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Here's my quick and dirty guide to color correcting.

 

1.  When a person is the subject, prioritize skin, especially faces when making any color choices.  When people's skin look alien to the species in respect to the lighting of that shot, it can't be overlooked.

 

2.  Correct lighting first.  A good starting point is to have an even distribution of pixels from black all the way to white.  Then color grade.

 

3.  When cross processing, work with complementary colors for the highlights and shadows.  A classic combination used in films today is beige and teal because beige is the color of skin (which can't be eliminated out of the palate), and teal complements it.  A great tool to look up complementary colors is a free online tool called Adobe Kuler.

 

4.  Grading is great but try to shoot without needing to grade/correct when possible.  If lighting, set, props, wardrobe, makeup, and camera profiles are calibrated, then you shouldn't need to make any changes, and any minor changes will be effortless.

 

5.  A common misconception going around today is that all detail in the highlights and shadows need to be recovered and preserved.  Unnecessary detail in the shot can lead the eyes away from the subject.  Don't be afraid to up the contrast to where you lose visible detail for the benefit of the overall image.

 

6.  Instead of having a half dozen layers of adjustments which will take forever to process for the entire video, create custom LUTs by grading a single frame, then apply the LUT using Red Giant's LUT buddy.  If you're using Premiere Pro CC, apply the LUTs you've created with Lumetri instead as it is much faster to process.

 

7.  Blown out highlights are sometimes inevitable.  One thing you can do to improve the image is to bring the whites down to the highlights and to add color to the highlights that match the lighting.

 

8.  There are tools to grade within tools like Premiere Pro.  For minor adjustments you may only need to play with RGB Curve and Levels.  They don't take any processing time either.  For more powerful plugins to grade the popular ones are Colorista II, FilmConvert.  FilmConvert is faster, easier to use, but more limited in functionality.  I heard Davinci Resolve is better but you need a Cuda compatible graphics card to use it.

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A website featuring stills from films and their corresponding color palettes.  A tool to promote learning and inspiration. Updated daily.     http://moviesincolor.com/  

Here's my quick and dirty guide to color correcting.   1.  When a person is the subject, prioritize skin, especially faces when making any color choices.  When people's skin look alien to the specie

The official EOSHD thread for discussion of grading and colour correction. Techniques, software, codecs, etc.

Here's my quick and dirty guide to color correcting.

 

3.  When cross processing, work with complementary colors for the highlights and shadows.  A classic combination used in films today is beige and teal because beige is the color of skin (which can't be eliminated out of the palate), and teal complements it.  A great tool to look up complementary colors is a free online tool called Adobe Kuler.

Teal and orange are common indeed :)

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1.  When a person is the subject, prioritize skin, especially faces when making any color choices.  When people's skin look alien to the species in respect to the lighting of that shot, it can't be overlooked.

 

That's what Stu Maschwitz calls 'memory colors'. Among them the blue of the sky, the green of the grass, a yellow banana and (no joke, but typical for Maschwitz) coffee beans. Usually, if the skin tones hit the 'skin line' (vectorscope), the others fall into place.

 

2.  Correct lighting first.  A good starting point is to have an even distribution of pixels from black all the way to white.  Then color grade.

 

Here is a catch: One can easily be tempted to achieve a certain look at this early stage, making the image appear darker (usually also described as 'more punchy') or brighter (more hazy, as if the strength of the light shines through). If the shot was an early morning landscape, backlit by the sun, you may very well have recorded neither blacks nor whites. If you shot in a night club, you can have crushed shadows and clipped lights, and then all that remains to alter the exposure in post are the mids. It also depends - of course - if you are correcting in 8-10-12 or 14-bit color depth. 8-bit forbids a too much stretched ratio between input and output levels (spreading the midtones). But one rule stays valid whatever your footage is: Expose correctly, capture everything. See point 5.

 

3.  When cross processing, work with complementary colors for the highlights and shadows.  A classic combination used in films today is beige and teal because beige is the color of skin (which can't be eliminated out of the palate), and teal complements it.  A great tool to look up complementary colors is a free online tool called Adobe Kuler.

 

This will accentuate the color contrast and make the image look sharper. However, if not done with care and taste, it dominates the overall look and limits one's options. I don't consider it primary CC.

 

4.  Grading is great but try to shoot without needing to grade/correct when possible.  If lighting, set, props, wardrobe, makeup, and camera profiles are calibrated, then you shouldn't need to make any changes, and any minor changes will be effortless.

 

The point is to make an informed decision how your finished image should look. This should be clear already during shooting. With all (also mine) 'test shots' people have no clear *concept* of that. But of course, to just correct and bring to full impact a well-shot, powerful scene is preferable to apply some exchangeable, stylish look for the sake of it.

 

5.  A common misconception going around today is that all detail in the highlights and shadows need to be recovered and preserved.  Unnecessary detail in the shot can lead the eyes away from the subject.  Don't be afraid to up the contrast to where you lose visible detail for the benefit of the overall image.

 

Not sure about this one. The goal rarely is an HDR-look, that's right. But the question is, when to decide how much I take away, because of:

 

7.  Blown out highlights are sometimes inevitable.  One thing you can do to improve the image is to bring the whites down to the highlights and to add color to the highlights that match the lighting.

 

Yes, I've seen Erin Brokovich a few days ago. Heavily graded film. Many highlights (windows when shot from inside) appeared to have been allowed to clip unashamedly. But recorded clipping mostly consists of unbalanced color information. Somewhat hard to color those areas convincingly, at least with my very limited experience.

 

8.  There are tools to grade within tools like Premiere Pro.  For minor adjustments you may only need to play with RGB Curve and Levels.  They don't take any processing time either.  For more powerful plugins to grade the popular ones are Colorista II, FilmConvert.  FilmConvert is faster, easier to use, but more limited in functionality.  I heard Davinci Resolve is better but you need a Cuda compatible graphics card to use it.

 

The downside of grading within an NLE is that the tools are accessible only as effects. So you have to load them individually and apply them either to one clip at a time or to a clip selection. Both not very practical. In a special CC software, you grade the whole sequence, the tools always visible (sometimes you have to one-click a tab, that's the extend of it), you jump from clip to clip, and you have a better overview of how your manipulations affect a scene in it's entirety.

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I've got CC and this is something I can't wait to try out.  The initial SG<->PR workflows were a bit tedious.

 

It's very good now. You need to put in a few blank adjustment layers before you send it through, for convenience, plus it's best to switch off other grading and effects first too as they slow Speedgrade down.

 

Other than that, once you get over the first couple of hours learning hump, it's smooth sailing. Beats rendering IMHO

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Interesting discussion with the DP for American Horror Story on how he's using film to do in-camera effects.

 

Technical specs:

 

Arriflex 16 SR2 
Arriflex 16 SR3 
Arriflex 235, Panavision Primo Lenses 
Arriflex 435 Xtreme, Panavision Primo Lenses 
Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2, Panavision Primo, PCZ and Angenieux Optimo Lenses

 

Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format)

 

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Missed the whole series. Judging by this trailer

... it has some kind of music video aesthetics.

 

The comments below seem to confirm my suspicion that it may have an interesting visual concept, but with some scripts off the shelf.

 

Just imagine if some of the masters from the past had these post production opportunities! But then again, properly restored, their work holds up well. They had to do everything with lighting and set design / wardrobe / make up. Maybe the whole grading affair is more the poor man's chance to enhance otherwise boring images.

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Went home for Father's day yesterday and took some footage whilst we were out. I didn't really mean to make this into a piece, but I started doing colour grading tests with the footage and ended up obsessing until it became this. I'm currently writing/directing a series, so this was good editing practice.

 

Feedback welcome!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hate After Effects... 

 

Let me explain. I've been working all night on fixing someone's mess here and every layer has a ton of redundant effects and nested comps, all discrete parameter changes, visibility on or off, sometimes affecting nothing, and all need to be investigated and double clicked on.. it's like crawling through a nightmarish compositing rabbit hole.

 

Procedural or "node" based is so much less mistake prone and easy to visualize it's ridiculous. ... end rant.

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I hate After Effects... 

 

Certainly not the first choice for grading.

 

I've been working all night on fixing someone's mess here and every layer has a ton of redundant effects and nested comps

 

I guess this 'someone' wasn't Andrew Kramer?

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I hate After Effects... 

 

Let me explain. I've been working all night on fixing someone's mess here and every layer has a ton of redundant effects and nested comps, all discrete parameter changes, visibility on or off, sometimes affecting nothing, and all need to be investigated and double clicked on.. it's like crawling through a nightmarish compositing rabbit hole.

 

Procedural or "node" based is so much less mistake prone and easy to visualize it's ridiculous. ... end rant.

 

I know what you're saying, nesting is a nightmare. I don't think they'll ever change it, but as a programme it has to be the most bizarre and idiosyncratic in production. I don't use it much, I find it like pulling teeth, though I do know how to do quite a bit in it. Nothing compared to the real pros though.

 

Once you master it though, the world's your oyster...

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Certainly not the first choice for grading.

 

 

I guess this 'someone' wasn't Andrew Kramer?

 

..  memory bloat. I think Adobe only knows how to innovate through acquisitions. The next cool app for motion graphics is going to come out of left field from a company nobody has heard of, like CoSA ;)

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 I think Adobe only knows how to innovate through acquisitions.

 

In a way they lease twenty year old software, worked up adobe by adobe. An evolutionary process, if you like to be nice. I think they are afraid to be too innovative, considering themselves the 'industry standard', bearing in mind the ill-fated release of FCP X. It was a luxurious suite once, though smelling a bit like curd soap (I always want to say 'After Shave'), now it's a shiny modern cloud ...

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I think it was 5:00AM, the sun was coming up, the file was a crazy mess in that way that only AE can get. Anyway, I've had time to watch a video or two on some of the new features in CC 2014, it looks like they are getting up to speed on a lot of things that would help reduce clutter: like masking effects. That should cut way down on the number of nested comps. Also a planar tracker that you can use straight from your roto shape tool now.

 

http://www.redgiant.com/videos/redgianttv/item/415/?utm_source=Red+Giant+Software+Email+List&utm_campaign=bb6d1574b3-07_01_14_Stus_Tutorial&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ff8ed2ae13-bb6d1574b3-296530881

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice, lens flares and the camera shake feels a lot like a super8 home movie. 

 

About the A7s gamut issue in S-Log2/S-Gamut mode:

 

Just wanted to post this color transform matrix here for anyone looking for just the gamut conversion.

 

S-Gamut to sRGB:

 

   1.87785      -0.79412       -0.08373

  -0.17681       1.35098       -0.17417

  -0.02621      -0.14844        1.17465

 

This was actually inside Nuke 8. This is just the gamut color matrix conversion. The color space, gamma and illuminant conversions are not represented.

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