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Entries in color correction (41)

Saturday
Jul072012

Entrata Braveheart Spot- artificial lighting techniques

Vignettes have the power to direct the eye more dramatically than any other method- 

until they're noticeable. 

Then they're shlock. 

 

example of bad vignettes: Wherever You Go

I shot this through a canon AE1 camera body with a badly vignietted focusing screen.

 But with the ability to track windows (attach them to elements within the shot) and animate opacity, a good colorist can make them invisible. This is one of my favorite features in DaVinci Resolve. 

 To get the look right in this spot, I needed some power windows to bring down the background and focus the shots. With a static camera on a tripod this would be really simple, but some of these are handheld. So as soon as the camera bumps around organically it looks like somebody's smudged ink on the lens. 

 To marry them to the shots I had to track the backgrounds, but the default tracker sets points inside the window you've created. If an arm moves across any point, it starts tracking their hand instead of the background and you've lost it. So I needed to set my own points on the background where no arms or heads would cross. 

Once the windows were tracked to the background I feathered off the edges and opacity to hide them. Whenever you start creating artificial lighting, subtlety is key. I always end up lowering my key mixing gain(or opacity in english) once I've got an effect working the way I want through a shot. Its how I lower a node's impact without messing up other settings.

I've also got highlight punches pulled on most of the character's faces to draw attention to their reactions in the wider shots and to make the overall blue gray look match without effecting skin tone and hair color. 

Here's one of the referance shots to compare

 

Wednesday
Jun272012

Still I Strive

I just recently finished coloring this beautiful story about children in a Cambodian orphanage and their journey to perform before the royal family. This was a touching project to work on. Cambodia has suffered a cripplingly violent past. There are many orphans. Working on something so important is pretty humbling.

This project was colored on a limited budget. The director told me that since it was documentary it didn't need to be perfect. Mainly he just wanted the night segments to be visable and for the narrative portions to be as polished as I could get them in such a short amount of time. But as I started working through the images I was struck by how good the story was. I couldn't see the subtitels or hear the audio, but I could feel it. So I went ahead and did as much extra matching and polishing as time would allow. Its at that level where I forget what I'm doing and just focus in on the work. When its that good, you can't not make it your best work.

The trailer below was cut before I worked on it, so I've included some stills to show how I got things looking. This was really special to be a part of. I don't think I can take much credit for polishing something that already shines.







Here's the Trailer:

Monday
May142012

The Color Run

You'll notice in the before and after shots below how many times the sky was not blue when I started. Changing the weather is challenging enough as a colorist but when you add in clouds of colored chalk pitching back and forth across the sky, it introduces a whole new set of problems. There are lots of different ways to tilt an overcast sky. The simple route is to select it and push everything to blue. But when the sky is white and the balloons are white like in one of the shots, you've got to play with how far to push before it gets really really noticeable. Honestly the biggest thing you're doing when changing wheather is working as many corrections as it takes to cover your tracks and make it as natural as you can without drawing attention. 

It doesn't always work as well as you'd like it to. Often you end up pulling it back farther than youd like to keep edges clean, but overall it turned out well and gave it the vibe it needed. Enjoy.

 

Friday
May042012

Entrada 

Most of my recent work has been on projects yet to be released, but in the meantime here's some work you can see. I did the color grading as well as the fire, sparks, and smoke for the indoor welding shots on both of these.

The Ads are now live and can be viewed on the Entrada website.

Tuesday
Apr032012

Mr. Bellpond's Masterpiece wins 2 Student Emmys!

Hi folks! 

It's always thrilling to do great work. Bellpond was only my second project in DaVinci Resolve. It was exciting for me because it would be an opportunity for me to really take some artistic liscense with the images.

The director, A. Todd Smith contacted me early describing the look he wanted with some samples from films like Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "A Very Long Engagement" which uses color in specifically stylized ways to excentuate the production design and build on the emotional performance.

Color is usually imperceptable. Like great sound work, it ties together the constructedness of a film- the clips and lighting, and varous moments that all come together to make this cohesive fictional moment the audience buys as playing out presently before them. It should be invisible... yet it can profoundly influence the emotional beats in the story. That made it both the challenge and the joy of working on this film

Here's a BYU News report on it!