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Old January 2nd, 2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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Underwater Colour Correction

I've been patiently trying to learn how to use the colour correction fx in Vegas Pro 9 to no avail.

I've spent hours of trial and error as well as following this tutorial on correcting white balance Fixing Incorrect White Balance using Sony Vegas but I can't get the video anywhere near the same as I can in photoshop.

In photoshop using a screen grab, I can get the colours almost perfect by using the channel mixer, and then by setting the levels and adjusting exposure in under 60 seconds. I basically use the channel mixer to build the red channel by copying pixels from the green channel, reducing the blue channel and then setting the levels.

Example below:

http://www.alexasigno.co.uk/shark-video-test.jpg

Does anyone have any special techniques or advice they could give on how to correct under water video footage in Vegas?

Cheers and thanks in advance.

Alex
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 02:24 PM   #2
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Ok, the quick and dirty way is this...

1. Open Color Corrector (3-wheel color)
2. Select the "-" eye dropper under the "LOW" wheel, aim it at something black in the preview window, and click. That will bring the black more in line
3. Select the "-" eye dropper under the "HIGH" wheel and aim it at something white. This will bring the highs in line
4. Do the same for the middle wheel and aim it at something mid-gray. This will get you a basic color balance. Tweak from there.

You can also do something similar to what you've been doing in photoshop by using the "color levels" FX instead of the color correction.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 03:32 PM   #3
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Also what are you looking at your color correction on. Computer monitor or TV? Makes a difference. Is it calibrated?
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Puttin the wet stuff on the red stuff!
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 07:11 PM   #4
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Hey Alex, I was somewhat saddened to see your underwater PS color correction, because its so much better than anything I have been able to do in Vegas - With underwater stuff I generally have been satisfied CC mainly boosting the reds - for a really quick result the auto color levels filter full color correction with film levels preset has also sometimes looked OK. Until now. If you do manage to achieve the same result in Vegas as you have in PS I would be really pleased to know how you did it. Otherwise, I think you are going to be saving your footage as JPEGS and batch processing in PS.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Come on guys...

This took 10 minutes...



This one slightly longer because of some tricky issues... (and this was 2 years ago when I was just learning how to correct)

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Old January 2nd, 2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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Hi Perrone, yes, its easy quickly to get good results correcting underwater video, even very good results, and probably most people who do a bit of underwater video have a few presets saved for various depths and conditions. But Alex has got an excellent result. I had a quick try CCing the raw side of his posted sample, enough to see I couldn't get near the result he got from PS. Hopefully this was just because the sample was a JPEG and there isn't enough color info to work on. If you can duplicate his result in Vegas we'd probably both be interested in the settings.
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 10:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer Listing View Post
Hi Perrone, yes, its easy quickly to get good results correcting underwater video, even very good results, and probably most people who do a bit of underwater video have a few presets saved for various depths and conditions. But Alex has got an excellent result. I had a quick try CCing the raw side of his posted sample, enough to see I couldn't get near the result he got from PS. Hopefully this was just because the sample was a JPEG and there isn't enough color info to work on. If you can duplicate his result in Vegas we'd probably both be interested in the settings.
Ok, here's my result after 5 minutes...

I could probably do better fooling with the original footage rather than a low-res JPG image.. But I don't think it's too bad.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 03:44 AM   #8
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Not too bad at all, and surely good enough. It's all too easy to become too perfectionist about these things.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 06:23 AM   #9
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Eh? - Try the Channel Blend Fx in Vegas? It is just awesome! It consists of a what looks like a 5 row X 5 column SPREADSHEET . . . .

When you make it work, get back here and explain how you did it? The help file, . . . isn't!

I have Ultimate S Pro 4 from VASST, and it has a Preset that I use in Channel Blend. How they get this stuff to work is beyond me. But work it does.

So, Alex, if you choose to accept this Mission . . .

Grazie
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 09:07 AM   #10
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I was able to get channel blend to work.. but it's not intuitive at all and very slow.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 03:51 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies guys, Perrone you've managed a great job at correcting the footage. However I just can't get anywhere near it, what is the process you used to correct the footage?

I've tried using the colour corrector and levels FX but I just can't get anywhere near the right colours using these. In photoshop setting the levels is easy as you get to see a histogram of the levels by channel rather than having to just guess the start and end points :-(

Graham thanks for the details of Ultimate S Pro 4 from VASST, I will give the demo a trial at the weekend, do you have any tips to get started with it?

Terry I've been doing the colour correction on monitor which isn't calibrated, I suppose I should do this.. (Looking for another tutorial...)

Rainer I hadn't actually thought of batch processing the footage as jpegs, for the odd little part that would be ok to do, but I have about 2 hours of footage to do. Once I find an easy process to follow which gives good results I will post here.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Asigno View Post
Thanks for the replies guys, Perrone you've managed a great job at correcting the footage. However I just can't get anywhere near it, what is the process you used to correct the footage?
First correct the white balance. I use a plug-in called AAV Color Lab. Once that is done, I use the color wheels to fix the rest. Use the negative eye dropper on the high and middle wheels. Then do the low wheel. Do you know how to correct with the wheels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Asigno View Post
I've tried using the colour corrector and levels FX but I just can't get anywhere near the right colours using these. In photoshop setting the levels is easy as you get to see a histogram of the levels by channel rather than having to just guess the start and end points :-(
You can turn on the histogram per color in Vegas too. Not sure that would be how I wanted to work, but if that's what your comfortable with, you can do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Asigno View Post
Terry I've been doing the colour correction on monitor which isn't calibrated, I suppose I should do this.. (Looking for another tutorial...)
Well, you can do that, but if you plan to deliver to the web, it isn't as crucial. I use a calibrated monitor when I am delivering for broadcast, but sometimes I don't if I am not. I certainly makes things easier, but they're expensive to buy for just casual home use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Asigno View Post
Rainer I hadn't actually thought of batch processing the footage as jpegs, for the odd little part that would be ok to do, but I have about 2 hours of footage to do. Once I find an easy process to follow which gives good results I will post here.
You could just hire a colorist... I've corrected LOTS of underwater footage :)
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Old January 4th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #13
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Hiya thanks for the link to AAV Color Lab, free plugins are the best ;-)

I *think* I know how to basically use the wheels. I've been using the low wheel and using the negative eye dropper on black, and then white on the high wheel. I try and use a light grey for the middle wheel.

I will have a look then and see how I turn on the histograms, the only reason I was asking is that with Photoshop it makes it so much easier, as you can see where the colour range starts and finishes rather than guessing which is what I have to do.

I would love to hire you to do all this for me, but as it's only for personal use on my blog I can't afford to. If I ever become a professional underwater videographer I will keep you in mind ;-)
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Old January 4th, 2010, 11:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Asigno View Post
Graham thanks for the details of Ultimate S Pro 4 from VASST, I will give the demo a trial at the weekend, do you have any tips to get started with it?
UliSPro4 just works! - Place to start is to get messing with it and you'll pick it up very quickly. Please check to see if the preset I got to use comes with it? I could have got it via one of their - VASST's - other packs - dunno? You're asking about CC-ing. UliSPro is majorly chock full of indispensable tools.

Getting back to your comment about how easy it is in PS, what IS it exactly you find easy with PS? If you are specific then I am sure one of us could possibly interpret this INTO Vegas? You;ve talked about using the Histogram: Well how DO you use in PS?

As a tip, I now have maybe 50+ CC-ing "Grazie" templates/presets that get me an immediate "ball-park" solution: White Balance for Tungsten; Neon; Floro; BAD WB by me for daylight! - I then go on and further tweak my own. All within Vegas.

Grazie
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Old January 5th, 2010, 04:16 AM   #15
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Hi Graham, this is pretty much what I do with PS
YouTube - Photoshop: Underwater color correction

I do a little more by playing with the exposure and some small tweaks, but the above video shows almost exactly the same process.
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