Hey guys. So I know the theory behind colour grading and essentially, how to do it. But do you guys have any tips out there to make things look as good as they can be? Especially avoiding the somewhat cringeworthy "washed out" look? Cheers...
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I'd best start this by saying I'm not a colourist. The washed out 'log look' is a result of not having enough contrast in a shot- so the blacks are a dark grey and whites a light grey. The lack of contrast also reduces saturation. Grading is an art, and although you can read up on it, like so many things in this industry you're better off learning by doing, making mistakes as you go and learning from them. It's the old 10,000 hours thing. I don't think I've even made it to 300 yet! Alexis Van Hurkman also has a useful book on colour grading, and liftgammagain.com is very handy as well.
I definitely second Adrian. Don't be afraid to checkout and use some presets as a starting point, there are many free ones/inexpensive ones: http://triune-store.myshopify.com/collections/presets/products/film-riot..., http://neumannfilms.net/product/cinematic-presets-ae/ , http://colorgrading.weebly.com/ and RED GIANT has Magic Bullet Looks which is a pretty powerful tool that has some great preset starting points to go off of and create your own looks, and then save them as LUT's for future use. Hope this helps. Regards.
Color parade view, check your blacks and whites then go midtones or greys. You can only see what your monitor sees. SO YOU NEED a good one with calibration. I use two, One is a monitor DELL and the other is an HD TV hooked via HDMI out of GPU. I then blend between the two to NOT get tunnel vision. Color grading is truly an art where you should rarely work for free on it. Due the years of tutelage and practice it takes not to mention the wear and tear on your eyes and Work Station...IMO (EDIT) oh and that washed out look also comes from not being able to deliver 16gb for 5 minutes
here's another thread going on in the Post Production lounge relating to color grading: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/post_production/Color-Grading-in-Affter-A...
Thanks guys. This helped me out. I have a t3i and i've seem some really beautiful captures that look nothing like mine. I think it has to do with color grading.
JP, there are multiple reasons you are not getting a good file to start with... Knowing the Triangle when setting up. ISO,AP,Shutter also your Back-light correction on set, it goes on and on. Color grading should only be used for tightening up, unless it is a R3d file in the first
Yeah I usually have a decent handle on my ISO, aperture and shutter speed. "back light correction" I don't know what that means, could you explain? Most of my Raw footage looks like any other t3i raw footage I see on YouTube. It's just my finished product never looks as professional. It's the colors that look really awesome and vibrant. Or even washed out but it sets the mood for a serious drama or horror. Mine always looks way over the top or really light. I have to admit I haven't been experimenting like I should so that's most likely the reason. But I'm pretty sure it's color grading. But I could be wrong. I'm definitely not an expert on the subject.
JP, Try using some presets as starting points and then doing some simple curves, hue/sat, vibrance, levels, etc. tweaks to get some great results. Luke at Neumann films has some great presets, Ryan and crew from Film Riot have some good presets and LUT's for starting points as well. There are many to choose from and many of the videos that you are seeing probably use LUT's or presets, the majority of them don't start from scratch or have training in color grading. here are some links to what I'm talking about: http://neumannfilms.net/product-category/color-grading/ http://neumannfilms.net/product/blockbuster-luts/ http://triune-store.myshopify.com/collections/digital-downloads/products... Triune/Film Riot is having some great cyber Monday deals that you may want to checkout. There are many other options but these are great starting points that don't require a big investment but will go a long way in the overall look and feel of your work. My 2 cents P
Patrick, you're awesome. Thanks a bunch.
Thanks JP, glad I could help