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Black and White and Color


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#1 Hal Smith

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 01:56 PM

I'm in preplanning for a short that will be shot 95% in 35mm B&W. In one scene I want to have a car in full color but everything else B&W. It'll be outdoors so I can't use the gag in the "Wizard of Oz" when Dorothy discovers Oz. For that scene they painted Dorothy's room B&W and had a stand-in actress dressed in B&W while shooting in 3-strip Technicolor as she opens the door to Oz.

It'll only be onscreen about fifteen seconds so a time consuming post process for this scene's VFX would be okay. Any thoughts from those of you who are VFX experienced?
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#2 Will Earl

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Posted 18 October 2008 - 02:49 PM

The most obvious way would be to shoot the plate in colour. You can then approach it one of two ways (both utilizing colour correction so it could be done as a VFX shot or in a DI. First up you may be able to do it solely with colour correction by desaturating all the other colours in the scene - most compositing packages should allow you to do this with Hue, Saturation and Luminance controls. This would work quite well if for example you had a red car in the scene which could be easily isolated from other areas of red in the shot.

Failing that the other way is to rotoscope the car, this would give you more control over which areas of the plate you want to isolate.

I say desaturate, but you may have to do a bit of colour correction and grain matching to the footage to match the other B&W footage you've shot.

The third way would be to shoot the plate in B&W and then colourise or tint it in post. This would also require some rotoscoping and would give you a slightly different look.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 03:55 PM

I had no idea the Wizard of Oz solved the problem by painting. Always assumed it was some sort of matte composite of B&W and technicolor footage on Technicolor color print stock.

Hal, you could always hand-color the negative too if it is just one object. If I recall correctly, that's how they did it in"Schindler's List". They then had to insert hand-spliced inserts into the movie by splicing in carefully-printed color stock.
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#4 Tom Hepburn

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 04:20 PM

"It'll only be onscreen about fifteen seconds so a time consuming post process for this scene's VFX would be okay"

In that case, I would shoot the color, isolate or mask out the car and desaturate the rest. Keep in mind that you'll have reflections of things out of the frame on glass and chrome that may or may not pose a challenge. I would even take a still of the scene or one like it if that's possible and do a dry run. Sometimes that can expose little problems that could creep up later.

Sounds fun though. I didn't know that about Dorothy either. And she looked so honest. I feel like such a fool :o

Tom

Edited by Tom Hepburn, 11 November 2008 - 04:25 PM.

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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:07 PM

Hal, you could always hand-color the negative too if it is just one object. If I recall correctly, that's how they did it in"Schindler's List". They then had to insert hand-spliced inserts into the movie by splicing in carefully-printed color stock.


Interesting thought...my partner on this project is a pretty good artist.

In that case, I would shoot the color, isolate or mask out the car and desaturate the rest. Keep in mind that you'll have reflections of things out of the frame on glass and chrome that may or may not pose a challenge. I would even take a still of the scene or one like it if that's possible and do a dry run. Sometimes that can expose little problems that could creep up later.


The car will be my partially restored 1960 Bugeye Sprite...I can control everything if required, leave the chrome off, pull the windshield glass, etc.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:14 PM

Yeah, Hal, our DIT friend makes a good point in that, if something is in color, it's *reflection* ought be in color too.

Just keep in mind that, if you're doing it on the negative, everything is printed the reverse color, so it is extensively trial-and-error, colors have to be consistant from frame to frame, and you'll probably need to test before you settle upon a set look.

It'd be best to shoot 35mm stills and use those for reference/practice.

You actually can, believe it or not, rewash film and get the dyes off that are used for analog retouching, but boy is it finicky. Basically, you want to have your friend practice practice practice, practice before you commit to doing it with the master B&W negative.

Also, it is difficult to get the colors neutral on a color print made from B&W negatives.

One trick I've heard is to actually take a piece of clear color negative base and use it as a filter when you're printing the B&W negative stock onto Vision print stock.
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:16 PM

Also, sorry, I missed that it was a car, a complex object like that may be difficult to convincingly hand-color as opposed to say a fire or a rose as was done in Schindler's list.
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#8 alfredoparra

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:53 AM

shoot the car with color film, in after effects remove all the color except the car with two clicks! 5 minute job! drag the image to the time line and duplicate it, shut one off and click color correction tab, go to tint, this will make the clip black and white, shut it off and turn the second clip on, go to color correction tab and scroll to leave color, with eye dropper, eye drop the car and everything around the car will go black and white! render clip and export, ready for edit! very easy! send me the clip and I can do it for you for free!
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#9 alfredoparra

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 10:57 AM

shoot the car with color film, in after effects remove all the color except the car with two clicks! 5 minute job! drag the image to the time line and duplicate it, shut one off and click color correction tab, go to tint, this will make the clip black and white, shut it off and turn the second clip on, go to color correction tab and scroll to leave color, with eye dropper, eye drop the car and everything around the car will go black and white! render clip and export, ready for edit! very easy! send me the clip and I can do it for you for free!

download after effects trial version, you can do it with that
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#10 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 01:04 PM

Hi!!

just keep in mind the following:

you can shot in color and then de-saturate everything for plate A and have a color plate B. then in composition you need to rotoscope the elements you want in color and them place this elements over the B&W plate.but the effects is really different if you shoot in B&W, rotoscope the elements you want in color and then paint them digitally using color multiply. color multiply is the blending mode used for add color to the photo restore process in still image using adobe photoshop, after effects or the soft you have handy. if the sequence isnt too long you can try this and you will have a different look that shooting in color.

best wishes!
GT
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Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

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