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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:54 AM   #1
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Why does one want a flat picture style?

So I just purchased the 7D a month ago and started to search online for tips. Many of the blogs and videos recommends that I set my picture style to flat. sharpness down, saturation down and contrast down ect. I admit, when I edit, I don't do much color correction. I try to light everything and color balance to how I want my final product to look. It's an old News habit, there just isn't enough time to mess with color during editing when it's crunch time. Now that I'm doing a lot more feature stuff and editing. I"m just trying to figure out why things are.

Is the whole idea of a flat picture so that you have more control during post? For someone like me that does a lot of "day of" stuff and quick turnarounds, doesn't this create more work?! needing to tweak every shot?
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Old January 5th, 2011, 07:29 AM   #2
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Is the whole idea of a flat picture so that you have more control during post?
Exactly.

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Originally Posted by Kevin Li View Post
For someone like me that does a lot of "day of" stuff and quick turnarounds, doesn't this create more work?! needing to tweak every shot?
Yes it does. Choose your picture style to shoot your needs. Those of us who shoot a project over weeks, and post over months have this luxury. If you're doing quick turnaround, then maybe you don't.

One of the things I really like about shooting flatter, even for fast jobs, is that I can impart several "canned" looks on a project in just seconds. This is MUCH harder to do when the footage is variable.

Best of luck with your new camera.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #3
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Kevin,

I shoot alot of "quick tuurnaround" stuff as well and now I almost always shoot flat. I used to mess with preset colour styles on my XLH1 and got caught a few times with a look that I later decided that I didn't really like and it is very difficult to change.

And for a lot of the quick stuff, flat works well enough, or depending on your project and NLE, just add a canned look as Perrone says to the track or the entire project. I should add that 'Flat' for me is factory settings - without turning down Saturation, Contrast, or Sharpness.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the insight guys..

now when you say "canned" I'm assuming it's something like Magic Bullet?

now part 2 to my question is, something like the Marvel profile, are they just saturation, sharpness and contrast settings only? or do they actually mess with the something deeper?


I'm using CS5 Premeire and After Effects. Although After Effects has SA Color Finesse, which I occasionally use, Premeire doesn't. Premeire only has the 3 way color corrector. Which means people need to import their projects in th AE everytime for proper color correction?
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Old January 6th, 2011, 11:40 AM   #5
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Kevin,

'canned' can be Magic Bullet or even just tweaking an entire track in your NLE by bumping up or taking down the saturation, etc. so the whole track is a little oversaturated or higher in contrast, or whatever.

The point is, if you do that with the source footage in camera, you're limited, and handcuffed in your options later. You can use Magic Bullet 'quick looks' for cheaper 'canned' options which look pretty good, with lots of different looks and the ability to dial them in from 0-100%.

I don't use CS5, I've been using Vegas for 4+ years, but you should be able to do a lot with the 3-way CC in CS5. That's more a question for that forum.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:35 PM   #6
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I'm using CS5 Premeire and After Effects. Although After Effects has SA Color Finesse, which I occasionally use, Premeire doesn't. Premeire only has the 3 way color corrector. Which means people need to import their projects in th AE everytime for proper color correction?
This might not be the professional way, but the workflow that I found the best use from.

If it is something that I can cut down into a "locked" picture (something that I will not receive anymore edits or cuts - aka short films), I will send the entire project into after effects and color from there. I love the use of adjustment layers and the matte tracking abilities to make the look perfect to my needs.

If it is something for a client with a quick turn around or I know clients will want changes later, I will just use a three way in premiere - You can still get some great results and not be stuck to a timeline that is fixed. (Don't get me wrong, you can still fix an edit in after effects, but it's more painful than premiere)

Magic bullet is a great tool, but if I can, I prefer to create the look myself.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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Magic bullet is a great tool, but if I can, I prefer to create the look myself.
I really don't understand this. Are people confusing Magic Bullet Looks, for Magic Bullet QUICK Looks? MB Looks is all about creating your own look. Quick looks is the one that only uses presets.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 08:33 PM   #8
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I prefer to adjust Picture Styles to suit my needs, and rarely color correct. Contrary to shooting "flat", I usually increase sharpness and saturation, and decrease contrast 2 to 3 steps. I've never been a fan of Magic Bullet, and feel it is overused.

As in most things video, your mileage may vary. Enjoy your 7D, it can produce some stunning images.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #9
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I really don't understand this. Are people confusing Magic Bullet Looks, for Magic Bullet QUICK Looks? MB Looks is all about creating your own look. Quick looks is the one that only uses presets.
Sorry Perrone, I ment MB Quick Looks. Don't have the full thing. I'm sure looks is plenty intrusive, but I see plenty of people just slap one of the looks on and be done with it. Thats what I understood Ken was describing as "canned".
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Old January 7th, 2011, 12:16 AM   #10
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Sorry Perrone, I ment MB Quick Looks. Don't have the full thing. I'm sure looks is plenty intrusive, but I see plenty of people just slap one of the looks on and be done with it. Thats what I understood Ken was describing as "canned".
That's what I figured. MB Looks has all those presets included plus more, but has about 50 tools to create your own custom looks. It's quite comprehensive for the price. Still missing some key elements though.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 12:29 AM   #11
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That's what I figured. MB Looks has all those presets included plus more, but has about 50 tools to create your own custom looks. It's quite comprehensive for the price. Still missing some key elements though.
In my opinion, MB Looks has to be coupled with Colorista to actually be a magic bullet. I'm learning it now and the power is amazing - you can effectively re-light a scene.

The render times are another story.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #12
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In my opinion, MB Looks has to be coupled with Colorista to actually be a magic bullet. I'm learning it now and the power is amazing - you can effectively re-light a scene.

The render times are another story.
MB Looks is a real time effect for me, I don't find anything difficult about the render times.

But MB Looks is certainly not complete. Sadly, Colorista 2 is not available for my platform so that is a no-go for me. Other than masking, a few scopes, and a real output while working (which I absolutely HATE), what do you find so indispensable about Colorista?
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Old January 7th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #13
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I'm using CS5 Premeire and After Effects. Although After Effects has SA Color Finesse, which I occasionally use, Premeire doesn't. Premeire only has the 3 way color corrector. Which means people need to import their projects in th AE everytime for proper color correction?
Hi Kevin,
I use these tools routinely and I find that rather than import I just use Dynamic Link. So the workflow goes something like this:

1. Edit in PP
2. Right click on each clip to Dynamic Link into AE and utilize adjustment layers for color correction, sharpening, denoising (if needed), various secondaries as needed (masks and mattes) and any vfx or motion graphics required. One AE project will be created and utilized for the whole sequence. Each clip will have its own comp in AE.
3. If you develop a correction you want to apply to multiple clips simply save it or copy/paste that adjustment layer to other clips.
4. I use a 32 bit workspace for color correction but that's up to you.....


I really love the flexibility that AE provides for doing colorist work. It's not real time like DaVinci but it's actually quite powerful if you know how to apply the tools. I typically color correct in Color Finesse btw but I like to use Colorista 2 for creating a look for the film. I find the secondary capability in Colorista 2 to be more intuitive as well. Color Finesse is great at getting everything set right because of all the scopes. If Colorista had all that built in I'd use that everytime.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 06:40 PM   #14
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Hey Steve,

Yeah, that sounds like what I need to do. Doing it in PP then Dynamic Link it to AE.

Sometimes I can' put all my eggs in Dynamic Link because I found errors when working on a 10 min timeline. Playback is crazzzyyy slugggishh..

I'm now just making movie out my AE stuff and replacing it on the time line..

Is there a video where it teaches basic color correction and using scopes and histographs?

tnx,
K
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Old January 8th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #15
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There are a couple by Steven Hullfish that are pretty good although not specific to After Effects:

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Technique-Digital-Color-Correction/dp/0240809904/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_2
http://www.amazon.com/Color-Correction-Video-Second-Desktop/dp/0240810783/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

I've read both of them and found them very useful. I found it useful just to shoot a lot of test footage and practice, practice, practice too. You have to feel comfortable with the tools and the only way to do that is through practice. Test footage is a great way of developing your skills in a no pressure, no time limit environment. You also get to see how different formats react to color correction and looks creation. Some are more malleable than others obviously but you get a feel for that once you start pushing the pixels around. That understanding also helps you be smarter about what you need to do in camera vs. post with various formats & cameras.
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