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Color correcting flat 5d footage

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Mike Obryan
Color correcting flat 5d footage
on Apr 2, 2013 at 1:47:46 am

I've been doing a lot of research lately on the canon 5d and setting it for a flat picture to create more dynamic range. My question is on color correcting the footage to bring out the best in it. I shoot in a raw file and compress to pro res before bringing it in FCP. Should I be color grading and correcting the footage prior to compression? If so what program would be best for the RAW file? Is FCP color good enough for professional color correcting and grading?

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Simon Modery
Re: Color correcting flat 5d footage
on Apr 2, 2013 at 8:23:40 am

Well, the 5D doesn't shot RAW, what it records is a H.254 compressed MOV. (unless you take stills, but I think we talk about moving pictures here)
The best workflow in my experience is to convert it into ProRes using "5D to RGB" first.(
FCP internal colour correction is't really up to any professional standard. If you bought "Final Cut Studio" you will also have a program called "Color" on your machine, that is the professional grading software that comes with FCP.
An other option is Davincie Resolve, which has a free "light" version you can download here:

Head of Postproduction

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David Eaks
Re: Color correcting flat 5d footage
on Apr 2, 2013 at 9:16:04 am

Here's an article on I read at Redshark recently This may be the most important stuff you can know about digital video, with some good info you'll probably be interested in. Particularly this section-

"Technicolour Cinestyle
It does not always make sense to use this sort of approach. The much-vaunted Technicolor Cinestyle preset for Canon DSLRs attempts to create something like a log workflow, and while this makes sense where the footage will be postproduced alongside log footage from other sources, it is not always, or even usually, a sensible way to go. DSLRs typically apply heavy compression to their recordings, and embedding that heavy compression in the low-contrast log image can cause problems that are hard to fix later. Recovering viewable pictures from a log recording involves adding a lot of contrast, which will exacerbate greatly any compression artefacts which are present. Log encoding is usually sensible only for uncompressed or lightly-compressed workflows, where lightly-compressed might mean something like a high-bitrate ProRes recording.

Conventional video signals solve the problem of packing many stops of dynamic range into a limited-precision signal differently, by applying what is in effect a general-purpose grade. This typically rolls highlights off using something not unlike the S-curve of film exposure, which is where the knee setting of many video cameras comes into play – it defines the point at above which brightness will gradually be compressed to make more room for the more useful and visible midtone information. Standards for the resulting image are defined in well-known documents such as the ITU-R’s Recommendation BT.709, which controls how most real-world cameras do this. While this makes for viewable pictures straight out of the camera, it can limit the gradeability of the picture, and an innovation of the last ten years or so is the option to perform this contrast-range compression more gently. Options referred to as “cine” or “film” in the colorimetry controls of a camera are often an attempt to split the difference between the two approaches, offering some of the superior highlight handling of an unprocessed signal with the easy handling of a gamma-corrected one. This is particularly important to 8-bit cameras such as the Sony FS700 and Canon C300 which would otherwise struggle to adequately record the wide dynamic range signals they’re capable of producing, but are frequently used as part of a workflow that doesn’t easily accommodate log images."

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Rafael Amador
Re: Color correcting flat 5d footage
on Apr 2, 2013 at 11:13:26 am

If you have shot with the Technicolor profile, download the Technicolor LTU (Technicolor web site) and load it in Apple Color.
And, yes, Apple Color is a high quality, professional Color Grading tool.

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Bogdan Zlatkov
Re: Color correcting flat 5d footage
on May 1, 2013 at 9:57:44 pm

The biggest corrections you'll make are to contrast and saturation. To shoot that flat look, the color-profile turns down contrast and saturation so just increase those and you should be good. I recently shot a 2 camera set-up, one in Standard Profile, the other in Cinestyle Profile, and I just bumped those two settings up to make them match.

Here are a couple of quick tips I've come back to again and again. A pretty essential set of techniques in my opinion:

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