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Help requested with White Balance

Apr 8, 2012 1:12 AM

This may come as a surprise to many, but here I am requesting your help, instead of giving it.

 

I have filled out a feature request with the following content, already some time ago:

 

Would it not be nice to be able to extract the WB settings in K  from the metadata and be able in post to change it to what you should have done during the shoot.

 

Say your WB is set to 5600 K, you can extract that from the metadata and with the White Balance effect you can enter a desired setting of say 6100 K. During the shoot you can do that with the Canon XF series, but if you have forgotten to use a warm card instead of the white balance card, this would be a great effect to have. Or in the situation where you simply want a shot to be slightly cooler or warmer, this would be a great feature.

 

Interface similar to the scale slider and fully keyframeable. The program monitor should reflect changes in color temperature immediately. Simple, easy to understand, like using a set of Warm Cards after the shoot.

 

Retrieval of the color temperatures should not be difficult. It is contained in the metadata:

 

metadata.jpg

 

It works both with AWB and manual for the XF series. If the camera does not record these data, the effect should be greyed out.

 

I request your help to get this feature implemented, since it is pretty simple to implement, is a great help to have when doing multicam work, to fine tune different cameras or to change the atmosphere of a shot. It is far easier than the color correction effects we already have.

 

If you agree with me, please fill out a similar feature request. The more requests made, the greater the chance of it being implemented.

 

See Feature Request Form

 
Replies
  • joe bloe premiere
    4,391 posts
    Dec 6, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 7:59 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    This would undoubtedly be a useful tool.

    The fact that the WB info is already present in the metadata

    should make this one of the easier feature requests to implement.

     

    Feature Request submitted:

     

    Would it not be nice to be able to extract the WB settings in K

    from the metadata and be able in post to change it to what you

    should have done during the shoot.

     

    Say your WB is set to 5600 K, you can extract that from the metadata

    and with the White Balance effect you can enter a desired setting

    of say 6100 K. During the shoot you can do that with the Canon XF series,

    but if you have forgotten to use a warm card instead of the white balance card,

    this would be a great effect to have. Or in the situation where you simply want

    a shot to be slightly cooler or warmer, this would be a great feature.

     

    Interface similar to the scale slider and fully keyframeable.

    The program monitor should reflect changes in color temperature immediately.

    Simple, easy to understand, like using a set of Warm Cards after the shoot.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 8:02 AM   in reply to joe bloe premiere

    I agree this could be useful, but the people in post are still at the mercy of the shooter's routine of color balancing on set or in the field.  I work with professional shooters on 99% of my projects, and even when they properly white balance, which in theory should require no color adjustments, there's still usually improvement to be gained by doing color work ex post facto. 

     

    A lot of "properly" balanced video looks greenish to me, coming from many different cameras, from XDCam EX to RED.  Not sure what's going on there, but the point is that no automated tool can replace your eyes when it comes to making a shot look good.

     

    Along similar lines, I wouldn't mind seeing a feature that allows you to apply a preliminary color setting to footage items, as you can with RD3 footage via Clip>Source Settings.  That way, we'd have a "base look" applied to all footage before starting to edit. 

     

    However, if any of these methods slowed the off-line process due to increased overhead, I don't see a net gain.  I'd rather work faster with uncorrected footage, and save the color work for after the culling process.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 9:36 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Harm, I've seen instances of multi-cam shoot cameras that were identical models, using a clone of the settings which still resulted in differences in color.  I've seen this blamed on the chips and the chip manufacturing process.  I've also seen multicam footage from analog cameras that were supposedly balanced before shooting that resulted in shifts.  And then, you have a situation where the atmospherics can alter the color, such as when one camera is close to the action, and the distant camera is shooting through fog or haze that has light shooting through it.

     

    So again, while you can get in the ballpark with certain regimes, when it comes time to finish, you have to trust your eyes.

     

    So, for my situation, it's not something that rises to the level of something I'd use enough to warrant a feature request.

     

    My biggest issue today is that I'd love to see Pr offering bottom-up rendering, the way Avid MC offers it with its Render All option vs. Smart Rendering, which is top down.  I don't like that I have to re-render entire sequences just because I made a little change to an upper layer clip.  That, to me, warrants a concerted campaign or pitchfork mob.

     

    But, I'll make a pact with you.  If you'll request bottom up rendering, I'll request WB metadata support, OK?

     
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    Apr 11, 2012 10:04 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard
    Would it not be nice to be able to extract the WB settings in K  from the metadata and be able in post to change it to what you should have done during the shoot.

     

    You can...with any format that records RAW (like RED).

     

    But if the WB is baked in, as it is with most formats, this 'feature' simply won't be possible.

     
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    Apr 11, 2012 12:03 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    I interpreted his request to include some kind of correction plug in that could access the metadata, and set the color accordingly.  The trick to it, I think, would be determining if the WB was correct or not.  I suppose this could be done by some kind of prescan of the footage, and an employing an algorithm that would make an attempt to determine what values are supposed to be white, akin to how blemish abatement plugs determine what is flesh tone, before doing their voodoo.  But, you wouldn't necessarily need to access the metadata if it was done this way.

     

    And if I got that right so far, it could be something a third-party plug-in developer could do as well, or maybe better than Adobe.  Digital Anarchy, Red Giant and Boris already have skin-tone enhancement plugs.  Perhaps they could use the same technology to detect white areas, and do an automatic white balance.

     
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    Apr 11, 2012 12:52 PM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    You can always alter the coloring of footage, but in my experience, that doesn't always achieve the same end result as actually changing the white balance of the raw image, which is only possible with RAW formats.

     
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    Apr 11, 2012 1:05 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    But, as long as there are... ahem... "value-conscious" shooters, these low-rent formats are going to be a fact of life for a while.  And there will be a desire to work around their prodigious shortcomings in post, along with the boneheaded mistakes that often accompany the... ahem... "entry-level" shooter.  Certain new features wouldn't be required if people just did their jobs right to begin with.  Auto-this and auto-that weren't around before you needed some kind of pedigree to run a camera. 

     

    Democritization isn't necessarily a bad thing.  Auto-everything has created enormous profit opportunities for people selling the tools to the inexperienced.

     

    Maybe the smart money here would be for Harm to write the plug-in and rake in the dough.

     
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    Apr 12, 2012 6:00 AM   in reply to Jim Curtis

    Jim, the problems you mention (hardware discrepencies, different lighting from different angles, etc) are in my view not 'reasons why it wouldn't work' but rather 'reasons why we need it.'

     

    Sure, you can use it as Harm suggested for correcting that one camera who's operator used the wrong WB setting, but you can also use it to correct for those times when all the right settings were used, but the footage still came out different. As you say, this is where it becomes important to trust your eyes, but a sliding WB adjustment would be much easier than trying to balance footage using 3-Way colour wheels.

     

    By the way, Cinefrom already has this functionality built into their software. Firstlight has a WB adjustment slider, as does the free GoPro Cinefrom studio program. Very useful funtions, but not very well integrated into a CS5.5 workflow.

     
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