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Old October 3rd, 2007, 12:33 PM   #1
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Getting the right colours?

I'm new to working on drama stuff rather than docs which is my background and am learning about lighting set ups...I was shooting recently with another cameraman and had some blue gels on the lights. He was using the same camera as myself (Z1) but the image seemed bluer on his camera than mine. We did do a white balance (for an earlier scene without blue gels) but when wanting to get a really good colour, whats the best lighting situation to white balance in? should we white balance with the blue gels on the white card?
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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If you gel your lights blue and want them to look blue, white balance to whatever the lights were before you added the gel. If you white balance with the blue light or a blue gel on a white card, you're essentially removing the blue and that blue light will be interpreted as white light. That's why in some cases with florescents that are slightly green, we white balance to a slightly green card so that the flos will seem white.

If you want to use white balance to achieve color effects, you should white balance to the opposite color that you want to achieve. For instance, a warm color, CTO, over a white card will make whatever is white light look cool (blueish).

On narrative stuff (and really well-controlled doc work), when I'm gelling for color effect (not necessarily correction), I treat the video like film stock and set the camera for either daylight or tungsten (not white balancing to a card). That way, any color I add shows up as just that. There are different schools of thought on this choice, but I find that in a controlled situation (when you know beyond all doubt what kind of light you're working with), this works very well.

~~Dave

Last edited by Dave Dodds; October 3rd, 2007 at 05:00 PM.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 06:44 AM   #3
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thanks for a great reply, v. helpful
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Old October 4th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #4
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Hi Neil! Since you're using a Z1, you might find the following white balance trick interesting. Press the MENU button and select OTHERS > ASSIGN BTN. Now program one of the buttons with WB OUTDR LV+ and another with WB OUTDR LV- (I am using buttons 2 and 3 for this on my camera). Now choose CAMERA SET > WB PRESET > OUTDOOR.

This will allow you to easily bump the white balance level up or down in 500K increments and it may be useful if you're trying to get color effects. For more on this see: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=79394
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