Color Grading Exercise

The original clip is a bit warm, so I color correct the clip by pushing some cool tone and pink tint to balance it out (using Vectorscope HLS and Vectorscope YUV diagram).

Below is the before and after screenshot.

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My later adjustments are made on the corrected clip.

  1. Orange & Blue Color contrast

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The original clip is a bit warm. And there was a man passed by wearing denim in the shot. It inspired me to make a color contrast between orange/yellow and blue.

The color contrast adds depth to the clip. The man becomes more separated from the background. I also pushed up contrast, highlights, and whites to enhance the effect. The man’s skin tone is more defined in the after clip and his motion becomes more vivid. This color grading gives me a muggy, humid weather feeling.

2. Faded Blue Color Grading

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This color grading introduces a sad emotion to the clip. First of all, I bring the highlights, midtones and shadows all to blue to set the base color tone. To get a faded effect, I bring down the exposure, contrasts, highlights and whites; and also bring up the shadows and blacks.

The skin tone looks quirky with all of the blue and faded effects. So I used Hue Saturation Curve to bring back some yellow and slight red. I also use the Hue Saturation Curve to bring up even more blue to enhance the color of the denim the man is wearing.

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3. ‘Her’ inspired Color Grading

This color grading is inspired by the film ‘Her’ and the following shot is used as the benchmark.

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This is the most complicated color grading out of the three. To be honest, I think the result is still not quite matched with ‘Her”s color grading. The tone is super warm. Because I couldn’t tell whether the element I am adjusting is correct after looking at it for a long time, I use the Parade (RGB) diagram to match the wave of my clip to the shot of ‘Her”s wave.

The adjustments I made are as following:

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Note that even though both the first and the third color grading are warm tone, they are different. In the first color grading, it is more of an orange and blue contrast. Whereas in the third grading, The tone is more towards yellow rather than orange. And I deliberately avoid the blues (from denim) and turn down the reds (for tint and skin tone) to match up with ‘Her”s color grading.

Below is the contrast of the first and the third color grading:

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Clips

  1. Original

2. Color Corrected

3. Orange and Blue

4. Faded Blue

5. Her inspired

The Abstract/Haiku edit

Abstract/Haiku V2

 

Abstract/Haiku V3

 

Quality of Recordings:

When we checked the footage on the computer, we realized one of our favorite shots was out of focus. So we had to go back and re-shoot.

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But when we were re-shooting, we couldn’t get the exact shot anymore because the sun has already changed its position. Just to make it worse, we got told that we couldn’t shoot in that building. This is the reason why we should always check the focus, and in other cases, the white balance, exposure, int. audio, before taking the shot.

We did try to focus. But because it was shot directly towards the sun, objects were almost in silhouette. We didn’t have an external monitor to help us. But I really like the shot so, I still decided to use it.

I colour graded the shot then find out the effect masks the unfocusing.

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The shot aligns perfectly with other shots. We were about to dispose of the shot, but it turns out, post-production may bring new meaning to the footage.

 

Juxtaposition of audio and video:

I didn’t layer any visions. Both edits are hard cuts. Personally, I prefer not to use transitions too much. I want the audience to focus on the footages more.

I didn’t have much of an idea how I should lay out the footages, so I chose the music first, then I cut the videos according to the rhythm of the music.

I was surprised by the outcomes of sound layering. With the sound of beach wave and seagulls, it adds the locale to the footage as if we are near the tropical coast. And the sound of tram ringing bell makes the audience feel like the can ring is hanging somewhere along a street with trams. However, in fact, we shot that scene at a quiet environment. By manipulating the audio, the feeling of locale changes.

Some of the abstract sounds were unclear what was really going on. But when layering them with vision, they lose their original meanings and sounds like something else. For example, the escalator and the departing tram sound like a printer in Abstract V3 where I manipulate their duration and rhythm.

 

I tried to use only one scene for V3 after being suggested to do so, thinking of the video is not going to be as much fun as V2. But I was wrong!

The only thing I didn’t like about V2 is the cutting between the scenes with passengers. It wasn’t smooth enough. They were shot at the same location with same camera setting. So I was expecting to see the cut as if it’s one shot, with two men consecutively walking pass. However, I can see a harsh change between the two clips. Then I discovered that it was due to the slight light change over time.

So I decided to use the ‘flaw’ in V2 as my central element in V3. Unlike cutting to a different clip on each beat like V2, in V3, I played a reverse of the original clip to show the shadow going back and forth while matching up with the tempo.

Now I feel like I should never get limited on thoughts. Interesting things can be developed even from ‘flaws.’