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Are colored slate sticks any good for color balance reference?


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#1 Adam Paul

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 11:08 AM

I'm wondering if colored slate sticks are any good for color balance reference or if I'm better of with some sort of card like the QP Card (here: http://www.qpcard.se...1...d=1&catId=1 ). I have this exact slate model: http://www.gomediamo...h...eENG&cat=33 and it says the sticks have laminate stripes in the basic Kodak colors, so I'm not sure if the colors and black, gray and white are really accurate for reference in color correction. What do you guys think?

Edited by Adam Paul, 08 October 2008 - 11:09 AM.

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#2 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:19 AM

All you really need are white, black, and gray. I've had the AC tape a mini gray card to the bottom of the slate before, I think it was that same slate or similar, and it was perfectly adequate for matching color during compositing.
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#3 Adam Paul

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 05:53 AM

That's what I meant. If I need a separated card or if the white, gray and black on the slate sticks are enough?
Thanks.
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 08:54 AM

No they are not enough. You should always shoot a Gray Scale/ Color Chart (alone) with proper exposure to insure correct timing interpretation.. using the Gary Scale/ Color Chart Slate is dangerous because it assumes the slate is always 'properly' exposed... when 9.9 out of 10 times it is not... it is just there for info purposes.
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#5 Adam Paul

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 09:35 AM

No they are not enough. You should always shoot a Gray Scale/ Color Chart (alone) with proper exposure to insure correct timing interpretation..



What do you mean by properly exposed? I thought the whole idea of having the card in the shot was to have a reference so when color correcting to match different takes and angles in the same scene you would have a standard reference, i.e. match the cards and the shots will match. Now if you shoot the card alone and "properly exposed" and properly exposed means let's say a T2.8 but you are shooting the shot at T4 how good of a reference is the card going to be?
Also, why shoot it alone? Most people even stick it to the slate or hold it in front of the talent before rolling camera.
What am I missing? This is a honest question. I'm not trying to flame or anything.

Thanks.
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#6 David Rakoczy

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 01:04 PM

Not at all.. excuse me but I come from a Film background and we shoot our Color Charts so the Colorist has a place to start that we all agree on. Then what ever the Image is after that, is what the Cinematographer intended to deliver. It is up to the Dp/ Gaffer to match the Lighting. Sure we tweak each shot in TK a bit but not with a Color Chart in each new 'shot'.. sometimes one person is in warm Light and another in cool... one overexposed and one under.. if you want to retain that you wouldn't time each to match. Without a Color Chart at the head, the Colorist has no way of Knowing what you painted... this way the Chart is Normal.. and everything after that is what you shot... for better or for worse.

Those 'tweaks' are usually based on Skin Tones.. not Charts..

Edited by David Rakoczy, 09 October 2008 - 01:06 PM.

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