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Pre-production for color correction in post

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Stef Allan
Pre-production for color correction in post
on Jan 4, 2011 at 11:05:18 pm


I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post in but it seems like it might make sense.

I'm working as a consultant with a DP to set up the look for a reality show that I will not be editing. I have only basic color correction experience (pretty much just fixing white balance). The show will go through a full color correction before broadcast.

One concept that we have talked about is shooting with a low-contrast scene file and protecting the highlights. I have talked to some people who have used this look effectively to preserve detail in the highlights as well as the shadows, particularly in exteriors.

The idea is that it is shot low contrast to save as much information on either end of the spectrum and then the contrast is readjusted in the color correction to make a more appealing image. I have seen the outcome of some of these images and have been blown away.

I'm aware that this image would need to be skillfully corrected. That's one reason that I won't be doing it.

But we're trying to figure out if we are going to shoot to a 4:2:2 color space or a 4:2:0 color space.

My question is:

Would the 420 image hinder our ability to stretch out the contrast? I can see two schools of thought.

1.) That since you have full luminance information with 420 the contrast is something you can work with much more easily than the color.

2.) The degradation from the color sampling will become more obvious when you stretch out the contrast because by shooting lower contrast you are further compressing the possible range of information.

Do these thoughts even make sense?

Thanks for your help.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Pre-production for color correction in post
on Jan 5, 2011 at 2:30:02 am

Stef, I think you'll get the best responses to this question in either the Apple Color forum [link] or the DaVinci forum [link].

Personally, I can't imagine why you would want to shoot in 4:2:0 if you have the option of shooting 4:2:2. I don't think it's only a question of how the chroma subsampling will stretch as you manipulate the contrast -- you should also be considering how it will affect your colorist's ability to pull qualifying keys for secondary correction. I'd think that 4:2:2 will give you a significant advantage here, especially with lower-contrast footage.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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Todd Kopriva
Re: Pre-production for color correction in post
on Jan 5, 2011 at 3:40:16 am

I'll echo Walter's sentiment. The big danger in using 4:2:0 (from an effects and compositing standpoint) is that you have far less color information available for any post-processing.

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
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