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Biutiful color grading


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#1 Yasutake Torii

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 03:05 AM

Hi guys,

I wonder how the film Biutiful is color graded.
Or is it mainly the effect of their choice of film they shot on?
But anwyays, I wonder if the look on Biutiful is achievable in post.

reference(pics):

http://cinema.theiap...10-1045016.html

http://images.allmov...iutiful_001.jpg

(movie trailer)

http://www.movie-lis...php?id=biutiful

Thank you!

yaztj
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#2 Rodrigo Prieto

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 09:27 AM

Hi guys,

I wonder how the film Biutiful is color graded.
Or is it mainly the effect of their choice of film they shot on?
But anwyays, I wonder if the look on Biutiful is achievable in post.

reference(pics):

http://cinema.theiap...10-1045016.html

http://images.allmov...iutiful_001.jpg

(movie trailer)

http://www.movie-lis...php?id=biutiful

Thank you!

yaztj



Hi Yaztj,
I guess I can answer your question as I graded the film with colorist Miguel Pérez Gilaberte in Barcelona. In general, my approach to digital intermediate color timing is quite simple, using it mostly as an interactive form of grading using printer lights. I like the Lustre configured so that the individual clicks on the keyboard represent points of color or density. Only rarely do I change color saturarion or contrast, and if I do it is to match shots rather than affect the look. So I test different combination of camera stocks with print stocks to determine the look I am after for every project. In the case of Biutiful, after much testing, I settled on Kodak Vision 5260 500T camera negative pushed one stop, printed on Vision Premiere. The result is a contrasty image with saturated color and visible grain. For the scenes on the snow I used Kodak Vision 5201 50D to have a pristine, transparent image in contrast with the rest of the movie. Night scenes I shot with Vision3 5219 pushed one stop as I found the blacks to be cleaner in very dark scenes, whereas the pushed 5260 resulted in blueish blacks. So, the look of Biutiful could have been mostly achieved photochemically, but since I combined aspect ratios, shooting anamorphic for some scenes and spherical for others, we had to do a DI. Of course, once you have the tools of the Lustre at your disposal, I did do windows to control some areas of the frame in a few scenes. I am no purist. Whatever works best for a final image is the approach I will take. It is just that I feel that once you start tweaking contrast, saturation and sharpness, the image starts to look "digital". This is why I rely on photochemical methods to find an image that I like for every project I shoot.
Thanks for your interest,

Rodrigo Prieto.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 09:58 AM

Thanks for the analysis - interesting.

One query. In the first of Yasutake's examples, there's a shot of a man sitting against a wall which appears to be pale blue.

Is that actually a blue wall, or was it lit or graded to look that way?

Probably a silly question, but I like the separation of color in the shot.

P
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#4 Rodrigo Prieto

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 12:54 PM

Hi Phil,
That was the color of the wall. It is a small doctor's office, and it was lit with an 18 K through the window out of shot with Full Grid Cloth diffusion just outside the window, and a flag inside to darken one third of the wall behind Bardem. He was also lit with an overhead 4x4 Kinoflo with Cool White bulbs gelled with 1/4 Minus Green. On the dark side of his face, I placed a black 4x4 card for negative fill.

Cheers!
Rodrigo.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:20 PM

Thanks so much for participating in this forum Rodrigo!

By the way, why Cool Whites with 1/4 Minus Green as opposed to Kino 55's or Chroma 50's, something with less green in it to begin with?
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#6 Alexandre Lucena

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 03:44 PM

Nice to have you here, Rodrigo. Bring on the rest of the gang( Cuaron, Lubezki, Alejandro...)


Saudações do Brasil
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 06:55 PM

less green in it to begin with


I was about to ask the same thing.

P
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#8 Rodrigo Prieto

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 06:45 AM

Thanks so much for participating in this forum Rodrigo!

By the way, why Cool Whites with 1/4 Minus Green as opposed to Kino 55's or Chroma 50's, something with less green in it to begin with?


Hi David!
In my lighting package I had quite a few cool white bulbs as there are many scenes with fluorescent lighting in which I used cool whites exclusively to match existing lighting or to keep the green/cyan look of cool whites. On the doctor's office I wanted Uxbal (Bardem) to have a combination of white daylight on one side of his face, combined with cyan fluorescent top-light to add discomfort to the moment. I felt that Cool Whites slightly corrected gave me the right amount of greenish top-light for that moment.
For other scenes I used Chrome 50's clean and in some cases even added a bit of plus green and 1/4 blue to the bulbs. For example the scene in the sweatshop where the Chinese immigrants work was lit with cool white bulbs, but the office of the boss seen in the background was lit with Chroma 50's gelled with 1/4 Plus Green and 1/8 CTB. I then graded to make the office or the boss "neutral" in color so that the rest of the sweatshop would still be cyan/green but not as extreme as if I had left the office Chrome 50's without gels and graded to that.

Rodrigo.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 10:49 AM

Thanks for the info!

I'm one of those people who like the cyan color from Cool Whites if the camera is balanced to tungsten, especially for backgrounds.
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#10 Kahleem Poole

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:26 AM

Taking notes. Thank you so much for replying, Rodrigo.
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#11 Yasutake Torii

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:17 AM

Thanks so much! Rodrigo!
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