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Grading?

Posted: Fri, 21st Oct 2005, 12:01pm

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ashman

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OK, just a quickie here. What grading program is cheap, user friendly and good. I hear alot about silver bullet but it's quite expensive. Also as im not really familiar with grading what does it do. Is it transfering the image to look like it was shot on 35mm film? or there abouts? Is this all they do? If so, can't premiere or any other nle system achive this? Sorry to sound ignorant about this topic, I never graded any of my movies, although i did apply a bleach bypass effect on recent ones in AE.
Posted: Fri, 21st Oct 2005, 12:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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Grading (aka colour timing) has nothing directly to do with 35mm. It is simply the process of taking your raw footage and tinkering with it to make it look how you want. This is vital with film, as depending on how you develop the negative will impact on the final look.

Recently grading has shifted into the digital realm, which is why we're seeing films trying some much wackier visuals. When grading was a purely chemical process, it could be extremely risky - Three Kings risked losing the entire film negative if the bleach bypass had gone wrong. With digital grading, you can scan in the raw footage and then fiddle in the computer, without risking the negative or committing to anything.

Digital grading also enables you to be far more precise, grading select areas of the frame rather than the entire image. The grading documentary on the Fellowship of the Ring 4-disc DVD is superb at explaining how it is used.

With video grading is just as important, if you want to avoid the news broadcast ambience and inject a bit of drama into your visuals. There are no particular rules though - it's all about picking the right look for the movie in question.
Posted: Fri, 21st Oct 2005, 12:29pm

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ashman

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great, im interested in digital grading software, any particular good ones?
Posted: Fri, 21st Oct 2005, 11:07pm

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BlueSmudge

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It is often done within your NLE. I know from experience that Premier can do it, although I use FCP to grade most of my work.
There are also programs you can buy but they are really too expensive for what they are worth. Its better to use what your NLE or effects programs have.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 2:42am

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Serpent

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Checkout http://fcrabbath.com Watch some of his films, all his grading is proffesional using cheap handicam footage and all done in Premiere.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 2:59am

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Bryce007

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Actually bluesmudge, its not better to use your NLE. magicbullet tends to look alot better. I think you meant its "alot cheaper" to use your NLE. I personally use magic bullet editors for vegas and think its Ace. And not very expensive either.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 3:09am

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Serpent

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If you know how to use FCP's grading, it is worth much more than the program itself even. The grading system there is insane. Magice Bullet NLE is no better than the built in grader in FCP, I loked into, and I don't even see why they wasted time coding it for FCP. It might have a few better features, but FCP's system makes up for it. I have never used Magic Bullet, but this is just from a bit of research. I just don't think it is worth the money.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 3:51am

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Gnome326

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Adobe Premier Elements has built in grading, nothing suburb, but its fairly good.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 12:30pm

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ben3308

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Most versions of Vegas Video and Video Explosion Deluxe have awesome grading tools, especially considering that's not waht they're dedicated to. I know I've got some great results grading in Vegas.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 5:10pm

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Deepcoiler

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Motion has pretty good grading built in, it has a lot of other features, and it's pretty cheap.
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 8:58pm

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Serpent

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He's on Windows.

Poor guy...


wink
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 9:04pm

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film freak

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Lol. wink
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 9:19pm

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Atom

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Serpent wrote:

He's on Windows.

Poor guy...


wink
I know, poor guy, he has a choice for programs. wink
Posted: Sat, 22nd Oct 2005, 9:30pm

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Evman

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uh oh. lol

If you know how to use it properly, Adobe After Effects' even basic tools are very good, but it does take a lot of work, as its not a dedicated grading system. And it is expensive, but it can do a lot more than just grading.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 10:02am

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ashman

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I have been using adobe after effects to apply a bleach bypass effect, Im now looking at magic bullets presets and there are none in the demo, that program seems a waste of time, im just looking at saving time. And imho there's nothing wrong with windows, I use both Mac and pc at work for designing and there both great. The only annoying thing with pc's is crashes which i don't seem to have a problem with at home. I think im just going to use Adobe premiere to grade, it's just annoying i have to manually change the settings for each clip, unless I export and import the whole movie I guess.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 2:45pm

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Pooky

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Magic Bullet sucks. DO NOT BUY IT! It just has some basic filters that take HOURS to render.

I use AE's basic grading tools which are more than enough, specifically:

-Levels to up the contrast

-Color Balance to change the tint/colours

-Dublicate the layer>Gaussian blur top layer by about 7>set the that layer's blending mode to Overlay>play with that layer's Opacity and Saturation..... This gives the footage a kind of glow as well as boosting the contrast and modifying the colours.


And that's it, really. If you want me to make a detailed tutorial just ask.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 3:53pm

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ashman

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dude, I would greatly benefit form your tutes using AE on grading film. And really appreciate it too smile
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 6:03pm

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Axeman

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The reason Magic Bullet was created is not grading. It's primary purpose is to creatge 24p footage for video. Yes, it can be used for grading, and it does it very well, but that's not why it was written. The grading controls it has are very extensive and produce amazing results, but they also take a while to learn, and a long time to render.

The point was to convert video footage so that it could actually be transferred to film; de-interlacing the fields of each frame and converting 30 fps to 24 fps. Grading features are just a bonus to improve your video footage in its transition to film.

Most users here will never be transfering their projects to film, so Magic Bullet is really unnecessary for them.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 6:50pm

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ben3308

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pooky wrote:

Magic Bullet sucks.
The Hit's awesome visual look that is leagues above other FXHome films says otherwise.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 8:46pm

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Pooky

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Hmm, how do Magic Bullet's grading tools differ from AE's? Afaik the only thing that makes The Hit look so good is that the camera's quality is excellent, and the person that graded knew what he was doing.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 8:49pm

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Pooky

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Rating: +2

Anyway then, here goes:

Original image


So first import your video and drag it into the new Composition icon, which creates a composition of the right size and length with your video in it:

New composition

And then select your video in the timeline and go to Effects>Adjust>Levels which brings up a little window with a histogram in it. Basically, moving the white arrow towards to middle makes highlights lighter, the black arrow makes the shadows darker, and the middle one makes the midtones lighter or darker. I set it to this:

Levels

Then I go to Effects>Adjust>Color Balance, which brings up a box. Here you can change the tint of shadows, midtones, and highlights. I toyed with it a bit to give me a greenish tint:

Color Balance

By now we have already useable graded video, but something I like to do is duplicate the layer (select it, hit ctrl-c and then ctrl-v), apply a Effects>Blur and Sharpen>Gaussian blur of about 7, and then change the blending mode to Overlay (right click the layer>blending mode>overlay).

Then I simply apply the Effects>Adjust>Hue/Saturation filter and toy with the saturation, as well as the layer's opacity (select the layer and press t).

Setting the saturation to 0 and toying with transparency gives me this.

Not touching the saturation and toying with transparency gives me this.

And upping the saturation slightly and toying with transparency gives me this.

That's basically what I do to grade my video... nothing fancy, and this was done very fast so obviously you could do better.

Hope that helped.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 9:07pm

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Bryce007

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Naturally, i disagree with pooky about "Magic Bullet Sucking", But Its not the ONLY way to go either. I say, use whatever you Know how to use and think looks good. If you dont know how to use Bullet, it looks like crap.

Also, Axeman, Magic bullet editors Is purely a Grading plugin. The magic bullet for AE is the one that can do both grading and 24p conversion.
Posted: Sun, 23rd Oct 2005, 10:22pm

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ben3308

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Okay, though I still believe Magic Bullet doesn't suck, I think the same good grading can be done in practically any good program that can do brightness, contrast, luminance, glow, and color curves/midtones.

screenshots!
.............................................BEFORE.........................................

.............................................AFTER..........................................

VEGAS 4 LYFE!!!!!!!!!
Posted: Mon, 24th Oct 2005, 12:10am

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TheRenegade

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Could someone tell the difference between Bleach Bypass (Magic Bullit, After Effects) and just a simple desaturate/contrast in Final Cut Pro? I would love to see the difference because I dont think there is much.
Posted: Mon, 24th Oct 2005, 12:11am

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BlueSmudge

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What exactly did you do there?
Posted: Mon, 24th Oct 2005, 12:21am

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Bryce007

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Looks like Ben used Diffusion(or glow), turned up the contrast and added blue overtones to it.
Posted: Mon, 24th Oct 2005, 1:29am

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Pooky

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Looks more like green than blue to me smile
Posted: Mon, 24th Oct 2005, 2:02pm

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ashman

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thanks for the tute pooky, +1 mate. At least i can save money on magic bullet eh smile
Posted: Mon, 24th Oct 2005, 2:19pm

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mattio

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Well I had ago at grading in vegas to as ben3308 taught me wink and used the same reference picture and came up with this



hope you dont mind ben

EDIT: I also did a blue graded picture of the guy playing sam fisher:

Posted: Mon, 31st Oct 2005, 11:00pm

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b r o k e n f a i t h

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pooky wrote:

Anyway then, here goes:

Original image


So first import your video and drag it into the new Composition icon, which creates a composition of the right size and length with your video in it:

New composition

And then select your video in the timeline and go to Effects>Adjust>Levels which brings up a little window with a histogram in it. Basically, moving the white arrow towards to middle makes highlights lighter, the black arrow makes the shadows darker, and the middle one makes the midtones lighter or darker. I set it to this:

Levels

Then I go to Effects>Adjust>Color Balance, which brings up a box. Here you can change the tint of shadows, midtones, and highlights. I toyed with it a bit to give me a greenish tint:

Color Balance

By now we have already useable graded video, but something I like to do is duplicate the layer (select it, hit ctrl-c and then ctrl-v), apply a Effects>Blur and Sharpen>Gaussian blur of about 7, and then change the blending mode to Overlay (right click the layer>blending mode>overlay).

Then I simply apply the Effects>Adjust>Hue/Saturation filter and toy with the saturation, as well as the layer's opacity (select the layer and press t).

Setting the saturation to 0 and toying with transparency gives me this.

Not touching the saturation and toying with transparency gives me this.

And upping the saturation slightly and toying with transparency gives me this.

That's basically what I do to grade my video... nothing fancy, and this was done very fast so obviously you could do better.

Hope that helped.
I must say, the last image looks awesome, thats the kind of look I'm trying to get. Very, very perfessional. I've never used AE, but I tried using Photoshop for grading. Yup, one frame at a time. It is the same case in AE? You have to edit the frames one at a time?
Posted: Mon, 31st Oct 2005, 11:32pm

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Pooky

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AE is like Photoshop but for video, so when you apply an effect on it, it's for the whole thing (unless you keyframe). It's the program I couldn't live without moviemaking-wise.
Posted: Tue, 1st Nov 2005, 12:36am

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jfbiscardi

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how does this help with digital grading????


Posted: Tue, 1st Nov 2005, 4:27am

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JasonSly

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Try sticking your fingers in there and turning it on, I guarantee you'll see some digital grating.