View Full Version : Color Correcting Footage from HD100
August 27th, 2008, 10:34 PM
Greetings all, I recently shot a performance piece with my HD100 (720 24p) and found that it needed some serious color correction. I want to color correct in After Effects and wanted to know what is the best type of file to render as to send to AE for tweaks. It is an hour long video so I dont want to use an uncompressed format. Will I suffer quality loss because of this?
Also another quick question. When using the JVC wide angle adapter on the HD100. Does it affect the back-focus in any way. Should I back-focus before or after applying the wide angle lens? Thanks in advance.
August 27th, 2008, 11:21 PM
I'm not sure about the AE question and you may want to post that in the AE forum to see what you get. As for the wide angle adapter, you won't need to backfocus. If you were re-mounting a complete wide angle lens to the camera then you would do a back focus (or any other time you change the entire lens). For an adapter that screws or mounts onto the front of your existing lens you shouldn't do a back focus.
August 27th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Why would you want to color-correct an hour's worth of footage in AE? It seems like a slow option to me, particularly if you have FCP available - its built-in 3-way color corrector is much faster than anything in AE. Further, you can plug-in things like Colorista if you're needing more masking control, for instance. You'd be able to save at least one rendering pass. I'm not familiar with color correction controls available in Windows NLEs, but I would think an editing program would be the first choice for this amount of material. You didn't mention what editing platform you're using.
I didn't realize JVC made a wide angle converter for the HD-100 - are you sure that isn't the Fujinon? In any case, you shouldn't need to adjust back focus if it was already correct for the basic lens.
August 28th, 2008, 12:10 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the quick responses. As far as what NLE? I'm using Sony Vegas. I haven't been able to achieve the results I'm looking for in Vegas, that's why i want to try AE. I have magic bullet and other things I could play with there. The three way Color correct in Vegas is not appealing to me.
August 28th, 2008, 03:48 AM
No need to back focus. Most WA adapters affect front focus and even if you have a 'zoom-able' adapter you should keep a beedy eye on the front focussing.
As for AE, it's great for CC, just export a reference movie from your NLE - no need to render.
August 28th, 2008, 06:57 AM
I'm happy with Magic Bullet Looks for final tweaking, but I find the FCP colour corrector pretty decent
August 28th, 2008, 11:52 AM
Steven, you're dead-on correct in using AE for Color Correction, probably one of the best tools in the business. Unlike what other people said, the CC built in in most NLEs, including FCP's CC3Way leaves a lot to be desired in terms of precision and fidelity.
You didn't mention how much storage you have available but if you can you should consider exporting the footage to a sequences of TIFF files, compressed. TIFF compression is lossless so you gain the benefit of complete accuracy, including the option to use 32-bit processing in AE and the storage requirements are generally manageable.
Load the sequence in AE, which can handle it just lke normal footage, set the frame rate for correct interpretation, and you are all set. When you need to output your final deliverable, merge the soundtrack from the original footage with your CC master and you're all done.
August 28th, 2008, 11:58 AM
Paolo is correct about AE for CC but I have been using Vegas for a long time and have found he CC/2ndy CC/curves and levels will fix just about anything. I've had some really off color footage from some others that I was able to "make right" within Vegas so I have to ask what exactly is wrong with the footage? Is it color or color and exposure or ...?
With a bit of info we might be able to help you out in Vegas (NLE not the city)
August 28th, 2008, 01:32 PM
AE is indeed very good. It's just very slow to update and render with more steps involved in the process. It's a compositing/effects tool more than a color tool by design. Many plug-ins (such as Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse 2) work inside NLEs. Such plug-ins improve on AE's inherent capabilities, and plug-in to AE too. Still, for an hour-long performance piece, I would think speed is at least as important as making sure all your rounding errors are kept to a minimum. If this was a broadcast project or a feature, I'd say differently. But there is the business end of things to consider for many of us.
August 28th, 2008, 02:01 PM
Hello gentlemen, thanks for all the replies. Here is a screen grab of one of the more undesirable shots.
The lights used for the occasion seemed to be old and dimming which created a yellowish hue on all the subjects. I also feel that the footage isn't as crisp as it should be which is why I asked the back focus question. You guys can tell me if you feel the focus looks off.i have spent much time already tweaking in Vegas to no desirable results. I will take Paolo's suggestion into account and see if I can export this project into TIFFS from Vegas (never done that before).
August 28th, 2008, 06:19 PM
The still shows one of the typical problems of HDV cameras: they are a bit "red happy", there are reds in the girls' skirts that are too rich and cause the characteristic edge problem. You can minimize it in AE but it will not go away easily. Actually that is even an additional point in favor of doing the job in AE since you will likely need to mask that area and apply secondary CC that other wise would be too aggressive for the rest of the footage. By using AE's masking and tracking you can get a lot done in short time. If you don't have it already buy the "DV rebel's guide" by Stu Mashwitz, of The Orphanage, which has excellent advice on CC in AE but, even more important, it includes a series of AE CC tools that will speed up your workflow.
Regarding the export to TIFF, let me elaborate a bit. You need to export from Vegas to AE avoiding transcoding. As the HD100 records in HDV, if you output in the same format you will indeed transcode to footage. Big no-no. You can use Uncompressed but that's humongous. Yout can use QT with TIFF or PNG compression but at that point it doesn't buy anything more than using single frames, except for the audio but the audio, at CC stage, is hardly an issue. The advantage of using single frames is that it's harder to screw up the whole footage when the files are separate. It gives you better granularity.
You could use the SheerVideo codec, that holds the audio and doesn't corrupt your footage like any of the other lossy codecs. Since I assume that you would rather not buy additional software :), the TIFF, compressed with LZW, is a great alternative.
Now, that TIFF sequence is your source footage. You apply CC/effects/masks/bullets /wathever and then you need to output that. Do yourself a favor and generate a master by using another sequence of TIFFs. That sequence is your inline master. Now, let's say that at the last minute, you know that it's gonna happen, you find that 10 seconds of footage need another bit of correction. You already have created your inline master. Well, you have your source sequence of TIFFS, you do your correction just to those few frames and then use AE's great export tools to output *just the modified frames*. That's right, you don't need to render the whole 1-hour long sequence. Just take note of the start frame number, output the new TIFFS and you have your new master in minutes.
Here is the last bit. Now you take your inline master, sequence of TIFFS, create a new comp in AE, import the master, add the soundtrack, export that comp to anything you want: DVD, MPEG, iPod, H.264, anything.
The result will be fast and, best of all, your colors will hold true. That's because you worked qith uncompromised digital data. Funny how the best solutions many times use tools that we already have.
August 28th, 2008, 09:27 PM
Here's is a series of CC'd images (using the supplied image) done in Vegas in about 3 minutes. Not exactly sure what the major challenge is ant not 100% sure what the real color should be but it seems that Vegas CC and curves could do the job pretty handily.
A is corrected
B shows split screen of corrected and uncorrected
C shows the same but on the other side.
Again, I'm not sure of the CORRECT look but it seems to lok better to me and without really getting heavily involved in the correction process in Vegas. BTW, uncorrected computer monitor and no scopes were used.
If the correction is not what you were looking for let me know and I'll see if I can adjust it more to your taste.
August 28th, 2008, 11:38 PM
Greetings all, I have tried Paolo's suggestion. The only probelm was I don't have the sheervideo codec (though it looks tempting to acquire). I also didn't seem to find an option in Vegas that would allow you to export a sequence of frames. I have done this in Premiere but I couldn't in Vegas. Maybe Don can help me with that one. I just exported a small segment as a QT TIFF and tried that workflow. By the way your results look good too Don but I guess I'm not as savvy with Vegas as I am with AE below are two screenshots. First is CC done by myself and the other is done with Magic Bullet.
Now stills are one thing but seeing it in motion is another. It would seem that this look could be achieved in Vegas but small things, in addition, like adjusting Levels and exposure for me would add subtle artifacts and noise to the picture when rendered out. This is not the case in AE (but then again I'm not too savvy with Vegas). My main concern was keeping the integrity of the footage so I would like nothing better than to achieve this in Vegas. Maybe with some practice. As for now I will stick with AE. Thanks for all your input.
September 2nd, 2008, 05:16 PM
in my experience the 3 way cc in final cut combined with Colorista being
used where final cuts falls short (bringing out detail in dark scenes yields blue noise with fcp cc, with colorista blacks are inky as they should be) is quite sufficient for most work.
Unless its a high paying film based job I wouldn't even go into AE. Though I do acknowledge its 16-bit capabilities.