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Old June 19th, 2009, 12:55 PM   #1
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Color correction techniques in Vegas

Hi there. I'm currently working on footage shot on the Sony EX1 which is being edited on Vegas 8 Pro. I have completed the edit and now am starting to do color correction etc.

I've gone through almost all the tutorials available on YouTube but nothing has yet seemed truly professional. Its mostly just a bunch of school kids working on their video game captures!

Although I have used levels and the color corrector tools on Vegas I haven't really thought about any workflow that is tried and tested. My question is this:

Is there a definite technique that I should follow? This is what I do usually:

1. Use "Levels" to bring the levels between the 100 and 0 markers, usually its very subtle.
2. I use "Color Corrector" to adjust overall color and adjust saturation.
3. Use "Color Curves" just to do some final adjustments.

Is this approach correct? What are some of the ways you guys color correct? I would really like to know :)

- Ali
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Old June 19th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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USe the video scopes to get your colour corrected.

you can easily see if there are any peaks in any direction, then use the 3 way to bring them down. scopes are also great for matching camera to camera.

Here are some of the best tutorials for correcting.
Sony Vegas Tutorials and Other Articles
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Old June 19th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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Adjusting video levels and colors for broadcast

Thanks Danny! I did read the articles you pointed me to. However, it clearly says that the tutorial is not meant for broadcast. So what if I wanted to adjust levels and colors for broadcast? I'm sure there must be a tutorial out there somewhere that explains that. Or perhaps someone here could offer some tips and insights.

I've seen tons of tutorials on everything from shooting to editing to post to mastering and authoring. But nothing on color correction. The most that anyone goes into is how to read the scopes, and that too in a very vague fashion. I find that most peculiar! Color correction is probably THE most elusive topic out there - and after years of editing and post I still don't seem to have a solid grasp of the subject!

Why all the secrecy?
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Old June 20th, 2009, 01:55 AM   #4
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I found that the VASST video tutorial DVD from Vegas (by Glen Chan) did cover broadcast concerns well (the different levels, color spaces used). That DVD is what taught me my color correction steps. That and a lot of trial and error.

Jason
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Old June 20th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Robinson View Post
I found that the VASST video tutorial DVD from Vegas (by Glen Chan) did cover broadcast concerns well (the different levels, color spaces used). That DVD is what taught me my color correction steps. That and a lot of trial and error.

Jason
I agree with Jason about the VASST DVDs...they are a very useful resourse...
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Old June 21st, 2009, 02:21 AM   #6
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I agree with Jason about the VASST DVDs...they are a very useful resourse...
I was only referring to the dvd that deals with color correction. Discs 1-3 I found mostly useless (since I wasn't a beginner to NLE editing or to Vegas when I picked them up last year).

The audio disc was pretty good too. I haven't looked more than once at teh DVDA disc, and I still haven't had a chance to look at the "what is new in Vegas 8" disc (even though Vegas 9 is now out!).
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Old June 21st, 2009, 03:41 AM   #7
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Ive noticed the lack of tips and tutorials... To be fair, the Boys at Sony have printed a book "Digital Video & Audio Production" and it refers only to Vegas Pro 8.

The Vegas book describes how to USE the colour correction tools, and it does it very well - (the tute and the correction) I use this along with levels and curves - as you do, to get the vision looking just right.

Ben

The Book;

Digital Video & Audio Production.
A hands on guide to creating rich multimedia with Vegas Pro software
ISBN 0-9713458-0-5
Fifth print 2007
Gary Rebholz & Michael Bryant
Published by Sony Creative Software
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Old June 21st, 2009, 05:19 AM   #8
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I am now a Final Cut editor but spent many years with Vegas.
This was my approach to Colour Correction and still is with FCP.
First I would get the levels filter and look at the scope and see where my black levels were sitting, if I thought that the black level was shot to high in camera I would lower the black level. I would approach the top end whites the same. I would lower them until the whites (top end) where under 100. Now this is all depending on the scene for the black levels and this is the real determining factor with CC in my opinion.
EDIT: I forgot to add that also look at where the mids are sitting as this can bring some real ZING into otherwise flat footage. Push up or down with this can change things.
Now to white balance get the three wheel filter and sample something that should be black with the eye dropper and then do the same with the whites, this should white and black balance for you.
Colour correction or changing the feel, mood, is up to you. I would always use the scopes filter to check my levels where legal in regards to both colour saturation and black and white levels.

Hope this helps.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 10:13 AM   #9
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I use the colour corrector plugin followed by the levels plugin. It's sometimes nice to boost blue or aqua tones in the lower part of the colour corrector, but by leaving the levels until last you can bring back any black that may have been lost boosting the blue or aqua. Then I might use some warmer tones in the mid range but normally leave the tops white.

The AAV Color Lab plugin is worth installing as well.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #10
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Honestly, levels and related topics have gotten even more confusing to me since reading information presented by Glenn Chan here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/what-happ...confusion.html

He also has a couple of tuturial pages on his own site that explain some things about using different project settings in Vegas (32-bit vs 8-bit) and their effect on video levels, be they studio RGB or computer RGB, as well as how certian codecs interpret those levels as well. It's a lot to take in.

I recommend reading his info, but hopefully you'll grasp it better than I did :)
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Old June 24th, 2009, 02:23 PM   #11
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Glenn's info is much easier if you just stay 32 bit the entire way like I do. You just have to live with the fact that it's going to be slower. I gladly take the penalty in speed for the richness of color. Also, realize that when delivering HD, the NTSC color scheme no longer applies. You're playing in a different color space according to Rec.709. No more 7.5 IRE setup and the like.

Try this as a fun test. Take a well shot Hollywood DVD. Place it in your computer and capture a minute of it. One very bright scene, and one very dark scene. Make sure you're set at 32bit color space. Then look at it on the scopes. Amazing what you'll see, and it changed how I set my levels.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Thomas View Post
I use the colour corrector plugin followed by the levels plugin. It's sometimes nice to boost blue or aqua tones in the lower part of the colour corrector, but by leaving the levels until last you can bring back any black that may have been lost boosting the blue or aqua. Then I might use some warmer tones in the mid range but normally leave the tops white.

The AAV Color Lab plugin is worth installing as well.
I'll second the AAV color lab, great tool!
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