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Multicamera workflow for easier colour correction?

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paul simma
Multicamera workflow for easier colour correction?
on Jan 28, 2011 at 3:45:33 pm

We are shooting a documetary with a Panasonic HVX-200 as the main camera and a canon 7d as a second camera.

The problem is that the coulour settings between the two cameras are very different? We are affraid that we might run into a massive coulour timing post production job. (video see:

What can we do to match the two cameras better? Does anyone have a suggestion for a workflow that can help us to make the colour timing in post production easier?

In a multi-camera technichians calibrate the different cameras to match them colour vise. Is there anything we can do on-locaton , to make the colour correction easier in post production.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Multicamera workflow for easier colour correction?
on Jan 28, 2011 at 4:00:50 pm

In production- definitely a very high quality production monitor so you can calibrate the looks of each camera to match as close as possible. White balance to the same sources for each shot, etc.

Then convert all footage to ProRes in post so that the different codecs no longer matter. And finally plan to spend a lot of time in post doing your final color correction.

Personally I wouldn't ever try to match those two cameras as if they were identical but carefully shoot only certain types of shots with either so that it looks like a visual plan instead of a mistake. i.e. only 7D for b-roll, etc. Shooting them a-camera/b-camera on every shot will make you lose many lives in post.


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Shane Ross
Re: Multicamera workflow for easier colour correction?
on Jan 28, 2011 at 11:41:05 pm

Easiest thing to do is get two of the SAME camera. Always. But if you go with the two different cameras, white balance them both on location, to the same white board...and hire a professional colorist to do the correction, as fine tuning two cameras takes a lot of skill, and isn't something that you can tell people how to do on a forum.


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Tom Matthies
Re: Multicamera workflow for easier colour correction?
on Feb 6, 2011 at 4:55:53 am

Even better than a common white balance would be to bring along a gray scale chart or better yet add a McBeth chart to the shoot. Roll off some of the chart at the beginning of a scene and record it on all of your cameras under the same lighting conditions. After wards, in grading you have the same reference on all cameras and make matching much easier. Match each camera to your "reference" camera and save the color correction settings for each camera. When editing, you can just grab the CC preset you saved and apply it to the appropriate camera in the time line. You could also put each different camera on it's own track in your timeline and simply apply the same preset to all of the clips on that track for a very fast rough grade of each camera in the edited sequence. If you are doing color grading outside of the editing software, just collapse the timeline and export to the grading program.
Fast and pretty painless. Just take the time to shoot the charts to begin with and it will save you a lot time later.


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