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Old February 1st, 2011, 12:44 PM   #1
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Color Correction! Is there a basic foundation?

I cant for the life of me figure out weather I should do "Color Corrector" Contrast and Brightness, HSL, Secondary Color adjustment....Curves...etc first and then apply the next FX, etc..


Is there a "basic foundation" and chain sequence I should be following when correcting my colors.

Any good tutorials out there....(preferably one that exlpains the eye dropper tools)

Thanks
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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This is something I've struggled a lot with also. I haven't really found any good single resource, but there are many things out there that give you little bits of information. I've come to the conclusion that I will have to just buy a book or video on the subject, I just haven't decided which one yet.

VASST have this one: Absolute Training for Vegas+DVD, Vol. 4: Color Correction, Enhancement and Image Restoration

It is co-hosted by Glenn Chan, who definitely knows his colour and Vegas. I will likely spring for it sometime. If you find anything particularly useful, let me know.
Otherwise, the only thing I've really found helped was picking a tool, and playing with a known entity, like the SMPTE colour bars, or a solid colour, and watch what happens to a pure colour. Then apply it to an actual video and look for the colour you were playing with, and watch what happens. Get in the habit of looking for the presence/absence of detail in shadows and highlights, find something white and see if you can detect a cast on it, etc. Practise I think is the only one, as it's so very subjective.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 01:11 PM   #3
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I would try to stay away from Contrast and Brightness as much as possible since it raises ot lowers all exposure and color thru out the clip.
I generally start with the 3 way corrector since you can not only change the color but also control the gamma and gain. Then I goto either the 2ndy CC to finish it off then Curves to adjust the highs and lows.

As Craig said CC is kind of subjective and a lot depends on the monitor you're correcting on. How it's set can make a hugh difference.

I use HSL to heighten the overall color, punch it up, or I use the NewBlue Essentials.

Glenn Chan has some really good tutorials about color correction as does Edward Troxel in his newletters.

I would start with the 3 way first and go from there.

BTW, it was great talking to you yesterday. Stay dry! ;-)
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Old February 1st, 2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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basic foundation is to 1st match all the shots in a given scene or sequence so they look similar... typical CC on an individual shot might use Levels, Curves or Color Corrector (my usual 1st choice).


Color Corrector (1CC)
1) normally i adjust Offset first to get the shadows looking right.
2) adjust the gain to get highlights the way i want
3) move gamma to locate the appropriate midpoint.
4) repeat steps 1-3 til happy.
5) adjust saturation to get desired amount of color (sometimes do this during 1-3)

1CC Eye Dropper
a) click the + or - (plus is selected color (adjustment), minus is opposite color (complementary))
b) move cursor to target, left-click, draw mouse over area; it'll sample the colors covered and average a result
c) adjust the Magnitude (0.000 to 1.000) to vary the amount of saturation (ditto Angle to vary color)
d) double-click target to return to centre (neutral)


After 1CC u may want to use 2CC to adjust elements within the shot... things like skin (especially skin), grass, sky, street signs... these are sorta non-negotiable; if they don't look right, everyone can tell and everyone notices; they need to look fairly believable no matter what style you're going for... sometimes its easier to do 2CC after 1CC, sometimes before... either way is fine.


Secondary Color Corrector (2CC)
anyway, 2cc allows u to mask an area by hue, saturation or luma so it's pretty easy to get specific items isolated, then tweak with the parameters in the top half of the filter.

2CC Eye Dropper
a) click Selected effect range eyedropper
b) drag mouse over area u wish to adjust
c) check the "show mask" box and turn on/off each of the 3 limiters: luminance, saturation, hue
d1) luma is often good to start with; get the Low/High approx set, then sweep Smooth to desired amount
d2) saturation depends on circumstance; but use the same as luma
d3) hue; drop Width/Smooth to less than 1.0, sweep the Center to find the sweet spot, expand the width the minimum needed, then open the Smooth up.
d4) u may want to turn off each limiter as u step thru, then turn all on and tweak, or repeat d1-d3
e) now use the adjustments in the top half; i find Saturation, Chrominance (angle/magnitude), and Rotate hue, work with the least side effects... Gamma, Gain, Offset become noticeable more quickly.

---

beyond this u should probably go to Glenn Chan's site and read his Sony Vegas Color Correction Tutorial (also check out other articles he's written there)
Sony Vegas Color Correction Tutorial

---

then consider buying Absolute Training for Vegas: Color Correction, Enhancement and Image Restoration
Absolute Training for Vegas+DVD, Vol. 4: Color Correction, Enhancement and Image Restoration

---

more? look for books by Steve Hullfish on Color Correcting for Video.

Last edited by Rob Wood; February 1st, 2011 at 03:56 PM.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 03:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info so far...you guys once again have armed me with lots of information. Im trying to sift through Ed Troxels news letters too... Anyone know which one pertaing specifically to Color Correction?

I THINK where I am getting confused is coming from the still photography world whe I shot in RAW format, I had a histrogram to help me do color correction. Im not big in color correction as my fashion photographer mentor was very anal about getting the image right.....Right out of the camera.. but when i needed to color correct i went by the histrogram, one eye dropper tool for white, the other for black, and one for gray midtones...


Hmmmm perhaps i should throw my digital calibration target in my gear bag and shoot a few frames of this to help eh? (calibration target has a black, white, and gray stripe)

I have been through my Class on Demand DVD....but they just touched the tip of the iceberg on color correction... Perhaps ill spring for the Vasst DVD.

Don... you need me to send my Toro down? We are getting hammered up here!
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Old February 1st, 2011, 03:42 PM   #6
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Hey David, yeah we're gettin' hit hard as well. Big one tonite and tomorrow. Thanks but my Craftsman will do the job and if not, I'm not going anywhere anyway so I'll just wait for it to melt. ;-)

Rob did a super job explaining the various pieces of Vegas CC, if you've got the time I would just play around with it and try all the various functions to see how they affect the clips. Beauty of Vegas, can't hurt anything. Save each different version under a different name. Then you can bring all the clips onto the timeline and compare.

Way back when in the olden days, you know back when we shot real film in still cameras, ;-) I had an opportunity to work some with Victor Skrebneski, man what a artistic minds eye and a very well versed technician. Of course he also had 1 or 2 assistants to keep the camera runnin', but I learned a bunch, mostly how to light and shoot portraits and model composites with 1 light and make it something that had a life of it's own. Ahh brings back the memories.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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In a word.....

The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction by Steve Hullfish...

Absolutely fantastic!!!!
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Old February 1st, 2011, 07:53 PM   #8
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David, one of the stickies in the newsletter forum is an index telling you what is in each individual issue. Just look there and you can easily find the issue you need.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:06 AM   #9
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You might also find the chart at:

Colour Correction Summary

of help (use the one attached to my post of 9 September 2008).

Good Luck,

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Old February 2nd, 2011, 12:15 PM   #10
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Might I suggest that instead of reading quick charts you study Chapter 8 (Color-Correction) of Digital Compositing for Film and Video, by Steve Wright.
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 03:53 AM   #11
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Rather an impertinent comment, don't you think?

The chart is intended as no more than an aide-memoire or a quick introduction to the whole question of colour correction and I should have thought it went without saying that you need to educate yourself further by trial and error, by looking at instructional videos or by reading books on the subject.

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Old February 3rd, 2011, 09:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Jones View Post
Rather an impertinent comment, don't you think?
No, I do not. I stopped reading the chart when I saw it stating that Each Hue has 256 values (0 = fully transparent; 256 = fully opaque). Hue has nothing to do with opacity. Nor does it have 256 values. If the chart contains such an absurdity, how can one rely on the rest of it?

The book I recommended, on the other hand, is exactly pertinent to this thread because it offers exactly what was asked for, a basic foundation for color correction.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #13
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In the RGB world 255 represents extreme white (fully opaque) and 0 extreme black. (fully transparent). That is an RGB of 0,0,0 will produce white and of 255,255,255 will represent black. These are the measures used by Vegas in identifying colours in, for example, its Sony Text Generator or in its histogram.

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Old February 4th, 2011, 05:44 AM   #14
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Richard, the 256 values (steps) you're referring to are levels of luminance, not hue.
0-0-0 to 1-1-1 is one step, 1-1-1- to 2-2-2 is another step, all the way to 255-255-255.

On the other hand, colour (not hue) has 16,777,216 values/steps (256 x 256 x 256).
0-0-0 to 0-0-1 is one step, 0-0-1 to 0-0-2 is another step, all the way to 255-255-255.

That still doesn't sound right to me but I can't think of a better way to say it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model says and shows it much better than I can.

Last edited by Mike Kujbida; February 4th, 2011 at 08:30 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 07:44 AM   #15
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Here is the hue adjusting effect from Sony Vegas. It treats hue as a floating point value between 0.00 and 1.00. That seemingly only offers 101 values, but you can type in a more precise value (e.g. 0.123456).

Hue is actually an angle on the color wheel. It determines what color a pixel has regardless of its luminosity or saturation. That is, its value, while numeric, represents things such as red, green, orange, etc.
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