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Color Correction for the Web

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Jason Watkins
Color Correction for the Web
on Dec 29, 2011 at 8:35:52 pm

Not sure if this is the appropriate Cow Forum for this question, but since I have received great advice from you guys in the past, I'll start here. How do you color correct for the web? Is there such a thing? I am used to color correcting for broadcast using scopes and color calibrated CRTs. But, in this day and age, if you are going directly to the web, is there a standard to abide by? Do you still color correct going out of your video card to a scope or is web work all done by eye? Thanks for any input, Jason

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Peter Mackay
Re: Color Correction for the Web
on Dec 30, 2011 at 6:52:35 pm

I too would like to hear the definitive answer to this question. I have been using my broadcast monitor as the standard for web delivery. But is this the correct method. Lets hear it from the experts.

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Matt Lyon
Re: Color Correction for the Web
on Dec 31, 2011 at 3:32:05 pm

I don't know if I qualify as an expert, but I've mucked around with web outputs enough to know that it is a frustrating experience. There are no standards and your video will probably look slightly different depending on the OS and playback software being used to render it.

But unlike broadcast, you don't have to worry about "safe" colors or video levels. Black is RBG 0/0/0 and white is 255/255/255.

My optimum workflow is to still work and color correct on a proper broadcast monitor. Protect your image for TV (since it is more restrictive), then do your web outputs based on that master. You may want to add a touch of post processing to make your video "sing" on a computer screen. Some people muck with the gamma or white and black points, or contrast ... its up to you. De-interlacing is obligatory, if you are working with interlaced material. Watch your material on different computers, different OS's, different player softwares. Upload a test to YouTube and Vimeo and an iPhone. Just like broadcast, I think it's important to view your content on the target device it will be viewed on.

Since your broadcast master is being graded to a consistent standard, you should be able to create a single set of filters you can apply to your web deliverables that will work for most, if not all, of your outputs.

But as badly inconsistent as home televisions are, I reckon that computer video is many time worse. So I no longer lose too much sleep over getting "perfect" color on web deliverables ;-)

Just my two cents,

Matt Lyon

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