Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Requirements for video, part of Documentary Photo Techniques with Photoshop and After Effects.
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For a quick moment, let's talk about the color requirements for working in video. If you have experience with print or other mediums, you've probably heard of modes like CMYK or Lab Color Mode. When working with video, you really only have two choices: grayscale and RGB. Let's take a look at the intricacies of each. I recommend choosing Window>Histogram to bring up the Histogram and then tear that off.
If you click on the submenu, you could choose All Channels View and this will show you the detail of the image. What's happening here is that we have a Red, Green, and Blue channel that help create the color details. If we go over to the Channels Panel here, you'll see that each channel has some different amount of information. There's the Reds, there's the Green, and the Blue, and when combined they create a full color image.
Now this particular image under Image Mode is labeled as RGB Color. Be very careful to avoid Indexed Color, which some web images use, especially GIF files. Similarly, if this was used in print it might be set to CMYK or Lab. You're going to want to avoid those because it can cause problems. Notice down below that we have 8 bits, 16 bits in 32 bits per channel.
The use of 8 bits per channel is most common and will be widely supported by video editing tools. However, if you plan to swing through After Effects or you are going to be working with a higher bit rate codec, you can go ahead and use 16 bits per channel. However, you need to scan using a 16- bit scanner or shoot using a higher bit depth space with formats like Camera RAW. Simply converting an 8 bit image to 16 bits per channel will not add any quality.
Now that was a color image and if we flip on over here to a grayscale image, you're going to notice a few things. First off, this photo is grayscale and you might be thinking that it's just a grayscale image. However, this was scanned on a scanner in RGB mode. And if you look, there are slight variations inside the scanner, especially down here in the shadowy area. Notice how there's a higher presence of green in some of the shadows and less blues.
If we look at the individual channels here, you'll see that there are indeed a Red, Green, and Blue channel. Many people will choose to scan or acquire their grayscale or black-and-white photos in RGB mode and that is perfectly fine. This will make it easier for you to do things like introduce tinting or slight toning effects to unify several black-and-white photos. However, you might want to choose to work in grayscale mode.
If I choose Image>Mode>Grayscale, this will convert to using a single channel for the information and now it is truly a grayscale image. Some people will scan this way other people will find their images this way, because it is the truest way to handle a black-and-white photo. If it was grayscale and you didn't want it to be, you can simply promote it back to an RGB image and this will allow you, down the road, to take advantage of things like adjustment layers.
For example, you might choose to click a black-and-white adjustment layer, click the Tint button, and take advantage of the fact that you can tint your image for a unified sepia tone effect. We will explore more of these stylization options later in our lesson.
- Understanding resolution
- Organizing photos with Adobe Bridge
- Renaming files
- Working in the right color space
- Removing damage with the healing and cloning tools
- Making Content-Aware Scale and Fill repairs
- Controlling focus with blurring and sharpening
- Correcting alignment
- Restoring contrast with Curves and Levels
- Importing images in After Effects
- Using Ease and keyframe assistants
- Adding vignettes
- Rendering animations