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Old January 13th, 2007, 09:01 PM   #1
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Color timing fiasco!

Iím working on the color timing for a short film and it has been nothing short of dumbfounding. I realize that without a professional monitor the work will lack certain amount of precision.

With this lack of precision I have been going back to re-time the shots that look wrong on my flat screen, then go back into FCP, tweak, send to Compressor, export to DVD SP, burn, and then sit down to see the results. Here is where it gets fun!! Once I have something that I think might be passable I take this copy and play it on another television and everything has changed again. Iím not taking about a subtle difference I mean really a noticeable change in color, highlights, shadows.

I have been very studious about using scopes, getting contrast levels set and dealing with the color in as controlled way as I can, but still the results are so varied. Is there something Iím missing? What do other people do that havenít dropped 2500.00 for monitor?

Maybe all people can tell me that I need a real monitor, that trying to do precision work on an apple lcd is flirting with disaster.
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Old January 13th, 2007, 09:44 PM   #2
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THis isn't the least bit surprising. Go to Best Buy or Circuit City and look at all the TVs they have. Notice that not one of them shows the same colors as the others. This is why you never use a consumer TV set to color correct.

BUT, on that note...I will color correct something on my $3000 HD color correction monitor and it doesn't look close to what my TV shows. The reason I use the $3k monitor? TO ensure that I have the best most accurate color possible.

DO your best....that is all you can do. What kind of footage are you working with? You can monitor DV thru your camera to a TV. Or is this HDV footage?
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Old January 14th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #3
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The footage is HDV. The strange bit is that on one monitor the black levels are fine, on another theyíre a little milky and on a third theyíre severally crushed. But even these discrepancies appear to be inconsistent. In other words it seems like each monitor will handle different shots in very different ways.

Even when working with your HD monitor you find large inconsistencies with your output?

So is this a matter on getting a feel for your gear and taking educated guesses on how something might read?

Iím just amazed on how good I can have something looking an my apple screen but by the time it gets to my TV the image is such a radical departure I donít know where to begin.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 05:00 AM   #4
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The calibrated monitor gives you the reference for all (or most -;)) TVs, sorta "the average".

If you use your scopes AND such amonitor, you do not ensure that your footy looks alike everywhere, but you can have a more qualified HOPE that it won't puke anywhere.

For the rest:
What Shane says!

Cheers!

Gunleik
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Old January 14th, 2007, 06:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Tebeau
So is this a matter on getting a feel for your gear and taking educated guesses on how something might read?
More or less - this is why one should have a Grade 1 or Grade 2 monitor to work on, knowing how to keep it set up, making things look good on that. Okay, so professional grading means thinking about ambient light and colour temp in the grading room, but most of the time, you just want a well-set-up, high quality monitor (not a TV set) and a source of bars and PLUGE.

TV sets have additional circuitry (according to brand) and 'features' that 'improve' the percieved quality, and over time the factory settings drift off, the tube gets tired and so on. Either way, a domestic TV isn't a fair test. Having said that, I still test on two domestic CRTs and an LCD after doing a grade on my JVC monitor. Most suites also have a tired old 14" as a 'worst case scenario'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Tebeau
Iím just amazed on how good I can have something looking an my apple screen but by the time it gets to my TV the image is such a radical departure I donít know where to begin.
And therein lies the rub... I'll throw caution to the wind and guess that most, as in 99.999%, High Definition viewing devices will be LCD/Plasma/Projector; whereas legacy SD 4:3 will strongly favour CRT. Which means if your delivery is HD, balance for LCD (having used the Apple setup utility) and try to keep to progressive scan (as interlacing is for CRTs). If your delivery is SD/DVD, then balance on a good quality SD monitor (I use JVCs).

Oh, and then there's a different balance for web delivery because computer screens go from 0-256 where video goes from 16 to 232 - and if you're being strict, a Mac balance and a PC balance (as the contrast is different). Aaaarrrrgh! :)
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