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Trouble Colour Matching a Studio Shoot

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Rob McDougall
Trouble Colour Matching a Studio Shoot
on Aug 11, 2013 at 6:04:26 pm


I'm quite new to both DaVinci and colour grading in general. Looking to get some experience, I've offered to do a friend a favour and grade up a shoot she's done. It's a model in mainly white clothes on a white background. We're working internationally, so I've been provided only with a ProRes master, which I think was shot on an Alexa or similar so it's some sort of RAW colour. Obviously not the ideal, but I'm trying to get it to work regardless.

Colour matching between the shots is proving very, very difficult. If I use the white background as a guide, mask it off then adjust levels so they're even, the model's flesh tones seem to go all over the place. Additionally, if I try to balance off the background in a subsequent shot, the flesh tones are entirely different to the previous shot.

How should I proceed (other than curling into a ball and pretending I never agreed to do this in the first place...!) Should I be sorting just the flesh tones, then worrying about the white in another node?

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Margus Voll
Re: Trouble Colour Matching a Studio Shoot
on Aug 12, 2013 at 7:21:45 am

There are different ways to do it.

Som balance skin and then key white.

Are you sure that the same light was used in color sense ?

Can you show some stills ?



DaVinci 9, OSX 10.7.4
MacPro 5.1 2x2,93 24GB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Multibridge 2 Pro

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michael stirling
Re: Trouble Colour Matching a Studio Shoot
on Aug 13, 2013 at 8:36:06 am

I'd definitely be treating the skin and the white separately...

node 1 overall luminance/ contrast balance.
Node 2 balance skin tone (either in a HSL key or not)
Node 3 key white and balance.

I'd do a couple of master grades I really liked - say on a wide and a close up then balance each shot to these as well as the shot either side of it in the timeline so the grade didn't drift over time. Also, you will probably find that all of the shots aren't different from each other but rather you have 3 or 4 groups of shots that need grading differently from each other. Once you've recognised these and got a shot balanced to the master you'll get a long way by just adding that grade to the next clip of that sort rather than reinventing the wheel each time.


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Rob McDougall
Re: Trouble Colour Matching a Studio Shoot
on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:29:09 am

Thank you Michael, very helpful. I know these are basics, but that's where I'm at, I think!

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