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.
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.
I agree the shooter ought to white balance, but espcially with a multicam shoot, has it ever happened that cam 1 was balanced with a white card and cam 2 with a 1/4 warm card? Often that is around 500 - 600 K difference and then you have problems in post, that could be eased with a white balance approach as I suggest. Or where you have properly balanced, but in light of the other shots, you want to make is a bit warmer or cooler, to reflect the atmosphere of the shots before and after. I think this would be very worthwhile, and just minutes ago I saw a similar request for Vegas on another forum.
So, have you filled out a feature request?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.