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Color Correction/Timing Before and After


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#1 Scott Bryant

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 11:22 PM

Okay bear with me, I know this is a pretty weak question, but can anyone give post examples of before and after color correction/grading. I know a lot is subjective for different moods and scenes, but I can't seem to get any of my film to look "polished" if you will.

Now I do know that a "look" isn't just manufactured in post, but that it involves proper lighting, exposure, etc., but even my stuff that I feel has the potential, just falls short due to my inexperience in color correcting/grading. Also, I understand that people who get amazing results usually are the ones that have worked their butt off studying and perfecting their craft. I'm not looking for any short cut method or anything, I'm just trying to have a comparison.

I'm basically trying to figure out if I'm just way off on the cinematography aspect or on the post production aspect and I think if I can see some examples of before and after I can nail down the problem better.

Since I'm working with film I'd prefer the examples were from film situations, but any help is appreciated. Basically it would be really cool if I could see a straight-from-the-transfer screenshot and a corrected/adjusted final shot.

This is kind of a lot to ask so I understand if I don't get many responses, but any responses I do get would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 11:58 PM

When it comes to film, most footage is color corrected while it is being transferred, unless one is paying for a one light / cheap best light transfer only. I usually don't color correct my video footage, I prefer to do it on camera.

I think you should post an image of yours that shows what you are talking about, to make it easier to understand exactly why you say your footage is falling short.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 12 October 2008 - 11:59 PM.

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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 12:06 AM

The question is what are you comparing the corrected shot to? What exactly is an "uncorrected" shot? A dailies transfer designed for later tape-to-tape correction? Something shot by a video camera for broadcast that needs "sweetening"? A scan of a film negative into a LOG file? A one-light workprint vs. a color-timed print?

Often these comparisons are misleading because the uncorrected shot -- often a flat LOG scan -- looks like crap and the corrected shot looks so much better that the impression is that the color-correction "saved" a crappy shot, rather than simply the the final color-correction perhaps represented the original intent of the cinematographer, who photographed the image in such a way as to allow that end result later.

And often the "uncorrected" shot was actually corrected to some degree. So again, what are you comparing? Perhaps an incorrectly timed shot -- as opposed to an uncorrected shot -- to a correctly timed shot?

The other thing that determines color-correction decisions are the surrounding shots and surrounding scenes, a point that can be lost when looking at an individual frame. Contrast may have been added to a flatter shot, for example, to make a better cut to a more contrasty shot.
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#4 Scott Bryant

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 05:48 PM

I see. I think my problem is that I've been going the cheaper way out and just having film my film transfered with a best-light transfer.

Thanks for your replies.

If I want the telecine to look a certain way do I just send pictures of what I want along with the film?
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