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Old May 9th, 2005, 08:33 PM   #1
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Sin City color correction

I heard that Sin City was shot with two cameras at once, one with black & white film and other was with colored film. I have not seen this movie yet but i know that in some scenes there are some things colored and others not. On editing station they were using black and white footage and then coloring back some part of footage by frame by frame technic. I dont really know if its true or not but my question would be: have anybody tried film with regular Mini DV camera, inported in edit station, dublicated footage, one colored and one not(V1 color,V2 black and white) and then picked up some objects and colored them back...I mean that some objects are colored and around them its black and white...
(with giving color back i meant to use Photoshop and then import masks for every single frame, lots of work though...)

sorry for complicated english...
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Old May 9th, 2005, 09:30 PM   #2
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I think you were misinformed. I believe that this was an HD show all the way. But let me check with the VFX editor and see what he has to say. I will find what software and hardware was used.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 12:40 AM   #3
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Shane is right, you were misinformed.

It was shot with a single Sony F950 camera, going dual link HDSDI out to decks recording HDSR 4:4:4. The entire movie was shot against a green screen.

The backgrounds were complete CG as far as I know, and I think they use Discreet products to do the color work (Inferno is it?).

That's all I know..
If you find out the details Shane, post them here.
I'm just posting what I heard...not sure if it's 100% accurate.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 01:03 AM   #4
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Here is the trailer in case you haven't seen it:
http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/sin_city/

Keep your eyes open for a copy of Cinefex magazine.
http://www.cinefex.com/

I'm sure they will be running a story on it soon. I've already read plenty about it online so I know it's out there already.
It is common knowledge that RR ONLY shoots digital and does his own post work (well... not ALL of it, but he does have a big hand in it).
The effect you are talking about is actually pretty common. Just select the color and de-saturate everything "but" that color. In the case of Sin City it's not "Black and White", it's "Half-Tone" meaning that there's no grey. It's either black or white (or the color they replaced). It's a much more complicated situation. I remember reading about the problems they were having with one of the characters being green but it didn't work with the background (greenscreen) so they had to paint him yellow on set and then repaint him green in post.

Doing it in Photoshop would take FOREVER! I don't know what you use for your editing and effects work (besides Photoshop) but there are bunches of programs that would handle this sort of stuff.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 01:04 AM   #5
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Discreet has a color grading product called Lustre.

However, it's entirely possible they did the grading in Inferno. I'm not sure if Lustre has the ability to grade images in context. With green screen footage, it would be nice to see the background image.

I think Lustre integrates well with Inferno so that you can green screen in Inferno and do all the motion tracking stuff and then send those layers to Lustre. But I'm not sure. Anyways, I'm not sure other people can help me out here.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #6
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THis is what Kevin LaNeave, the VFX editor had so say:

"Sin City was shot on Sony's recent new format: HD-SR. Regarding the B&W effect, I'm no comp supervisor, but I think they basically used a compositing program (at our place one called Digital Fusion) to pull the color out and then adjust the contrast settings according the standards set up by the production company in Texas. I wish I knew more to say about it, but there have been some good magazine articles on the newsstands about the show's details recently. Perhaps you should browse the local newsstand's film/video department and look for a magazine with Sin City on the cover."
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #7
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It has been covered elsewhere but another very interesting look is from a process that can be mimiced electronically in Magic Bullett and 55mm called "Bleach Bypass". Originally a film process the mutes and desaturates the color of the film.

You can do a similar effect in a sort of poor mans way by putting 2 copies of your video in tracks 1 and 2 in your timeline. Remove the color and adjust the contrast to your liking in the 1st track making it basically a B&W and then do a mix or partial dissolve to the color track above it. I like to add some gausian blur or soft focus to the color track. Blend to taste. Or, buy 55mm or Magic Bullett, etc.

A similar process was used in "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow"

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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:39 PM   #8
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I don't think Sin City used the bleach bypass look, because it looks totally de-saturated (instead of somewhat desaturated).

In some scenes they may have added an overall tone to the image. If you pull up some of the images on a vectorscope (i.e. the trailer), it's not totally black and white. Or pull the trailer into a NLE and boost the saturation.

An example of a toning effect for black and white pictures would be sepia tone.
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