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Replicating certain color grading look.


Antonis
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I recently saw this ad that was dir​ected and color graded by Matthew Firpo:

 

 

What caught my attention, was the lovely "creamy" highlights and overal color grading of the video.
I've seen this look before in fashion videos and, as a beginner in color grading, always wondered how to create it.

So far I have been able to determine that the shadows are raised by about 10IRE and the highlights look to be lowered by around 10IRE.
Any more tips on how to replicate such a look? Also, would you overexpose in camera when filming for this?

The ad was probably filmed on a Red Dragon in raw. But would a GH4 for example (with it's lower DR) be able to get similar color?
All advice welcome! :)

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 13.16.00.png

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its low contrasty and a bit desat and nice skin blooms- there are alot of cuts in this from multiple locations and light sources !! 

- I know you can get this look very easliy with Magic Bullet - there are some presets very similar I would use as a starting point to the tweek to your taste ..its all achievable !

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

In sony vegas pro, I have a plug-in called "Broadcast colour", it's meant to squeez the overexposed areas to under broadcast limit and bring up shadows to broadcast level. But you can choose how much with a slider; it replicates that highlight look, and actually, it fixes ANY bad highlight roll off on ANY camera and makes it look just like alexa/f35 clipping. Smooth cream into highlights (that are clipped of course)

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

What it does to highlights is magical, and the waveform does look like the one you posted (it cannot be done with curves/levels it's something else, like a highlight diffusion filter: is this what you mean?

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Thanks for the replies guys and the examples Ebrahim.

The more I look at it, the more I see what a nice effect can be achieved by "squeezing" those highlights.
I don't have Magic Bullet, but I played around with some footage in FCPX and saw interesting results.
Another bit of progress in learning the different styles of color grading! :)

 

 

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another look that is used alot in movies is green/blue highlights and shadows , I see this all the time in Hollywood movies now and its easy to replicate in Premiere

Alot of people on this forum are trying to get the prefect look 'in camera' - I see alot of posts about skin colours etc ,

I dont ever bother with the look in camera , I shoot it all as flat as possible ..my files have hardly any contrast in them and not much color saturation at all , then the whole look gets created in Premiere , by layering up preocesses to get the modern contemporoary looks we all see in big films . The camera and lenses are just caputure devices , the look is done all in post .

283
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another look that is used alot in movies is green/blue highlights and shadows , I see this all the time in Hollywood movies now and its easy to replicate in Premiere

Alot of people on this forum are trying to get the prefect look 'in camera' - I see alot of posts about skin colours etc ,

I dont ever bother with the look in camera , I shoot it all as flat as possible ..my files have hardly any contrast in them and not much color saturation at all , then the whole look gets created in Premiere , by layering up preocesses to get the modern contemporoary looks we all see in big films . The camera and lenses are just caputure devices , the look is done all in post .

283

The look used to come from the lighting, sets, lenses and filmstock (plus processing). Then the shitty telecine grading came along with the three color wheel looks, and now there are the digital cameras and grading software.

I prefer the classic approach.

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It depends on what camera you are using but most of the super sharp digital cameras will benefit with a Digital Diffusion FX filter. It gives a nice soft look without losing resolution.

​Thanks for the tip!
Never thought about the use of diffusion filters, but this actually makes a lot of sense.
 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I tried playing around with the broadcast colours in Premiere but it doesn't seem to have the same effect as Ebrahim's example.

​You send a frame grab/s for me to try with vegas and compare it to yours to see if it can be replicated in premiere Broadcast Colour Plug-in.

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That was a beautiful grading and commercial - it felt like Arri Alexa or Amira with Ultra prime lenses and yes some filtration on it - shot mostly looks like at a f/2 on the lens to have pop.  shadows raised a little.

 

Looks like converted maybe into Cineon and from there a nice film print emulation - we should ask him - I'll ask him.

 

According to Jordan's instagram feed - it was red epic - so that's an amazing skin color grading job out of that!
I like to use Hollywood black magic over my lenses 80% of the time.  Curious now about the Digital Diffusion FX filters - going to test those out.

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I think the main ingredient is bouncing light. Reminds me very much of overused radiosity in 3D scenes.

 
Two scenes stand out for me
1] Where they raise their glasses in the dessert (Egypt?). Two shots with slightly different camera angles and, I think, complete different reflector positions. Hence the complete different look. I don't think a filter can be the cause of that while the camera hardly moved.
2] The shot, which you attached, where the guy walks into the frame while she is waiting next to the car. You can see how he walks into the  bouncing light.
 
No doubt filters are used but there is a distinct difference between the scenes where bouncing light was used and the scenes where it wasn't or couldn't be used. The last don't look so creamy to me and are probably pimped in post.
 
Just my two cents.
 
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Thanks for all the help and ideas so far. 
Looking forward to hear from you Ed when you manage to get in touch with the guys.

Thanks to Instagram I stumbled upon a "behind the scene" snap of what looks like a very minimalist setup for shooting around London.
No matte box or fancy rig on that day it seams.

@bunk: They filmed that bit in Cappadocia, Turkey. Magic place!

 


 

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 17.52.41.png

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Thanks for all the help and ideas so far. 
Looking forward to hear from you Ed when you manage to get in touch with the guys.

Thanks to Instagram I stumbled upon a "behind the scene" snap of what looks like a very minimalist setup for shooting around London.
No matte box or fancy rig on that day it seams.

@bunk: They filmed that bit in Cappadocia, Turkey. Magic place!

 


 

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 17.52.41.png

​I don't think a matte box is a must have. I've stopped using them for run and gun. They help a little bit with glare, but flare is almost non-existent in the new lens due to good multi-coating.

If you really want to make sure you cut glare without wasting time fumbling with the camera use a lens hood with a variable ND.

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