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Old December 22nd, 2010, 01:45 PM   #1
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7D and color correcting question

I'm a bit confused about color correcting. Is it recommended to use something like Magic Bullet on 7D footage or can I just use the footage straight out of the camera?

Is coloring in post production a personal choice or is it recommended?
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 02:36 PM   #2
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I think everything in editing is personal choice, but of course you'll get different answers from different people.

Color correction & grading are just ways of getting your video to look how you want it. If you can shoot exactly what you want you may not need to change anything. And some people like to shoot as neutral as possible and tweak in post. Your choice.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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If you want a news or documentary look, you can get that out of the camera. If you want a modern film look or other creative look, you have no choice but to color correct.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 04:12 PM   #4
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Is Magic Bullet Looks the best way to go if i dont know anything about Final Cut's Color program?
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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everything depends on your budget, what sort of time you have.

if you have the time/money, it's worth grading, if not, get it in camera.

As for grading, I'd like to hear the thoughts of it all as well
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 07:44 PM   #6
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Is Magic Bullet Looks the best way to go if i dont know anything about Final Cut's Color program?
Best way? No. Will it work? Probably. There was a reason "Color" used to cost $5k and Magic bullet is a few hundred dollars. And there are a lot of color correction / grading programs out there at lots of budgets.

Whenever I hear someone evoke the phrase "best", it always makes me uneasy. I've been doing this stuff for 20+ years and I have yet to see anything I can definitely say is "best" for anything under all circumstances.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 02:58 AM   #7
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Yes, I'd recommend color correcting.

No, I wouldn't recommend Magic Bullit. At least, not until you have a basic understanding of color correction.

Color correction is a vital part of the production process. You should learn everything you can about it. But use the tools you currently have in your NLE before spending on other software.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 09:53 AM   #8
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There are lots of options for color correcting or color grading. Coming from a still photography background, I know that my Canon 7D and my Nikon D300 have a slight magenta cast, for still photography it is a simple color correction in Photoshop by adding green. You can correct a cast by adding it's opposite color.

With video it is a little more difficult, unlike shooting in RAW with a still photograph that you can play around with the color temperature slider. Most video editing programs have a color correction filter, I use Vegas and I can adjust skin tones and take out the magenta cast easily. Where you have mixed lighting it is more difficult.

Magic Bullet is a good solution for quick repeatable options. It's like using a preset, if the preset looks good applied to your footage, great if not then try another preset and so on. The most difficult thing is that digital cameras are not good with footage straight out of the camera, unless you take the time to play around with the picture styles.Most footage needs a bit of pop added to it and this might just be a slight tone curve or levels adjustment, which can go a long way to making your footage appear more saturated.

Here is a tutorial on another way of doing things from Michael DeVowe: Canon 7D | Norman Pogson Filmmaker: Color Correction Tutorial
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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if you have the time/money, it's worth grading, if not, get it in camera.
By in camera, do you mean using manual settings?
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Old December 24th, 2010, 07:40 AM   #10
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I would say 99% of your footage will need color correcting unless you are able to set up the 7D for each scene which is almost impossible.

Magic Bullit is not for this. It is for adding effects and grading to a particular style. It lacks a 3-Way color correcting tool and all the necessary histograms, waveforms and parades in RGB that tell you what is happening not only to color but to the blacks and whites (and grays in between).
All corrections start by setting the blacks and whites (specular highlight) ... this is not Bullits function.

So you need to understand the 3-Way color correcting tool no matter what software you use. FCP has a decent 3-Way with good scopes (waveform, histogram) - this is the essential tool to use. Color program does a better job with the 3 - Way tool (much better) but it is a steep learning curve. It also has secondary 3-Way color correction as well as the primary ... very accurate.

To sum up: learn to use the 3-way color corrector first in FCP - Magic Bullit comes much later in the process.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #11
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I've messed around with Magic Bullet before, and in all honesty it seems kinda gimmicky. I'm glad I'm not wasting money on it if not too many people recommend it. Are there any online tutorials or books anyone would recommend for learning color correction on Final Cut?
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Old December 24th, 2010, 10:52 AM   #12
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I've messed around with Magic Bullet before, and in all honesty it seems kinda gimmicky. I'm glad I'm not wasting money on it if not too many people recommend it. Are there any online tutorials or books anyone would recommend for learning color correction on Final Cut?

I guess you could say its kind of "gimmicky", if all your interested in doing is adding one of their presets, and that's it. I have the whole Magic Bullet Suite 10, and I love it. Mainly for Colorista II, but looks it cool, it gives you a preset to start with, then you can tweak until you cant stand looking at it anymore, and make the preset something more your own.

In the near future, I plan on diving in head first, and learning Apple Color, but until then Colorista II is a great product.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #13
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Is Magic Bullet Looks the best way to go if i dont know anything about Final Cut's Color program?
Color is about as close to a real grading program as most of us will need. I have gotten my feet wet and it's found it's a really deep program. Since I already wear a bunch of hats (well, all of them in my company) I chose not to go full tilt into it as most of my deliverables are for web or DVD. The basic 3-way CC in FCP can handle the stuff I need to do. Mainly matching cameras or scenes. If I get into film or a fiction TV series, things will change as that kind of grading adds to the "art" of the show. MB is a much easier way to get certain looks but the presets really stick out now that everyone uses them. I don't really think of MB as a color corrector but as a look generator. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I've found "dumbing down" the color settings on the 7D helps a lot when matching to my XF or any camcorder. My friends 5D is even more saturated which I will be tweaking before the next shoot we do together.

Alone the DSLRs look fantastic but not when trying to do a multicam edit!
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Old December 24th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #14
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I guess you could say its kind of "gimmicky", if all your interested in doing is adding one of their presets, and that's it. I have the whole Magic Bullet Suite 10, and I love it. Mainly for Colorista II, but looks it cool, it gives you a preset to start with, then you can tweak until you cant stand looking at it anymore, and make the preset something more your own.

In the near future, I plan on diving in head first, and learning Apple Color, but until then Colorista II is a great product.
I think my best bet is to use Magic Bullet for now until i become familiar with Color.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #15
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Magic Bullit is not for this. It is for adding effects and grading to a particular style. It lacks a 3-Way color correcting tool and all the necessary histograms, waveforms and parades in RGB that tell you what is happening not only to color but to the blacks and whites (and grays in between).
All corrections start by setting the blacks and whites (specular highlight) ... this is not Bullits function.
I have to disagree here. Magic bullet most certainly does have a 3-way color corrector. In fact, it has several. Additionally, if you understand how to use scopes, the RGB parade is nearly all you need besides a vectorscope which sadly it does lack.
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