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Old January 10th, 2004, 12:17 AM   #1
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Colour Bars/White Balance Questions

my lil ol 3000 doesn't have CB, neither zebra patterns - i know what zebra helps with, but what about colour bars?

now on to the white balancing...
I want all of my footage to come out the same colour-wise...white balancing seems to help, but there are situations where white balance doesn't accuratly reproduce the environment's colour tones...ex a guy playing a white piano with a red light shot on him (I am probably setting this up wrong...what would you make the cam choose for white? or is it impossible in this situation?)

I have found that trying to edit every single clip to get the same colours (as well as brightness levels - which i will certainly handle better with practice) is insanely tedious!

wouldn't it be nice if there was some automated way? say..before I shot i got someone to hold up a colour bar card in the conditions (for every shot) and then in post it was auto-calibrated? (the same would go for a brightness chart...something that would go from white to black in gradation)

hopefully there are some people out there with answers...i am really trying to stretch the value of my cam as much as possible...so buying equipment isn't in the budget - i was very lucky to get what I could with teh 3000...my original budget was 300 CAD!

anyways, thanks for the time...(again...2 in one night...hey! free time at university is hard to come by!)
Rob
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Old January 10th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #2
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Color bars are used to setup monitors on location and if recorded
you can view how well your editing suite is matching with what
you shot.

White balance is usually done with a pure white sheet or a little
grey sheet. The trick is that you should hold it under the light
where you are shooting, make sure the white fully fills the frame
and the hit the white balance button.

Keep in mind that if you want to add a red light and want to see
this you don't want the red to spill on the white paper (turn the
light of, for example). Otherwise the camera will removed the red
from the picture and the whole scene will look weird. Red will look
like white etc. So white balance under normal lighting and add
special effects stuff later.

The same goes for filters and gels over lights etc.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 12:42 PM   #3
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i figured that much about teh white balance with red light, but i asked because it was a situation I couldn't control...it was on a cruise ship in the bar.

now it would seem to me that there would be a lot of these situations...like sitting in a room and wanting the orange sunset colours coming in through the window...is the best option really only to close the blinds, WB and hope for the besT?

thanks for the reply
Rob
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Old January 11th, 2004, 09:11 AM   #4
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Lighting is a very difficult thing. Most camera's have presets for
indoor and outdoor shooting. I'm mostly using the presets on my
XL1S and rarely have a problem of footage not matching. What
you normally do with a lighting setup is have all lights fitted with
the same color temperature bulb (either indoor or outdoor
balanced) or use a gel to get it to the right color temperature.

In an environment when you can't control the light there isn't
much you can do. With a red light shining in your example I
wouldn't white balance and just use my indoor preset. That
should yield a close enough picture.

It is also not uncommon to need to color correct your footage
in post. Some applications have a post white balance function.
This allows you to pick a spot that should be white and it will
alter the image accordingly.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #5
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I use www.warmcards.com and have had some great results.

you need to take them out and do some shooting with each of the different colored cards and then watch the footage and see which look you like and get a feeling for which card gives what effect.

matthew
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