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Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?

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Sean Kapleton
Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:38:46 pm

Hello friends,

I posted before but got no response so I am going to try to re-word this post in hopes that it makes more sense.

What is the most cost effective way for me to setup proper monitoring out of a mac pro for broadcast and film grading / QCing in After effects. I am curious if i can strictly grade in AE out to a proper calibrated monitor - additionally we use RED footage a lot too and want to upgrade to CS5 for the newer RED workflow options.

I am familiar with black magic cards / hdlink, AJA hdp2, HPdreamcolor, Flanders, etc but those setups have always been strictly for broadcast use out of FCP & Color and not necessarily for AE grading so i want to make sure i am covered for grading and QCing out of AE for Broadcast AND Film on a budget ; )

Any help or advice would be awesome.

thank you

sean


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Chris Wright
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 11:18:31 pm

well, redrocket for RED acceleration for sure, a kona 3 2k for editing and output, and a nice radeon card(nvidia's crash with kona and redrocket at the same time), a broadcast quality monitor with a spyder calibrator(or something equavalent/better), and about 32gb or more ram for AE, the fastest raid 5(or bigger) with tons of terabytes, the fastest intel chip you can afford, um what else, others please chime in. Basically, the more RAM you have, the more RAM preview playback lengths you can enjoy.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Chris Wright
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 11:50:33 pm

and do you know AE's color management down to a 'T'. Do you understand proof views, the difference between SRGB and HDTV, cineons, RED linear light, 32bpc, gamma 1.8 or 2.2, LUTS,legal luma and chroma values,etc. If you don't, read Adobe's white paper on it and read Chris and Trish Meyer's stuff or no super computer is going to help you...



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Sean Kapleton
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 14, 2010 at 12:09:15 am

great recommend on color science! I do have a good amount of knowledge but will delve into the suggested reasources as well - thank you great advice.

I am specifically looking for hardware & software recommends as well if others can advise we would greatly appreciate some monitor, cards, converter, etc recommends.



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Erik Lindahl
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 16, 2010 at 1:56:18 pm

One issue with grading in AE is you'll never have true real time. This is something you really want from a grading perspective. AE is great a animation / compositing and color work, but for strictly grading I'd opt for Apple Color or DaVinci Resolve. The later has some specific requirements at the moment however:

- BlackMagic video card (AJA / Matrox support is on the way as I was told)
- Preferable a dual nVidia GPU setup (GT120 + Quadro FX4800 at the moment but a new generation of cards is around the corner - 1 Quadro is possible but you'll end up with a 20% performance hit)
- Red Rocket Card is recommended for RED work (or you won't get proper high quality realtime)

But yeah, you CAN do nice work in AE in terms of grading. It's just not super efficient in the end.

------------------------
Erik Lindahl
Freecloud Post Production Services
http://www.freecloud.se


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Sean Kapleton
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:37:06 pm

hello thx for the response!
any chance you have some links for what you recommend?
cheers
sean



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Sean Kapleton
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:45:04 pm

Hey thx for the reply!

Just curious what color space you recommend setting AE to if going out to a confidence monitor with the goal of creating looks that will stay consistent for broadcast & Film. I of course want to make sure it stays consistent into PS, FCP, Color, etc as well...damn its a tough thing!

What might I ask is the proper way to keep consistency between say AE, PS, Preview, QTpro, FCP, Color, etc do i set everything to Rec. 709 if its Film & Broadcast work?

I know to set the qt preferences to match FCP gamma and to bring AE renders into FCP at 2.2 but i have plenty of friends who find color shifts between apps and it drives me, them and clients insane.

Thank you again for your time
cheers
s



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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:29:07 am

[Sean Kapleton] "Just curious what color space you recommend setting AE to if going out to a confidence monitor with the goal of creating looks that will stay consistent for broadcast & Film. I of course want to make sure it stays consistent into PS, FCP, Color, etc as well."

For broadcast work, you should grade in the color space appropriate for your broadcast. SD NTSC, SD PAL, or Rec. 709. If you have sources in another color space (like graphics from sRGB), Adobe's color management will handle it all for you and keep it looking right.

Gamma management in Quicktime is a massive and ongoing disappointment. That said, ProRes 422 round-trips from FCP to AE CS5 and back beautifully.

For film work, you need to discuss color management with the lab that will do your print before you begin grading. There is no general answer here -- but many labs do have workflows and internal LUTs in place to print film from Rec. 709 material.

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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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 15, 2010 at 1:23:51 am

[Sean Kapleton] "I am familiar with black magic cards / hdlink, AJA hdp2, HPdreamcolor, Flanders, etc but those setups have always been strictly for broadcast use out of FCP & Color and not necessarily for AE grading so i want to make sure i am covered for grading and QCing out of AE for Broadcast AND Film on a budget ; )"

I have an AJA Kona and an 8-bit FSI monitor, which I use with FCP, Color, and AE. It's perfect for broadcast. Film may benefit more from a 10-bit monitor like the Dream Color or a 10-bit FSI (and you should definitely discuss your workflow with your lab before you dive in), but that will certainly impact your budget.

You might check out Scopo Gigio or Test Gear (CS3/CS4 only -- no CS5 version yet) to add software scopes to After Effects.

I love Colorista II for quick touch-ups -- it's very powerful and easy to use -- but isn't grading in AE like using a screwdriver to drive nails? It doesn't really have a proper toolset for grading. Why not use a purpose-built app like Color or Resolve?

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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Sean Kapleton
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 15, 2010 at 1:07:54 pm

Thank you so much for the reply! I was thinking about getting the BMD 3d card and a dreamcolor but want to make sure it will be enough for film & broadcast grading out of AE, Color, FCP, etc

Its actually my friend who uses AE for grading while i use Color & FCP but I want to help him setup a system that will work for everything.

Any further equipment and setup recommends from people would be great.

thank you

sean



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Sean Kapleton
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:19:38 pm

hey walter
thx for the reply just curious if the BMD extreme 3d card is cheaper than a Kona 3 for any reason? If i use the BMD card option am i missing out on anything in quality or capability?

I ask because confidence monitoring is for both broadcast AND film work in a variety of apps and I dont want to miss out on say hdmi 1.4 or some other higher quality solution.

cheers

sean



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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Correction and Grading in AE for Broadcast & Film?
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:49:26 am

[Sean Kapleton] "just curious if the BMD extreme 3d card is cheaper than a Kona 3 for any reason? If i use the BMD card option am i missing out on anything in quality or capability?"

I've been an AJA user for a long time, and I don't have a lot of personal experience with BMD products.

I'm looking at Resolve, though, so I may be swapping out my Kona for a Decklink HD Extreme 3D. They look pretty comparable on the spec sheet.

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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