How is my color grading?
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Topic: How is my color grading?

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    Default How is my color grading?

    I was watching tutorials on color grading, and a lot of tutorials talk about shifting and highlights to blue, where as keeping the skin tones, warmer. I like those looks as well and tried to apply it to my last short film:



    However, I find that making the shadows blue in my short film can perhaps look a little strange, or is it just me? For example, in 2:40 into the movie, the shadow of the older actor's shirt seems more natural, but when it cuts to the OTS shot of the actress, and you see the shadow on her face around her eye, there is a blue tint going across the eye that may look weird. What do you think?

    Does having blue shadows look weird, or is there something I am not doing right, compared to what you are suppose to be doing, if you want that blue and orange look, that a lot of movies go for?

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    Hey there. Thought I should chime in as I was a colorist in a past (career) life. First off, great job at equalizing color and contrast and making everything flow. Not as easy as you'd think a lot of the time.

    Advice for pulling off the look you're talking about:
    1. I think cyan as opposed to blue is a more stylized and interesting look (personal opinion of course). Try pulling the color wheel more towards cyan as opposed to blue and see what you think.

    2. With putting blue into the shadows there seems to be a tendency for magenta to enter the picture especially in skin tone and highlights. If you have the knowledge, being able to key or window areas to neutralize this effect would be worthwhile. You definitely don't want magenta in white areas or skin tones.

    3. Looking at this clip and especially with the look you're going for I would recommend increasing the contrast and crushing the blacks a bit more. It's not like you're going for a naturalistic look right? I think it would really finish off the look.

    Hope this helps. But yeah, it looks nice. Good job.


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    Okay thanks. This movie was shown at the theater, and the blacks were already too crushed looking at the theater, with the current grade you see, so was afraid to crush it anymore, but I could if that's best. As for cyan over blue, it' depends on what kind of cyan we are talking about here.

    Like when I google cyan exactly, I get all these different tones of color:

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=cyan&...w=1920&bih=974

    Which cyan were you thinking?

    Last edited by ironpony; 09-05-2017 at 07:48 PM.

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    Got it. As for crushing the blacks, it's definitely a stylistic choice and not for every project. You could also increase and blow out the highlights as well. So the overall look would be more abstract in a way. And the top end would match the bottom. There are a lot of examples from DP Robert Richardson "natural born killers" especially.

    As for Cyan it's up to personal preference I like whatever color that is right in the middle of green and blue.


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    Okay, I was going for more of a blue blue, with orange, and wanted that look for a future project as well. Reason being I have seen cyan too much in movies over the last few years and wanted to do go for something a bit different, but still similar. Or maybe blue shadows and highlights where as keeping the skin tones a more neutral natural color, instead of orange.

    But as far as isolating the skin tones completely, I am assuming that would take a lot of work from shot to shot, and to also make it look natural after, like make it look like the skin is not obviously isolated, right?


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    I watched this tutorial on color grading for sort of the same look I am going for:



    In the tutorial at about 11:10 into it, he shows how to isolate the skin so you can color them separately from the background. However, when I try to isolate the skin tones, a lot of other pixels from the image go with it and not just the skin. Pixels on parts of the walls, and pixels on parts of the clothes, etc.

    That's because certain parts of the image are around the same color as the skin tone, I am guessing and the program cannot tell the difference, or that is my guess. Is there way to isolate the skin only, in order to color them, and nothing else in the image?


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    Junior Member   How is my color grading? How is my color grading? Demi 31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    I watched this tutorial on color grading for sort of the same look I am going for:



    In the tutorial at about 11:10 into it, he shows how to isolate the skin so you can color them separately from the background. However, when I try to isolate the skin tones, a lot of other pixels from the image go with it and not just the skin. Pixels on parts of the walls, and pixels on parts of the clothes, etc.

    That's because certain parts of the image are around the same color as the skin tone, I am guessing and the program cannot tell the difference, or that is my guess. Is there way to isolate the skin only, in order to color them, and nothing else in the image?
    Thanks for making my life easier..by sharing exactly where i have to concentrate more at 11:10. I think the description of the skin isolation was right on! Super useful!


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    Oh cool! Were you able to figure out how to isolate the skin without a lot of pixels being left over though?


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    Junior Member   How is my color grading? How is my color grading? Demi 31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Oh cool! Were you able to figure out how to isolate the skin without a lot of pixels being left over though?
    Some of it. You are welcome to explain more. However, my biggest problem is object-tracking. Like tracking a face as it moves through the frame etc.


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    That's a problem for me too, cause in the tutorials, they are mostly showing how to color a still frame. But if an actor's face moves, into shadow, then the program looses the track entirely, and the skin color changes to blue/cyan completely.


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