Color correcting your footage is pretty much unavoidable, these days every movie or music video clip you watch has been post processed and color corrected.
This is an art in itself and that is why it requires skills, training and a dedicated professional.
Fact is that on smaller productions, budgets are quite tight, and you end up doing it yourself… much like it happens for other traditionally separated roles, such as a director of photography, a camera operator or an editor. In the end, it’s all good. First you have to learn it all to understand and then truly appreciate the work of others you might team up with.
Color processing is part of the post processing work that needs to be done on the footage you shot, which may include other tasks like re-lighting or re-framing a particular shot, or VFX work.
There are some tools of the trade that come into rescue and one of the most well-known is Red Giant’s Magic Bullet. Mostly, it works with presets, and it’s a one-stop process. Super easy to use and with visually catching results.
One of the great things about the micro four thirds format is that you can simply mount anything on these. It’s just a matter of finding the right adapter, among the variety of available offers. In this particular case, the C-mount to M43 one pictured above is indeed well made, but there are cheaper ones starting from just a few bucks.. Fotodiox comes to mind.
C-mount lenses are still in use, no longer as 8mm or 16mm cinema lenses as they used to be but as security devices lenses, namely closed circuit television lenses. Normally they are pretty fast lenses as they need to work 24h and they come under the commercial term of TV lenses (from the CCTV acronym).
This is why some may be interested in the vintage C-mounts on a cropped sensor. Fast glass is expensive and C-mounts are not.
You have certainly noticed that I mostly write about the GH2. I used to own the 5DmkII, it was the first DSLR I shot video with. It has indeed been the first love for many and still truly is. But since the coming of the hack for the panny it was sudden divorce for me.
I still love the colors you get out of the Canon, there is a certain richness and overall dynamic range you simply cannot get out of the GH2. I feel that the whole color pattern has a grey, duller base throughout the gamma, with a green bias.
You have to work hard around this in post to make it look great, but it’ s doable. I have an upcoming post dedicated to color correction and I will discuss this matter in greater depth soon. The way your final work looks it’s too much of an important subject to be done with a few lines.
While there is no doubt the above sticks as a con, 0n the pro side
– the panny it’ s true 1080p as opposed to the lower resolution of the Canon, that claims to be full HD but looks like HD ready (720p)
– magic lantern it’s a very nice addition, but even in its latest incarnation cannot deliver as much as Vitaliy Kiselev and all his community have so far achieved with Ptools and the patches
– it’ s got a swiveling screen in place of a non sens fixed lcd
– it’ s way cheaper
Lighting, lenses and camera. They all affect how your footage is going to look like and how you will perform as a director of photography or a cinematographer. Well, that is beside the real personal skills you have. They matter and they come indeed into the game. That is to say you can be a master in your job but if you relate badly to people you work with it’s all going down the pan in the end. I guess this is true for any job you do but let’s remember that film-making is a collaborative job for starters and you have to relate well with your fellows.
I damn well know this is not an Iscorama 36, 42 or 54.
Iscorama Anamorphics are very well know among anamorphic lovers for a variety of reasons.Above all they are tack sharp. Secondly with anamorphic adapters you have to focus both the taking lens and the adapter, which it comes as no less than a pain in the neck – it requires time and patience and it might not always lead to the best results as the lenses are not working “in sync”.
The true beauty of the very pricy Iscoramas (getting sold for $3000 on Ebay and appearing in the listing once in a blue moon) is that you focus to infinity on the taking lens and then rack focus with the adapter .. like you would do with regular aspherical lens. Tour life will be a lot easier as a shooter. Next step from the Iscoramas are the Vantage Hawks ($30,000) or the Panavisions.. which you might only rent unless you’re rolling in money.
I know what you’re thinking.. why going through all this mess when this lens is not that fast. Thing is I own a 75mm Yvar AR and I love it to bits. It’s sharp even wide open, contrasty and it’s got beautiful colors. And it’s a vintage 50 years old lens that can still produce stunning images on the cropped sensor DSLRs.
The Bolex camera was made in 8mm and 16mm versions. It’s a precision Swiss design and a variety of lenses were made in different formats from Kern Paillard themselves, along with Canon, Schneider, Cooke, C to name but a few . The Kern’s one are A grade stuff and perhaps they are so sharp because 16mm film has to resolve more details to look decent once projected.
This pt2 will concentrate more on the post production side of things. As usual there was bucket loads of it and it took a very long time to get things done.
Rendering times were bloody huge. This is due to the output resolution I chose and the processing power of my computer, a quad core 3ghz. When you’re rendering stuff out, unless you’re into 3D, all it matters at the end of the day it’s the engine running under the bonnet. I wish I had a 8 or 16 core Xeon based system but that was no option for now so I had to stick to my limited system.
Hi all, it’s been a while since I last wrote something. Fact is I’ve been dead busy with lots of projects lately and I did not have a proper chance to sit down and write on this blog.
Well, here I am at last! This post would have been too long to make it into one so I rather have it split in 2 sections, in the first one I will explain how I shot it and in the second part I will explain post production into details.
First you might enjoy having a look at the final version of the video
You might as well wonder why this version bears the “Director’s cut” label. In fact there was a first version of the video I edited strictly edited following the client’s directions but in the end he liked my version better.
All right, now let’s talk technical here. I shot this music video using both an anamorphic adapter and spherical lenses. I would have gone all the way anamorphic but in some instances we were in a real rush and we were mostly shooting exteriors so spherical is a lot faster. It would have been perfectly doable if I had the chance to grab some Hawks or Primos but I guess this was way out of the budget.. so the sought after anamorphic look it had to be all on an adapter: KOWA 16D.
Working for TV it isn’t an easy task as It might seem at first sight if you are used to work in the movies industries, it simply won’t be like taking a remote and clicking on the power button.
As usual it requires hard work to make things look neat and polished.
Compared to filming there is a clear advantage though: once you have set up your lighting equipment and your cameras you are good to go for a long time. In filming you have to move lighting around as the scene changes so it’s kind of an ever changing situation.
I decided to write this post because I own a set of LOMOS and because the information about these wonderful lenses is scattered all over the web and not easy to find.
Russian glass is really too big of a topic to put in a single post but the crux of the matter is that you can buy a set of 4 standard LOMOS lenses for USD 1500. Special LOMOS would be at around 4 fold.
What if a country had the resources like the USSR did, so they could have access to the best chemicals available and of the highest grade to forge cinema lenses. It’s not quite what a privately owned company could possibly do.