The color process of a video is an integral part of telling your story. It can affect the mood, tone, and feeling of a piece.
Color grading is often an overlooked part of the video production process because it comes towards the very end, but this does not make it any less important to the final impact your video can have on its viewers. The process is a delicate balance of the technical and the emotional expression that allows the images to work seamlessly together.
One way I shoot video is by using a compressed format with color enhancement applied. This footage will come out of the camera looking like it has under gone some base color work already.
When I color grade any project, regardless of the style, look, genre, or format – I always adhere to the general strategy outlined below,
Converting camera color profile using color space transform OFX plugin.
I find this method interesting for several reasons. One is about bringing cameras to a standard in post. Color Space Transform (CST) seems like a great, and easy way to bring everything to that standard place.
With this technique I can essentially take any camera profile and convert it to something else. Slog2 to Slog3 for example. Or Slog3 to Arri LogC without loosing any color data. You can always go back and forth between the prior node or after node, so it’s pretty much non-destructive way to do color correction.
Emulating ARRI LogC
The aim in most grading situations is to at least start out by displaying what was actually shot in a “faithful” manner, using a scientifically derived transform that is intended for that purpose is going to get you there a lot quicker and a lot more accurately than interpreting – or as often as not, misinterpreting – by hand with no sensible starting point.
This is the beauty of using color space transform node, as it allows me to transform back into different color format non-destructively. This is done in order preserve as wide dynamic range as possible in the recorded image. The overall shape of the log curve is similar to the exposure curves of film negatives.
Note on the video: Everything exposed at base 800EI ISO. Noise reduction OFF.
Camera profile: Sony A7R III with custom PP2 color profile.
I realised that my main reason for shooting log was the ease of passing over footage for post. Most users were using it, so it became a standard – further compounded by the large amount of LUT’s made for this specific color space.
Oftentimes a video will contain multiple tones. The Colorist will use different color styles to lead the audience in the emotional direction of the story. It certainly completes the package of your video.