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35mm color correction


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#1 Shane Martin Smith

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:30 AM

Hey everybody, I recently just shot a short film for a student project, and in a few days i'm going to color my work at Continental Film Lab, in Miami, Florida.
My question is, to what extent can I manipulate my image? I've used Light Room for photography, and I'm familiar with photoshop, but what kind of aspects of color correcting 35mm film, and working with a basic color correction program for digital stills, are alike?

- Random Example of Questions -

Can I bring up the blues, and the contrast?
Can you crush the blacks, and bring up the clarity?
If somethings to bright, can I just bring it down a stop overall?
Etc...

- Particular questions -

Can you desaturate the skin tones?
Bring up the just the highlights?
And, if I do one of these things, and I don't care for it, can I change it back?


Thanks guys. I appreciate your helpful guidance.
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#2 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 04:49 AM

Yes, (and much more).
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 10:51 AM

I assume you aren't talking about color-timing a print off of the negative, but digital color-correction.
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#4 Shane Martin Smith

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 06:28 PM

I assume you aren't talking about color-timing a print off of the negative, but digital color-correction.


According to my instructor, James L. Neihouse, "I will be doing a basic "tele-cine" transfer to HD, so no digital correction, it's basic color timing. The colorist will do most of the work, help me to make sure the shots match within each scene, and basically give me a middle of the road transfer that will let me make other decisions during editing and make sure that I am seeing what I want to see in the transfer."

I'm just not sure what that really leaves me with as far as creative changes? This is my first time with this, and I just want to know exactly what kind of options and questions I can choose from, because to me it doesn't sound like much? My school does this very month, so I'm sure they have a basic way of doing this, but I just want to have a leg up.

Thanks David!
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:29 PM

According to my instructor, James L. Neihouse, "I will be doing a basic "tele-cine" transfer to HD, so no digital correction, it's basic color timing. The colorist will do most of the work, help me to make sure the shots match within each scene, and basically give me a middle of the road transfer that will let me make other decisions during editing and make sure that I am seeing what I want to see in the transfer."

I'm just not sure what that really leaves me with as far as creative changes? This is my first time with this, and I just want to know exactly what kind of options and questions I can choose from, because to me it doesn't sound like much? My school does this very month, so I'm sure they have a basic way of doing this, but I just want to have a leg up.

Thanks David!


Actually that's digital color-correction -- I meant as opposed to photochemical printing using printer lights, going from negative onto a print stock.

You're asking what you can do to the image, so I assume you mean what can you do in another color-correction pass after the original "flat" transfer. Sure you can manipulate anything in the transfer you are working with, make brighter or darker, crush the blacks, change the chroma levels, etc. Whether you can do things like correct a single color channel independently of the others, or only correct a portion of the overall frame, depends on your skills at color-correcting and the type of color-correction software you are using. If you take the footage to a post house and work with a regular colorist, there are all sorts of things that can be done to the image.
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#6 Shane Martin Smith

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 07:59 PM

Actually that's digital color-correction -- I meant as opposed to photochemical printing using printer lights, going from negative onto a print stock.

You're asking what you can do to the image, so I assume you mean what can you do in another color-correction pass after the original "flat" transfer. Sure you can manipulate anything in the transfer you are working with, make brighter or darker, crush the blacks, change the chroma levels, etc. Whether you can do things like correct a single color channel independently of the others, or only correct a portion of the overall frame, depends on your skills at color-correcting and the type of color-correction software you are using. If you take the footage to a post house and work with a regular colorist, there are all sorts of things that can be done to the image.


Thanks David, I appreciate your time.
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#7 dan kessler

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:36 PM

Not to confuse the issue, but hopefully make it very clear...

if your end product is the HD transfer, then you have the options
described above.

If, on the other hand, you were going the photochemical route,
as David Mullen asked earlier, the answer would be different.

When color timing via the film printer (neg-pos contact, the "old fashioned" way)
your options are somewhat limited to overall scene brightness, color balance, etc.

If you want extensive digital control over every aspect of an image
destined for film output, then think digital intermediate workflow,
i.e., hi-res scan the original neg, manipulate it digitally,
then record back to film.
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Glidecam

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