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Advice on coloring

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Noam Osband
Advice on coloring
on May 25, 2016 at 6:22:15 pm

I often adjust my color in FCP X (well, duh), and I have a question. I know as a general rule, you don't want the blacks below 0. Attached here is a screenshot. How should I adjust my blacks? I can have the lowest black be at 0 but, if I do that, most of what seems the base of the darkness is not at 0. I almost feel like I should lower the blacks more, and let faint traces go below 0. Thoughts? Here is a screenshot:


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Noah Kadner
Re: Advice on coloring
on May 25, 2016 at 7:38:23 pm

Anything below black will flatten out on a broadcast monitor. The way I work is make sure to keep everything at or above zero with the shadow control. Then make sure highlights are kept at or below 100 using the Highlights control. Finally I use the Midtones control to actually set the level of contrast I want to see, and then the master slider to increase/decrease overall brightness level.

And to be clear- using the scopes on a desktop monitor isn't nearly as accurate as real output to a REC709 broadcast monitor.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops


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Oliver Peters
Re: Advice on coloring
on May 25, 2016 at 8:04:46 pm

As you grade, you will occasionally exceed 0 and 100. Apply an adjustment layer with a broadcast safe filter, which will clip/limit at these boundaries. You'll be fine.

- Oliver

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


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Shane Ross
Re: Advice on coloring
on May 25, 2016 at 9:44:54 pm

Do the color tools you use offer CURVE tools? This way, you can adjust the images in any part of the picture. So only make the upper part of the lows darker, after you set your black point...or bring the mids down, or the lower part of the highs. Lots of control. I don't know what FCX has to offer there, but those are the tools I use in Symphony and Resolve and Color

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Advice on coloring
on May 26, 2016 at 12:03:18 am

If you have Color Finale, you can use the curves to deepen the blacks without them going below zero. If you're using the FCPX color board, I'd apply a broadcast safe filter to cut off the below zero and above 100.

Also, don't get too hung up on what it's supposed to be. if it looks good to you then that's fine. Colour correction is really a two stage process. First pass, get the image technically right - white whites, black black, colour cast removed, saturation normal, etc. Second pass, go for whatever look you want. Crush blacks, blow out the highlights, throw on a LUT, make the shadow purple... whatever works for you.

(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for the stupid mistakes and bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Noam Osband
Re: Advice on coloring
on Jun 8, 2016 at 8:31:25 pm

I don't have Color Finale but I'm thinking of taking the plunge. I'm pretty committed to X so it seems like a good investment.


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Noam Osband
Re: Advice on coloring
on Jun 8, 2016 at 8:23:34 pm

Noah,

So, in the context of the photo I uploaded, does that mean you wouldn't drop the shadows any farther? I think so...but wanted to make sure.

Noam


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Advice on coloring
on Jun 9, 2016 at 7:05:20 am

Looking at the waveform in the screenshot, if you're out to be technically correct, I'd raise the blacks a little more - you're crushing them just a little. In the real world, not everything that our eyes read as black is actually pure black and it looks like that image just may not have a lot of absolute black in it.

As I said earlier, you may decide to crush some of the blacks to amp up the contrast but that's where the creative part of grading comes into play.

(For some reason I can't edit my own posts so apologies in advance for the stupid mistakes and bad English that I can't go back and fix)

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer & Cinematographer
Melbourne, Australia | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Chris Wright
Re: Advice on coloring
on May 26, 2016 at 12:31:19 am

are you grading to neutralize or getting the "look"
anything too low/high and 8 bit effects/renders will get clipped so keep that in mind.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Advice on coloring
on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:39:42 pm

Does anyone else find that anything but subtle curve adjustments in Color Finale causes colors to go really strange?

I want to love it. But still find it not terribly useful for taming highlights or getting more detail in shadows. Still using Hycolour Pro and my own Shadow-Highlight plug-in for that.


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