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Author Topic: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?  (Read 2906 times)

cayenne

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Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:36:13 PM »
Hi all,

I've recently downloaded and installed Davinci Resolve Lite. I'm trying to teach myself color correction and grading for using on content coming from my 5D3...

Does anyone have any recommendations on a couple of good books or sites out there?

Also, is anyone here using any particular 'flat' setting for shooting video on their 5D2's and 5D3's? If so...what's your favorite?  I was thinking of trying to find those simple settings for flat in camera I'd read awhile back (cant' find the link)...but was just the one you could set, not the cinema ones put out by technicolor...

But anyway, not finding a lot on youtube for the new Resolve 9 Lite, nor really ingeneral about color correction and grading....using curves, doing this or that for contrast....'looks'....etc.

Thanks in advance,

cayenne

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Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« on: September 17, 2012, 03:36:13 PM »

JasonATL

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 04:16:03 PM »
Color Correction Handbook by Alexis Van Hurkman was suggested in a couple of forums or blogs that I found about a year ago when I started wanting to learn more about color correction. It really is a good book. I read it through and only understood a little at first, but still learned a lot. I've found myself going back to it in the past year as I've learned more (or done more). For me, it was great. Technical enough, but not overly technical. Written for a professional, but understandable for a serious enthusiast. It uses Davinci and its control surface as its example "tool", but it is understandable and applicable to most color correction tools in NLEs. I haven't seriously read others, but I'm sure there are some. I did try Davinci Resolve lite. Steep learning curve. The Van Hurkman book is no tutorial on how to use Resolve. It is more a theory and practice book - not a "how to" on Resolve.

Regarding the picture style for the 5D3. I have used Technicolor Cinestyle a lot and have recently gone back to my favorite "flat" style: Marvel 3.4 (I knock the contrast down to its lowest, below its default level). To me, Marvel is only a little better than the one that gets suggested most often: Neutral (0, -4, -2, 0), which is the Canon built-in neutral style, with sharpness all the way down at 0, contrast all the way down at -4, saturation down by 2 clicks below 0, and the last one I don't even recall, since I've never seen it set to anything other than zero!

Axilrod

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 03:33:00 PM »
I'd use Neutral or Faithful with the following settings:
Sharpness = 0 or +1
Contrast = -2
Saturation = -2

I don't like Cinestyle, by the time you grade it back to normal the picture starts to degrade some.  It'll save you a lot of trouble if you just shoot with a neutral profile.  Or in situations that you just want to get something out quick without spending too much time on color, usually they require very little adjustment and they're good to go. 

Honestly it's critical that you get the white balance correct before you shoot, the more off it is the more IQ you lose when you fix it in post.  I think Resolve is a little bit overkill for DSLR footage, you can only manipulate DSLR stuff so much since it's compressed.  I think FCP's built in color correction or Magic Bullet Looks/Colorista would suit you just fine, and they are much easier to use. 

But if you want to learn more about it (or more about anything for that matter), try Lynda.com.  It's $25/month but their tutorials cover all kinds of stuff and are very comprehensive/helpful.   I'm sure there is some stuff on youtube as well, it's really all about reading scopes, which may seem difficult at first but really isn't. 

Be careful on Youtube though, there are people that do tutorials that are completely clueless and/or showing a much more complicated way of doing things.  With video editing there are always like 5 or more different ways to do a given task, it's all about learning the most efficient ones and putting them to good use.  Always keep an open mind.  I can't tell you how many people I've seen edit one project and all of a sudden think they're amazing.  They stop listening because they think they know everything and then end up doing stuff "the hard way" until someone sees them doing it and asks "what the heck are you doing that for?"  So yeah, just remember no one person will ever know everything there is to know about video editing (or Photoshop), I've been doing this for 10 years and I still watch tutorials and learn new stuff all the time. 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 03:40:46 PM by Axilrod »
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asmundma

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 03:52:23 AM »
The is a new picture style called Lighform that I am using now. Very nice on skin tones, nice out of camram, but can be graded as well. If you have 5D3, you need to use sharpening in post. There is a filter in FCPX.  There is colour grading in FCPX, you should learn how to use that first. The are videos on http://www.colorgradingcentral.com
Resolve 9 is of course nice and more powerful, but it will complicate your workflow a lot. You have to use XML and take roundtrips .....  Learn to use vector scope etc.  and you will get a long way with FCPX..
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cayenne

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 02:32:54 PM »
<snip>
Regarding the picture style for the 5D3. I have used Technicolor Cinestyle a lot and have recently gone back to my favorite "flat" style: Marvel 3.4 (I knock the contrast down to its lowest, below its default level). To me, Marvel is only a little better than the one that gets suggested most often: Neutral (0, -4, -2, 0), which is the Canon built-in neutral style, with sharpness all the way down at 0, contrast all the way down at -4, saturation down by 2 clicks below 0, and the last one I don't even recall, since I've never seen it set to anything other than zero!

Thank you and the others for the great response!!

Do ya'll have any links to good sites showing how to set up the Marvel, Neutral and Faithful settings on the Canon 5D3?

I figured Resolve 9 Lite would be fun to learn, and the free lite version...really has everything the paid for version does (no node limitations) except for using a bunch of processers and other high end computing power I'd have no use for....

I found this one book that looked to be just released and hoping it is more Resolve 9 specific:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Technique-Digital-Color-Correction/dp/024081715X/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3V9PVCC4ABLEP&coliid=I2BPGR0I07DFMS By Steve Hulfish.

I found the other book you mentioned, by Hurkman:
http://www.amazon.com/Color-Correction-Handbook-Professional-Techniques/dp/0321713117/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3V9PVCC4ABLEP&coliid=IGR7W5RN9SYK9 But was a bit concerned that with a publish date of 2012...it might be a bit outdated with apparently so much happening in the past couple years...?

Anyway, thank you for the info so far!!

If ya'll have some good links to the flat settings you mentioned I could read more about, I'd greatly appreciate those!!

cayenne

JasonATL

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 02:52:04 PM »
Do ya'll have any links to good sites showing how to set up the Marvel, Neutral and Faithful settings on the Canon 5D3?

Setting up the picture style isn't difficult. You shouldn't need more than this step-by-step instruction: http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2012/03/12/setting-up-your-canon-5d-mkii-and-mkiii/

Quote
I found the other book you mentioned, by Hurkman:
http://www.amazon.com/Color-Correction-Handbook-Professional-Techniques/dp/0321713117/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3V9PVCC4ABLEP&coliid=IGR7W5RN9SYK9 But was a bit concerned that with a publish date of 2012...it might be a bit outdated with apparently so much happening in the past couple years...?

I think you meant that it was published in 2010. Cameras have changed in two years (although, not by much, in my opinion). But, color correction has not. Color correction is a method or skill. Not a technological advance based on a chip. It is something that goes back to the film days. The methods and approaches are not something that change significantly year to year based on some new technology. Some tools might change, but I suspect they won't change fast enough to make this book (or any other on color correction) outdated for some time. As you found, this isn't the only book on color correction. For me, it was and remains very helpful as I continue to learn more about color correction and improve my skills trying to achieve the look I want.

I also concur that Resolve might be overkill. If you are just learning to change the picture profile in your camera, then you are really biting off a lot in trying to learn Resolve. This is coming from someone who is comfortable hacking my Canon firmware, switching out and adjusting picture profiles, and using several different color correction tools - someone who found Resolve too cumbersome to bother with for his own purposes.

What editing software do you use? Perhaps trying to master its tools before learning on Resolve might bring you more immediate satisfaction - especially since you'll be able to apply the color correction and see the finished product without having to alter your workflow. Again, color correction is a method that can be applied with the tools in your NLE program. It doesn't have to be Resolve to be color correction.

NormanBates

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 03:26:33 AM »
Go straight here:
http://www.similaar.com/foto/5tu/5tu.html

where you'll find lots of links to videos and articles by my color guru, Stu Maschwitz

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 03:26:33 AM »

Policar

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 03:39:50 AM »
Another vote for Color Correction Handbook except most of it is extremely obvious and basic and, if you're serious about grading, you should be way beyond any of its techniques.

As for Resolve training, I have no idea! I need to make the transition from Color myself! I have heard that there are some good video series (Ripple, Lynda, I think?) online, but have not watched them.

cayenne

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 05:40:59 PM »
Another vote for Color Correction Handbook except most of it is extremely obvious and basic and, if you're serious about grading, you should be way beyond any of its techniques.

As for Resolve training, I have no idea! I need to make the transition from Color myself! I have heard that there are some good video series (Ripple, Lynda, I think?) online, but have not watched them.

Just wanted to make a quick update. I ended up getting both books listed in my earlier thread...geez, it is kinda like buying cards to send to friends, if I can't decide between two of them...I get them both.
:)

Anyway, started on the Handbook first:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321713117/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

And so far...WOW....very good stuff.
I read most of the first chapter....most for pro stuff with setting up rooms and very detailed monitor stuff. I'll do some room tx later...and my monitor, the Dell U2711 is top of my price range anyway....
But, starting with chapter 2....trying to finally learn my concepts. Still trying to grasp things like Gamma....and luma vs luminance....I'm still reading over and over to make sure I can get those concepts down, but well explained, it is just this is new stuff to me, so having to go over it a few times.

Anyway, thumbing ahead, this does look to be an excellent resource.

I'm a complete noob with editing and color correction/grading. Believe it or not...I think I'm actually a little more comfortable with what I've learned and tried on resolve, over the tools for color on FCPX....so, for now, I'm reading, trying to learn concepts, practice as I go....and right now, testing how well Resolve 9 Lite handles round trip workflow with sound and all from FCPX...so, far..so good, but I'm trying to learn where the boundries are in the round trip, to see how much I can get it fully edited...with sounds, cutaways...etc....before Resolve starts losing things.

Anyway...this was just supposed to be a quick update...started on the handbook, and if anyone else is interested in learning...especially the theory and WHY you do things, not just a primer of which button or dial to twist....so far, this Handbook is great!

HTH,

cayenne

JasonATL

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 07:23:15 PM »
cayenne - I'm glad you're enjoying Handbook.

I'm back to admit that I might have been a little harsh toward Resolve. I hadn't tried it since version 8.

I took another look at it this weekend. My reason for revisiting Resolve was that I recently decided to pre-order a BMD Cinema Camera. I'm still not finally sure that I want one, but I decided to pre-order now, figuring that I can do more due diligence before it ships. If I'm not convinced that I want it, I can cancel.

Back to Resolve... I wanted to do a bit more research on the workflow that I might have if I work with raw files. So, I downloaded some sample dng files and the new version of Resolve Lite and started working on them. I still stand by my statement that Resolve it a bit cumbersome. But, like any software, once you learn its quirks, things aren't that bad (notable exception for me is Microsoft Office 2007 and later - still get frustrated by it!). Anyway, the updated UI in v9 is much better than I remember than with v8. I'm also more up-to-speed on color correction, in general (still learning a lot!), so that probably helps.

I also picked up Handbook again and now that I look at it again, it really does give a lot of guidance on Resolve.

So, like you, I'm going to be learning more about Resolve in the coming weeks/months. It is just so powerful. And, I'm enjoying it. The round-tripping thing isn't that bad with a combatible editor. Alas, I use Vegas Pro. The new version (v12) just added the XML import/export ability. So, I'll be learning this, too.

On the other hand, I've been using Magic Bullet Looks for the last year. I still prefer its UI. Looks is just fun to use. Plus, it integrates so nicely with Vegas. If it only had some of the tools that Resolve has. So, I'm not quite ready to give up on Looks, but I can see a point where I might use both.

Anyway, thanks for the report back. Good luck!

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Re: Recommendations for reading / learning Color Correction/Grading?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 07:23:15 PM »