Color grade The Drop using Lumetri Color.
I’m really pleased with how this project turned out. Even without any color grading or correction done, the footage looks really good. We can make it look even better, though.
Film a project together that shows off various lighting techniques.
Courtesy of the fine folks at Aputure, here are five common mistakes made by beginning cinematographers.
You should now have a good overview of the tools available to you in Premiere Pro and the Lumetri Color panel. Before we wrap up the color grading section of the course, there are a few final techniques I want to touch on.
Want your film to look like it deserves an Oscar? In this tutorial, Jordy from Cinecom recreates shots from Darkest Hour, The Shape of Water, Blade Runner 2049, and Dunkirk. What I love about this video is that it goes through both the filming and color grading aspects of the process.
Pushing your color grade towards the complementary colors teal and orange is very popular right now – either with the shadows going teal and the highlights going orange or with the shadows and highlights going teal and the midtones going orange. While the look is definitely trendy, it’s also a legitimately effective way to grade your footage, since it emphasizes the skin tones of your subject. Here are some explanations and guides to the teal and orange look.
Need a quick refresher on some of the tools for shaping light? The always-enthusiastic Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens has a great video on how to use flags, silks, and nets to manipulate light.
We talked in an earlier lesson about the pros and cons of filming with a “log” recording mode – a picture profile that decreases saturation and contrast to provide flexibility in post-production. I mentioned then that shooting in log was not always the best idea – it can introduce noise into low-light footage and make things like green screen compositing more difficult. Shooting log does have advantages, though – it can give you a degree of freedom in the color grading process that you simply don’t have if you are recording normally. It also makes it easier to correct issues like improper white balance, since the color saturation isn’t as intense. While I still hold that getting your footage right “in camera” is the best approach, knowing how to use log footage is an important skill. Often, that involves applying a LUT.
With your footage corrected, you can move on to the aesthetic aspect of the color process: grading. Let’s work our way through the rest of the Lumetri panel to see what we can do.
All color film and video is made up of the combination of three colors: red, green, and blue. Color correction and grading is the act of altering the relationship between those three colors. Until fairly recently, when color grading was a chemical process, film negatives were exposed to different chemicals to change the amount of red, green, and blue in a sequence. Strips of film were placed into chemical baths for a very specific amount of time to do this, which is why color grading was once also called “color timing.”
Who’s the greatest cinematographer of all time? While I think there are some names missing from this particular list (Emmanuel Lubezki, Christopher Doyle), it’s a great overview of some of the best in the business. You’ll never guess who gets the top spot.
Here’s the revised script for the collaborative project, with additional info about location, shoot date, actors, and the person in charge of each sequence.
There is some debate in the filmmaking community – even among professionals – as to whether sensor-size crop factor should be applied to aperture. As you may recall, the size of a camera’s sensor affects the apparent focal length of a lens – so, a 25mm lens on a four-thirds sensor has the same field of view as a 50mm lens on a full frame sensor. Is aperture affected in the same way?
Exterior, night – a foggy parking lot.
Ever wonder how lighting is done on a miniature scale for stop-motion animation? Check out this video from Cooke Optics.
Emulate different film styles using lighting.
Over the next two weeks, we’re going to be working on our mid-semester project. Filmmaking is a collaborative process, so rather than assigning everyone an individual project, we’re going to work on this project as a group. You will each be graded based on your creative input, your on-set skills and knowledge, and your ability to work as part of a team.
Before we break for the mid-semester recess and move on to the wonderful world of color grading, there are a few last tips and techniques I’d like to discuss.
Here’s an informative video from Cinematography Database in which one room is lit for three different looks – sunset, day, and night.