Cheap Tricks: White balance at DVinfo.net

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Old September 1st, 2005, 07:31 PM   #1
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Cheap Tricks: White balance

5600K= outdoors

Setting the white balance on a number of colored pieces of construction paper.

1.Dark Blue =Tints the picture brownish red.

2. Powder/Light Blue= Deeper greens.

3.Orange=Blue Tint.

4.Deep Red=Deeper Greens.

5.Dark Green= Desaturated/washed out colors.

6. LightPpurple=Light Green.

7. Pink=Deep Green.

8. Lime Green=Desaturated/washed out.

3200k= Indoors

1. Orange=Deep Blue.

2.Deep Red=Green.

3.Lime Green=Warmer skin tones.

4.Dark brown= Light blue.

5.Light purple= Light green.

6. Dark green= Warmer skin tones.

7. Dark purple==Deep Green.

8. Light Blue/Powder Blue=Skin tones not warm.

9.Dark Blue=Warm skin tones.

I hope this will be of interest to most of you.

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Old September 1st, 2005, 08:53 PM   #2
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See, this is the kind of stuff I love. Thanks, Matt.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 12:24 AM   #3
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I've actually done this once or twice...but it tends to have a problem. When you white balance blue for example in order to get the effect of a sunrise even the whites of the actors eyes go red...and it tends to be much more dramatically than if you had actually shot at sunrise or done the same thing with gels. When you light the scene normally at a high color temp, but white balance it in an effort to fake a different color temp, there is a stark difference in the way color contrast would naturally show up.


If used in a subtle way it can help a shot (like using the very light powder blue or grey to warm skin tones), but by the same token color correcting in your NLE can be a bit more versitile.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 02:42 AM   #4
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Fascinating info as expected from this site and these folks who post.

Very cool tips regarding the colored paper white balances. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a detailed message.

I have a way simple trick I'd like to share..... When shooting an interview with 5600K daylight try adding a diffused 3200K kicker. It will add a very nice warm glow to the one side of the subject. Adds color, definition and further separation.

To the newbies, white balance BEFORE you add the 3200K light.

BTW: Hope that many of you are able to donate to the Red Cross to help with the disaster relief from hurricane Katrina.. Please do so if you can.

Thank you and good luck,

Steph
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Old September 8th, 2005, 11:05 AM   #5
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This is easier than setting up tons of lights, white balance, then adding different colors of gels to get the look (don't white balance after the gels are up--it will look normal).

My students LOVE the wb on pink to get the sickly green look. They use a setting one of our teachers, Jon Fordham, set up on our DVX100A called Gritty 70s (looks like reverse color 16mm film from the 1970s).

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Old September 8th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #6
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MASSIVE thread! - Reeepseckt!

Adore the - "My students LOVE the wb on pink to get the sickly green look"

I hope I remember this one! LOL!

Grazie
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Old September 8th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #7
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Well, they do. The ones that use it with our Gritty 70s look are making some dark films.

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Old September 16th, 2005, 09:10 PM   #8
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YOU ROCK! That is an awesome list.
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Old September 28th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #9
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I'd like to mention that there is one distinct advantage to using this technique vs. using the color-correction tools in your NLE.

Color-correcting in post forces a recompression cycle, whereas doing this in the camera means the NLE doesn't have to put the footage through such a cycle. Of course if you have other effects that force a render then it's a horse apiece.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason J. Gullickson
I'd like to mention that there is one distinct advantage to using this technique vs. using the color-correction tools in your NLE.

Color-correcting in post forces a recompression cycle, whereas doing this in the camera means the NLE doesn't have to put the footage through such a cycle. Of course if you have other effects that force a render then it's a horse apiece.
Dear Jason,


When I get up to speed on my NLE I hope to remember your advice.

But at the moment, I've got to know what a "horse apiece" means!

Thanks,

Steph
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Old September 29th, 2005, 08:06 AM   #11
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Cool thread.

And thanks for pre-answering my next question of "Is this a preferred way to doing it in post?" :-)
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Old September 29th, 2005, 08:27 AM   #12
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Another sort of tip...(or just something to think about when working on your lighting.)

I took a film lighting class from some real masters of the art form in Boston a few years ago. They started me on the road to exploring lighting from a different perspective. These are the things I think about every time I light a set (or even my own home!). Lighting is so much more than setting up some Arri's with some diffussion...

- Photon management...that's what you are doing. You are managing the photon's coming out of the source. If you think of it this way it becomes easier and less of a mystery. Manipulating photon's...sounds like sci-fi and it kind of is that way.

- Photon's from a *laser* beam (or more practically in our world a studio spotlight hanging from the ceiling or barn doors closed off with a tiny bit of light peeking through) are the most concentrated forms of "photon management". The almighty *sun* is the spread out form of "photon management". It's our job to work from those to spectrums and play around with the "spread".

- We are very conditioned as humans towards lighting. The lighting conventions of the past are working for and against us. Always approach your lighting with the most basic question first. Is this natural? (unless you are going for an unnatural look, of course) There is only one sun and humans are conditioned to have only ONE light source. Believe it or not. If you light a scene with ONE light source and bounce everything else...you're usually going to get something pretty damn good. That's because we are conditioned to be standing under ONE sun and have bounces of light coming from other places. When you add artificial light...it becomes something else on the conditioning of the human brain. We know it, but it's definately causing a reaction in a different way. It's subconcious.

- The camera is really dumb. When lighting...don't forget your camera is your "eye" now. However, it is really dumb compared to your human eye. So, you're more or less trying to create things outside the camera eye that will be fed into the camera in such a way that the camera's dumb mechanics capture what your human eye is seeing. It's about translating the lighting in such a way that the dumb camera will capture what your human eye is getting naturally. This bullet point can be summed up with...know your lighting conditions and use the cameras dumb mechanics accordingly. (iris, mattebox, gain, shutter speed etc etc.)

I love this topic more than most! I've still got a lot to learn, but knowing these things above has helped me quite a bit!
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 07:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Wilson
Dear Jason,


When I get up to speed on my NLE I hope to remember your advice.

But at the moment, I've got to know what a "horse apiece" means!

Thanks,

Steph
To be honest I'm not sure where it originates but the meaning is simular to "six of one/half dozen of the other", or in other words, the two are equal.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 10:38 PM   #14
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Hey Christopher,

Just a few thoughts regarding your post. IMHO the camera isn't "dumb", it's just operating as a inanimate recording device. Our human eyes make adjustments that the camera can't make, that's for sure.

I totally agree that the camera can't duplicate what our eyes see. We are born with the knowledge that the sky is blue and our eyes will see blue. If our camera isn't white balanced or set up properly, the camera might not see a "blue" sky. But that's our fault, not the camera's.

Maybe I'm not understanding your opinion. If so, please set me straight.

Steph


To Jason,

Thanks for the "horse apiece" explanation. I am fascinated with the origins of these colorful sayings....
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Old October 4th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Wilson
I am fascinated with the origins of these colorful sayings....
Check out http://www.etymonline.com/

Here's the best explanation I could find:

Quote:
"I heard (and, in fact, used) the phrase in the context of a common dice game, where the last round comes down to two individuals, where the game is decided best two out of three. If you lose the first round, it's "a horse on you." If you win the next, it's "a horse apiece," meaning all square and the next turn decides it. (That is, decides who buys the round of drinks....)"
But to be on topic, yes the eye is in a way "smarter" than the camera but the eye can be tricked just as easily. The simplest example I've seen is to look in a window at the light from a tv while you're standing on a dark street...the light looks blue even though if you were in the room the light would look white. This is the same problem the camera has, there is a limited lattitude of color that it can see at any given time. The camera is of course more limited than the human eye, but everythig has it's limits and thats a big part of getting the most out of your equiptment (both hardware and wetware), knowing where those limits are and using them to your advantage...

(that's why you see alot of B&W from me :)
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