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Selective Color Saturating


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#1 Daniel Garee

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 12:57 PM

I'm shooting a 35mm short this week and I'm toying with the idea of choosing a few key colors, keeping them vibrant, then de-saturating the rest.
The story is on the romantic comedy side of the genres with a couple of day exteriors and the rest night interiors.
So far I'm playing with overexposing certain colors and actors by 1/2 a stop to a full stop. Or by highlighting these colors through like colored gels. I'm a bit weary of the gel route because of availability and I'm worried it will turn out looking like an 80's blue and red gelled teen movie.
If anyone has any suggestions or experiences they could share I would be most grateful.
I hope this all made sense. I'm still new to the whole forum thing.

As always thank you,

Daniel Garee
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:34 PM

If this is for video finish or DI the easiest route is to control the color during the transfer. Of course starting with production design that has the colors you want helps a lot too.

But if this is for print (without a DI) there's only so much you can do to selectively control colors beyond production design and colored lighting. Overexposing certain areas won't make those colors any richer compared to the rest of the image. If you leave them overexposed in the print they'll actually look a little more washed out, and if you print down the entire image to make those areas normal brightness, you're just making the other areas darker but not any less saturated.

You can bias the saturation toward a particular color by using a colored filter (attenuating the density of the complimentary color on the neg), and then color-time the print toward neutral. But this controls only one color, not several select hues.

Colored lighting can control select areas of the frame, especially if you play complements off each other. In other words if you want to highlight a red subject, you can subtly color other ares of the frame with a complementary gel like blue or cyan to control the red saturation. When you do this "color contrast" does a lot of the separation for you, and you don't need to go as saturated with the gels.
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#3 Daniel Garee

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 08:57 AM

Thanks Michael,

I agree that color timing will be the most direct route to my goal, but I'm still a bit worried of the skin tones. A bit on the cool side is fine, it actually works with the story quite well, but warm or pinkish skin tones would be a bust.
I forgot to mention that I'm using 5218 (Vision2 500T) for interiors and night exteriors and 5205 (Vision2 250D) for day exteriors. I'm not sure how much of a difference these two stocks might have on the final image after processing and color timing.

Thinks,

Daniel Garee
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