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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #1
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Help colour correcting a few shots

Two shots in a short film I shot on 16mm came back from the lab looking a little rough to say the least

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...1&d=1281624185
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...1&d=1281624185

I've managed to colour correct it a bit using the standard 3 way tool in Final Cut Pro. They still doesn't quite look right to me though.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...1&d=1281624185
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...1&d=1281624185

Can anyone advise me as to how to get it looking better?
I don't know any colourists or editors locally so I haven't been able to get any help.

Thanks
Attached Thumbnails
Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker.jpg   Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker-corrected.jpg  

Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker-2.jpg   Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker-2-corrected.jpg  

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Old August 12th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #2
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I'll play with these a bit today.

I don't have final cut, but most grading tools are similar.

One question. How do you WANT it to look?
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Old August 12th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I'll play with these a bit today.

I don't have final cut, but most grading tools are similar.

One question. How do you WANT it to look?
Thanks for the reply.

That'd be great!
I just want a fairly natural look. The rest of the film has stronger colours, while this scene needs to be neutral.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #4
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Ok, here's my first go at it... I actually did this before I read your instructions so just take it for what it is...
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Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker_out_1.jpg   Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker-2_out_2.jpg  

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Old August 12th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #5
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It's tough to get a good balance when the color is so off. There are color shifts that don't occur evenly though the color spectrum.

Don't know if you know about the limit effect in the 3 way color corrector, but that can help, though sometimes the results can be a little wonky if it's not done right.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 11:03 AM   #6
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Here's a more neutral take on it.
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Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker_out_2.jpg  
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Old August 12th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #7
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Perrone's rebuild is nearly spot-on. Unless you spend big bucks with an industry-specialized colorist - and I mean big bucks - you'll never totally get rid of that magenta cast or the slightly washy skin tones.

Unless this is a color-critical project and you've got money to burn I'd take Perrone's fix and run with it.

Personally I like this strange off-color shift; it gives the piece it's own "look", just as many Hollywood productions have.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:12 PM   #8
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Well,

I only spent about 15 minutes on it and didn't bring it into my calibrated system, but I thought it was pretty good. Nothing was clipped so I could remove the color cast completely (and did playing around), but honestly, it looked richer with a bit of red in there. I could take it out, but it would make the scene rather bleak, and the skin quite pale.

This is the kind of work I do all the time, but generally not for free because it's rather painstaking. I painted in the sky a bit on this shot, and added a bit of shadow detail. I also darkened the right side of the frame just a touch to give some life to the shot. I tweaked the blacks a bit, but took care not to crush anything since this was supposed to be neutral. I had to go get some reference images of Irish letterboxes to get the green right. Cleaning up an entire film could take a month or more to do right. I've got a short to do that is going to require even more work, and I've quoted 2-2.5 months for that job since some of it will require digitally painting every single scene. Things like taking out walls and staircases.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 09:35 PM   #9
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Ok, here we go...

What I did:

1. Lift/Gamma/Gain - Use RGB parade and balance the image for luma and color, lift first, then gain, finally gamma.

2. Use Warm/Cool to adjust overall hues

3. Add slight shadows to top and right of frame to add some richness

4. Add a touch of vignette to draw attention to make subject

6. Drop saturation to 81% to get color of the mailbox right, and skin tone more correct

7. Add specialized black diffusion to remove some of the grain.


If I planned to spend more time on this, I'd fix the sky, and I'd cheat the skin tones with a mask. But in a shot like this, that could take half an hour. And as Robert Lane said, you're getting into REAL money for that kind of work.

Even working at indie prices, doing this level of work with footage that needs this much correction could cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you took it to a someone working on a DaVinci or a Baselight or a Pablo, well, your pockets better be deeeeep.
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Help colour correcting a few shots-head-wrecker_out.jpg  
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Old August 14th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #10
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Richard,

As Perrone mentioned his "fix" isn't complete by any means however, he did give you a very solid and time-tested simple method for doing this yourself, and this kind of information is hard-won and usually costs big, big bucks even to get trained on how to do it.

In point of fact, Perrone has virtually handed you the keys to the kingdom on how to fix your color issues. For free.

While we all share information freely on this site - which is the cornerstone of it's existence - this type of gratuitous and selfless sharing that Perrone has given you has real-world, probative value.

Good god man, throw Perrone a bone, do *something* more than just say "thanks" - when you get around to sharing your gratitude, that is.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 12:05 AM   #11
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Here's the FCP representation of the first bit of Perrone's process, just a simple 3-way color correction... I pushed the saturation up just a smidge and pulled the mids just a little farther into the green (away from the magenta commented upon earlier)... the rest was done using the eyedroppers for each luma range... black on the shadow under the arm, brights on a window and the mids on a darker bit of stone.

No other alterations.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole McDonald View Post
Here's the FCP representation of the first bit of Perrone's process, just a simple 3-way color correction... I pushed the saturation up just a smidge and pulled the mids just a little farther into the green (away from the magenta commented upon earlier)... the rest was done using the eyedroppers for each luma range... black on the shadow under the arm, brights on a window and the mids on a darker bit of stone.

No other alterations.
That's very good! The only thing I don't like (and I saw it in my images as well, is a shift toward cyan in the sky which is why I had to go back and fix it on it's own. Interesting that you chose to push saturation where I pulled mine back. But I see that you pulled your red channel down more in the highs and the gamma which accounts for the difference I think.

Lot's of ways to approach this problem, and good on you for attempting it and sharing it.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 02:57 AM   #13
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My main intent was to show the FCP interface for the effect you've produced... I figured the eyedroppers would get me pretty close to what you're doing and I could tweak from there.

A couple more plain correctors would allow for targeting of the sky, the green thingy and the flesh tones to correct separately based on chroma without having to do much masking.

I'd still vignette at the end to focus the eye like you did though... "Power Windows" have become my new best friend :)
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Old August 15th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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Cheers lads, used as much of the above advice as I could.

Here's where I'm at now. A slight improvement but my limited knowledge of the tools in FCP are letting me down a bit.
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Old August 15th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #15
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Play with them, push them to their extremes to see what they do :) It's non-destructive editing!
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