Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yokohama Tires Duck Duck Goose Commercial

So this is a 30 second spot I graded at Bandito Brothers a few months ago for Yokohama Tires. The spot features off-road racing star Cameron Steele along with his wife and fellow off-road racer Heidi Steele in a spirited game of duck, duck, goose using some sleek transportation (all sporting yokohama tires of course).

This was a really exciting piece to work on from a color correction standpoint as the client was willing to go for a really aggressive look featuring bold saturated colors on the car with a high contrast black and white background around them. It makes for a really "punchy" look with the bright colors of the cars screaming around a stark monochramtic background. VFX rotoscoped the horizon and the skies and also gave me some really useful alpha mattes of the cars in each shot. From there I used a combination of power windowing, and selective chroma/luma keying to achieve the look (and of course do some enhancement work on product logos, tires, etc, its a commercial after all). This was by far one of my favorite color grades this year; its always a pleasure when clients want to push the envelope and really commit to and embrace a sylized look like this.

And if you'd like a little behind the scenes on the "on-set" production of the spot check out this great video:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Just for Fun - Hot Wheels!

So the past few months have been a whirlwind of commercial work. I really enjoy working on short form content as the visuals need to be Hight Impact and memorable if you've only got the viewers attention for 30 seconds. For a colorist that's like getting handed the keys to the kingdom to "go to town" and give everything a little bit of extra "pop". Here's a little teaser I did as part of a larger Hot Wheels campaign, the final piece culminated in a 22min special after the Indy 500, but this is a taste. This particular project involved a lot of mixed footage: 5D's, Super 16mm, little Go-Pro cameras, amongst other HD sources, and was shot at completely different times of day. Needless to say, visual continuity was not the main thrust here, instead, high impact compositions and heightened colors was the idea for a "child-like" visualization of a very real stunt!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Anatomy of a Grade - Episode 07 - Sunset Grad Filter

Well its been a while since my last post; between a flurry of work and travel I haven't had the time to sit down and do one of these since February. None-the-less I finally took some time to examine one of the classic color grading techniques that I get asked to do quite a bit, the "Sunset Grad Effect." This technique is pretty simple and straightforward but can be used in an infinite number of ways to get varying effects. Essentially we're replacing the need to place a graduated filter on the camera (for color effects, exposure is a different story), as we can achieve the same result in color correction. Take a look!

Although this technique can be used and abused depending upon the project, its one that really can save an otherwise uninteresting shot and give it a bit of life! The trick is to use it sparingly, and hopefully, tastefully... although this is of course always in the eye of the beholder!