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Color Correcting

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Eddie Mensore
Color Correcting
on Apr 15, 2010 at 7:30:16 pm

Hi,

I have just completed a feature film in Final Cut Pro 6.06

Now, we are ready to color correct. I have heard I should use "Apple" for color correction.

My effects person wants to color correct in After Effects... where she is more comfortable working.

If I export entire movie to After Effects;

1. Will I lose quality?
2. How exactly should I export?
3. Should she learn Apple in FCP?
4. Any thoughts, concerns, etc about my situation?
5. Please provide any tips, tricks, codecs, filters I should use in After Effects if that is what you suggest


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Dave Johnson
Re: Color Correcting
on Apr 15, 2010 at 8:12:30 pm

1. No, not if you do it right.

2. Export using a lossless codec of your choice (perhaps ProRes).

3. Don't understand this question (Should she learn Apple in FCP?), but if you mean should your editor learn Apple Color, my opinion is that no editor should be forced to use a particular tool simply because someone else heard about that tool ... there's nothing Color can do that AE can't do, although some will always argue that one tool is better than the other, the bottom line is what kind of results can your editor get with AE versus a tool they were forced to use for what are often not legitimate reasons ... not saying this is the case with Color because it is an excellent tool, but it's important to remember that when people insist that a particular tool is the only one anyone should use for a particular task, it is often based on lack of knowledge of any other tool, kick-back type relationships or just plain old baseless hype.

4. Yes ... see answers 1, 2, 3 & 5.

5. This question is too broad to answer in a simple forum post ... some may try, but I doubt anyone could explain how to do do good color correction in a forum post that isn't pages long. I'd suggest posting specific questions if you have specific issues to address.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Color Correcting
on Apr 15, 2010 at 8:37:17 pm

I would ad something to the previous post:
Colorista / Magic Bullet / Color Finesse - all great plug-ins for color grading in After Effects. Color Finesse uses 32 bit, so you have loads of color info to work with. That being said, the tools are great, all you need is the "magic eye" of a colorist- unfortunately no plug-in for that ;-)

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania
http://www.ennstudio.ro


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Jon Bagge
Re: Color Correcting
on Apr 15, 2010 at 10:03:10 pm

Both Apple Color and Color Finesse have more than plenty of tools to make your colour grading. A bigger issue I think is workflow and monitoring.

Without monitoring on an external video monitor grading is almost useless in my opinion. This is probably more likely on a FC studio setup than an AE setup, but you'll have to check.

In terms of grading a whole feature you need to be able to play the timeline and compare shots up and down the sequence. That's quite frankly not particularly easy in AE/Color Finesse. AE is much more useful for grading individual shots as part of graphics or smaller sequences.


On those grounds I'd lean more towards Apple Color. Though Color does have some really annoying workflow issues on it's own, but you can always work around those.



--------------
Jon Bagge
Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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David Johnson
Re: Color Correcting
on Apr 16, 2010 at 1:18:09 am

Sorry I missed the part of the question about filters and also didn't mean to suggest that AE's native color plugins do coloring as well and/or as efficiently as Apple Color. I'm not sure if Color Finesse is still bundled with AE, but I agree with the other posters that both it and Magic Bullet are pretty powerful color tools. I also like Tiffen's DFX Suite a lot for stylistic or fast one-click type needs.

I also agree with the other posters that a good eye (or two ... or four) and proper monitoring are just as important to coloring as the tools used.

As far as the original question, I just by default disagree with the idea of anyone other than the mechanic deciding which tool is needed.


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Jon Bagge
Re: Color Correcting
on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:16:21 am

I'm not sure if Color Finesse is still bundled with AE


It is. WIth CS5 it's 3.0

As far as the original question, I just by default disagree with the idea of anyone other than the mechanic deciding which tool is needed.


You mean the artist of course.. :-)



--------------
Jon Bagge
Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Correcting
on Apr 16, 2010 at 6:34:52 pm

Some other posters have mentioned monitoring, and I agree that this is the primary issue for you to address. It's not enough to play with the colors on your computer screen; you'll need a video capture card, a quality grading monitor, and a set of hardware or software scopes in order to critically evaluate your work.

You should also be aware that your final deliverable will determine the color space you'll be using, so understanding Adobe's color management feature and workflows will be important. There are gamma shift issues to address with ProRes 422 on CS3 and ProRes 4444.

Even if you don't use Apple Color on this project, I'd suggest that simply browsing the Apple Color forum here will be very educational.

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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