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I hate color correcting

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Jeff Krieger
I hate color correcting
on Mar 11, 2014 at 10:46:27 pm
Last Edited By Jeff Krieger on Mar 11, 2014 at 10:53:24 pm

I've just watched/read umpteen tutorials on color correcting in FCP X. It seemed like the best one was Larry Jordan's. But every time I make a correction, it messes up something else. I just want to match the color in a two camera shoot. Here is my workflow:


Blacks to 0 - luma (use histogram for better accuracy)
Whites to 100
Midtones - change the emotion, time of day

Skin tone
white women greyscale value 50-70%
white men 45-65
asian/hispanic men 35-50
black men 15-35
black women 20-40

Crop to skin
Use highlights to get luma in right spot
Clear crop

Then go to color
make sure skin is on line in Vectorscope
if too yellow, pull global down in green area
(whenever I try to remove yellow…either by adding blue or reducing green, it messes up the other colors

Is this a good workflow? Anyone have a different one?

Thx!







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Bret Williams
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 3:36:12 am

I think we've all been there. FWIW Color grading central has some good ones. Sounds like you're using some of the techniques. Are the two cameras the same make and model? Did you shoot with exactly the same settings? If you're using two different cameras, I think you can really only focus on the element you want to match and not beat yourself up about the rest. If the background changes in angle and focal length then minor differences won't be perceived if the focus matches. You may need to adjust he focus / foreground separately with masks.


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Michael Garber
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 5:36:14 am

Hey Jeff -

If you don't find what you are looking for here, on youtube, or elsewhere and you have it in you to stomach for just one more tutorial, then check out my latest on Moviola. They charge to watch (well, rent) it. So, just letting you know in advance.

http://moviola.com/webinars/color-correcting-in-final-cut-pro-x/

Matching colors takes a lot of patience and quite often trial and error. Experience helps here, as it allows you to work faster. But it still takes time.

The contrast in your third image is pretty strong compared to the rest. Since you won't be able to rescue the black levels in it, my rec would be to balance to that camera. I find matching skin tones to be the most important in the order of matching shots. Then comes everything else.

Working with DSLR or 4:2:0 footage allows you less room to move with your color. So, that might be part of your frustration here.

You'll probably also need to do some selective color correction on the skin tones. I recommend using Slice X to mask out areas. But sometimes you can get away with Apple's built in mask tool within the built in color board.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP
My Moviola Webinar on Color Correcting in FCP X
My Moviola Webinar on Cutting News in FCP X


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Brent Cook
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 7:04:36 am

[Jeff Krieger] "if too yellow, pull global down in green area
(whenever I try to remove yellow…either by adding blue or reducing green, it messes up the other colors"


Reducing green doesn't remove yellow. Reducing yellow removes yellow. I'm assuming you're using the FCPX color board. Reducing the green might explain the red cast in the top 2 frames (and slightly in the bottom one). I'm especially looking what I'm assuming should be white molding around the window.

I understand the challenge here, though. You're working with daylight (window), tungsten (lamp), and whatever color your video lighting is, which hopefully closely matches one of the other 2 light sources.


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Michael Sanders
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:13:21 am

Yellow is the addition of R and G - to make something less yellow add blue!

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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Brent Cook
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 7:06:55 pm

[Michael Sanders] "Yellow is the addition of R and G - to make something less yellow add blue!"

Yep. And because of the way the FCPX color adjustment works (not an RGB adjuster) you can also reduce yellow.


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Michael Sanders
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:13:52 pm
Last Edited By Michael Sanders on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:33:33 pm

Brent.

It can't be anything but an RGB colour adjuster.

Going back to fundimentals: colour TV is made up of three colour signals, RGB. You make white by adding RGB in specific propotions (can't remember the maths at the mo - used to be .59 .3 .11 but that was the old CCIR601 standard) You get different colours by adjusting those ratio's. Yellow is R & G - start adding blue and the colour changes.

Whatever the UI is doing, under the hood you are only adjusting those ratios. Even if you are working in Y Pr Pb you are adusting the difference of R G and B.

It may work differnet in the UI but that's just to make life easier for people who don't understand colour :-)) If you don't believe me bring up the RGB parade in find a picture and adjust it.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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Brent Cook
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:41:48 pm

I absolutely understand all that, except that FCPX has an RGB color adjuster. I was originally addressing the OP who doesn't seem to have an in depth understanding of color yet. I know that under the hood color correction is about manipulating red, green, and blue channels. I was referring to the way the FCPX color adjuster works. I should say that when I say adjuster, I understand that to mean the interface. Regardless of what happens under the hood, you can still move a puck to the yellow area of the interface (or cyan, magenta, orange, whatever) So in my original post I was referring to how the FCPX adjuster works, not to the under the hood stuff. By the same token, telling someone to reduce the red and green to remove yellow from their footage, while technically correct, isn't very helpful advice when the FCPX color board doesn't work that way.


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Adam White
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 6:19:45 pm

Hi Jeff,

I was having similar frustrations with the colour board...it dawned on me that what I was really missing was the old "RGB Balance" tool from FCP7, which allowed for quite precise (and subtle) alterations that seem to be much harder to achieve with the standard colour board.

Someone on here kindly pointed me in the direction of a free plugin that I now use every day, and it's amazing. It brings back the RGB Balance tool from FCP7 that can be so useful in certain scenarios.

Check it out here - http://www.fcp.co/forum/colour-correction/10962-free-fcpx-effect-wvl-rgbbal...

Give it a go, it might help you get to where you need to be.


Adam


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Michael Sanders
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:54:43 pm
Last Edited By Michael Sanders on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:56:04 pm

Jeff..

If you are doing a global correction, then yes adjusting one colour will effect the entire picture.

When you have the base settings (Black, Lum and Gamma) right try doing this:

Add a secondary colour corrector (click on plus in the inspector next to colour correction).

Use the colour picker to select the skin colour and then alter this - the will alter just skin tone - beware if there is anything in the frame thats a similar colour it will alter that as well. In a grading app like Resolve you would use a window as well to limit the action. You can do it in FCP X but its a bit of a pain. Slice X from Core melt is useful.

Good luck.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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John Fishback
Re: I hate color correcting
on Mar 13, 2014 at 3:51:15 pm

You can shape and color mask in FCPX which helps in many cases. Also, SliceX from Core Melt uses a Mocha tracker inside of which you can color correct. It's saved me a lot of time and effort. And they've recently released TrackX which I immediately bought, but haven't used yet.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.8.4, QT10.1, Kona 3, Dual Cinema 23, ATI Radeon HD 5870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.3, Motion 4.0.3, Comp 3.5.3, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.3)
FCP-X 10.0.9, Motion 5.0.7, Compressor 4.0.7

Pro Tools HD 10 w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec DSP Monitors, Prima CDQ120 ISDN


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