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.