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Color Correcting Superflat

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Errol Lazare
Color Correcting Superflat
on Nov 12, 2011 at 8:13:59 am

Usually I shoot with the Standard Canon color profile but recently I went out and decided to shoot a video for a client on the superflat color profile with the Canon 5D as I have heard it allows for more flexibility with color correction.

Honestly I am trying to color correct this video and it seems almost impossible to create a good looking image: Peoples faces looked pastel and colors just look un-natural. I kinda wish I just stayed with Standard as it looks clean and crisp.

Does anyone have any tips how to make this look good using final cut or magic bullet? I've been trying the 3 way corrector, but it isn't working well.

Thanks

Errol X. Lazare
EXL Films
http://www.exlfilms.com


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Michael Sacci
Re: Color Correcting Superflat
on Nov 12, 2011 at 6:43:32 pm

First, NEVER do something for the first time on a paying gig.

Are you talking about the Technicolor setting? if so there is a LUT that you load into the footage (need LUT Buddy by Redgiant) this gets you close. Then you do the finishing touches.

WIthout seeing your footage it is hard to say other than lowering the blacks, raising the highlights to get the contrast back. You normally add back the saturation. But for color that depends on how well it was shot, is is white balanced correctly?

This is a commitment to heavy grading operation and better done with Color or Colorista. 3-Way is great for light grading but can fall apart quickly.


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Owen Wexler
Re: Color Correcting Superflat
on Nov 14, 2011 at 11:11:14 pm

With a superflat profile, you have to pull contrast a lot more. Knowing how to read a waveform monitor is essential here if you don't already. Pull your shadows down and highlights up until the upper and lower traces on the waveform monitor touch 100 and 0, respectively. Adjust midtones to taste. Using curves controls helps a lot with grading superflat footage as it gives you control over all tones in the image. Adding a good amount of saturation will be necessary too.

As for the "pastel" skintones, the best reference you can use for skintones is the flesh tone line on the vectorscope (knowing how to read a vectorscope is essential here)... key out or isolate anything that is supposed to represent skin and adjust color until the traces on the vectorscope representing skintones rest on the flesh tone line, then add saturation to taste (don't go too far with this unless you want your subject to look like an oompa loompa). Cropping the image temporarily to just an area of skintones helps you see more easily where skintones are on the vectorscope.

Check out this link for more info: http://blog.mxr.at/skintone-grading-hdslrs/

Cinematographer - Editor - Motion Graphics Artist - Colorist

http://www.owenbwexler.com


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Errol Lazare
Re: Color Correcting Superflat
on Nov 14, 2011 at 11:49:28 pm

This is very helpful Owen!
Thanks for the help

Cheers,
Errol

Errol X. Lazare
EXL Films
http://www.exlfilms.com


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