Professional color grading applications have plunged in cost from six figures to zero. In the mean time, exact, grade-quality screens have kept on staying costly and out of span. This bifurcation of innovation has made an entire era of individuals doing color work on video without the capacity to assess the outcomes on an appropriately aligned presentation.For one thing, an admonition: it is a vastly improved affair to color grade in a situation suited for precision with a color-aligned showcase. The issue with color is that it is so difficult to do right, thus simple to truly spoil.
On the off chance that your pipeline incorporates completing in a color suite with a gifted colorist, then quit perusing now. In the event that, in any case, you are a piece of by far most of individuals doing color work for video who are unequivocally NOT colorists, then this article will have some supportive tips to get you through to the completion line.Progressively, color amendment and grading is being taken care of by editors on portables and desktops, making content that will live on cellular telephones and in somebody’s Facebook channel. For most substance, color doesn’t should be immaculate — it simply must be in the ballpark.
You’re Not a Colorist. So What?
You are not a prepared colorist, yet your after creation pipeline obliges you to assume that part. This is particularly valid on the corporate, independent, and mechanical end and for material that will live in the online networking biological system. It’s not wrong, it’s fair tasks with due dates and low spending plans — how media is made at this point.For a considerable length of time, shows were shot and altered with post-color took care of as a bit of hindsight — on the off chance that it was ever pondered by any stretch of the imagination. In the mid 1990s, I utilized a Time Base Corrector (TBC) to ensure color qualities were “kinda right” and that was the degree of it.It was up to the DP and camera team to ensure the light sources were a steady color temperature, and the camera was legitimately highly contrasting adjusted. Everything came to me as Rec 709 on a tape, and there wasn’t a ton I could do past the most fundamental of sign modification.
These days, editors need to manage terabytes of log encoded or RAW video streams, where the alternatives for botching color are truly interminable. This is fine on the high-end of the creation biological community, since there was a DIT on set and a colorist in post to handle every last bit of it. What’s exasperating to me is the amount I am seeing this work process on the lower-spending plan end, where it appears that the choice was made to set the Sony to S-Log and that was that.Like I said, you’re not a colorist, but rather everybody in the pipeline before you chose you would be. Point the finger at it on the way of life of deferred irresoluteness that pervades an innovation immersed industry. Whatever it is, you have a bundle of clasps and you have to ensure that the general population don’t look purple and the monetary allowance did exclude a grade exact screen.
Start With a LUT
If you are starting with RAW or log-encoded videos, then the first step you need to take is applying a tool called a Look Up Table or LUT. This is the one of the easiest steps in the process, but also the easiest thing to screw up.
There’s no magic to a LUT, it’s just a way to take that massive amount of image data (color, gamma, black point, etc.) in your source footage and reduce it to just the parts you need. A LUT moves an image from one color space (like S-Log) to another color space (like Rec 709).
This process changes the way the image appears, without changing the image itself. You, the lonely post worker, see the dull washed out image automagically transformed into an image that looks kinda like how it’s supposed to look. All that washed-out stuff is still there, it’s actually valuable information that you can use to tweak the output if you need to do that.
The above image is out of camera. The below image has a LUT applied.
There are times where everyone on the production side did their job correctly and all you have to do is drop the “Log to Rec 709” LUT on top of the clip and, voila — instagrade. You end up looking like a genius when all you’ve done is the thing that cameras had done for years but suddenly stopped doing as of late. As I said, this phenomena will happen to you once in a while, so, you know, don’t count on the LUT doing all the work.
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