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Turning grey sky blue

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Guy Kingston
Turning grey sky blue
on Mar 15, 2011 at 4:56:58 pm

I shot some footage on a sunny day, with a blue sky. But, now I've got to editing it the sky looks grey!

I want to make the sky look blue-er. It doesn't have to be a wonderful clear blue sky, just not look so depressingly overcast.

I have done a bit of searching online and found a couple of solutions, but neither will work for my particular clip. Adding a feather blue solid doesn't really work because of the shape of the sky and an awkward branch jutting out. And, because there is so much grey elsewhere in the shot it seems pretty impossible to mask it or key it out.

Here’s a still so you can see what I mean:

Any suggestions as to a suitable workflow, or can anyone point me to a tutorial that can help?



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Turning grey sky blue
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:08:31 pm

The lack of blue sky isn't the only color problem in that shot. It's just overall blah.

I'd give Color Finesse a shot: it comes bundles with AE, and there are a few very good tutorials on how to use it right here on the COW. Look for the name Andrew Devis and the titles primary color correction in after effects and secondary color correction in after effects.

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

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Danny Hays
Re: Turning grey sky blue
on Mar 15, 2011 at 5:50:26 pm

If your camera has manual white balance, manually set it with a pure white object, like a poster board, in the environment and lighting that your shooting in. This way your colors won't change on you like they did. Hope this helps, Danny Hays

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Turning grey sky blue
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:39:15 pm

Here's a way of dealing with it (link below for AE project in CS4 that uses only standard plugins)- of course you will have to animate the mask around the subject, but since it's a garbage mask it should be a breeze and if the subject does not move too much you may just leave that in place as is.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Turning grey sky blue
on Mar 15, 2011 at 8:50:28 pm

Here are a couple of tutorials:
Basic [link]
Advanced [link]

- 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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Kevin Camin
Re: Turning grey sky blue
on Mar 17, 2011 at 5:17:30 pm

I was able to correct your footage with AE tools and didn't need to create any masks or mattes.

The first issue with the footage is that is lacks contrast and that muddies the colors. Just move your highlight selector in Levels to meet the edge of the histogram. That makes a huge improvement.

The next thing I did was use the Vibrance effect to push up the undersaturated colors. Vibrance is great because it leaves alone already saturated things like that bridge in the background and is more delicate on skin tones.

The last thing I did was use the Selective Color filter and added blue in the Cyan and Blue channels. This gave a little bit more color to the sky without much effect on the talent.

This is just one approach but it took me about 2 minutes to do.

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