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Color Grading: Creative Color

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Resolve: Color Grading
Cinematographers’ Opinions On Color (These are the people you’re pleasing)

1/100 people have perfect pitch

1/10,000 people have perfect color memory.

Color correction includes two major priorities, one technical, the other aesthetic:
1) Meet the technical demands of the deliverable specification. Values must be within legal range and gamut appropriate to the intended method of distribution.

2) Establish a creative grade or “look” per the demands of the DOP and director.

Node types in DaVinci Resolve

Blackmagic Color Training
-Pick an area of the frame that has interesting color and increase saturation.
-Create fields of complementary color.

Complementary Color

Double-click a still to wipe it. Doesn’t work with power grades shared between projects. 

‘g’ adds a flag defaulting to color of flags on edit page but double click to change flag color

Hamburger menu: Convert to bezier for making circular power window editable. From the same menu you can save windows as presets.

Put tape on BlackMagic controllers for quicker muscle memory. You’ll immediately feel the difference in the buttons.

Use the grid view of “clips” in dual screen as a “split” feature to compare adjacent shots. It’s quicker than wiping.

Use the “prev memory” button on the BM mini panel

Hamburger Dots on the viewer window enable you to “gang” the relationship between the selected clip and the timeline reference wipe clip. This can be convenient when you’re frequently trying to compare to the previous clip.

The Film Look

Alexa look:

Add saturation selectively to cyan/blue.

Alexa ‘look’, a lot of it has to do with the Alev sensor’s red channel response

A final fast and dirty trick to give footage the ‘Alexa look’ is a simple one node operation. Change the node colorspace to YUV and in the curves select the green channel only, then click on the curve around the 0.2 and gently push it upwards. 

The YUV trick isn’t as daft as it sounds. If you test it on a colour chart (while viewing a vectorscope) you’ll see there’s very specific behaviour when the individual chroma channels are adjusted. It isn’t the same response as LAB. Using curves to boost gamma on the green channel results in an increase in saturation at both ends of the yellow/blue axis, as well as some hue convergence. Very interesting to observe. Pulling the curve in the opposite direction creates an effect somewhat akin to the Two Strip Technicolor process (in appearance). Straight off the bat you can offer the client a choice of two options: Fear the Walking Dead, or The Aviator

Alexa mimics Film by hitting peak saturation at around 35 IRE and holding until around 65 IRE, before falling off, whereas other digital cameras such as Sony and Canon don’t hit peak saturation until 65 or 70 IRE.

Canon push red toward yellow so that red becomes an orange “fire engine” red, and blue is pulled toward green such that bright greens, like grass, become cooler in hue.

The C300 really wanted to make flesh tones more red than the Alexa did, and portions of our hands that are normally redder than normal skin tone (like knuckles) blended beautifully into the surrounding skin on the Alexa but popped bright red on the C300


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