Color Correction for Film and Television

Color Correction for Film and Television: Notes from the Adobe Premiere Pro Users Group Meeting 15Apr2020.
This is by no means a comprehensive summary of the event. It’s a few notes and a few extra links for a deeper understanding.

The presenter “Jason Bowdach is a professional colorist, finishing artist, and post production workflow engineer based in Los Angeles, CA. Jason’s immense passion for storytelling using light, shadow and color is evident in his work, which spans the gamut from commercial projects for clients such as Adobe and Google, independent feature films bound for the festival circuit, and immersive VR experiences seen all around the globe. Jason runs PixelTools, a company dedicated to improving the color grading process and workflow.” – San Diego Adobe Premiere Pro Users Group

When applying a Lookup Table (LUT), consider where is the clip coming from and what is it intended to do?

  • Optical/technical conversion (some LUTs are for technical conversion)
  • Creative look
  • Combination of both

(LUT (known as Lookup Table), is a term used to describe a predetermined array of numbers that provide a shortcut for a specific computation. In the context of color grading, a LUT transforms color input values (camera) to your desired output values (final footage) – StudioBinder). https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-lut/

Importing Clips

PremierePro is expecting a Rec. 709 space gamma 2.04 image. Highly recommended that you use the import LUT from the manufacturer. Apply the appropriate technical conversion LUT from the beginning for best results. (For example, this presentation uses a LUT downoaded from RED website.)

ITU-R Recommendation BT.709, also known by the abbreviations Rec. 709, BT.709, and ITU709, standardizes the format of high-definition television, having 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio. The first edition of the standard was approved in 1990.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._709

Balancing the Clip

Color Correction for Film and Television warm summer scene.
Warm Summer in a city scene.
  • Don’t just look at the shot, take the context in to 
  • Don’t take all the warmth out of a warm scene
  • You may want to work on this with curves and work on the highlights before applying LUT
Color Correction for Film and Television problem shot.
Sunset didn’t match other shots.

Keep in mind the order of operation

Shot needs more - Color Correction for Film and Television
This shot should be more punchy.

This should be more punchy. More red than green than blue on scopes.

Basic Tab

  • Can you pull more out of the image. 
  • Tweak temp to cooler

TIP: You can take temp control way beyond 100 if you type it in manually

Creative tab

  • Balance out shadows 
  • Add contrast to separate shadows and highlights before tweaking shadows > tweak shadows to just above crushing

TIP: There are masks in Effects panel for each LUT

Order of Operation for Color Correction

  1. Adjust contrast, black/white, highlights/shadows, gamma
  2. Saturation
  3. Color Balance

Play clip several times, find hero frame, and play it back several times during process

Hue vs Curves (PP Curves Panel)

  • Hue vs Hue: Select a hue and adjust with another hue
  • Hue vs Saturation: modifies a hue with saturation
  • Hue vs Luma curve: can be destructive
  • Luma vs Saturation: you’re going to love this, can reduce saturation in just highlights, just shadows, or both
  • Saturation vs Saturation:  can decrease saturated colors (that might fail QC) and increase sat in other areas
Enhanced - Color Correction for Film and Television
Enhanced version.

PixelTools

Jason Bowdach
https://pixeltoolspost.com/
WFH2020 for 30% off
jason@pixeltoolspost.com
Twitter @jbodacious 

Pricing Color Grading for Film and Television Services

Jason prefers to market himself as an independent colorist, and prices his services just under facilities pricing. 

The Blue Collar Post Collective is an accessible and focused grassroots initiative supporting emerging talent in post production. http://www.bluecollarpostcollective.com/ 

Should you use Color charts on set? Depends on camera and situation.  Sometimes they can be helpful, but not necessarily needed.

Tips for Editors handing files to a Colorist to minimize problems

  1. Minimize tracks and simplify the timeline (before XML export)
  2. Organized (label ex. Underscore for color)
  3. Communication (reference movie with burn-ins of timecode as DNX or ProRes, can see frame for frame)
Full San Die

O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Animation, Motion Graphics, Cinematics, and Visual Effects for film and television.

Client Video Review Software

Notes From the San Diego Premiere Pro Users Group Meeting

Client video review software FrameIO, Wipster, and VimeoPro

In this discussion on client video review software, Eric Addison of 100 Acre Films, and co-manager of the San Diego Premiere Pro Users Group, presented Wipster. He talked about how he uses it in his workflow, from the panel inside Premiere Pro to the Wipster review website. Final Cut Pro User Group co-manager Michael Towe, and owner of M2 Video Productions, presented Frame io, and talked about how he uses in his workflow. While he showed it from a FCP X point of view, much of it crosses over to Premiere as well. And finally, Bill Davis, owner of NewVideo, showed how you can use VimeoPro for client review as well.

“The toughest part of any of these is to get the client to use them.” – Michael Towe

Wipster

“How professional creative teams deliver faster.”

The offer ($25/mo. for team of 2)

  • Starts at 250GB storage
  • HD Playback & Delivery
  • Comment and review tools
  • Per seat pricing
  • Unlimited free reviewers
  • Video, Image, PDF, and Audio
  • Dashboard and Activity Feed
  • Integrations
  • Support Center
  • Storage add-ons 
  • Custom Branding
  • Private internal comments

Pros: Free basic package with 5GB storage and 540 playback, works with Mac/PC and Android App

Cons: Slightly more expensive

Frame.IO

“Our cloud-based collaboration hub keeps your teams focused on creating great content — from across the hall or across the planet.”

They offer ($19/mo. for 1 seat, $49/mo. For 3 seats, and up)

  • Comment and annotate on videos
  • Unlimited review pages
  • Unlimited free presentations
  • Version management
  • The web’s fastest uploader
  • Active storage 250 GB to 1 TB
  • Archival storage 750 GB to 1 TB
  • Apple award-winning iPhone app

* A seat is the filmmaker/video provider. Unlimited links to the client.

Pros: easy to use, tutorials for clients, has an approval button

Cons: Company is focused on a Mac-based product and doesn’t seem keen to support filmmakers using PCs

VimeoPro

“Create high-performing videos, collaborate with your team, and share anywhere.”

Bill Davis of NewVideo speaking about VimeoPro and his workflow at the San Diego Premiere Pro Users Group Meeting Feb2020.

They offer ($20/mo. 3 team members)

  • Video creation
  • Private team projects
  • Customizable Showcase sites
  • Video file transfer
  • 3 team members
  • Review & approval tools
  • Unlimited reviewers
  • Private video presentation
  • Version history
  • More

Pros: Offers a great balance between security and the ability to distribute (and upload a replacement video at a later date), ability to create portfolios of videos

Cons: Because part of Vimeo’s services are streaming videos to the public, there is the potential for it to be less secure than Wipster and Frame.IO

And how do you get clients to use the client video review software? You kindly explain to them how it benefits them with more accurate corrections and efficient communication.


O’Connell Design is a consultancy offering creative services in Production Design, Animation, and Visual Effects for film and television.

Animation Price Guide

This animation price guide discusses a few factors when determining the cost of an animation project: concept, style/complexity, character(s) and specifications. For a basic 30 second animation pricing seems to start at $2,000 USD and go up from there depending on these factors.

  • Concept: the an abstract idea or general notion of what the message or story the animation needs to tell. This phase can take more or less time depending on how clearly the client’s initial idea is flushed out.
  • Animation Visual Style and the Medium required: 2D Animation, for example can be done using traditional hand drawing (think old Disney films) or vectors in After Effects or others. A 3D animation might use Maya or Cinema4D or other 3D software to create a 3 dimensional space or place an animated item into a real life scene filmed with a camera.
  • Character(s): the character is the person/creature that the audience is most likely to connect with and requires special attention on their creation and rigging.
  • Specifications: no animation price guide would be complete without discussing the final animation’s specifications – this referrers to the frames per second, dimensions (1920×1080, 2K, 4K,…), duration (30 seconds, 2 hours,…) and the quality of the end product (television, advertising, or film).

More Information to Aid Your Animation Price Guide Choices

Below are sample animation pricing information from other animation websites.

Pricing from Get Wright On It

(They have a fun price guide. It’s a fun interactive webpage.)

  • $2162-3149 For 32 seconds, motion graphics, paper cut-out, film quality (character based $7500 and up)
  • $2000-25000/min motion graphics, paper cut-out depending on production quality (television, advertising, or film)

Costs from Whiteboard Animation

  • $2800/min (90 sec. min.) = Entry level whiteboard style
  • $3800/min standard whiteboard introducing color accents, seamless scene transitions, and more consistent hand-drawing
  • $5500/min Whiteboard animation adding fuller color, basic character/accent animation, and multiple edit rounds.
  • $8000/min Whiteboard animation with deeper color, more sophisticated design/visual effects, and more detailed character/accent animation.

Estimates from How Much Does Animated Video Cost?

“The average cost for a 60 second explainer video is $7,972. (That’s around €6,500 or £5,700 for our international readers, at the time of writing.)”

How Much Does it Cost to Product Animation – and Why? – Pigeon

$6000-10000

  • length: 60 seconds,
  • style: multi-coloured flat design in cutout technique,
  • two characters,
  • music, voiceover, and sound effects included,
  • copyright to cover Internet, internal use, and private conferences.

Animation Costs from Full Rotation Design & Animation

  • £1750+/min. Simple 2D motion graphics, can be as simple as animated typography and simple graphics like this example.
  • £2500 – 3500/min 2D Motion graphics with 3D elements
  • £3000 – £3500/min. 2D Animated Explainer Videos with Character Animation
  • £3500 – £5000/min. Stylised 3D Animated Explainer Videos
  • £3000 to £10,000/min. High quality realistic 3D animation
  • £4000 to £10,000/min. 3D Character or Creature animation ( £200 – 300 per second )

Movie Animation Cost per Second… Just for fun

  • Tangled $49,059 per second (68 animators)
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) $36,639 per second (66 animators)
  • Coraline (2009) $11,690 per second (40 animators)

Green Screen Tips

Green Screen Tips setup

A few notes from San Diego Premiere Pro Meeting 27 February 2019 and more.

Setting Up the Green Screen for Filming

Green Screen tips for setup
Eric Addison sets up a green screen at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.
  • Place subject 6-7′ away from the green screen. This minimizes shadows falling on the screen.
  • Keep green screen as flat/smooth as possible.Light green screen evenly (2 lights, same temperature are ideal). Check with a Light Meter or Phone App.
    1. Lux Light Meter (Google Play) *
    2.  Light Meter (Google Play, free) *
    3.  Smart Luxmeter (Google Play) *
      * This is in no wan an endorsement, only a place to start research.
  • Light subject so they are 1-1.5 stops brighter then the green screen.
  • Knowing what the composited background will be will allow you to setup the lights and light the subject in a more convincing way.
  • If possible adjust depth of field to keep the screen a little out of focus.
  • Higher shutter speeds can help with motion blur
  • Camera/formats
    • Use uncompressed formats for heavy keying (422 recommended)
    • Log is rarely useful because you have to color correct in order to key
    • DSLR: flat as possible, ISO increments of 160

Green Screen Tips – Software

Ultra Key: Premiere Pro Plug-in

Green Screen Tip and Ultra Key in Premiere Pro.
Ultra Key settings in Premiere Pro.

Start with a garbage matte then use Ultra Key to remove the green around the subject. There are different output settings (Composite, Alpha Channel – all keyed areas are black, and Color Channel) to check the results. Settings give a preset depending on how good a green screen you are starting with. Start with the eyedropper to select the color to key out (it doesn’t have to be green).

  • Green screen tip: use a Curves Adjustment before Ultra to get a better green.

Primatte Keyer by Red Giant

Primatte is a plug-in for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut X, and Apple Motion. It allows you to select your background and foreground, and to separate them out for a great key. Primatte/Red Giant

Green Screen Tips for After Effects
DJ Summit discusses Keylight and After Effects at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.

Keylight: After Effects Plug-In

The drop down menu gives several options including: final result, source alpha (transparent parts shown in black), outside mask, inside mask, status, and more. The inside mask can help if there are parts on the inside of the subject that are being keyed out. Status can help show problems. Despill Bias can help with soft wispy hair. Under Screen Matte, Clip Rollback can also help with hair. For more information Adobe has a page on Keying in After Effects.

Books on Green Screen

  • The Green Screen Handbook by Jeff Foster
  • Green Screen Made Easy by Jeremy Hanke, Michele Yamazaki Tepstra

Additional Green Screen Tips

Social Media Image Workflow

Social media for film promotion.

Social Media image generation workflow for social media posts.

Social media master template for film promotion
Social media master template for post images for film promotion.

Social media for film promotion.
Social media for film promotion.

Keeping up with the graphics required to promote a film or project via social media can be daunting. It