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Vikram ChackoColor correction
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 4:56:44 am

I have some shots in a certain scene that were done during a cloudy overcast day, then some shots in the same scene are in more of a sunny day. Is there anyway to match the two? If this is not an after effects issue, let me know what program would be best.
thanks


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Dave LaRondeRe: Color correction
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:13:13 pm

If you think you would enjoy animating masks to simulate the shadows that are created on a sunny day, you can use the cloudy day footage. If you think this would be too difficult (and you would be right), you will need to re-shoot.

Dave's Stock Answer #2:

When you're out on a shoot, and you say, "we'll fix this in post" without knowing PRECISELY HOW you're going to fix it in post, don't shoot it! You'll only end up shooting it over again.

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.

And, before you say "well fix it in post," always consider who's doing the work, especially if you're the one doing the work.


Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Color correction
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 1:19:42 pm

After Effects can be used to do color correction very well. Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse that comes bundled with AE is excellent. However, for many things you can just use combinations of other color correction effects. Curves, Levels, Hue/Saturation, CC Toner, Tint, etc.

This tutorial, though very old in computer years, is a very good lesson on color matching.

The weather replacement series (part one, part two, and part three) deals with changing from sunshiny day to dark storm and should have some great color ideas for you too.

- 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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cowcowcow
Dave LaRondeNot just color correction, but highlight-shadow correction
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:19:55 pm

I feel I should elaborate on my earlier post.

My friend Michael, who is a VERY GOOD After Effects artist, mentions Color Finesse, and he is absolutely right: you will be able to get the cloudy-day colors to match sunny-day colors. But there is more that is wrong than colors.

Examine the differences between the cloudy-day and sunny-day footage very closely.

Are there trees in the shots? Do you see how some leaves are bright and some leaves are in shadow in the sunny shot, but all the leaves look more or less the same in the cloudy shot? You either have to animate highlights and shadows on the leaves through the use of masks -- and animate them on a FRAME-BY-FRAME BASIS -- to make the cloudy footage look like the sunny footage. You would have to do the same thing to make the sunny footage look like the cloudy footage.

Are there actors in the shots? Do you see how there are shadows on the actors' faces in the sunny shots, but not in the cloudy shots? Again, you would have to animate facial highlights and shadows, masking frame-by-frame -- a process known as rotoscoping -- to get sunny shots and cloudy shots to match.

Now count all the shadows and highlights you see in a typical sunny shot -- that is how many shadows and highlights you have to create in After Effects to get the two shots to match convincingly.

If this sounds extremely difficult and very time-consuming, you are indeed correct. But your shots will then match, and you will have visual continuity. It may take weeks or months to correct, but they will match. There are no automatic computer tools that will do this for you. The magic "Cloudy-Sunny Compensation" plugin exists only in Harry Potter books.

Oh, but you don't the time for that kind of painstaking work? If you want visual continuity, you must then re-shoot. Oh, but you can't re-shoot, for whatever reason? Then you must deal with the fact that you won't have visual continuity.

You made a fundamental error in your shooting. You made a rookie mistake. It is a painful mistake, and you must now live with it. To complete your scene, your options are as follows:
  • Spend weeks and months correcting colors, highlights and shadows in the shots you have, and spend a LOT more money
  • Re-shoot, and spend more money
  • Do simple color correction, and live with the visual discontinuites from shot to shot

I doubt you will EVER make this kind of mistake again.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Not just color correction, but highlight-shadow correction
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:30:38 pm

Great post, Dave.

- 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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Vikram ChackoRe: Not just color correction, but highlight-shadow correction
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 4:21:12 pm

Thanks


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