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Judge my Grading please?

Posted: Mon, 22nd May 2006, 9:02pm

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JUIDAR

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Hey there wanted to try and get some pointers and tips on grading if you have a sec click the link below which will take you to a page full of pictures when you click on the pictures they'll blow up so that there easier to see. I've already graded these pictures but again I'm still pretty new at the grading thing.

Please don't post a comment with out some sort of suggestion(assuming that you think it's bad that is) just telling me it sucks doesn't help out.

Thank you all!

http://www.geocities.com/juidar/ikari_moviestills.html


NOTE: I've noticed that when I'm on my cpu at work that the pictures seem almost 10 times darker than when I'm at home. So if possible try to take that into account that your monitor depending on the settings may give you an overly dark picture.
Posted: Mon, 22nd May 2006, 9:25pm

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Serpent

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Hmm, I suggest color correcting it first and then grade it based on the mood or feel of the shot. It seems like you just added a colour balance filter and messed around with it. I would look up some tips on colour correcting, how to read levels, and find any tutorials you can. My screen is really bright, so it doesn't seem too dark at all.
Posted: Mon, 22nd May 2006, 10:10pm

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Oeyvind

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The link aren't working properly, it says "Sorry, this GeoCities site is currently unavailable." hmm... Pitty, I really want to see these. Could you possibly refresh the link?

Oeyvind
Posted: Mon, 22nd May 2006, 10:39pm

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xperiment

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I like it. Kepp it the way it is.
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 2:06am

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JUIDAR

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Oeyvind wrote:

The link aren't working properly, it says "Sorry, this GeoCities site is currently unavailable." hmm... Pitty, I really want to see these. Could you possibly refresh the link?

Oeyvind
I apologize for that Oeyvind, the site only allows so much traffic then it won't work for a couple of hours keep trying it I really want to hear your opinion.

Thanks
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 2:48am

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NickD

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I don't know what kind of look you are going for, but to me, the whole thing looks very desaturated, yet high contrast. IMO I would think for the genre of film you are making, you would want high contrast and saturation.

Cheers,
NickD
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 4:09am

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JUIDAR

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NickD wrote:

I don't know what kind of look you are going for, but to me, the whole thing looks very desaturated, yet high contrast. IMO I would think for the genre of film you are making, you would want high contrast and saturation.

Cheers,
NickD
So are you saying brighter colors then?
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 1:06pm

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ben3308

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Don't go for brighter colors and saturation, that'll look bad and you'll end up with DV fragments all over your footage.

First, add proper contrast tweaks, more or less depending on how stark you want your footage to look. Then, I'd add a color corrector and make it so it evens out all the colors to their natural coloration.

Next, change the saturation to about 60%. Then, add a tint of whatever accent color you want (i.e. green in the Matrix, red in SChindler's List, blue in War of the Worlds) and play around with how much of it you want.

As a final measure, you could always add a "whitewashed" effect, as in how most of Jarhead was graded; by adding a glow with zero spread.



There's an example of some grading I like to do. The skin tones are all near the actual thing, yet the green in the image stands out, as well as having stark whites (the glow added does this) and stark blacks (the contrast does this).

All-in-all, it's really personal preference, and whast you have now- albeit maybe needing a better color tint- looks just fine.
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 1:13pm

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Simon K Jones

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Good tips from Ben there and, as he says, it's tricky to give advice as it's all about personal preference and the particular look you want to go for. The grading Ben's used for his Splinter Cell movie wouldn't necessarily be appropriate for a romantic comedy, for example.

If you haven't seen it, this might be of use to you:

http://fxhome.com/support/tutorials/view.php?i=41

Currently I'd say your grading makes it look a little washed-out, almost as if it is being projected incorrectly, like there's some sort of transparency being placed over the movie. It seems to lack a real punch.
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 2:34pm

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JUIDAR

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Thanks again for the ideas.

So here's what I've been doing first I've been adding a "Basic" FX HOME preset to the footage then tweaking it a bit then I'm adding "Ambient Light" to the scene.

I'm not sure why it just has a really nice effect on the footage.

The actual footage for these shots are very bright and I'm trying to really bring out the colors but I have to be careful because upping things like Saturation really make some of my actors look bright red.

But it seems what a lot of people are saying is that I need to apply color correction first and then perhaps the "Basic" preset adjusted to fit the level of my needs and perhaps even well........... LOL I just lost my train of thought.

smile
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 3:17pm

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NickD

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Cool. Do you have updated screenshots for us to see?

NickD
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 3:29pm

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JUIDAR

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Not yet I'm really trying to figure out what I wanting. Here's another question it's pretty obivious that you can't just use one preset for the entire movie.

The one thing I hear the most is that your movie has to have all the same theme but again each scene is different there for I would think that each scene would need to be graded according to the mood.
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 3:30pm

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JUIDAR

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I'm really going for the rich colored film look but with out making my actors look pink or red!
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 3:38pm

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Simon K Jones

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JUIDAR wrote:

The one thing I hear the most is that your movie has to have all the same theme but again each scene is different there for I would think that each scene would need to be graded according to the mood.
The bad news is that usually each shot needs to be individually graded. Not to a vastly different degree, but each shot will probably need different settings, even if its only a subtle difference.

Lighting differences and the frame composition mean that a single preset won't do a perfect job for every shot, let alone every scene. However, presets can be a very good starting point to use as a foundation. For example, in that grading tutorial I posted, I frequently used a preset to create the initial look, then tweaked it as required before making a new preset for that specific scene which I could then apply to other shots in the scene and tweak further. smile
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 4:24pm

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Lior

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I like it but one pic of the lady whos on the floor looks a bit to over lighted. You should darken it just a bit its too bright. Other then that good job.
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 4:27pm

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JUIDAR

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Lior wrote:

I like it but one pic of the lady whos on the floor looks a bit to over lighted. You should darken it just a bit its too bright. Other then that good job.
Thanks and thanks Tarn.

I generally start out using the "Basic" color preset from the FXHOME Library then I apply ambient light but I'm going to try and use the color correction first and then those two things to see if I can get better results.

Thanks guys!
Posted: Tue, 23rd May 2006, 4:31pm

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SyroVision

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Weeeeeeeeeeeeee nto bad, just becarefull of grading things that have sky in them... you dont want a purple sky in some shots and blue in others.
Posted: Thu, 1st Jun 2006, 4:46am

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JUIDAR

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Alright hope everyone is still watching this one I posted a new pic and want to know what everyone thinks.

JUDGE MY GRADING!


wink


http://www.geocities.com/juidar/angry_ikari.JPG
Posted: Thu, 1st Jun 2006, 8:33am

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Simon K Jones

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My main problem with that is that your whites are no longer white. Where there would normally be white, it's now a kind of peachy off-pink tone. This is particularly noticeable with the sky. If that's what you want, cool, but otherwise it might be worth trying to avoid - or at least make more prominent so it seems more deliberate.
Posted: Thu, 1st Jun 2006, 3:42pm

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JUIDAR

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Tarn wrote:

My main problem with that is that your whites are no longer white. Where there would normally be white, it's now a kind of peachy off-pink tone. This is particularly noticeable with the sky. If that's what you want, cool, but otherwise it might be worth trying to avoid - or at least make more prominent so it seems more deliberate.
Hey Tarn would you at all be against doing a preset for grading for just one shot so that I can really get an idea of what would look good?
Posted: Thu, 1st Jun 2006, 3:44pm

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Simon K Jones

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I'm pretty busy, so can't guarantee anything, but upload a high quality still (PNG format from the original footage if possible - NOT jpeg, as that will reduce quality) and I'll certainly take a look and see what I can come up with.

Let me know what the scene is about and what kind of mood you're going for, too.
Posted: Thu, 1st Jun 2006, 3:57pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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It looks quite good, except it's a bit too pink and yellow. I could do a bit grading on it as well if you want to. Post a link to a high quality PNG and I'll look into it.
Posted: Thu, 1st Jun 2006, 5:59pm

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NickD

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Looking better, but here's what I'd try, from start to finish:

Add Contrast The first thing I'd do to the original clip. Make sure that the blacks are very . . . well . . . black, and not a deep gray.
Desaturate Then I'd desaturate the image about 30%. This is a good step to take in getting a film look.
Color Correct Now you should color correct the footage. Make sure to set your white balance accordingly if it is a bit strange due to a filming error. Add different color filters, etc.
Add a Glow And finally, add a bit of a glow to your image. This usually is best done after everything else, as it will affect all of the filters rather than just the raw footage.

Hope this helped smile
NickD
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 3:32am

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JUIDAR

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Alright I'm ready to be schooled here! LOL

No seriousley I would like to see how you guys would grade this shot here and assuming it looks good offer up a preset that I could use to modifie for the rest of the shots.

What I'm trying to get is really rich color content with out the facial colors like red and pink screaming out.

The scene it self is a very serious one she is trying to stop someone from killing someone else. She's holding her hand out because she's preparing to fire another projectile from her hand (like Street Fighter or DBZ)

http://s18.quicksharing.com/v/7210850/ikari.PNG.html

Anyway there's the pic unedited look forward to seeing what you guys come up with and of course really appreciate everyone's help.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 3:39am

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NickD

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In that case, maybe you should color correct first, and then set the white balance accordingly, just remember to desaturate and and contrast before anything, and adding a glow always helps.

NickD
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 3:54am

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JUIDAR

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NickD wrote:

In that case, maybe you should color correct first, and then set the white balance accordingly, just remember to desaturate and and contrast before anything, and adding a glow always helps.

NickD
The only thing I'm not following you on is the "Desaturation" when ever I add that it just zaps all the color out of the picture.

I'm using ELAB Pro can you elaborate a little?
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 3:55am

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ben3308

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Is she greenscreened in that picture, or what? The edges look extremely off. Did you key her into a blurred frame to make it look like your camera has crazy-extreme DOF?
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 4:02am

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JUIDAR

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ben3308 wrote:

Is she greenscreened in that picture, or what? The edges look extremely off. Did you key her into a blurred frame to make it look like your camera has crazy-extreme DOF?
Yeah that was greenscreened. Wanted to give it more of that movie look you know how the background is always out of focus when it's fixed on one person.

I'm staring at it now what do you mean the edges look extremley off?
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 4:08am

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NickD

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Desaturation is meant to remove color from the picture, but you must add contrast first, or the image will look very dull.

EDIT: You could have easily achieved that shot without greenscreening. I am aware that you shot with a PV-GS250, which has a manual focus ring. You could have gotten the DOF you needed on set.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 4:15am

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hatsoff2halford

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I doubt he could have gotten that much of her in focus as he did using greenscreening, unless he had a 35mm adapter...
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 4:40am

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JUIDAR

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Yeah I've messed around with some of the features that the GS250 has and one of them was to do such a thing but it just didn't come out right and I figured green screen would look more professional because then I have total control of the background.


Someone mentioned before about adding a glow. I don't have that as a GRADING option on my ELAB Pro is that a Compositelab option?
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 8:32am

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, composite filters for media objects is CLab Pro and Vlab exclusive.

I think nick means to adjust using the 'Saturation' filter, not the 'Desaturate' filter. The former gives you a sliding scale.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Jun 2006, 12:03pm

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JUIDAR

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Okay yeah I figured that's what he meant because there was no way I was going to have color after adding the "Desaturation" filter.
Posted: Wed, 7th Jun 2006, 4:43pm

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JUIDAR

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HEY! Isn't anybody going to try to grade my picture.

sad
Posted: Thu, 8th Jun 2006, 10:17am

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Simon K Jones

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I've had a quick go.

Here's the original image (For reference):



Here's my attempt at grading it:



Here's the preset:

http://tarn.fxhome.com/Ikari%20girl.FXpreset_pack

Had a little bit of fun with this one. Here's the steps I took, in case the work process might be useful to anybody:

1. Added a Saturation filter and raised it to 1.36. I didn't want to put it up too high, as that makes the colours look unnatural and often start to break up. At this level, however, it enhances flesh tones and makes actors look more healthy without going into radiation-overdose territory. smile

2. Used a Contrast: Pro filter to enhance the blacks and shadows. This is always a vital step, I find, to ensure that black parts of the image are properly black, rather than an unatmospheric off-grey. You don't want to take it too far though, or the image will become overly contrasty and look too harsh. A black point of 12 works fine for this particular shot, making the creases in the girl's top nice and dark.

3. A multi-colorize filter (exclusive to VisionLab) was used to imbue the whole image with a warm, rich brown-orange tone. The colour gradient had 4 points - black -> dark brown -> light brown/orange -> white, all spaced evenly. The strength was set to 36, which allows the original colours (skin, grass, hoodie) to seep through while still getting the warm, dramatic mood.

4. A heavily adjusted diffuse filter helps to soften the image. Blur was set to 28 with opacity lowered to 0.23. This also helped to disguise the greenscreen fringing on the original shot composite (did you use spill suppression on the compositing?). This also helps to make the background blur look slightly more natural, although it still looks rather blocky (what blur tool did you use for that? The 'defocus' filter would have been the best).

5. Finally, a Levels filter was added to tweak the colours slightly. It was set to affect the Green channel, then the minimum point was raised to 17. It's a small but important change, enhancing the red-browns.

For the energy effect I simply used Oeyvind's superb 'Bright light' preset. http://fxhome.com/presets/info_cache/preset545.html I highly recommend it!

The final, vital touch was to add a bit of artificial lighting to enhance the energy ball. I did this using the new grading objects which are coming in the next application update (Pro and VisionLab only).

Grading objects can be placed on the timeline like any other object, and can be used to grade every clip underneath it. I applied a Contrast: Pro filter and set the white point to 162, raising the bright areas considerably. I then set the black point to 14 in order to match the shadow areas.

Finally I added a Circle Mask (also a new addition!) and positioned it over her hand, right shoulder and the right side of her face. This meant that the Contrast: Pro filter only affected those areas, creating the illusion of the energy ball lighting up those areas, while keeping the left side of her face in shadow.

Anyway, no idea if that's what you wanted JUIDAR, but I hope it's given you some ideas!
Posted: Thu, 8th Jun 2006, 11:00am

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Cogz

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Using a lot of VisionLab only stuff, i've managed to create a non-photorealistic take on the cool image Tarn has done above. Inspired from the Scanner Darkly movie which is about to be released.

Posted: Thu, 8th Jun 2006, 3:09pm

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JUIDAR

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Thanks Tarn!

The only thing that concerns me is that I only own Elab Pro and if I read correctley you used some presets only available in Vision Lab which means they won't show up when I use your preset pack that you so kindley made for me.

I haven't tried it yet but still thanks and it does give me A LOT of ideas.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jun 2006, 3:12pm

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Simon K Jones

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Indeed, EffectsLab's grading filters are chosen mainly for colour correction and to help blend effects with the live action footage; they're not really designed for full-on grading work - that's what VisionLab (and, to a slightly lesser extent, CompositeLab) is for.

However, with some experimentation you shoudl still be able to get some good results, even if you don't have quite the same level of control.
Posted: Thu, 8th Jun 2006, 3:47pm

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JUIDAR

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YEAH, I wish upgrading wasn't so expensive.

You guys need to do a super discount month for current owners of either program for the upgrade.


Or maybe hold another contest to win VisionLab or some money!

wink