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Old July 20th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #1
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I feel like a Neutrally Dense clown with a camera, calling for help please!

Hello Everyone,

Well, I am a beginner in videography and I was wondering if anyone out here knows how to correct a Neutral Density filter problem after the fact. First of all, I am a wedding videographer and I recently filmed an outdoor wedding when it was really bright outside so I suppose I can't totally blame myself for the foul up. But in any case, I am now faced with the problem of making a video look natural again without too much saturation. My video has an overbearing blue mask over it, and is much less illuminated than the actual day was. I work on Adobe Premiere 6.0 and I've tried Color Balance settings, and Brightness/Contrast settings to no avail. It just ends up looking like a hazy and muddy mess. Also, the wedding was on a beach and I'm having an extremely tough time making the sand look naturally brown. Any help and suggestions from anyone would be greatly appreciated! I thank you in advance and I wish you all the best!!!

~L.J.~
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Old July 20th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #2
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Hey Lars could you post some screen-captures or stills from the video? That way I might be able to give you exact numbers to correct it.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #3
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neutral density filters will not affect colors, only the brightness of the scene. The blue cast is probbly due to the fact that you had a white balance set for indoors rather than outdoors (sunlight is blue). As far as the white balance, there should be a way to correct for color cast (pushing the color corrector toward orange generally) and the neutral density can be corrected a bit by bringing up the brightness a little...too much and you will pull the noise out of your darks.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #4
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"Color Balance" and "Brightness/Contrast" are probably going to be too limiting for what you need. You need something with a little more fine-tuning ability. I can't remember what Premiere 6 offers in terms of a "Levels" option, but I know that it can be found in Premiere Pro and After Effects. You might be able to find similar plug-ins for P6 if necessary. If you've used Photoshop, you'll know that Levels is a more powerful correction tool.

Typically, it is easier to salvage an image that is too dark, rather than one that is blown out, so you have a pretty good chance of saving your footage. The blue tint should be relatively easy to fix, too, with the right tools.

I have a book on my shelf titled, "Color Correction for Digital Video" that is a good resource for this sort of thing. Good info with color photos of pre- and post-correction images.

But Justin is right, post a few screen caps and someone here can probably point you in the right direction.

Last edited by John Britt; July 21st, 2006 at 10:16 AM.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #5
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Hey guys,

Well, first of all Justin, Cole, and John I just want to say THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for offering advice and assistance to me!!!! I'm sorry I took so long to get back to you guys but I have been buried in my work and totally forgot that I had requested help on this issue. Anyway, I'm still soaked in frustration trying to adjust the color balance and brightness/contrast settings. I would like to know, Justin, what you suggest as far as settings numbers go so I have posted the links to about eight still samples of my video footage below. Please get back to me with your suggestions for what I should do about the color/brightness problems. Here are the links:

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...d-Internet.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...-Internet2.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...-Internet3.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...-Internet4.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...-Internet5.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...-Internet6.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...-Internet7.jpg

http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g2...-Internet8.jpg

Again, I just want to thank you fellas for helping me out. Cole, as far as my white balance is concerned I did it manually and it seemed to look okay but I had no real way to tell under the bright light of the sun without having to cup my hand over the LCD screen which still didn't help me to monitor it correctly. John, I suppose that an upgrade to Premiere Pro is rapidly in order. Thanks again Justin for your help and please let me know what you come up with. God Bless and take care fellas!!!

~L.J.~
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Old July 27th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #6
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Hey Lars, no problem, once you get a hang of this stuff, it's easy.

Corrected image:
http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/6...st4by32lg9.jpg

First thing, go to 'colour balance RGB', wherever it may be. If it doesn't say RGB don't worry about it. Then pull the blue down to about 85, from 100. Then go to levels, and adjust the RGB gamma down to 145 and move the black levels up to 10. Now go to contrast and make the contrast 10.

Colour correction will be different for each scene. You don't need to adjust it for each scene or cut unless there is a noticeable change in lighting/settings. Now, I am assuming you have already cut and edited the video? I do not know for sure how to apply these settings too all of the cuts at once. Luckily since it is a wedding video the cuts should be long, but I normally would colour correct first after a rough edit. If there is a way to apply the colour correction setting mentioned above to all the cuts, I don't know about it, maybe you do I hope or someone else does. I'm still learning too lol.

You’re done! Once applied to each cut to fix every part, the video should look fine now. If it doesn't, try adjusting some of the numbers I gave you, hopefully it should be fine. The main thing that needed to be corrected was the blue levels, bringing it down made it instantly normal looking. The rest is just to make the image more vivid and pull out some details. If you're still having problems, just let me know and I'll see if I can help.

Some more corrected stills, I did pretty much the same thing mentioned above for all of these with minor adjustments. I deinterlaced them because they are just meant for the internet.

http://img467.imageshack.us/img467/5173/vvv2fz9.jpg
http://img467.imageshack.us/img467/8278/vvvks0.jpg
http://img48.imageshack.us/img48/2765/vvv4mf6.jpg
http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/1791/vvv3hi1.jpg
^For this one, I boosted the midtone greens in the colour balance. You can get away with it if there are no people; it makes the plants look more colourful.

Good luck,
Justin
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Old July 27th, 2006, 11:23 AM   #7
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Lars,

I played around a little, but I don't see any easy way to attach an image. Anyway, let me give you some of my experience in cc. In almost every case, gamma alone can be used. Sometimes gains and brightness just confuse the issue. I was able to get a pretty well balanced image by reducing blue gamma quite a bit, then pulling down the green gamma a bit to get rid of the then green shadows on the sand. I use an old version of Corel PhotoPaint, and the "tone" adjustment allows me to do all of this. I grab the center of the blue gamma, but by grabbing the green gamma toward the black end, I can have greater effect toward the blacks.

As a final adjustment, adjust the total gamma (all 3 colors) up, brightening the midrange to bring the faces out of the shadows. Sometimes when you adjust brightness and contrast, it is easy to clip highlights or lowlights, losing valuable detail.

Let me do a little thinking to see if I can figure a way to send you the pic. I guess you could email me your email address so I could then attach the pic.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 02:17 PM   #8
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Hey Justin,

What can I say except, "WOW!!!!" You made me realize that the power of these effects tools are just amazing! I am extremely grateful for the helpful suggestions you've given me. The stills that you reworked turned out fantastic! I haven't exactly gotten to the editing part of this wedding because I have been too busy worrying about the colors of the footage, and then I am also working on another video project that's quite busy. Anyhow, I don't mind processing each clip with the settings you've suggested if that's what it takes. The way that you managed to balance the color of the sky and sand is pretty cool! I'll keep you posted on how things turn out in the final stage. Thanks again!

~L.J.~
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Old July 27th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #9
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That's great Lars, you're welcome. :)
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