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5D crushed blacks - ProRes in FCP

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Chris Detjen
5D crushed blacks - ProRes in FCP
on Mar 12, 2010 at 12:57:41 pm

I just started working with the 5DMII and have noticed crushed blacks. The shadows lack detail and I end up having to use FCP's Color Corrector 3 Way to reduce the contrast. I was curious if anyone had some tried-and-true methods for dealing with this type of issue with 5D footage in FCP. We've transcoded the 5D material into both ProRes 4:2:2 and DVCPRO HD, and both codecs share the same contrast issues. I searched the cow and couldn't find anything specific other than using Apple Color which I have no experience with. I'm looking for any tips with color grading 5D in FCP.
Thank you!


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Aaron Stewart
Re: 5D crushed blacks - ProRes in FCP
on Mar 12, 2010 at 3:17:31 pm

I'd say the biggest tip would be to balance your exposure so you didn't have the crushed blacks in the first place. Especially on cameras like the 5Dmkii and 7d, if you are crushing blacks in production, it is going to be near impossible to pull that information back out of the image, because it simply gets lost between the lack of 4:2:2 color space and the compression codec. These cameras do get contrasty really fast, but making sure the light in your scene compensates for that should solve most of your problem.

These cameras aren't shooting in any type of raw format for video (such as Red's do), but go straight to a compression codec. Thus, image degradation.

As far as working with the footage you've got using only the FCP 3-way, I would say increase the black levels slightly (only by a few points), and the same with the mids. Unfortunately when you try to get back that information that is already lost, you are going to introduce more noise into the image, so you may be (mostly) stuck with what you've got.

You could always PM me (arstewart AT gmail.com) with a link to a short sample of the footage in question, I can download it, use the 3-way in FCP and email you the FCP project back so you can use the 3-way settings I come up with. That may give you something to start with for the rest of your footage.

Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Chris Detjen
Re: 5D crushed blacks - ProRes in FCP
on Mar 12, 2010 at 8:35:33 pm

Thank you for the information. I didn't think it through that H.264 is 4:2:0. I made the assumption the 5D was 4:2:2. I can now understand how the image quality can degrade. And also, the fact that we didn't intentionally compensate during the production for contrast--we shot a person sitting on a black couch, with a black suit, and used only one soft light. His suit almost blends in completely with the couch. I will PM you with a short clip, as I am curious to learn how you'd adjust the settings. Thanks again.



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Aaron Stewart
Re: 5D crushed blacks - ProRes in FCP
on Mar 12, 2010 at 8:50:50 pm

No problem. Hey you aren't the same Chris Detjen that went to Brazil in a Nissan/WWF trip back in '07, are you?

Because if you are, I edited that final video on your group for Nissan/WWF. Small world.

Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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Chris Detjen
Re: 5D crushed blacks - ProRes in FCP
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:24:52 pm

Nope. That's wasn't me. Sounds like that was a cool project, though.



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Aaron Stewart
Re: 5D crushed blacks - ProRes in FCP
on Mar 12, 2010 at 9:41:14 pm

Oh well, just thought I'd ask.

Aaron R. Stewart
arstewart@gmail.com


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