Going back to Basics!

Today is the first day of going through colour grading basics with the famous colorist, Warren Eagles. Born British grew up in Australia and he has been doing color grading for all genres in film, like documentaries, films (both long and short forms), tvs, etc.

Anyway, learning back to basics gives me a fresh idea what Davinci Resolve can do  and how far you can push your skills in this software, now that is patch 12.5 which is amazing!

So far there are a few things that I want to remind myself and maybe its a good lesson to whomever is reading this for colorgrading skills. There are so many ways/methods to do you colour balanced.

Don’t just stick to one way, try them all and find which one suits you best. Always create several Nodes to begin your Primary (white balance) before getting a head start of mood grading. Despite whatever cool, stylish and expensive control panel hardwares you have got/bought, knowing your basics can save you loads of time.

Now, before you start always check you Project Settings, make sure you got the right technical specs like grading 1080p, 4k, camera formats, etc. Make sure you collect all the raw footages and look through the whole cut of the video. Understand whats happening in the video because as a colourist your not always fixing things, your telling a story too, through enhancing the visual moods. Like is this story romantic or horror or comedy, you have to deliver the right mood to tell the story and by doing so you need to know the video that your working on.

After watching all the footages, pay attention to all the footage clips and ask yourself,
“Is the image too green?”
“Is that sky too red?
“Is the the girl skin tone looks weird?”
“Are you sure the road looks black or grey?”

All these questions helps you to begin your color balance.

If lets say you try really hard to balance and your not sure if the skin tones are right, look at the surroundings of the image,

Is there a white wall?
Is it even white?

Once you focus on making that wall white or grey, you will get very accurate skin tones on your subjects. Make sure you are able to see the subjects facing towards you.

Play with the Gains, Lifts and Offset. If the image is too Red scroll the colour ball to the opposite which is the Blue or Cyan. If its too Green shift the ball to Purple. Keep playing until you get it right. Create separate Nodes for contrast and others.

Once your done with the white balance Grab Still the image into your Gallery and copy it to your images.

The other technical stuff which I still need time to get use to and digest is the matching frame from reference videos. I will update that soon once I have a clear idea how to write it simply and understanding how it works.

I’m enjoying so far for first day and looking forward to get to Master level skills. Here is the link about my mentor and his works:

 

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