Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anatomy of a Grade - Episode 06 - Day For Night

Ahh, the infamous "Day For Night" effect. It has many forms, many variations, and is often the brunt of many a cynically charged diatribe by cinematographers and colorists alike. But ultimately, the "Day For Night" look is a powerful tool that can be utilized in post production in the right circumstances and in the right hands.

The following episode demonstrates a dramatic example of a shot that wasn't supposed to be a night scene... and ultimately became one!

Now there's obviously some serious tracking going on in this shot and some color correctors aren't capable of this degree of accuracy with their trackers. So not all grading suites would have this capability (but most do now-a-days). AND, one must always remember that shots like this do take a bit of time, so if budget is an issue and you're "on the clock", then you might not be able to give the same "tender loving care" to every shot like this one. However, the point I'm trying to make here is, its possible! One doesn't need to do everything in a compositing program to achieve looks like this anymore.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Anatomy of a Grade - Episode 05 - "Digital Re-Lighting" in Color Correction

Ok, so I know its been a while since the last episode in this series; but what can I say its been a bit busy around here. Regardless, I finally found some time this week to pull together some new material for a couple of demos and here's the first of two!

Episode 05 is taken from a documentary feature that I've been color correcting and on-lining over the past month. The particular shot that the episode focuses on is a standard "talking head" interview setup with a "mixed" lighting scenario. In this case, the filmmakers had very few tools at their disposal for lighting (and very little time with the subject). The result was the subject's face had two very different light sources on either side creating some dramatic color and luminance contrast across it. However, with a little "Digital Re-Lighting" in the color suite, we were able to achieve the filmmakers "single-source/soft-lit look" after the fact! Take a look: