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Entries in color grading (45)

Monday
Sep092013

Ford Longboarding Adventure

 Created by Devin Graham

Music By Scott and Bredno

Monday
Sep092013

Utes Gameball delivery - C.R. England Global Transportation

This was a great opportunity with  C.R. England Global Transportation to color some fantastic looking footage! Click back and forth to see the transformation. I was only permitted to share three stills from the project so these are my favorites.

University of Utah

C.R. England Global Transportation

Red R3d workflow.

 

Tuesday
Jul302013

Splinter Cell Blacklist

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 From Scott Winn, Christian Busath and a whole bunch of other really talented people you can see in the behind the scenes video, comes this little project that was just a kick to work on. 
I'll start with these exterior shots because relighting wide exterior shots is one of my favorite grades to build. The guys at CineChopper captured some beautiful stuff on this project. The first one here features our man, Sam Fisher walking up the middle of a bombed out village in Eastern Europe somewhere. It's evening and the sun is coming in at a good angle. I used a lot of tracked windows and selections to pump the focus toward Sam. There's also a selection on the bottom edge of the horizon only effecting the sky that brightens it up drawing your eye out into the distance. I've used the same technique to draw your eye out and across the shot in these others to get the focus out there on the horizon, watching for what's coming. As you click through these stills you'll see what I'm talking about.
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There was some archival footage of the presidents being sworn in that needed a little adjustment to get the VHS tone consistent. But playing some of the other archival shots plain Jane just wasn't working. They needed some drama. So I pushed them to night.
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The first close up shots of Sam Fisher needed to feel dangerous. To create the look I pulled out what little warmth was in the shot, and tracked windows to his face relighting it subtly to let one side if his face fall into shadow. There's even a small highlight to pump up the glint in his left eye. 
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The opening shot was feeling a little too blue and black in my first grade. In all the reference images there was some contrasting color in the lights. So I went back in and added some yellow to the florescents to give it a less monochromatic feel. The final shot was this interrogation shot with fairly even lighting. I brought the light forward in the room and made it more sourcey to increase the dramatic feel, but also to get your attention over on them so his fall would be more jarring. There's a few windows there and some big shifts in the color to get it matching everything else. 
These last bunch of stills include the explosion which was shot simultaneously on a few different camera systems. Each type of sensor responds differently to what's in front of it. I believe this sequence of shots come from the Red Epic, Canon 5D mark iii, and the Phantom which always captures more green in the highlights than the others. To match them, I had to go in and isolate the highlights inside the blast and tilt them back so it wouldn't feel like each shot was from a different take or a different explosion.
 My mission with the rest of the shots in the sequence was to create a consistent cinematic look that would create a feeling of anticipation. 
Tuesday
Jul302013

Maccabeats - Brave

This bright little piece needed a look to match. Many times with shots captured in the outdoors there are elements you just can't wrangle. Lighting a mountain top to your specifications can be a difficult task. That's where post production color grading shines.

The problem in many of these shots was the heavy clouds in the top third of most of them. Using trackable windows in some cases and HSL keys on some others I worked to increase the brightness of the sky. In a lot this is accomplished by simply lifting the brightness in the sky that's showing. But in some others I got the same effect by lifting the reflected light on the ground. This gives the illusion that the sky is brighter.

In a few others I grabbed certain parts of the sky to increase visual contrast by controlling the hue of the blue that was showing through. In others it was through controlling the top edge of the highlights in the clouds to achieve a brighter look when it wasn't possible by simply shuffeling around global controls.

There are many ways to build a look. Its projects like this one that stretch my skills and get me to discover new techniques. It's really just about getting the audience to feel an emotion. There are lots of ways our minds interpret what we see. Its tapping into which cues have wich meaning that helps me to accomplish my goal of creating a feeling and a look for a film. Boy does it stretch me sometimes though. 

These before and after stills may seem like a subtle simple creation. They aren't. Sometimes the hardest work I do is completely invisible. Hopefully that means I'm getting it right. So here's to subtlety.

Tuesday
Jul302013

Trailing Clouds of Color

This project was shot in super slow motion on the phantom camera. Extreme slow motion requires a lot of light. Even at that intensity the camera can still pick up some shadowing on the white background creating some interesting problems with achieving the desired look.

The white shirts of the runners also creates a problem because while the background needs to be ultrawhite or invisible, pushing things globally will result in losing all detail in the white shirts. So I created a series of selections to grab all the white in the background so I could pump that up and out. Then I went back in and animated masks for each of those corrections to keep them from effecting the floating runners.

One problem I continued to fight in the beginning was noise in the most saturated parts of the clouds. Clouds of colored chalk are already made up of tiny particulates floating around at random, but increasing the saturation was doing some knarly things so all I ended up with when I pressed play was a bunch of flickering noise in the cloud. It took a while, but I finally figured a way to eliminate the noise while still getting the overall saturation feeling strong and vibrant. Since different colors respond in different ways with the sensor on the camera, I needed to modify my approach with each change in colored chalk. 

Dealing with color at this intensity and saturation, separating ultra highlights from highlights, and needing to create believable tracking on each correction to keep from getting a halo effect was a big challenge, but well worth it in the end. 

Here are some of my favorite stills from the project. 

 

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