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.
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.”
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.
This week, let’s look at some slightly challenging lighting situations: green screen, low-light/night shots, and the great outdoors.
At this point, we’ve spent some time discussing fundamental lighting setups, equipment, and the use of color. Next, we’ll start looking at more specialized equipment that can be used to create stylized looks. A lot of that comes down to our ability to shape light effectively.
This week, we’re talking about color. This could be considered more of a general cinematography topic than a lighting-specific topic, since the color in a shot is defined by location, props, and wardrobe, as well as lighting; not to mention the crucial role of color correction in post-production. However, lighting plays a vital role in the color composition of a shot and some understanding of basic color theory is important for everyone behind the camera.
In the first lesson, we discussed the basic properties of light: its color value, measured in degrees kelvin; and its brightness, measured in lux or foot-candles. However, there is another measure of light that you will probably hear discussed in relation to photography and video: the “stop.” It’s common to hear photographers talk about gaining or losing a stop of light – so how much light constitutes a stop?
All film equipment needs to be handled safely, but this is especially important when it comes to lights, since you are dealing with electricity and heat. Here are a few tips for handling lights and lighting equipment.
Welcome to the Spring 2018 session of the Film/Media Studies Production Practicum. This semester’s topic delves into two areas that are crucial to film and video production: lighting and color grading. I’ve chosen to pair these two topics together because they parallel each other in different stages of the production process. Lighting affects the way footage is captured during filming, using a combination of on-set equipment and camera settings; color grading affects the way existing footage is processed during post-production, using either editing software or a dedicated color grading program.