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huw jenkins
color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 4:30:21 pm

i am supply footage for stock use. the stock house allows me to color grade the stuff i send them. i would prefer to do this as the footage is wildlife, so a bit of help makes it stand out when the client's looking at many clips.

this is my proposed workflow:

1. panny varicam 720p 422 footage brought into final cut pro native.

2. i grade each clip using one or more of the following filters: color corrector, color corrector 3way, channel mixer, gamma correction.

3. i set the sequence settings to uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2, and use the rendered files.

my questions are:

how much would the client then be able to grade this finished footage, say for example if the client wants a look or a style? using 4:2:2 how much color am i really removing, if i am just white balancing and removing color casts during my grades.

should i set the blacks and the whites to be within 0-100 on the parade scope of fcp, or can i assume that so long as the levels are with in the parade's scope, i.e so setting the highlights just over the 'white' 110 line and not showing clipping then they will still be fine to re-grade?

many thanks.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 4:46:11 pm

When you deliver the finished footage to the client, what codec are you required to use?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David Roth Weiss
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 4:57:27 pm

In a perfect world you should not add any color correction.

You're going down a generation, you're limiting the dynamic range of future grading, and every pass of color correction adds a certain degree of noise, especially when delivering a compressed format, which is true of most stock.

On the other hand, if you feel that ungraded material doesn't sell, then you may have to grade it. In that case, don't push the whites and blacks to their limits, leave about 10% on both ends, minimally.

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

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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walter biscardi
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 4:59:06 pm

[huw jenkins] "using 4:2:2 how much color am i really removing, if i am just white balancing and removing color casts during my grades."

Your original footage is 4:2:2 so you're not losing anything.

The final client can do pretty much anything they want with the footage when they get it. So long as they have a competent colorist.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" Winner, Best Documentary, LA Reel Film Festival...

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David Roth Weiss
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 6:10:03 pm

[walter biscardi] "Your original footage is 4:2:2 so you're not losing anything."

Varicam footage is highly compressed right in the camera, throwing out vast amounts of color information from the get go, and every compression step along the way afterward throws out increasing amounts information, interpolates much of what's left, and adds noise in the process.

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

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Rafael Amador
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 5:00:04 pm

HI Huw,
Difficult to decide how to offer your stock-footage. You can not please all your possible customers. Some people will wan't raw footage and somebody will want something with a strong look.
The more you correct, the less option for further corrections you let.
As a video editor and CC-lover, I would prefer the raw stuff.

You should think before also about making your footage "Broadcast legal".
Think that for 35mm you should keep as much highlights (over 100%) as possible.

[huw jenkins] "using 4:2:2 how much color am i really removing, if i am just white balancing and removing color casts during my grades."
10b Unc ensures no further re-compression.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Chris Borjis
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 6:11:16 pm

I've never seen ungraded footage in any of the major stock websites.

Maybe i did and it had perfect white balance and saturation.

For stock footage I have made for Artbeats, I only remove color casts so white is white and maybe tweak the contrast just a bit. thats all though.

If it already looks good and ready for use don't mess with it imo


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huw jenkins
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 6:40:06 pm

wow, many thanks for the quick answers. it has helped me.

i now have a little more info:

the library i'm providing is Getty, i have found out that they supply footage at 10bit Pro Res HQ. i can supply them with this, or uncompressed, but they will convert it to ProRes.

If i want to go to Pro Res, at what stage should I convert my footage? I intend to keep copies of everything i supply them with in uncompressed. Should I render out to uncompressed then use compressor to make the pro res, or render from the timeline a version of each codec using the sequence settings menu?

Getty will either color correct the footage I send them, or allow me to have it color corrected/color correct it myself. I guess they want their library to look great, so don't like to have ungraded footage in it. I see it as they have only a set time to do each clip, where as i can spend longer on everything and make it shine, so is why i'm doing the grading.

Now a theoretical question, how many times would 4:2:2 footage be able to be graded successfully. For example, if I grade it, convert to ProRes 4:2:2, Getty decides to grade it, and then the client decides that it needs to be early morning and wants to grade it too? would it be any more better if it stayed uncompressed, it's still only 4:2:2, right?

thanks again, huw


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Rafael Amador
Re: color grading for stock
on Nov 12, 2010 at 7:20:38 pm

People that have time to Color Grade do not buy in Getty.
Their clients want a good picture ready to use.
You can even sell the same shoots with different treatments.

[huw jenkins] "Now a theoretical question, how many times would 4:2:2 footage be able to be graded successfully. For example, if I grade it, convert to ProRes 4:2:2, Getty decides to grade it, and then the client decides that it needs to be early morning and wants to grade it too? would it be any more better if it stayed uncompressed, it's still only 4:2:2, right?"
The "gradeability" of the picture will depend to start on how the picture has been shoot.
The flattest the picture has been shoot, the most possibilities for grading offers.



[huw jenkins] "If i want to go to Pro Res, at what stage should I convert my footage? I intend to keep copies of everything i supply them with in uncompressed. Should I render out to uncompressed then use compressor to make the pro res, or render from the timeline a version of each codec using the sequence settings menu?"
cut in FC and send to Color native. From Color to Prores HQ.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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