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#1 Tyler Clark

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 12:44 PM

I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on a proper workflow for a DP to achieve a specific color scheme for a project.

What processes are done in preproduction camera and lighting wise to get the look you want? And how are those handled in post production and grading? Or if there is no official color grade being done, how you would handle giving a finished look from camera?

Currently I have been working with the c300 in cinema locked mode. It's image is great but I end up with a lot of muted colors where as I would like to find a look that looks more finished out of camera and learn more about how to create that finished look in my grade as well.
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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 12:34 PM

Generally the "cinema" mode will flatten out the image (S-Log), so in post production it's much easier to manipulate. This way, you can apply a canon S300 LUT to the image in DaVinci Resolve and retain some of the dynamic range. The majority of people shoot in this fashion as manipulation of Rec709 files, is a lot more challenging and especially with the canon camera's, which are overly saturated and that can lead to color noise due to the 8 bit processing. 

 

The nice thing about Resolve is that it's free… AND you can batch files. This means, you can simply drag your raw camera files into the system, apply a LUT to all the shots and export them to whatever format you want. DaVinci's engine is very fast/powerful and it works wonders for finishing when your done with the show and wish to go back to the S-Log raw camera files for final color. 

 

However, if you're doing shoots that don't require much color correction, there are many standard Rec709 modes built into the camera, which will give you the proper image on the file output. 


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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 12:08 AM

For projects with no budget for post color correction, I would avoid using Cinema Locked mode and instead bake in a gamma and color matrix closer to the finished look. With C100/300, I usually go with Wide DR gamma, Standard color matrix, and adjust knee, slope, pedestal to taste. The Canon C cameras have a weak codec, so you definitely benefit from filling up those highly compressed 8 bits with the full range of color and dynamic range in camera rather than trying to add it back in post.

If you're working with a camera system that captures more color and dynamic range (like the Alexa, Epic/Dragon, F5/55/65, etc.), then normal practice is to record either Raw or a 12/10 bit Log video signal and have the colorist add the contrast and color saturation back in post. To communicate your intentions to the colorist, you can shoot a color chart for every scene, send them color corrected still frames, give them scene specific notes like 'night interior look - cool cyan moonlight, warm tungsten lamp, slightly desaturated.' But the best way to make sure you get what you intended is to supervise the color grading session with the director. Sometimes easier said than done.
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