Hope someone can help. I wondered what the best program is for changing colours, hue's etc... I ideally want a program that can do anything from crazy psychadelic colour schemes to suttle effects.
I currently use adobe after effects, is there a better application?
Color Finesse by Synthetic Aperture is one of the best coloring apps. THere are a lot of plug-ins that can give you crazy or psychadelic colors (colorama, etc.) and some you can buy, but the Color Finesse is a true color correction app.
I believe is comes bundled with AE Pro for 6.0 or 6.5? So you might just need to upgrade your AE.
You can do a lot in After Effects to create color backgrounds. It is a GREAT starting point.
Just remember to keep your colors and video levels legal for broadcast. That means you'll need at least a software-based vectorscope and waveform monitor for AE. I use Scopo Gigio. A hardware-based vectorscope and waveform monitor is even better, but a lot more expensive.
The good news about correcting colors: Color Finesse, as mentioned above, is great... plus it comes bundled with the upgrade to After Effects 6.5 Professional.
If you have around a million dollars, you can look into quantel iQ (voted the best by the Telecine Internet Group). You can attach motion trackers to points on a mask to do automated rotoscoping.
Below that there's discreet lustre.
Below that there's Final Touch, which is interesting. IMO it's alright.
At around the same price point, there's Combustion which may be a little better than After Effects (add Color Finesse to it). There's also Combustion's bigger brothers like Inferno.
There's Magic Bullet Editor's, which is easy to use (and doesnt need much creativity when you can cycle through presets) but really slow.
You can also use Final Cut Pro + Color Finesse. It can be more productive since everything is conformed properly and you can grade in context of your FCP project.
Vegas (PC) can do something similar, and you don't need Color Finesse for Vegas.
There's also hardware-based color correction systems which can do tape-to-tape (i.e. da vinci), but you'd only want that for the colorist 'attached' to that system.
2- The easy answer is to stick with AE + Color Finesse.
Using FCP & FT is nice and very powerful (what we've got at the office now), but there's a steep learning curve, and going back and forth to FCP isn't perfect yet. So unless you're going to be a full time or at least a part time colorist, I'd stick with AE&Colorfinesse.