Is there a cost to color balancing in Post? at

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Old August 12th, 2003, 10:19 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2002
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Is there a cost to color balancing in Post?

Just thinking about the effects on picture quality if one doesn't correctly (or at all) white balance the camera before the shoot.

Present editing programs allow one to white balance the picture even if one uses the wrong filter (shoulder camera with internal filter packs).

So if we get a full 8 bits out of the camera after color balancing, does color balancing in the edit suite affect the quality of the video?

I haven't taken a hard look at this so in a way this is a question for which I haven't done a lick of research. Does anyone have any information on this issue?
Mike Rehmus
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Old August 12th, 2003, 10:46 PM   #2
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Different systems use different algorithms which preserve information integrity to differing degrees, but for the most part even the cheapest solutions (i.e., the color correction filters found in consumer NLE packages) add no more requantization noise than the hardware implementations performed inside the camera while shooting.

Many successive color corrections will result in many successive recompressions of the DV stream. More than 5-10 recompressions has been shown to perceptibly degrade quality, though the exact number of times is dependent upon the content.
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Old August 13th, 2003, 09:40 AM   #3
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It really depends on the software. I try to do all the corrections on a layer, so all the corrections are non destructive. Only when I'm 100% satisfied do I flatten the layers and render the sequence. I keep the number of renders to a bare minimum.
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