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How can I match the color from two almost identical shots with the same lighting conditions in AE CS6

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Mike ImamHow can I match the color from two almost identical shots with the same lighting conditions in AE CS6
by on Mar 18, 2015 at 5:35:35 pm
Last Edited By Mike Imam on Mar 18, 2015 at 5:45:34 pm

Hi all,

I've run into an interesting scenario here and wondering if anyone can help out. I have two shots, both taken a few seconds apart from each other, shot indoors, in front of a green screen, with the same exact lighting. See here for the two shots composited side by side:

http://i.imgur.com/3aqgtBy.jpg

The shot on the right is actually a still image (hi res jpg), which was adjusted/color corrected in Photoshop. The shot on the left is the video footage taken on the same Canon 5D MIII (which is why it's lower resolution).

I'm trying get the color to match. Is there a simple way to do this? I suspect there's probably a method I can apply using RGB values, but I haven't been able to effectively do this using the existing tutorials I've found (these all related to completely different shots using different lighting conditions). Does AE CS6 have a method that will compare the two, similar to "Color Match" in Photoshop? I tried manually adjusting levels, saturation, etc, but I'm afraid my color grading skills are way too poor to do understand why it's not working and what I'm doing wrong.

Please let me know if you have any ideas. Thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: How can I match the color from two almost identical shots with the same lighting conditions?
by on Mar 18, 2015 at 5:50:46 pm

It's not just lower resolution, but it lacks about 3/4 of the color information contained in the still if was shot at similar resolution!

Video recording on DSLR's cuts corners, and one of the corners it cuts has to do with color.

Think of a video image as two layers: one a black-and white layer with full color information, and the color layer overlays it. In the H.264 (and similar) codec -- used by your camera for video -- that color information layer is one-fouth the size of the black-and-white layer. It gets stretched out to overlay the B&W layer. And the color suffers, particularly at sharply-defined edges.

The color discrepancy you see probably has to do more with the quality of the chroma key that was pulled. I'd try to first refine the key. If that's no good, I'd try to fix the lack of blue/magenta in Color Finesse.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael SzalapskiRe: How can I match the color from two almost identical shots with the same lighting conditions in AE CS6
by on Mar 18, 2015 at 5:51:21 pm

If the person who did the color grade in Photoshop worked smartly, you'll have layers in PS with Levels, Curves, etc. that you could look at and duplicate in AE.

Alternatively, perhaps you could adapt this method: https://library.creativecow.net/articles/onneweer_barend/colorgrading_1.php

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Mike ImamRe: How can I match the color from two almost identical shots with the same lighting conditions in AE CS6
by on Mar 19, 2015 at 1:58:38 pm

Thank you both for the advice. I agree that adjustment layers out of Photoshop would have probably been the best method, but I'm now stuck having to do manual adjustments, for better or for worse. Finesse has helped some, as has Colorista. The tutorial has also been useful, but my results are still not perfect.

Anyone have any luck with the new color/scene match feature in Speedgrade CC? Could that possibly help me here? I'm considering upgrading my whole AE suite to CC, but it requires at least Mac OS 10.7. I've been very reliably running on a very stable Mac OS 10.6.8 for several years now, so I'm not sure it's worth updating my whole system for it.


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Walter SoykaRe: How can I match the color from two almost identical shots with the same lighting conditions in AE CS6
by on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:15:19 pm

[Mike Imam] "Anyone have any luck with the new color/scene match feature in Speedgrade CC? Could that possibly help me here?"

Yes, Speedgrade's color match is pretty good, but it's not going to work magic here. I tried it for you [image]:



It doesn't really pick up the purple, and it pushes the background along with the dress.

Seeing how close all those grays are on the clothes and the background, I'd guess this shot in Photoshop was probably hand-colored. That's great for style frames, but it's tough for a quick video color job.

I think it's going to be pretty tough to key this to use secondaries, though you might be able to do with with some really tight junk mattes. You might give rotobrush a try, too.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Mike ImamRe: How can I match the color from two almost identical shots with the same lighting conditions in AE CS6
by on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:48:14 pm

Wow, thanks so much for the test through Speedgrade! Funny, I'm having the very same issues using manual color controls: the purple and the blue just don't come out right without greatly affecting the rest of the image.

This might be worth a Rotobrush run - hadn't considered that but it might be my only option at this stage.


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