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Old September 22nd, 2004, 12:09 PM   #1
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Question on "Saturation"

Can someone explain what "saturation" is, and how it differs from film to video? Is there any relationship between saturation and the improved color reproduction from a 3 chip cam?

I have a 3 chip Sony that produces nice rich colors, but it seems that to acheive something closer to a "film look" you should reduce saturation. Is this something you do within in the cam or in post? Doesn't this just wash out the colors?

I'm a rookie with (apparently) no eye for proper color, but I'm trying!
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 12:53 PM   #2
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I'll take a stab.
Saturation is as you are thinking it - how full/rich/much color is in a particular hue.

My experience has shown that many video cameras have much more saturation than film, so a common technique to achieve a more film like look is to turn down the saturation slightly. If you turn saturation completely down, you have desaturated the image and you end up with black and white. If you use an image editing application this is known as desaturation.

Since you say sony and 3 chip, I'm going to guess PD150-200ish camera. For these cameras the saturation control is in the camera set up menu (not the main menu).

For some reference here is a shot of the PD-150 with the saturation turned all the way down

http://images.digitalmedianet.com/20...saturation.jpg

Compare that to the same shot with the saturation turned all the way up.

http://images.digitalmedianet.com/20...saturation.jpg

A slightly below normal saturation setting using the Instant Sex Trick in post along with a tweak to the color curve could easily produce a film look common to mid-budget films and films of the 70's.

Cheers
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:05 PM   #3
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I should have clarified that I use a TRV 950. I think it does have a control for saturation but I'll have to check in the menus.

I'll search on the Instant Sex post to find out more about that. I'm guessing from your note that gives the 70's look?

I'm editing in FCE which allows some color correction, but to my knowledge doesn't allow changes to the color curve (could be wrong).
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 03:22 PM   #4
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Actually the Instant Sex trick creates a semi bloom effect on your video to give it more of a film look. The combo of saturation instant sex and curves can be used to create any film style.

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Old September 23rd, 2004, 01:54 AM   #5
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Instant sex trick? Someone has got to explain that in regards to
video. That sounds weird!
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 02:01 AM   #6
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Do a search regarding Instant Sex.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 02:43 AM   #7
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I've been searching for that for.... ehrm, that's something else <g>

Okay, this thread then:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=16726
(which also links to another)

Crazy name.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 08:15 AM   #8
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Simple
Duplicate your video layer.
Change the transfer mode of the upper layer to screen, overlay, etc.
Lower the opacity of the upper layer to taste.

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Old September 27th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #9
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You can't make an overall generalization about film and saturation, since different stocks and techniques are all over the place. It's more what look you want. I don't want to emulate 1970's mid-budget!

The Technicolor process had very intense saturation, look at some of the films from the 50's.

The film gamma curve also tends to make darker colors more saturated and lighter colors more pastel.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 03:38 PM   #10
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I saw The Rock's "Walking Tall" film the other night and though it was not as good as the original I still liked it. My point here is that the look of the film was nicely color saturated with great tweaks in the shadows. The overall look was very good.
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Old November 1st, 2004, 09:17 AM   #11
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Anyone have suggestions for making your footage pastel like?
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Old November 4th, 2004, 07:39 AM   #12
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"You can't make an overall generalization about film and saturation, since different stocks and techniques are all over the place. It's more what look you want. I don't want to emulate 1970's mid-budget!

The Technicolor process had very intense saturation, look at some of the films from the 50's."

Every time I read about "film look" - it is associated with low saturation... I don't know why. The statement above is very true: there's no generalization about saturation when it comes to film... Maybe there are +saturation eras and -saturation eras :).
I like to set my XM2 saturation about two steps higher. (I love the look of the filmes from the 50's :) ).
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Old November 4th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #13
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Is it true that how you may want to adjust saturation depends on the colors in the subject?

I generally like the colors from my TRV950 (trees, grass look nice to me) but when I shoot, for instance, my son's team with orange jerseys in full sun, it looks like obnoxious video orange. Ideally, I'd like to tone down the orange but leave everything else alone, but don't think I can do that with the tools I have.

The same subject on an overcast day looks more normal.

Maybe I should adjust the saturation level up or down in my camera depending on the sunlight conditions?
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Old November 4th, 2004, 02:30 PM   #14
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Try this website http://www.centuryoptics.com/products/filters/soft_&_diffusion/bf_samples.htm

They have a filter called Black Frost and it comes in graduated densities. The Black Frost 1/8 or 1/4 looks like it would be great for taking the "clean" edge off of 60i video. The 1/2 and higher starts to look a little dreamlike.
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Old November 4th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #15
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Desaturating the oranges in post isn't very hard and can help. It also helps to lower your midtones as video tends to boot them up (hence the obnoxious orange)
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