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Color correction and color grading plugins?

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jim bachaloColor correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:53:15 am

Hi
Was wondering if anyone could recommend any of the following

http://aescripts.com/fixel-lightit/#comments

http://aescripts.com/qp_grade-assistant/#comments

http://aescripts.com/fixel-contrastica/#comments

Local is the new global


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Walter SoykaRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 1:25:07 am

I haven't used either LightIT or Contrastica, though they look pretty nice from the sample images. I wouldn't consider them general-purpose grading tools, though -- check out the online manuals and review the controls, and you'll see that they're each a pretty specific effect, not a generalized tool. I could certainly see that they'd be very useful in certain situations, but I don't seem them replacing your other color tools at all.

If you like the idea of qp_Grade Assistant's soft scopes, you should also check out Test Gear and Scopo Gigio, which work in their own windows, instead of working as effects applied in the comp.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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rona galesRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 3:40:34 am

I like their shots detector script.
But for grading, AE in combination with PS is the best color correction software on the planet and no other software come even close. There is so many tools and they are very intuitive too.
I rarely use a 3-way CC but for those who do, try Magic Bullet Colorista Free for AE
http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/downloads/free-products/

The God Of Color Of The Universe Will Rise Again!


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Walter SoykaRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 2:21:35 pm

[rona gales] "But for grading, AE in combination with PS is the best color correction software on the planet and no other software come even close. There is so many tools and they are very intuitive too."

Rona, I'm glad this works for you, but you've structured your workflow the exact opposite way nearly everyone else in the industry does by coloring before editorial. AE and PS are very powerful and very flexible, but dedicated color grading systems offer huge benefits in speed and workflow.

Jim, I know we talked about Resolve Lite a few weeks ago. It's out now. Go to Blackmagic Design's support page [link], choose Mac OS X for the Host Computer Type, Resolve for the Product Series, then Resolve Lite for the Product to download.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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rona galesRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 2:50:59 pm

To often my clients fell in love with the flat pass and fought the much needed color correction, that is why I get the looks approved before anything else.

I played with resolve light and found it to be very limited. I think Blackmagic had a great reputation for controlling a pricey telecine with no real competition. Now that they are in a bigger game they need to improve a lot.

AE/PS is the best.

The God Of Color Of The Universe Will Rise Again!


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Walter SoykaRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 3:03:00 pm

[rona gales] "To often my clients fell in love with the flat pass and fought the much needed color correction, that is why I get the looks approved before anything else."

I've found the opposite. Once clients have seen a well-finished result, anything else looks, well, flat.


[rona gales] "I played with resolve light and found it to be very limited. I think Blackmagic had a great reputation for controlling a pricey telecine with no real competition. Now that they are in a bigger game they need to improve a lot."

Of course Resolve Lite is limited. It's free!

Resolve Lite is just a glimpse, meant to let you learn the interface and get a sense of the capabilities without giving away the farm. Resolve (which removes the highly-restrictive 2-node limitation), when used with a control surface on a qualified system, is a very difference experience.


[rona gales] "AE/PS is the best."

Perhaps for some -- but definitely not for all.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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rona galesRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 4:27:54 pm

The resolve doesn't have the PS AE tools:
Auto resolution for the composition setting
Luminance blending mode.
Color blending mode
Other blending mode missing in Resolve.
Levels set black and white points using the eyedropper tools
Levels set Auto adjustment options
Levels intuitive keyboard shortcuts
PS levels save and import to an other software
Curves set black and white points using the black point and white point sliders
Curves set black and white points using the eyedropper tools
Curves set Auto adjustment options
Curve single channel selection
Curves intuitive keyboard shortcuts
PS curves save and import to an other software
Color mode for sharpening and color boosting
Shadow / Hilight effect
Channel Combiner effect to extracts, displays, and adjusts channel values for a layer.
Calculations effect to combines channels of one layer with the channels of a second layer.
Set channel effect
Vibrance effect
Exposure effect
Several blur option
Several keyer option
Threshold effect to find low and hight
Intuitive B.W effect
Photo filter effect
Equalize effects
Colorama effect
Stabilizer (full picture now)
Pixel blender script
Expresion
3rd party plugin

and many more


The things I like about the resolve:
Great tracker
VSR missing in PS AE
Store frame missing in PS AE
Intuitive secondaries but the PS AE are very good too
intuitive Power windows but the PS AE are very good too


PS: Both softwares need a better Noise Reducer a la "Digital Vision"

The God Of Color Of The Universe Will Rise Again!


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Walter SoykaRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 5:25:53 pm

[rona gales] "The resolve doesn't have the PS AE tools"

Why would it? Resolve is not PS/AE. It works differently and requires a different approach.

Resolve runs circles around PS/AE on render time and workflow. Resolve has real conform tools and a dedicated color grading toolset, including critical features like a still store and scopes. It's tough to control with just a keyboard and a mouse, but it works very nicely with a control surface. It renders in real time on the GPU.

I'm not saying that either AE or Resolve is better for all workflows. I am saying that anyone serious about color grading should look beyond AE to see what else is available. I use Resolve now, but I'll be keeping my eye on Baselight and SCRATCH as they bring lower-cost tools to the Mac.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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rona galesRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Jul 27, 2011 at 6:43:58 pm

"Why would it? Resolve is not PS/AE. It works differently and requires a different approach.":
-That doesn't make the Resolve better for color correction work, what make the Resolve better in the eyes of many people is the reputation the resolve has gain during the Telecine Era and Tape Era. Please see my post above.

"Resolve runs circles around PS/AE on render time and workflow.":
-Really?? I have no problem with speed and workflow.

"Resolve has real conform tools ":
-AE too.

"and a dedicated color grading toolset,":
-Can you be more specific, I have showed you the tools that are not in the resolve in my post above post.

"including critical features like a still store":
-I agree with you, AE has only one grab, please see my post above.

"and scopes.":
-The AE Synthetic Test Gear scopes has more scopes and better, for example the Vectorscope scale can go from x1 to x10 and Resolve doesn't have for example the gamut display to monitor out of gamut colors.

" It's tough to control with just a keyboard and a mouse,":
-Not if you know how, but I understand you're having problem with the concept.

"but it works very nicely with a control surface.":
-Yes it works with a panel but still they is a lot of tools missing that could enhance your color corrections.

"It renders in real time on the GPU.":
-It depend on the CPU, the resolution, the files and on how many nodes, windows, trackers you're using, then good luck playing realtime if it is over loaded, there is no cache.



The God Of Color Of The Universe Will Rise Again!


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Walter SoykaRe: Color correction and color grading plugins? NOW: DaVinci Resolve
by on Jul 28, 2011 at 2:03:12 pm

[rona gales] "AE in combination with PS is the best color correction software on the planet and no other software come even close"

This is a quote from your first post in this thread, and this is the reason I'm responding. "Best" is totally subjective and depends on many factors. AE/PS may be the best for you, but it is certainly not the best for everyone, because they may have different approaches, skill sets, or needs than you do.

I'm not trying to convince anyone what the "best" software is. I am trying to point out some of the most important differences between these packages so that people reading this thread can decide for themselves.



[rona gales] "That doesn't make the Resolve better for color correction work, what make the Resolve better in the eyes of many people is the reputation the resolve has gain during the Telecine Era and Tape Era. Please see my post above."

I am not saying that Resolve is "better" than AE for all image manipulations. I am saying that anyone who is serious about color grading and is only using AE owes it to themselves to evaluate their other options.

I assure you that there's more to Resolve than the DaVinci name. It's a great tool, it's built for serious color work, and Black Magic Design is incredibly responsive to their user base.

AE is immensely powerful and incredibly flexible. I love AE. I use it every day. I've developed a very deep understand of AE (and of color science), and I spend a lot of my free time here, offering my help to the community. I know that Jim is learning the art and science of color manipulation now because I have participated in many other discussions with him.

Are you really suggesting it's not in Jim's best interest to give a fair evaluation to a highly capable, industry-standard color grading application?



[rona gales] "I have no problem with speed and workflow."

Nothing is real-time in AE. Nothing. How can you not have problems with speed?

You run your workflow the exact opposite of the way most of the industry does. You grade all your rushes and then edit them. You may not appreciate all the workflow issues I'd point out, since you're not working within an existing edit or grading your shots in context.

Personally, I think that your workflow adds a lot of unnecessary work upfront (by grading shots that will never be used), adds a lot of waiting during grading (because you must RAM preview to see your grades in motion), and misses the opportunity to enhance the story with the color grade (by grading shots out of context). I am glad that it works for you, and I'm glad that you've shared your opinion so that Jim and other readers can consider your perspective for their own work -- but it wouldn't work for me or my clients on many of my projects.



[rona gales] "AE [has real conform tools] too."

No, it doesn't. AE relates your decisions to a specific layer at specific points in time in the comp; Resolve relates decisions to the specific media (by reel and timecode), no matter where it is in the session.

If I hand you a pile of media files and an EDL, how will you conform it in AE? What if the edit changes after you've already started coloring? How will you re-conform? How will you render handles?



[rona gales] "Can you be more specific [about Resolve's color grading toolset], I have showed you the tools that are not in the resolve in my post above post."

I think I may mean something different than you do by toolset. You're referring to AE effects that actually manipulate the image. I'm referring to the non-color features Resolve has to make shot management, timeline navigation, and grade re-use and comparison, and version management easier.



[rona gales] "The AE Synthetic Test Gear scopes has more scopes and better, for example the Vectorscope scale can go from x1 to x10 and Resolve doesn't have for example the gamut display to monitor out of gamut colors."

I like Test Gear quite a bit -- I recommended it earlier in this thread.

You can double-click the scopes in Resolve for more scope controls.



[rona gales] "[Resolve is not tough to control with a keyboard and mouse] if you know how, but I understand you're having problem with the concept"

I'm not having a problem with the concept at all. The color wheels in Resolve are literally brand new in 8.0.1. Prior to that, they were a series of sliders. It was possible to drive Resolve without a control surface before, but totally impractical.

I'd argue that it's still impractical to drive Resolve without a control surface. Once you have used a surface that will let you push and pull a grade at the same time, you'll never want to go back to a mouse or tablet.



[rona gales] "[Real time playback] depend on the CPU, the resolution, the files and on how many nodes, windows, trackers you're using, then good luck playing realtime if it is over loaded, there is no cache."

Did you evaluate this on a qualified system? I haven't had a problem yet. Again, there is no possibility for real time performance on AE, so this seems a strange criticism to make.

Overall, I can understand preferring AE if you want to blend effects, compositing, and color grading together, but I honestly struggle to understand your complete dismissal of Resolve as a grading tool.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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rona galesRe: Color correction and color grading plugins? NOW: DaVinci Resolve
by on Jul 28, 2011 at 5:46:14 pm

you may want to check
http://prolost.com/blog/2011/3/30/rebels-guide-on-your-ipad-or-kindle-dv-re...

The God Of Color Of The Universe Will Rise Again!


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rona galesRe: Color correction and color grading plugins? NOW: DaVinci Resolve
by on Aug 3, 2011 at 4:15:38 pm

Also you may want to check this plugin
http://www.popcornisland.com/2009/03/final-cut-2-after-effects/
Or go through PPr to AE for FCP XML

The God Of Color Of The Universe Will Rise Again!


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Matt FisherRe: Color correction and color grading plugins?
by on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:14:25 am

I'm going to have to agree. Although prices have come down across the board (when I worked in Post in the mid 90's a complete suite - Rank/Cintel telecine, a 2k Davinci with Powertools running a 4:4:4 in real time on the primaries and the secondaries..... 2 million bucks, minimum. Maybe 250k for the color correction. Even today it'll cost you 30k for a lot moe than 250k used to buy. And the fact is that you can't compare AFX, photoshop with a professional tool that's been mature for decades. People still pay 7 or 800 bucks an hour for a skilled colorist on a Davinci and there's a good reason - nothing else really comes close.


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