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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old June 9th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #1
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Color correction for HDV?

There's an interesting trend with video these days where things appear to have much more contrast than usual. The videos are darker, but are also over exposed in some areas (which is unfortunate). A perfect example is the "Discovery Atlas" series. I just saw the China one, and what really makes this stand out is the distorted contrast (at least thats what I'd call it)
I use the levels in after effects a lot, and I have Final Cut... but rather than try to simulate this effect, I'd really like to know what the "right" way is. It would be interesting to experiment with.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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A lot of this is done at the production level. Movies are starting to be shot "darker" look at the new Oceans 11 14 blah blah movies and look at the original one from the 60's. That is just a trend right now in cinematography. To get high contrast however, like in Saving Private Ryan or something like a dream sequence of the past where something bad is happening you might want to try doing a luminance key. When you create your key you can select how much of the blacks you want to crush and how much of the highlights you want to blow out instead of using the luminance curve that is already set up by the controls in final cut. I have only done this in Color but would imagine that it would be along the same lines in FCP.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aric Mannion View Post
There's an interesting trend with video these days where things appear to have much more contrast than usual. The videos are darker, but are also over exposed in some areas (which is unfortunate). A perfect example is the "Discovery Atlas" series. I just saw the China one, and what really makes this stand out is the distorted contrast (at least thats what I'd call it)
I use the levels in after effects a lot, and I have Final Cut... but rather than try to simulate this effect, I'd really like to know what the "right" way is. It would be interesting to experiment with.
Since HDV is so compressed you can get an arguably better version of the high-contrast look by tweaking the settings in-camera (before the compression is applied). The risk you run of course is that you'll be stuck with crunched blacks and blown-out whites but it's worth experimenting to see the results for yourself so you can decide.

There is no "right way" per se but I can tell you that really good color correction starts with the photography.
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