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Old August 22nd, 2013, 12:13 PM   #1
Vietnamese Wedding: Suggestions for Taking Color Correction/Grading to the Next Level
Edward Calabig Edward Calabig is offline August 22nd, 2013, 12:13 PM

This is a next day wedding video we shot earlier this month. I'm having a bit of trouble color correcting and finding an attractive color grading scheme. We've been using the preset white balance settings and I'm not happy with the off-color blemishes now. Should we be setting the white balance through the dial? Or using the custom white balance?

Also, I'm not sure if my color grading requires more "pop"... any suggestions? Any criticism is welcome and much appreciated!

Our equipment for this shoot was:
2 Canon 5d Mark 3s
1 Rokinon 35mm 1.4 (I have since retired this lens in favor of Canon L lenses for future weddings except for exceptionally dark settings)
Variety of Canon L lenses

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Old August 23rd, 2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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Re: Vietnamese Wedding: Suggestions for Taking Color Correction/Grading to the Next L

Hey Edward,

I don't think your grading needs more pop, but I'm biased towards desaturated. For instance, default Standard picture profile is way too saturated for my taste.

But the fact that you're even asking about it probably means that you DO think it needs more pop! So, you should probably go with your gut. And I think that there's at least two ways to get more pop:
-- (1) give it more pop at time of shooting; if you're shooting on a flat picture profile to begin with, I think you can never really regain pop, at least not with Canon DSLRs; so, instead, up the contrast or saturation at time of shooting;
-- (2) test this first (and examine internet samples) before spending money, but I suspect Zeiss will in general give you more pop than Canon L (but it depends which particular lenses you're comparing -- not all Canon L is created equally). I think Zeiss in general produces a more contrasty image, and I suspect it reproduces colours slightly better.

In terms of white balance, I'm sure you know that standard advice from guys like Still Motion is not only to set it by Kelvin, but also to go into the WB shift settings and adjust that manually as well.

I don't do it. I'm too lazy. But definitely, if you want the best colour results, you ought to make all decisions yourself, rather than trust your camera or a preset to do it for you... It's just that it may cost you in speed, especially if you're working with three or more cameras; and it also might cost in post-efficiency if you forget to change as light conditions change, or forget to keep making sure all cameras are on the same settings.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 12:56 AM   #3
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Re: Vietnamese Wedding: Suggestions for Taking Color Correction/Grading to the Next L

I don't like music you use :)
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 06:55 AM   #4
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Re: Vietnamese Wedding: Suggestions for Taking Color Correction/Grading to the Next L

At a glance, you seem to have just a little too much green in your indoor shots, especially in your skin tones.

Anything else you try would be a matter of simple preference, I think. You could experiment and see if you like it better by boosting your saturation, or your gamma/gain.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 07:40 AM   #5
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Re: Vietnamese Wedding: Suggestions for Taking Color Correction/Grading to the Next L

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Calabig View Post
This is a next day wedding video we shot earlier this month. I'm having a bit of trouble color correcting and finding an attractive color grading scheme. We've been using the preset white balance settings and I'm not happy with the off-color blemishes now. Should we be setting the white balance through the dial? Or using the custom white balance?
You should absolutely be using a custom manual white balance made with a good gray card.

All setting color temperature with a dial setting does is set the correct point on the orange-blue axis. It does absolutely nothing for the green-magenta axis (as you can clearly see from your footage). And with cheap building fluorescent lighting, that's the axis that most needs correcting. If you do full manual white balance with a quality gray card, most modern cameras will balance more than just orange-blue. Even my old cheap handycam would do a decent job knocking down fluorescent green spikes and giving decent skin tones when I would do a proper manual white balance, and that was years ago.

But... what to do with your existing footage? You'll probably have to color correct it in multiple passes. First pass, pull the image toward magenta to tame that awful green spike. Second pass, pull it a little toward orange to warm it up a bit. You'll then probably want to do some secondaries -- you've got a lot of saturated colors in the clothing, and some of that will likely exceed broadcast limits (make a TV "bloom"). So make passes for whatever secondaries need to be tamed -- for example, that red on the young lady's costume in the foreground. You'll want to use a vectorscope to be sure how much correction you'll need to pull the colors back down to broadcast safe levels.

How you actually do all this depends on your NLE. If you're using Adobe PPro for example, here's a couple of tutorials that might help get you started:

Primary color correction
Secondary color correction
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