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Verification of my method of adjusting video levels

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Orlando Diaz
Verification of my method of adjusting video levels
on Oct 1, 2014 at 10:59:32 pm
Last Edited By Orlando Diaz on Oct 1, 2014 at 11:12:20 pm

I know this topic has been addressed many times over (i've read through many of the previous threads on this) but I am still left a bit uncertain.

Up until a few days ago, I would simply use a cRGB to sRGB levels plugin just before render to make sure the video was 16-235 compliant. I like to view my videos on TV's though a media player.
Reading through the prior threads on this subject I began using video scopes and the full screen preview on 2nd monitor with the sRGB display option enabled. My videos are filmed with a Panasonic LX7.

So the approach I'm now using to grade my video in Sony Vegas Pro 12 is to add a levels filter to each clip in the timeline. I use the video waveform with the 7.5 IRE unchecked and the Studio RGB *16-235) checked. I then adjust the levels plugin according using the waveform as a guide and keep everything within 0-100 range. Alternately, I also verify them in the Histogram to be certain they are inside of 16-235 as well. If a clip happens to be very narrow on the range, I will sometimes adjust the levels to spread its range, it can make a dull image appear brighter to me. I use no other FX plugins to adjust any levels. My colors are usually good out of the camera.

Is this a sound method or am I goofing it up? Are my scopes accurate in this manner? Should I be making my adjustments with brightness/contrast instead?

My end result has good contrast compared to the more washed out image from the cRGB-sRGB blanket filter render. It's hard to tell if I'm really within the 16-235 levels range. Looks too good to be true.

Thanks

Edit: My source video is AVCHD 28mbs 1080/60
My output is Sony AVC 1080/30 27mbs (.mp4)


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John Rofrano
Re: Verification of my method of adjusting video levels
on Oct 3, 2014 at 10:44:04 am

What you're doing is OK. I use a combination of Levels and Color Curves to adjust the luminance. I watch the scopes and use Levels to bring the values within range, then I use Color Curves to bring the contrast back making sure I don't exceed the 0-100 range. Color Curves gives you a lot of control to bring back the original dynamic range of the video (and maybe even make better).

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Orlando Diaz
Re: Verification of my method of adjusting video levels
on Oct 3, 2014 at 1:51:07 pm

I'm not too good with the Color Curves tool in Vegas but if it can bring back some contrast and DR it's worth a try.
Thanks


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John Rofrano
Re: Verification of my method of adjusting video levels
on Oct 5, 2014 at 2:47:43 pm

[Orlando Diaz] "I'm not too good with the Color Curves tool in Vegas but if it can bring back some contrast and DR it's worth a try."
Start with an "S" shape like this:





Adjust the handles to crush the whites and blacks or even raise the kids or even limit the luminance range.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Orlando Diaz
Re: Verification of my method of adjusting video levels
on Oct 5, 2014 at 3:08:44 pm

That's basically how I've used them. I even found a preset which already has the curve luminance limits set to 16-235 as you demonstrated above.

I've used the curves FX a few times. I find that if I get the in-camera exposure right, the Level FX is usually gets the job done.

Thanks John


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