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any tips on color correcting these two clips? wildly different DSLR settings

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Jason Berger
any tips on color correcting these two clips? wildly different DSLR settings
on Apr 13, 2016 at 7:06:22 pm

I'm on Final Cut Pro 7, so somewhat basic options.

I've obviously got no hopes of matching this footage, but I want to at least make it obvious that it both cameras were shooting the same event.

One was a Canon EOS5 MKIII, so a 1.8 lens on a full frame camera. The other was a Nikon D3300 with a variable frame lens, 3.5 to ??? (5.3 maybe?) on automatic (grainy, different light levels) on an APS-C sensor. I had never shot video on DSLR before and the other shooter was a photographer who had never shot video before and we never had much prep time, so we were not in sync at all. It was a great learning experience, but the footage looks wildly unrelated.

(I was also surprised to see that, while the full frame Canon was obviously more capable in low light, in well lit situations and with a fast lens the APS-C Nikon performed just as well as the Canon and, in a few clips, better.)

http://i.share.pho.to/d1d13742_o.png

http://i.share.pho.to/3c93242d_o.png

http://i.share.pho.to/891632d9_o.png

http://i.share.pho.to/e191f7bd_o.png

http://i.share.pho.to/23b6f640_o.png

http://i.share.pho.to/0b6944eb_o.png

The only things I've really been able to do with any success are pretty basic. Lining up the bloodline in the vectorscope, deepening the darks. Right now I'm playing around with converting all the footage to black and white which makes things match slightly better, but takes a lot of the sparkle out of her performance.

Any tips? Using Final Cut Pro 7.


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Jason Berger
Re: any tips on color correcting these two clips? wildly different DSLR settings
on Apr 13, 2016 at 7:08:06 pm

These stills are from the original, unaltered footage.


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Chris Wright
Re: any tips on color correcting these two clips? wildly different DSLR settings
on Apr 15, 2016 at 4:24:39 am

these steps are from premiere but the visual scopes/workflow should work pretty much the same because the order of grading levels matters.

these steps neutralize your footage then you grade back to what you want after matching clips, or you can try matching as is.

1. with waveform luma, set black point ire 7.5 then white point ire 90, this will remove crushed contrast, you can add it back later.

2. then gamma, view HLS vectorscope, make as small a dot as possible

3. then white balance with HLS vectorscope so that the large Hue wheel sets the weighted brightest part in the center.

4. then saturation line up brighest line in HLS vectorscope between where line red and yellow would be in the YUV vectorscope(around 11:00 o-clock).


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Jason Berger
Re: any tips on color correcting these two clips? wildly different DSLR settings
on Apr 19, 2016 at 8:38:02 pm

Oh, man! Thank you so much for this response!

It turns out my basic colour grading knowledge did a surprising effective job. I've basically got a two step process: touch the black levels to the line and raise/lower the mid and white levels with the waveform then put things on the fleshline with the Vectorscope and the RGB parade.

I never in my life had to match such wildly different footage, but it actually worked really, really well. And very quickly, too. I had to add a third step which was drag the colour wheels around a bit until all shots had the same amount of green/blue hues.

But I'm really grateful to your post because these techniques are not familiar to me and I'm eagerly going to scoop them up and put them in my arsenal. Thank you so much.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: any tips on color correcting these two clips? wildly different DSLR settings
on Sep 17, 2016 at 4:08:32 am

Oh no, you just gave away the secret sauce, now all of us Hollywood colorists are gonna be out of work. Guess I'd best start flipping burgers now, that's all that's left.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Duke Sweden
Re: any tips on color correcting these two clips? wildly different DSLR settings
on Sep 17, 2016 at 12:53:36 pm

Don't worry, Dave. It's still all gibberish to me!


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