Posts Tagged ‘Color Grading

14
Nov
10

color control panel for the ipad

Steve Hullfish and Bob Sliga blasted the FCP-L and ColorList with announcements about the new Tangent Devices vWave-Lite, a new solution to somewhat control Apple Color using your iPad.  Mr. Hullfish even posted a video of this slick new app

According to Tangent Devices website,

And while I agree with the general “Cool!” consensus out there, and while I realize it is amazing that Tangent Devices is putting this out there for FREE, I’m not sold on this approach as a viable solution for color grading because of the lack of tactile feedback from the iPad.  But Mel Matsuoka beat me to the punch, posting a nicely articulated review late last night to the FCP-L:

vWave is definitely fun and cool for what it is. I myself am hoping that they bring a “soft” version of the CP200-S and K panels to the iPad, so I can use it along my existing CP200-TS/BK panels. I cant justify another $10,000 just to get additional knobs and buttons that I wish the TS/BK panels had. Having a virtual button/knob control surface that can be mapped to every Apple Color function (and even more necessary, Davinci Resolve) would be a godsend. I wont hold my breath for this to happen, though 😉

That said, I think having a literal representation of a real world control surface on an iPad is a mistake, and not as useful as some are making it out to be. It’s cute and pretty to see the joyball and rings on the touchscreen, but the whole point of using a hardware control-surface is that you don’t have to look down at your controls while grading. And without a tactile control for your fingers to grab onto–especially in the case of the rings–you are flying half-blind on something like the vWave, because you cant tell if your finger is touching the ball widget or the ring widget onscreen. And the moment your eyes look down to find out which is which, you’ve defeated the very purpose of having a control-surface in the first place.

If I had the ability to design my own touch interface for a colorgrading control surface, it wouldn’t have balls and knobs like the vWave. it would simply be divided into 3 vertical columns, and be mapped so that any touch input that happens in the upper 2/3 of each column would affect the color-offsets, and any input that happened in the lower 1/3 would affect the lift/gamma/gain offsets.

This way, you could use your thumbs to affect the lift/gamma/gain, and your fingers to control the color offsets, and never have to look down to see if you’re touching the right control. And your hands would be positioned in a much more natural way, as well (which would could possibly be an improvement over a physical control-surface)

This is an excellent article discussing the folly of “shoehorning” real world UIs into a digital world, which I think applies here as well:

http://aaronweyenberg.com/699/is-realistic-ui-design-realistic

Interestingly enough, Aaron uses the example of an iPhone rotary-phone dialer app as an example of misguided “real world” touch-interface design.

I’ll let your own Googling inclinations veer you off topic and into the land of realistic UI design.  Back here at pro•active•ly, it comes down to the point that you are paying for knobs and tactile feedback when you invest in a control panel.  A device that comes short of providing these two key components isn’t serving you any better than mousing through Color.

proactively • it is cool though • peter

24
Nov
08

redrelay – awesome red footage resource

redrelay1

Just found RedRelay while reading Stu Maschwitz’ latest ProLost post talking about the subway short trend. RedRelay looks to be a great resource for getting your hands on RED footage to cut & grade.

All the comprehensive info describing how each clip was shot makes this site a great learning resource as well. You can download RED footage, iPhone versions of the clips, tiffs, and even follow a hotlink to the related reduser thread. Awesome.

redrelay-ian-bloom-clip

Now go download some RED footage and put that Color 1.0.3 update to use.

proactively • loving this site • peter

**UPDATE**

To do that grading in Color, you will of course need to get the RED FCS2 Installer…

red-fcs2-installer1

…and the RED Quicktime Codec.

red-qt-codec

Oliver Peters posts to the FCP-L:

The new RED FCS2 Installer at red.com/support includes a workflow white paper. This new installer adds some native functionality when working with .R3D files in FCP and Color. You must have done the most recent ProApps update before installing the new RED components. Even if you don’t actually run the RED installer, it’s worthwhile to download the archive file and review this PDF white paper.

And here’s a sneak peek of the white paper for your enjoyment:

example-red-file-directory

23
Oct
08

travel channel – america’s scariest halloween attractions 3

Membership has its benefits, so here’s a few screen grabs of Travel Channel’s upcoming America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions 3.  Premiere will be this Sunday, October 26th, at 11pm following Ghost Adventures.

Had a lot of fun editing and grading this show.  A whole lot of around the clock work.  We averaged 125 shots or more per 4 minutes, which trumps the hell out of the 600 shots per 44min show average I read somewhere.  Here’s the final time line before going to tape.  Mind you, this is after conforming for the grade in Color, QC’ing flattened titles and what not, and syncing audio stems:

00:44:45;00 to the frame per Travel Channel clock.  Ow, my brain…

And just because I love you guys, here’s a sample screen shot from the color grade.  First pic is 30″ left hand Apple Cinema Display, second pic is right hand 23″ Apple Cinema Display:

Oh yeah, and here’s the two main errors I experienced during post:

Not too bad, but I recommend the hell out of getting 8GB of RAM for posting any 1×60 HD program.  Got this show printed to tape by the skin of our teeth after crashing 4 minutes in on the first try.  Seriously, yes, 4GB of 667Mhz RAM is worth the extra 1200 bucks.

————————————————————————————

Epic shout outs:

Susan Norton – Executive Producer

Thomas Quinn – Supervising Producer

Arthur Hsu – Associate Producer

James Morley – Editor & Segment Producer

Ashley Kalena – Production Assistant

Joel Reyes – Engineering Support

Archie Bustamante – IT support

Mom & Dad – Love & Support

————————————————————————————

So, tomorrow is the move to the new apartment 4 miles away.  Saturday the new leather sofa arrives.  Sunday, resorting it up at the Travel Channel offsite.  I’ll have a beer and a shot in my hand 11pm Sunday night for the premiere, hope you enjoy it!

proactively • HD 1×60 in the can • peter

18
Oct
08

FCProse Episode 4 – cut color compress 5dmarkii footage

Here’s the all-in-one video tutorial showing you how to cut, color, and compress 1080p video captured with Canon’s upcoming 5D Mark II Digital SLR with three Final Cut Studio 2 applications: Final Cut Pro, Color, and Compressor. I recommend clicking thru for the hd version to better see the application interfaces.

In this episode I walk through the steps to edit your footage in Final Cut Pro, perform a broadcast safe grade in Color, and then make a web compression for upload to YouTube and Vimeo using Compressor.

I work directly with the source H.264 video Vincent Laforet made available for download (no H.264 -> Apple ProRes 422 transcode this time around). I also discuss some system specs and rant about High Dynamic Range video. A quick tag surf lead me to this post that has an example of HDR video captured by something called the HDRC® MDC04 CL camera system.

What’s High Dynamic Range (HDR), you ask? Check out yet another Chad Richard HDR timelapse (click thru for the full HD effect):

Mr. Richard has done a lot of heavy lifting to convert a series of HDR stills into 1080p video (and then compress for Vimeo, of course). Check out his tutorial for this process here.

We’re at the forefront of a paradigm shift where digital photography and high definition video are converging. Check out Romy Ocon‘s 5dmkii bird photography, err, video:

Right now is an exciting, exciting time.

proactively • sitting in a front row seat • peter

15
Oct
08

FCProse Episode 3 – Color Grading 5dmarkii footage

Here’s part 2 in an initial 3 part series of Final Cut Prose video tutorials working with footage from the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR. I recommend clicking thru for the HD version to better see Color’s GUI.

One considerable addendum to the tutorial. I loaded the h264 source files into Color and observed far different measurements in Color’s waveform monitor. Check this out:

Broadcast safe on:

Broadcast safe off:

So it would appear there were some luma and chroma changes taking place during the conversion from h264 to ProRes. Almost as if Compressor applied a broadcast safe filter during conversion. The h264 source video that Vincent Laforet provided for download does indeed appear to be sans color correction.

Bleh, the h264 to Apple ProRes 422 workflow will need improvement. Well, it’s a working model. You are witness to my real world self-analysis, right here before your eyes, humble reader.

If there’s an FCP, Color, and / or Motion topic you would like me to cover, then post a comment and let me know. Check back soon for FCProse Episode 3 – Compressing 5dmarkii Footage for Web.

In the meantime, here’s some HDR timelapse footage (click here for a how-to) shot on a digital SLR in San Francisco by Chad Richard.

Know any $2600 video cameras that can produce these results?

proactively • sculpting my brain to comprehend this new world of possibilities • peter

18
Sep
08

apple color – work with R3D files natively?!

Just posted by Terrence Curren of Alphadogs fame to the FCP-L:

>From the Color list:

<< Hi there,

I was at the FCPUG Supermeet in Amsterdam and the first presentation was a
working
new Version of Color featuring R3D support. You can edit your footage in FCS
with the proxy
files created by the camera – send to Color and Color will access the R3D
files. First light will
be done in a new advanced tab in the primary in room!
I know that there are already screenshots about the new features floating
around.
But this was a working version!
No infos about release date.

Cheers,

Holger
>>

Simultaneously, Mike Curtis is reporting similar news over at pro video coalition:

Apple Color support – same way last year there was a demo of Redcode import into FCP, they are demonstrating native R3D support in Color. You can work with up to 2K resolution from 4K footage (only extracting the 2K layer from the wavelet). You can then work with that footage at 2K, 1080, 720, 480, whatever res you want that is below the 2K source extraction. But YES, you can bring your 4K Redcode RAW files into the future version of Apple’s Color and work with the full frame, but only at up to 2K deliverable. You can also access the source RAW metadata, just like on camera and in Red Alert/Redcine, to adjust Saturation, Exposure, Tint, Black Level, Exposure, RGB gains, etc. (No Brightness (gamma really) or Contrast (S-curve really), but you can do those with Color’s tools). Merely a technology demo, no ETA on ship date from Apple – so I’d GUESS in next major release, which could be what – NAB next year? Dunno, my guess, not based on hard data.

Red One Redcode RGB mode is still under development – read that two ways if you will – pessimistic – “darn, still not done/shipping!” or optimist – “GOOD – they are still working on it, it IS coming.”

If you’ve got links to screenshots please post, my hasty google searches have proved fruitless thus far…

proactively • ready to grade some R3D right now • peter

08
Sep
08

apple color – steve hullfish video tutorials

This just in from the FCP-L!  Steve Hullfish writes:

I just started doing a weekly series of color correction tutorials on
http://www.provideocoalition.com. They’re free. Each is between 3 and 12
minutes. Some will be quite basic and fundamental and others will be
very in-depth and “pro level.” Most of the tutorials utilize Apple
Color, but others use Final Cut Pro, Avid or Color Finesse. You can
subscribe to the tutorials via RSS if you want. The tutorials are
part of the newly revised edition of “Color Correction for Digital
Video” which Jaime Fowler and I wrote in 2002 (the first color
correction book on the market). The book is completely revised and
the new edition will be out in December.

Screen from Steve's first Tutorial

Screen from Steve's first video: Color Primary Video Tutorial

The direct link to Steve’s blog at Pro Video Coalition is here.  And if you haven’t read Steve’s amazing book,

click thru here for the Amazon link.  Looking forward to your Color tutorials, Mr. Hullfish!

proactively • helping to shed light on the dark art • peter

01
Sep
08

apple color – graeme nattress plugins

So you’re moving up in the world and spending more time grading with Apple Color.  And you’ve finally warped you’re brain around nodes and noodles and Shake’s last GUI vestiges present in the current line of pro apps.  Man, wouldn’t it be nice to dial in some soft diffusion inside that user shape vignette!  Well friends and colleagues, look no further than Graeme Nattress Plugins for Color.

A quick survey of Graeme’s awesome website provides not just a listing of the plugin tools you will be purchasing but also a great paint by numbers approach to explaining the color fx node trees and how to make them work just right.

From Graeme’s site:

G Highlight Glow.cfx
G Highlight Glow.cfx shows how you can used the G Blend node. If a multi-input node, like G Blend has one of it’s inputs disconnected, it defaults to pulling in the normal un-affected video. Therefore, the G Blend, is blending between the blurred video and the normal video. In this case, we chose the screen blending mode, but try others for interesting effects. The Scale RGB node is used to increase the contrast of the blurred video.

It looks as if the G Blend node is worth it’s weight in gold by its lonesome.  And of course, it’s easy to place these pre-made node trees into your own personal pre-made color fx presets.  Also check out the awesome corrective power of G Smart Denoise featured as a rollover on the homepage.

For the price of dinner for two and a good bottle of wine you can up the ante in your color grading sessions to really impress the clients.  And yourself.

proactively • peter

24
Aug
08

apple color – control surface consideration

Starting to research control surfaces to use with Color in the finishing suite. So far, the three setups in consideration are, in no particular order:
Option 1: JL Cooper Eclipse CX

JLCooper ECLIPSE CX Integrated Colorist Command Station

Option 2: JL Cooper MCS-Spectrum

JLCooper MCS-Spectrum Colorist Control Station

The MCS-Spectrum additionally requires the JL Cooper MCS-3000 Media Command Station W/ No Faders

JLCooper MCS-3000 - Media Command Station Main Console Without Faders

Option 3: Tangent Devices CP200-K, available in black or silver

Tangent Devices CP200-BK Trackbal/Knob Grading Panel

And visiting Tangent’s site I’m reminded of the Wave which I blogged about some months ago when it debuted at NAB

Tangent Devices Wave Panel

There’s a review of the Wave at coloruser.net here and a review by Scott Simmons here.

Lastly but not leastly, there’s the Euphonix MC Color which I’ve blogged about here.

Euphonix MC Color - Color Grading Control Surface

Scott Simmons has a blog review of it here and Oliver Peters has a review of the entire Euphonix Artist series here.  All of these panels are available at B&H.

So right now I’m leaning towards the simplicity and elegance of the Tangent Devices CP200-K. But if cost is a factor (and when is it not if you’re spending your own money), take a close look at the Tangent Devices Wave and the Euphonix MC Color.

And if you’re looking for some good colorist literature, be sure to check out Steve Hullfish’s book The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction.

proactively • stepping up to the next level • peter

11
Apr
08

The Orphanage buys a Nucoda Film Master

Stu Maschwitz over at ProLost just posted that his company, The Orphanage, has recently purchased a Nucoda Film Master and used it in the production pipeline for finishing Frank Miller’s new film The Spirit.

It’s always fun to see what tools people with money get to play with, so here’s a thumb of the Film Master interface (click to see full rez):

Looks a bit different from Color’s interface, eh? I can see it has the ability to create user shapes, for starters. And it appears to have a left-to-right node tree under the timeline.

More interesting than the screen shot (ok maybe not) is a very well crafted article by Kevin Shaw titled

Colour Correction, Enhancement & Creativity: Advancing the Craft

His thesis states:

[Colorists] want a high quality, random access source on an open architecture system in a standard format. We want fast, easy access and real time playback and we want the Holy Grail – one master that can produce multiple formats and versions.

It’s interesting to consider the work flow Color presents and take note where it may fall short in the eyes of seasoned and talented colorists out there like Mr. Shaw. I feel lucky enough to have Final Touch / Color available to begin my path down the colorist road.

Even better, Mr. Shaw offers up some definitions in the sidebars:

By color correction I mean adjusting the color balance and contrast of an image to compensate for unwanted flaws or deficiencies in a capture or conversion process, so that the image more closely matches the original. Examples of flaws are overexposure, underexposure, or colorcasts, while deficiencies include limited dynamic range or change of color space. Both labs and telecine suites color correct images.

Color enhancement is a change to the image that does not necessarily reflect reality, but which is intended to add emphasis or meaning to the image. Enhancements may or may not be planned at the shooting stage. Enhancements are usually applied to elements within an image and therefore the implication is that it involves a colorist with a more sophisticated post-production color system.

Color creativity does not have an established industry definition, but I use it here to mean the use of color and contrast to define a look or style that is not necessarily related to the original image, but more to an abstract theme or message. The term therefore is wider in concept than color enhancement, and would include art direction and photography as well as direct color manipulation. In theory it should be a preconceived collaborative effort, but that is not always the case.

It’s really cool to see the big boys showing off their toys and shedding light on what they can do. All I know as far as price point goes is that the Film Master requires Bluefish 444 hardware and Bluefish is notably the most expensive, and highest quality, third party hardware on the market (when compared to a Blackmagic Intensity Pro or the like). So it ain’t cheap.

But then if you’re in the feature biz you aren’t thinking in terms of thousands of dollars, you’ve moved on to money aside, what tool will do the best job thought processes. One can only dream.

proactively • dreaming • peter




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