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Color Matching - For Real?

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peter tours
Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 10, 2011 at 11:04:22 pm

I wasn't planning to move to X anytime soon, but some severely mismatched P2 ftg has me thinking of using the color matching feature in X and then exporting the files back to 7. Is this nuts? Is it worth it?
I have Color & Resolve Lite, but am not a colorist, and have never used them.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:09:32 am

Match Color in FCP X is a mixed bag. Some shots are pretty good. Some aren't very close at all. Check out these samples on my blog:

http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/understanding-color-correction...

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:37:46 am

So that's a no then, eh? Any suggestions?

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 12:40:14 am

I wouldn't really say no. It just depends on what you are trying to do. The Match Color feature isn't really to make bad things look good. It's to make automatic subjective corrections to try to get one shot to look close to the tonal qualities of another.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 1:41:12 am

Oliver - thanks so much for your interest. I have posted two dozen stills at http://www.flickr.com/photos/52396929@N08/sets/72157627277617219 showing the issues. The shots starting with R are the second shoot day.

Perhaps you can give me your opinion as to whether it's worth $300 on X just for this?

Thanks in advance.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:39:54 pm

[peter tours] "I have posted two dozen stills"

This page with your images is locked.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 11:55:18 pm

Oliver - I just created a new guest pass for you http://flickr.com/gp/52396929@N08/88328A/

thanks for your input, peter

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 12, 2011 at 12:47:03 am

I did a quick test with some of your images. Here are some of the files after grading:

https://files.me.com/opedit/n8417v

The problems that I see can be made better by any color correction software. This was done in FCP X using Match Color and additional subjective correction. One concern I have is that many of these are dark and over-saturated. As you correct such issues, the images will become a lot noisier, but that's the nature of the beast. I would recommend staying with the FCP 7 3-way, but also look at a couple of freebees - the Haiku Face Light and Vignette filters.

http://haiku.com.au/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 12, 2011 at 4:43:24 pm

Oh this is rich - the DP says it's happening in edit when the P2 files are ingested via the Duel Adaptor, which recently stopped working, like due to OS updates (10.5.8 used to work...).

But I am trying to tell them, there's no way it was the Duel or FCP or anything in post.

The blame game never ends!

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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Oliver Peters
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 12, 2011 at 4:49:39 pm

[peter tours] " the DP says it's happening in edit when the P2 files are ingested"

That's a good one! Highly unlikely. The L&T ingest leaves the codec native and rewraps the files with MOV containers. What I saw in your images was entirely in-camera or in lighting (or lack thereof). My guess is that the on-set/on-location monitoring wasn't set right. Likely someone fiddled with the controls on the monitor until they saw an image they liked.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 12, 2011 at 8:03:45 pm

Oliver - if I already owned X I suppose it would be of help but you are of course correct about just using the 3way.

Besides, everyone loves a 3way ;)~

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 2:03:36 am

[peter tours] "Any suggestions?"

You really have only two options Peter, and FCP X doesn't really change a thing.

Option #1 - Hire someone who knows what they're doing

Option #2 - Learn color correction so you know what you're doing

If automatic color correction was really "all that," no one would ever hire anyone to color grade anything, and every pice of video would be stunning and perfect. Period, end of story.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 2:07:07 am

I would give the same answer myself. I am doing the 8 hour lynda.com Color class tomorrow, I guess. Oughta make the DP do it, eh?

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 2:12:28 am

[peter tours] "I am doing the 8 hour lynda.com Color class tomorrow, I guess. Oughta make the DP do it, eh?"

I applaud you. Clap! Clap! Clap!

You'll be a much better person once you wrap your brain around the process of color correction and color grading.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Don Walker
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 3:01:41 am

Color is intimidating, I think because of a different looking UI than the rest of the suite. But once you get into it, IT"S FUN! and can make your video look great. The first time I used Color, it was to fix a lighting problem in a shoot (My fault). I was thrilled with the results.

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


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Dennis Lisonbee
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 4:22:24 am

By all means, your DP should take a class in color grading. Best practices Color Grading workflow starts with the DP in pre-production and if you have a good DP, ends with the DP and Colorist during the Color Grading process. If you are DP, Director, Editor and Colorist, guess what fun stuff you get to learn!

Talkin' bout film is like dancing about architecture.


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alban egger
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 9:23:42 am

The auto-match is not working too well on my side. I need to do test, but maybe it is working with the metadata and matches shots from the same camera better than when mixing different cams. Looks like that to me.
But in some shots it works fine. The problem is: all your colourcorrection tools stay at their presets: so you don´t know what FCP did to the image.
It is really a consumer feature and in no way a real colourcorrection or even grading tool.

I mean you can try on a shot, if it worked, great, but if it doesn´t then you still need to know how to get your image where you want it. So educating yourself on colourgrading is always a good idea.



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John Pale
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 3:06:03 pm

Choosing to learn some color correction techniques is a good idea..but I would have tried to find a course on Resolve, as you said you have Resolve light. Apple Color is "End Of Life" so I would not spend a lot of time learning it's very deep interface. Resolve is quite different, and will become the tool of choice on the Mac, as many colorists are already moving on to it.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 3:51:40 pm

[alban egger] "The auto-match is not working too well on my side. I need to do test, but maybe it is working with the metadata and matches shots from the same camera better than when mixing different cams. Looks like that to me.
But in some shots it works fine."


Auto-match, like in-camera auto-exposure, is essentially based upon perfect overall corner to corner exposure of a 17% gray card. So, unless you're actually shooting a 17% card with flat lighting, which probably comprises very little of most of your media, you're most likely going to get a mixed bag of performance in most real-world situations.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:21:37 pm

Color matching looks great on the X website. Figured it had to be too good to be true. More prosumer toys.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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T. Payton
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 12, 2011 at 10:13:17 pm

My 2 cents:

I wouldn't throw FCP X Color Matching completely under the bus. I've had some fantastic results with similarly lit and images. Sometimes it works really well, other times not exactly what I expected. It is always worth a try.

For what it is worth I have used Apple Color extensively, I also recommend Robbie Carmon's course on Color at Lynda.com. It will make you comfortable with the program.

However, FCP X really does have some excellent tools that are RGB float based rather than YUV which makes then behave much more like Apple Color rather than the 3-way color correctors in FCP 7. I would recommend Denver Riddles free color grading crash course on FCP X here:

http://www.colorgradingcentral.com/final-cut-pro-x-color-grading-table-of-c...

I too pulled in some of your images and I was able to get something I would consider pleasing color very quickly. However, I wouldn't suggest FCP X as an intermediate step in your workflow. If you're going all the way FCP X then it would be a good tool. Stick with FCP 7 and get pleasing color. Then after picture lock then bring it into Color or other solution.

- T.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:20:37 pm

Like turning so many proc amp buttons on the TBC but with more control. Been there, done that, but the deconstruction and reconstruction of lengthy multilayer, texted shows is a nonstarter. Back to the 3way.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:23:16 pm

The previous post about proc amp knobs refers to Color

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:26:07 pm

You seem like a candidate for Colorista. It has elliptical, rectangular, and free form mattes like Color, and a whole lot of other very =nice features, but still works on the timeline like the 3-Way CC. Give the demo a shot... I think you'll like it.


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:44:30 pm

David - I have heard a lot about Colorista. But in mid-project I obviously cannot put demo apps into it...and the cost is a bit much for me right now. But clearly I will have more opportunities to try it with our DP.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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Chris Walsh
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:15:00 pm

Good luck with the Color class...I've played with it, but never really dove in.

I deal with a lot of mismatched footage (some of it my own fault when I'm acting as DP), and found that the free version of Red Giant's Colorista was helpful in some situations I couldn't fix with the FC3 color correctors.

FC3 is pretty flexible for CC on the timeline -- very easy to copy the corrections once I have them, and for shots that are unexposed as well as unbalanced, using composite modes/blend modes has been the best way to lift them 15 or 20 IRE without losing the shadows. Plus I can also adjust the opacity and/or color correction of the top layer to tweak it even more.

Plus it follows my first principle, which is to stay on the timeline whenever possible!

Chris Walsh

http://www.musicfog.com
Silver Spring, MD
Final Cut & AVID MC5
Former Windows User and edit* lover


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peter tours
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:18:33 pm

Got thru about half the course....totally unsuitable for my workflow. I build far too many FX in the timeline and build far too many layers to deconstruct and reconstruct a 15 minute sequence.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

TRI EA5 1974-1977
Convergence ECS1B 1977-1979
Sony BVE 500 1979 - 1984
Datatron Vanguard 1984 - 1993
GVG VPE141 1993 - 1998
Media 100 1995 - 2006
Final Cut Pro 2005 to infinity and beyond!


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Chris Walsh
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 11, 2011 at 7:52:27 pm

Try the free version of Colorista, not as powerful (mattes and more) as the full paid version, but you can't beat the price.

http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/magic-bullet-colorista-free/

Chris Walsh

http://www.musicfog.com
Silver Spring, MD
Final Cut & AVID MC5
Former Windows User and edit* lover


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Glen Hurd
Re: Color Matching - For Real?
on Aug 12, 2011 at 11:30:00 pm

Just wanted to add that anytime you're dealing with lifting video out of the mud, noise becomes your number 1 enemy - faster than if you're dealing with stills. Especially if you want to keep contrast and push your saturation up to more natural levels. For $100, neat video has an incredibly effective solution with FCP. Check out http://www.neatvideo.com/examples.html.
You can download a demo, as well.
It takes some experimenting to bring out its best features (use the advanced settings), but it will allow you to be much more aggressive when lifting shots that would normally be borderline usable. And you will probably like what it does to the actresses' skin as well.

Personally, I use the filter first, before doing any CC work, so any amplification is being applied to an already smooth image. It also lets you control what size details you want to preserve or smooth over, so you can soften subtle camera/skin noise, while preserving patterns on dresses, flowers, etc. Give it a shot. Your DP will thank you ;)


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