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Bushy162
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How do I make my color adjustments look Good?

May 5, 2013 4:32 AM

If I adjust colors on my footage layer either using curves/satruation/color balance or using layers of the color of my coice and blending them, the colors look absolutely rubbish and fake.

 

ILM can do it, why can't I?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2013 5:13 AM   in reply to Bushy162

    Bushy162 wrote:

     

    ILM can do it, why can't I?

     

    ILM or any other professional production house have very skilled people in ever aspect of their workflow. This starts way before actually lighting and shooting and so they know what they want and how to get it. So if you recorded some uplanned mess with your iphone camera, no plugin or tutorial in the world will give you that ILM look.

     
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    May 5, 2013 5:28 AM   in reply to Bushy162

    You have to start with good material. The more compressed your footage the less room there is for color adjustments. If you work in 32bit projects you have a better chance. You have to understand color, color space and what the color adjustments you apply are doing to the footage. You'll get better results with difficult footage using better more specific tools. It takes practice.

     
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    May 5, 2013 6:20 AM   in reply to Bushy162

    Get your copy of the Color Correction Handbook by Alexis Van Hurkman to understand colours better.

     
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    May 5, 2013 1:11 PM   in reply to Bushy162

    Here are some good resources from some experienced colorists like Robbie Carman that should help you to make the best use of the color correction and grading features in After Effects and Premiere Pro:

    http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2011/07/color-correction-and-color- grading-tutorials-from-karl-soule-and-andrew-devis.html

     
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    May 5, 2013 1:16 PM   in reply to Bushy162

    Bushy162 wrote:

    How on earth does having good quality footage affect this?  The answer in my view is it doesn't.

     

    You may disagree, but surely you can give evidence - because there is no basis to the claim that simply have more pixels to work with enables fundamentally different colors.

    It's not only about the amount of pixels but mostly about the sensors and compression. High compression like h264 is bad for the integrity of colors and will give you less headroom for manipulation. Also there's the aspect of controlling you shot. In a professional or at least planned shot, people take care about what people wear so you have no distracting elements in your shot or you can isolate people by only having them wear saturated clothes. You can't do that by point&shooting.

     
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    May 6, 2013 12:35 AM   in reply to Bushy162

    It's not as much a matter of the number of pixels, it's all about the color depth and what kind of information you have to begin with. It's about proper exposure. It's about a truly great format. It's about lighting the original. You can do a bunch with color grading but really good color grading often involves masking, keying certain colors, many layers, and really powerful tools in the hands of someone that understands exactly what they have to do the blue so that it doesn't foul up the green. You can do amazing things in AE. Tools like Colorista make it easier. Tools like Speed Grade make it easier and faster, but you still have to learn how and what to color correct.

     

    In all of this discussion I haven't seen any examples of what your trying to achieve, of the original footage, or of what you are trying to emulate. Screenshots will help us point you in the right direction.

     

    I'd go over to Red Giant or Vimeo and look at some of Stu's stuff on Colorista. I'd check out the books and threads recommended so far. I've been in this business for 4 decades and if the budget allows it I have someone else do my color correction because I know that I'm not the best at it and every time I sit in a grading session with a colorist I learn something new. Color is an important part of the process and it takes a lot of time to become an expert.

     
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