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Workflow Question: Grading

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Aharon Rothschild
Workflow Question: Grading
on Jan 31, 2010 at 7:33:06 am

Hey all, first post here.
I'm a photojournalist, but have been using Final Cut Pro for about a year. ( I shoot on a 5d mark II and I usually use mpeg streamclip to transcode to prores 422 and then edit in final cut and grade with magic bullet looks.
Recently I've started shooting with a much flatter less saturated look. I've noticed that magic bullet really doesn't do well with this footage, shadow detail and lower mid-tones look muddy and the over all color just isn't realistic. The same clip just does much better in Adobe After Effects. I'm attributing this to After Effects being a more image based program and Final Cut being more video oriented.
Ok, so here's what I'm up against.
I can't afford Automatic Duck, and I'm seriously considering learning how to use Premiere so that i can transfer projects to After Effects.
Are there any other users who have seen the same image quality difference between Final Cut and After Effects? Is this workflow sound? Ie. does it make sense to shoot flat, edit, and then grade aggressively in After Effects?
The 5d shoots H264 footage which is somewhat similar to a jpeg. As a photographer, If I had to shoot jpegs, i would really need to nail exposure and color balance while shooting because of how hard it is to correct without artifacting and other unpleasantness. While shooting video I do the same but I'm assuming it's better to shoot flat because a "film look" has a lot less contrast than a photo and is color balanced in a different way as well.

Any and all advice is much appreciated.

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Rafael Amador
Re: Workflow Question: Grading
on Jan 31, 2010 at 1:38:52 pm

Hi Aharon,
In the first manual of MagicBullet, they insisted in that the picture must be color corrected before applying the filter.
MagicBullet is a powerful Color Correction tool, but the interface is not designed for this task.
I agree with you that recording a flat picture, you have more freedom to correct afterward, although there are things that you can only get in camera.
What I seriously would suggest you is to forget about MB and about AE and put your hands in Colors. Its gives you a control on the picture that you can never reach with the others. You won't go back to MB.
If you want transfer stuff from FC to AE, you can try this free tool:
PS: Very nice clip.

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Aharon Rothschild
Re: Workflow Question: Grading
on Jan 31, 2010 at 5:52:17 pm

Thanks Rafael! First class advice!
I'm going to get into color, it is a bit intimidating but I'm sure theres a lynda tutorial or something to help the learning curve.
The script you linked to works great! It's really amazing to be part of a community where these resources are available, and I'm really grateful.
All the best

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Rafael Amador
Re: Workflow Question: Grading
on Feb 1, 2010 at 2:01:36 am

The COW have a DVD of Walter Biscardi that I think will be perfect to start with Color.

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