A little advice grading muddy footage
An error on my part I admit here... Shooting with the Sony FS7 the other day in S-log2. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera setup particularly well and to maximise space, I was shooting at 35mb/s in XAVC-LongGOP. I can't remember the ISO but I suspect it wasn't a particular sweet spot. Attempting to keep the setup as simple as possible, I tried to use just natural light with little bit of backlight believing that I could balance it well in the grade.
Unfortunately I've found that there's just not enough colour information there an I'm really struggling to put a decent grade on it. Skin tones just become over saturated, purple and not particularly warm. I'm not by any means a grader so I just wondered if anyones got any tips for me? I'm using the built in Lumetri tool.
I've attached a pre-grade and post-grade and would love to get any feedback.
Director // Editor // Motion Graphics
[Jon Collins] "Unfortunately I've found that there's just not enough colour information there an I'm really struggling to put a decent grade on it. Skin tones just become over saturated, purple and not particularly warm. I'm not by any means a grader so I just wondered if anyones got any tips for me? I'm using the built in Lumetri tool."
There's a boatload of information about this image that's available to you from analyzing your scopes, but you need to know what to look at and how to interpret what you're looking at, which is too much for a post.
However, a quick glance instantly tells me the following:
1) Blacks are well above 0 IRE - this is very typical of all modern cameras, which are typically setup to record flat, for providing maximum latitude in post. Properly crushing the blacks is typically the first step in primary color correction.
2) The flat tops on both the waveform and the parade indicate that you're clipping the highlights of the window in-camera, and that a setting in the camera is also "hard clamping" those highlights that exceed 100 IRE - if it were not clamping, you would simply see the values that exceed 100 IRE above the 100 line, and the heavy flat lines you see now, sitting on top at 100 IRE, would not exist.
3) The vectorscope shows that your skin tones are off, well towards the magenta side of the spectrum, and need to be corrected in the opposite direction, toward the green part of the spectrum.
If you'd like to spend an hour working with me (at $100/hr), I can remote into your system, and I can teach you how to interpret your scopes, and the how to's of basic color correction. If that appeals to you, email me at drw at drwfilms dot com.
Meanwhile, here's an example of a very quick primary color correction on your still that I can show you how to do...
David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.