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Old October 8th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #1
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Some color correction/monitoring basic questions

Sorry, didn't know where else to put this, and I do have an After Effects question coming up.

So, I'm currently grading my first HD project. I'm probably doing it wrong. Oh well. It's a personal project and truthfully nothing is at stake if everything comes out wonky.

So here's the deal. . .

I will likely not be able to afford a proper HD monitoring setup anytime soon, so I'm wondering how bad off I am.

Working with prores HD footage converted from H264 files from a 5DM2.

Grading in FCP, using a SD Sony PVM14m2u as my monitor right now. Wonderful in its time, not as useful now. I ran bars from my FCP timeline to it to calibrate it for this project.

Using firewire to output (yes, this does work, you just can't watch the footage in motion. Still frames? No problem. There is significant downscaling/aliasing nastiness).

I'm just wondering how horribly inaccurate this is.

I just read that in HD, stuff converted to prores codec is REC 709, event though 5DM2 is known to shoot in 601. Can anyone confirm or did I mix something up?

I would also like to know if this monitor is in any way capable of displaying Rec 709 (I'm betting no, am I right?) , and how much this will screw up everything if I'm judging everything in the wrong color space.

Lastly, can After Effects and its color management help me in any way here?
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Old October 8th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #2
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Re: Some color correction/monitoring basic questions

As you acknowledged, an accurately calibrated NTSC monitor is needed.
In your situation, I think you could use your scopes for color "correction" - waveform monitor for protecting whites and blacks ... vectorscope for fixing color casts and the flesh-tone line for ensuring good white balance.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: Some color correction/monitoring basic questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Grading in FCP, using a SD Sony PVM14m2u as my monitor right now. ...

I'm just wondering how horribly inaccurate this is.
It depends on how accurate you need the result to be. If your goal is just posting video on the web, then a computer monitor will work fairly well.

If your goal is to show the video on a TV (using DVD or Blu-ray presumably) then you need to see the video in the HDTV workspace (Rec.709) to make it work in that workspace. The problem is that Rec.709 is pretty different from sRGB, even if gamut size is similar. Rec.709's black and white points are different, it's more contrasty, and the actual colors of the phosphors are different, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
I would also like to know if this monitor is in any way capable of displaying Rec 709 (I'm betting no, am I right?) , and how much this will screw up everything if I'm judging everything in the wrong color space.
I'm fairly sure that monitor can not display Rec.709. And if you need the Rec.709 colorspace and you can't view the footage in it, then you're just guessing.

That said, you can always use a HDTV for a monitor. You'd need something to supply the correct signal to the HDTV. IIRC Matrox makes some suitable boxes for that duty. If you can calibrate the TV, and you set everything up correctly it can be a pretty respectable WYSIWYG monitor. It won't give you a waveform monitor or a vectorscope (both critical in my mind for color correcting video), but it can certainly display Rec.709.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Lastly, can After Effects and its color management help me in any way here?
Not really. AE has some nice-ish tools for color correction and even color grading, but if you can't do WYSIWYG because you don't have a monitor that will show you the Rec.709 workspace, how will you know that you're using the software in a way that will get you the look you want?
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Old October 11th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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Re: Some color correction/monitoring basic questions

Thanks for your info (JUST NOW saw this second response).

Here's my plan for the short term. It's the poor man's solution (very poor man's).

Use my 42" plasma as a grading monitor (inaccurate though it may be).

Here's the deal, I have an 08 Imac with mini -DVI out only. Plasma is older as well (got it in 07 or so). Is 720p, not 1080. Has component and HDMI inputs. Can it be calibrated? Not sure. . .it's a TH42pe7u model Panasonic Viera, if that tells anyone anything.

Aja makes this box:
T-TAP - AJA Video Systems

Which is thunderbolt to HDMI or SDI.

Now, there also exist thunderbolt to DVI adapters. So would this work? I know it's a little goofy, but just trying to figure out if it's feasible. If not, anyone know a solution that would accomplish the same?

Thanks.
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