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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: For many of you, working in the non-layer editor is going to be the beginning and the end point for your color workflow. And this is fine, this is perferctly normal for lots of video workflow. So, let's explore some of the options you have when working with an NLE. In this particular shot, I took the one where things were mostly good. This is where we didn't add any light in the field, but we made this work with the overall shot. And I'm going to start with just a Fast Color Corrector. This would be like a one-way color corrector or single color corrector that a, a lot of folks would use.
And, really Rob, I think the, the key here, ignoring color and everything else is just doing a simple levels adjustment, right? Robbie Carman: Yeah, and this is going to vary depending on the NLE that you're in, we're just using Premiere Pro here. But you're doing a simple contrast adjustment and inside of Premiere, that's really going to be with your input levels there. The control that Rich is dragging right now would be for my mid-tones. And then on either side, obviously on the left I have my black level, drag that in, you're going to be deepening black level. And the same thing on the other side, if you drag that control in the white level you're going to be brightening things up. So that's obviously the opposite effect of probably where you wanted to go.
You kind of crushing the shadows a little too much there. Rich Harrington: Yeah, but we showed you there how that pushed things out. Robbie Carman: Yup. Rich Harrington: That worked okay. And you know we want to preserve that and that's fine and rather than clipping the whites maybe I'll just lower that a bit with the Output Levels. But as we make adjustments and we brighten up the shot drop, one of the things I think a lot of people forget is that you're almost always need to follow that backup with your brightening, you need to put some color in, right? Robbie Carman: Yeah I don't want to get to keep up the color science that's in place here but, you mean, sometimes, yeah, the perceived saturation is lost.
On the shot and I would also even argue that the shot could be, you know, have a little touch of red sort of magenta added to it, simply because it is kind of a little bit of a green color cast on it. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Now I'm going to turn that one off and sometimes you'll find what's called a Shadow Highlight Filter. And the Auto Amounts tend to be a bit aggressive in these sort of filters. Robbie Carman: Yeah, that looks a little, little rough there. Rich Harrington: But if we turn that off, essentially what's happening is, we take a look at the Tonal Width. So I could say, the shadows are the darkest 30%. And now, I can lift those shadows up. And it's going just after that area.
Now, if you go too far, you going to want to play with the Shadow Radius, so you don't see any of sort of that ringing. And you could play with the width of the shadow. And it sort of brings that up. And then similarly, you can knock down the highlights, and you just adjust what's a highlight. So setting that to a narrower range, and pulling the radius in. Now, this is one of those things where, we're not achieving the exact results that we wanted artistically. But we did get a better base exposure. I would just probably knock that down a bit and not try to be so aggressive and rather use that to sort of get the overall shadows where I want.
And then follow that up with the Fast Color Corrector afterwards to do a little filling. But that is one way of doing it, and even another is taking advantage of things like digital lighting. And you'll sometimes find plug-ins that allow you to add virtual lights to your scenes. So, I could change that to something like an Omni light, and use that to basically, digitally light the shot afterwards. I think in this case, the use of that lighting effect is probably the best one here.
A simple light dropped into the middle with a soft radius is natural, because in a way what we've done is we've created isolation. We're only adjusting part of the shot, and we do have the ability here to adjust the radius of that. In fact, that gives us pretty good control over the shape or we can even change the type of light. And you can move that around a bit, and you can actually adjust the radius in the shapes to control that. And while I think that this is helping, I do think that there are some better tools out there.
Robbie Carman: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, especially with like that Shadow Highlights filter you're there, you're, you know, working with. Some of the times the problem with an LE effects is obviously that looked a little, little funky right? Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: It looked a little postarized and looked a little weird. Let's just take a little tweaking because a lot of these things you know, they're not dedicated tools. If you're going to stay in your NLE you know, try focusing on the dedicated color tools. But, I would also say that depending on the NLE, NLE you're using, for example, Premier Pro, there's a lot of third party tools. For example, I love the tool set from Magic Bullet. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: And Colorista. It's a great set of tools for doing color correction inside of Premier Pro.
But you're right Rich, every once in a while you want to depend on something that's a little more beefy. And so I think in the next movie, we'll take a look at using Adobe SpeedGrade. And that's just because we're here on a system with SpeedGrade and Premier. But, a dedicated color tool like SpeedGrade or Davinci Resolve is going to give you even more powerful and flexible tools, to fix problematic shots.
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