-Russel_StarData.jpg

As all of these are sources of broad spectrum radiation they all kind of act the same in terms of rendering colour, also including incandescent light globes and fire.

Here's the spectrum of an incandescent light globe:

Spectral_power_distribution_of_a_25_W_in

and I suspect that fire is broadly the same.

We didn't really get different coloured light sources until we started messing with chemistry and making things like fluoresce, like this fluorescent light:

Fluorescent_lighting_spectrum_peaks_labe

So, the Orange / Teal look occurs in nature, and I presume we attach some kind of psychological sense of well-being from times we spent with other folks around a fire, being both warm and (relatively) safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...