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HDX900 and Color Correction Menu


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#1 Barry Cheong

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 09:33 PM

I was playing around with the Color Correction menu settings on the HDX900 while prepping a job and tried boosting the Saturation levels but didn't see any effect to my image. I had the camera hooked up to a Panasonic 8" monitor.

Color correction was turned to "On" in the menu.

Is there something I'm missing?
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#2 Bruce Greene

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:27 PM

I was playing around with the Color Correction menu settings on the HDX900 while prepping a job and tried boosting the Saturation levels but didn't see any effect to my image. I had the camera hooked up to a Panasonic 8" monitor.

Color correction was turned to "On" in the menu.

Is there something I'm missing?



I don't know about the HDX900, but on the Varicam the color correction "on" item and the matrix tables are assigned to a single gain switch position so that you can switch through 3 different settings using the gain switch if you'd like. Perhaps you were adjusting postion 2 in the menu while the camera switch was set to position 1 or 3 for example so you couldn't see the change.

-bruce
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#3 Barry Cheong

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 11:49 PM

Good thought. I actually tried that and I had color correction turned to "ON" in the low, mid and hi settings. I had another look and it looks like there might be a very small minute increase but for +63 steps I would expect there to be more of a difference?
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 04:41 AM

Good thought. I actually tried that and I had color correction turned to "ON" in the low, mid and hi settings. I had another look and it looks like there might be a very small minute increase but for +63 steps I would expect there to be more of a difference?


I've been able to get a reasonable difference in saturation using the color correction. Try turning up the desired color all the way to +63 (making sure you have a good reference subject of that color, of course), just to see that it is indeed working. Then adjust it to the desired level.
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 10:16 AM

Look into adding color through your red and/or blue gammas. That will do more, easier than what you are playing with now. A simple color balance trick that can give you abit more (mostly it's red that will make a scene look more color saturated) is to carry around a Lee cinematographers swatch book, or degrees of both CTB and CTO gel swatches. When you aim your camera at a source and push the white balance what you are doing is adjusting the two color channels to the reference channel. In other words the red is being compared to green and then the blue compared to green. So as long as your green channel is properly adjusted, red and blue will be matched to its levels based on what you are white balancing on. From that white becomes white. If you want to saturate your color more warmer then you use blue gels in front of the lens when you white balance. Starting out with an 1/8th CTB, now hit the white balance. The camera will compare blue to green and red to green but because it sees more blue it will adjust the red channel to have a bit more oomph. As a result you get a more saturated look than a cooler look. Want a cooler look, do the opposite. Take 1/8th CTO and do a white balance. You can try 1/4 CTO/CTB and up for more of a saturated look depending on what you want to achieve. It's simple and takes four seconds rather than 40 minutes playing with controls in the camera that an operator really can get in trouble with if they don't know what they are doing. I am about to put an article on my website on this technique and what it achieves and other white balance tricks.
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 04:34 PM

White balance, RGB gamma, Matrix tables and color correction all do different things. White Balance and RGB Gamma affect luminances in the three color channels; Matrix and Color Correction affect hue and saturation of the color signal independent of luminance.

White Balancing adjusts the gain or white level of each color channel relative to each other to create an overall color balance. Biasing this balance toward one color is adding more gain or luminance to that channel compared to the others, which will shift the entire image toward that color. Warm/red tones (like skin) may appear more saturated with more red gain, but whites and grays will also appear warm-tinted. And unlike a colored filter on the lens that biases the color evenly throughout the tonal range, white balancing affects the highlights most, the mids a little less, and the shadows almost none at all.

RGB Gamma raises and lowers the mid level of each channel, with little effect on the whites. A quick cheat for keeping a neutral-looking white balance while giving a little apparent saturation to reds is to raise the red gamma (and perhaps lower the blue), which is really just raising the luminance of the mids in the red channel only. Skin tones can appear more red-saturated, but the color balance of subjects will shift with changes in exposure. In other words, it works well for sit-down interviews but not so well for general-purpose shooting or drama.

Color Matrix adjusts the overall color response of the camera by aligning the hue and saturation of six different points around the color wheel. Since pushing or pulling one point smoothly "tugs" the adjacent colors, the matrix is useful for matching the color response of different cameras. But it's usually best done with a vectorscope and requires a little experience to know how all the + and - vector values affect individual colors.

Color Correction in the Panasonic allows you to quickly isolate 12 different colors around the wheel and change their hue and saturation independently, and is actually very intuitive and precise. For example I've isolated the color green (not the green channel) and boosted the saturation when I've had a green screen on location that didn't have perfect lighting. If you're going for a more complex color look it can become tedious to make all the necessary adjustments, but what you see is what you get.
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 06:08 PM

And with all that a camera can do with adjustments, hence why I suggest the two easiest if you are new to it, gamma adjustment and white balance tweaks. Many times in the field, you will not see subtle adjustments clearly on a monitor but need a monitor and scope to do so. They will give you a more saturated look. I still use both for most all I do and make pictures that everyone thinks look graded before we even get to post. Even better make it look good and clean in the field and then saturate colors overall in post.
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#8 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 11:30 AM

That's what I would suggest too. I use the HDX900 a lot and have found that trying to increase saturation in camera can be done, but is so easy to do in post that I normally just shoot things flat. In all honesty though, I typically find myself Desaturating the image in post.
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