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Old June 10th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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Post Production

I'm a still shooter making the transition to video with the 5D and RED. I would like to know if there are any post production studios that can handle color correcting (I believe it's called grading) my work? In the still world, I use retouchers to give my imagery the look I want, so I'd like the same thing in video. I am very knew to this, so I am quite clueless, but my goal is to have shot three 2-3 minute pieces for my portfolio by the end of summer and I'd like to have a plan in place on how to put all of this together. Thanks for any help!
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Old June 10th, 2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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There are quite a few choices actually. If you are editing on a Mac, with Final Cut Studio, it comes with a program called Color. Which is one of the most intense color correction programs you can find. However, it will take a little work to learn, as it's extremely sophisticated software. Otherwise, if you are editing on PC or simply don't have/want final cut studio, another very popular program is Magic Bullet. They have pre-set grades you can add to your videos. I have never used it, but I believe, they have decent advanced features as well.
Magic Bullet is probably more user friendly than Color, while Color gives you a lot more control. However I have seen brilliant results from both programs.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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This is very helpful should I choose to do this work myself, but I won't be ready for this for a long time. Can anyone recommend some post production houses/studios that can do my color correcting?
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Old June 11th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #4
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I can't help you much there, however, if you google post-production house Colorado.... I'm sure you'll find plenty of options....

But keep in mind, it will probably be much much more cost-effective (as well as fulfilling) to do the CC yourself.... but that's just my opinion.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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A very least, learn the basics of video editing. If you talk the same lingo as a decent video editor, this will make your life a lot easier if you both know what each other is talking about. Things like codecs, frame rates, formats, progressive, interlace, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

I to came from a still background, and I have to tell you that working with all the aspects of video makes doing image editing and photoshop work seem like a walk in the park!!!

Definitely learn some basic post even if you are not going to edit yourself, which you should do sooner than later.

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Old June 13th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #6
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If you have a PC sony Vegas is really a fine editor that has superb color correcting. It also can work with Red. Also, if you capture hd through Neo scene (all of 130 dollars or so) it increases your color space and give you better lattitude in this regard. Through Vaast you can get dvd tutorial training on color correcting. Even better, it also has a broadcast filter to set things within ire parameters!!

It is not rreally very difficult!!! Save a pile of dollars.
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old June 29th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'd have to agree. It would be much better for you in the long run to learn the basics yourself. It also comes out much cheaper :P
Colour correction is much simpler than it sounds. Of course it IS an art and does take practice, but even someone with no experience can get decent results. Over the space of about a month I learnt how to do pretty advanced CC just by practicing and reading the help menus for all the CC filters in my NLE. It took me a month because I obsess over learning EVERY detail, but you could probably figure most of it out in a few hours.
The other thing about colour correction is that even though it might sound like a really boring task to some people, it usually turns out quite fun. It makes you feel like a painter who is recreating the image the way you picture it in your head.
Just be careful not to go too overboard, as it may turn out pretty nasty. The same could be said about the opposite (on some movies), where you actually want quite a bit of CC to bring out the life in the footage.
Canon XH-A1, Sony Vegas Pro 8.0c, ProAm 12' Jib, Matthews M25 tripod, Rode NTG-1
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Old June 30th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #8
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The best advice is to learn, except if you are involved in major productions and lack the time and/or need heavy loaded CC.
There are two angles on learning it: one technical and the other aesthetic.

In the first area I would recommend to approach how video signals work, levels, and colorimetric concepts. Also study deeply the software you plan to use and how the different tools / tonal rage variations may affect the image, plus explore the use of masks and/or selective colors tools if available as effective methods for delimiting areas to apply CC.
On the aesthetics you must develop an eye for CC and need to look and evaluate material for learning (there are tutorials around). Remember that CC not only enhances images, also helps to create moods and support the narrative.
The room lighting and surroundings where you do grading also affect your perception. (At least try to have dim lights and a neutral gray behind your monitors to "reset" your eyes once in a while).
Romuald Martin

Last edited by Romuald Martin; June 30th, 2010 at 08:22 PM.
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