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Desaturating colour


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#1 Chris Stones

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 06:38 AM

I want to take the colour and life out of a film I'm about to shoot and was wondering what you would advise as the best way to do this.

I know I have options of stock, flashing, ultra con filters, under exposing, grading, etc but I don't really have the opportunity to test all the combinations myself so wanted to know if any of you had had good results you'd like to share.

My heart is saying do it in camera but my head is saying wait till grading, what should I do?

Thanks a lot in advance
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#2 John-Erling Holmenes Fredriksen

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:12 AM

You should talk to your costume and set dressing departments (don't know the correct English terms), and decide on a color palette that suits your vision. That's the best trick I know. Then you could start checking out other steps to take towards the look you want to make, in camera and in grading. Depending on where you are going with the post process, I guess you can achieve a lot of the things you want there. Unfortunately I cannot make any suggestions regarding stock, processing, filters, etc.
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#3 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:11 AM

Are you going for a print or telecine?
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#4 Chris Stones

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:26 AM

Are you going for a print or telecine?


Telecine

And as far as production design goes it will be mostly exteriors so difficult to dress. Costume will be something I will definitely look at
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#5 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:37 AM

I want to take the colour and life out of a film I'm about to shoot and was wondering what you would advise as the best way to do this.

I know I have options of stock, flashing, ultra con filters, under exposing, grading, etc but I don't really have the opportunity to test all the combinations myself so wanted to know if any of you had had good results you'd like to share.

My heart is saying do it in camera but my head is saying wait till grading, what should I do?

Thanks a lot in advance



Hi Chris

What are you shooting, INT, EXT, day, night, people, landscape, etc...???
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#6 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 11:28 AM

Telecine

And as far as production design goes it will be mostly exteriors so difficult to dress. Costume will be something I will definitely look at


Then just turn down the saturation in post, you should be able to test a normally processed negative and post desaturation quite easily.
Production design is still your best friend because you may have everything down in tone but a bright green lawn behind your subject so you may want to have an equally saturated dress and makeup so when you turn the saturation down everything will fall into place. The opposite is also true i.e. if you want everything desaturated but keep a particular color more saturated you should dress your scene accordingly.
Other methods affect contrast too. I remember kevin zanit posted stills from his own tests of bleach bypass. if i can find them i'll post the link.

Hope this helps :)

kevin's tests: http://www.cinematog...showtopic=22663
if i forgot or said something wrong i'm sure someone will give you better answers ;)

Edited by Valerio Sacchetto, 24 April 2008 - 11:30 AM.

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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:09 PM

Then just turn down the saturation in post, .... bleach bypass. ....

We had a show once that did some bleach bypass, and later had to match some normally processed film to the bleach bypass. The telecine colorist was able to nail it, no problem, nobody could tell the difference.

The only problem with the power of electronic color correction is keeping it in the right (DP's) hands.



-- J.S.
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 04:34 PM

I know I have options of stock, flashing, ultra con filters, under exposing, grading, etc but I don't really have the opportunity to test all the combinations myself so wanted to know if any of you had had good results you'd like to share.


You really have to test it yourself to determine how much is "enough" and how much is "too much." What's right for someone else here may be totally wrong for you.

Fortunately desaturation is one of the few things that leaves the least amount of artifacts when done in post. If you go too far with your in-camera techniques you'll have a bear of a time putting color back into the image in post.
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#9 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 06:35 AM

We had a show once that did some bleach bypass, and later had to match some normally processed film to the bleach bypass. The telecine colorist was able to nail it, no problem, nobody could tell the difference.

The only problem with the power of electronic color correction is keeping it in the right (DP's) hands.



-- J.S.

That's nice to know. May i ask you some questions? Like stock, filters. Was the bleach only for desaturation or for the "look" of it? You had to match the footage because of an "afterthought"? The match went in which direction (normal footage matched to the one with bleach bypass or vice versa)?
Thank you in advance!
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#10 Kiarash Sadigh

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:28 PM

I achieved this look in post...(the "before" shots were taken on the set by various people, but it gives you the idea) take a look...I'm going to have a couple of postings to fit these pics...

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#11 Kiarash Sadigh

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:34 PM

...and some more...

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#12 Kiarash Sadigh

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:40 PM

...and some more....

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#13 John Sprung

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:55 PM

That's nice to know. May i ask you some questions? Like stock, filters. Was the bleach only for desaturation or for the "look" of it? You had to match the footage because of an "afterthought"? The match went in which direction (normal footage matched to the one with bleach bypass or vice versa)?
Thank you in advance!

Being in post production, I don't remember much about stocks and filters. I do know that it was Kodak, and day exterior. The bleach bypass was for the look, and the reason for needing to match was an unfortunate miscommunication. Some of the material that was supposed to have the bleach bypass look was accidentally shot and processed normally.

That turned out to be a good thing. Bleach bypass basically discards some of the film's ability to record information. Identifying and discarding the same information in telecine works very well, but trying to pull it back out of the treated image could land in the very difficult to impossible zone. It's like my grandfather used to say about cutting lumber: Off you can always cut more, but on you can never put. ;-)




-- J.S.
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#14 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 09:37 PM

Being in post production, I don't remember much about stocks and filters. I do know that it was Kodak, and day exterior. The bleach bypass was for the look, and the reason for needing to match was an unfortunate miscommunication. Some of the material that was supposed to have the bleach bypass look was accidentally shot and processed normally.

That turned out to be a good thing. Bleach bypass basically discards some of the film's ability to record information. Identifying and discarding the same information in telecine works very well, but trying to pull it back out of the treated image could land in the very difficult to impossible zone. It's like my grandfather used to say about cutting lumber: Off you can always cut more, but on you can never put. ;-)




-- J.S.


Thank you very much John for all the infos!

Would you say that nowadays it's better (taking flexibility and final result in account) to get the bleach bypass look in post than by the actual thing?
The going into the "impossible zone" sounds like something actually desirable from a certain POV ;)
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