15 Replies Latest reply on Dec 14, 2014 11:17 AM by shooternz

    How do I put colour back into flat footage?

    Hush!

      I was hoping for some advice...

       

      I filmed my footage with flat contrast and colour so tha tI could have greater freedom in editing, but unfortunately I don't know the best method for putting the colour back in!

       

      I've adjusted the shadows and highlights, so it's a nice balanced image, and I thought that increasing the Saturation would be the best way to boost those colours back into place... but instead they just very quickly fly out of the broadcast safety range on the Vectorscope. What's the tried and tested method for putting back in colours that pop? RGB Curves?

       

      Any help would be appreciated

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
          shooternz Level 6

          LUTs and shooting properly to accomodate them is the start.

           

          How did you desaturate and shoot flat..and to what codec with what camera?

           

          Is this a broadcast project?

          • 2. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
            Hush! Level 1

            Thanks for the speedy reply,

             

            It's not a broadcast project, no.

             

            You might need to explain LUTs to me... but with regards to shooting it was on a Canon 550DSLR and I shot flat by creating a custom picture style.

             

            Please tell me I'm doing this right..

            • 3. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
              shooternz Level 6

              You did it wrong unfortunately.

               

              Winding out chroma means basically you are working with less  color info for post. Black and White footage has no chroma "info"  at all.

               

              LUTs are for dealing with RAW footage.  Your camera does not shoot RAW!

               

              Contrast you can do something with in post

              • 4. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                Hush! Level 1

                Damn.

                 

                What does LUT stand for and how does it help?

                 

                Is it safe to say that with my camera I can't shoot flat then?

                • 5. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                  shooternz Level 6

                  LUT = Look Up Table  (pronounced  L-uh-t )

                   

                  Google it for best info on how they work with cameras and edit systems and color grading applications.

                  • 6. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                    Hush! Level 1

                    Is there anything I can do here? Is saturation how you would do it?

                    • 7. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                      shooternz Level 6

                      RGB Curves and Saturation.

                       

                      Try some of the Speedgrade LUTS

                       

                      In your case...dont worry about broadcast levels.

                      • 8. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                        Hush! Level 1

                        Ok, thanks for the help!

                         

                        Guess I need a cam that records Raw.

                        • 9. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                          shooternz Level 6

                          No you dont.

                           

                          Shoot properly with what you have.

                           

                          Control your lighting and camera set up. Expose well  and have decent levels control in your image.

                           

                          CC and grade to your hearts content.

                          • 10. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                            matthewd35 Level 1

                            A big part of this depends on your camera

                             

                            I learnt this the hard way by bringing my saturation too low in the camera, when I got the footage for editing there was not enough information to bring the color back up.

                             

                            If you are shooting on something like a red epic camera 12bit color, there is tons of color information for premiere pro to pull from and change.  you can pretty much shoot flat and pull up all the colors.

                             

                            But if you shoot on something like a DSLR many only have 8-10bit color which means the camera is picking up less color information.  This in turn gives premeire pro less information to work with and adds a challenge to bring the color back.  Or makes the color look weird and un-natural when you lift it.

                             

                            Many people recommend to shoot flat without even asking what camera people are shooting with.  I enjoy my Panasonic GH3, but i can't shoot super flat because it results in me having no freedom to raise the color back.

                             

                            Trial and error

                            • 11. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                              Hush! Level 1

                              Thanks for the advice guys, the piece I'm working on doesn't look horrendous when I up the Saturation so I'll make do and learn a lesson.

                              • 12. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                                shooternz Level 6
                                If you are shooting on something like a red epic camera 12bit color, there is tons of color information for premiere pro to pull from and change.  you can pretty much shoot flat and pull up all the colors.


                                Correct... but the big difference is..this camera has LUTs, 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 and RAW data to work with.  Shooting flat is only part of the "recipe".

                                • 13. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                                  R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  As matthewd35, most of my stuff is shot on the GH3 Panny ... but some from D600 Nikons and occasionally I've had to use clips from a Flip Mini even. There was a LOT of talk especially when the GH3 first came out, with people trying to set it "flat". Did some myself ... and found as you just did a too-flat file is not particularly useful. The DSLR cams simply don't have the bit-depth to shoot totally "flat" as noted above. So I experimented and found that with settings that ran a range from -5 to + 5, setting the contrast down around -2 was good, -3 very useful in high-contrast situations ... but -4 simply too far gone for the footage to recover. Saturation of -2 with a GH3 in a "natural" type setting is good, sometimes -3 is fine, but -4 is BAD and 0 and above as bad or worse. Sharpness ... well, the GH3 can simply produce too much "sharpness" to look "filmic" ... so that setting goes WAY down. Your settings on your cam, you'll need to test.

                                   

                                  For bringing back the color in your footage, you might try the middle of the curves, or if I was working them in SpeedGrade (which is totally designed for color/luma work) I'd probably balance the lows then gains, up the input sat just enough to get a look at midtones and adjust the balance there perhaps with the color wheels, perhaps with the midtone sliders, then up the output saturation for best "look". Well ... there's probably a lot more I'd do but then I've played with the stuff more. This should get you by for now. Btw ... shooter's direct and short with answers but one of the most useful people around here. Incredible resource.

                                   

                                  Producing decent video output for ANY camera in any particular use just takes some experimentation with both the camera and the production tools (software) used. It can be considered drudgery by some or simply pure play time by others. Take your pic!

                                   

                                  Neil

                                  • 14. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                                    Hush! Level 1

                                    Appreciate all of the info!

                                     

                                    The annoying thing is that the guide I saw for filming flat was on my specific camera, that guide never mentioned anything about losing detail for the edit. I just emulated what they did and shot flat in my DSLR, luckily the mistake doesn't seem to have been too costly this time.

                                    • 15. Re: How do I put colour back into flat footage?
                                      shooternz Level 6

                                      Its an "indie film makers myth" that many thought simulated shooting RAW.

                                       

                                      Used cautiously..it can be fine. 

                                       

                                      Always worth testing things out for one self.