Posts tagged "color grading"

Setting the Mood with Adobe Hue CC: Jason Levine

This post is part of a series where we challenge filmmakers to transform the atmosphere or feel of a short video clip, by using custom Looks created with Adobe Hue CC. Show us what you can do with the same footage by downloading it here.

Color and light have a huge impact on the art of filmmaking. They set the mood and tone (no pun intended!) of a scene, and guide our experience of the story. To illustrate this phenomenon, we caught up with Jason Levine (@Beatlejase) and asked him to use the all-new Adobe Hue CC to capture three custom Looks and apply them to the same set of video clips using Adobe Premiere Clip to see how creative looks alter the feel of a piece.

Here’s the original montage:

Look #1: Desert Sunrise

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When & Where did you capture this Look?

This look was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 6:15am, in April 2015.

What inspired you to create the Look?

There’s simply nothing like a desert sunrise, a true feeling of rebirth and resurgence, particularly during spring. On this particular day, amidst beautiful reflections from the adjacent hotel, I stood in awe… and then snapped the shot.

How does the Look change the story or feeling of the video clip?

Naturally, there’s a sense of ‘warmth’ that is immediately added to the video…but it’s more. It feels like ‘a beginning’, and this is where the ‘time of day’ essence (and brilliance) of Hue CC really shines. It not only makes the scene ‘feel’ warmer, brighter…but it feels like morning.

Is that what you intended or expected when you captured the Look?

It produced the result I expected, however, I was equally impressed to see that it really carries the essence of that original time and place, regardless of what footage it’s applied to (sometimes with subtle tweaks, but often, as-is).

 

Look #2: Sandstorm

Look2_0189

When & Where did you capture this Look?

This look was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 5:15pm, April 2015 (and curiously, it was later in the same day as the previous look, ‘Desert Sunrise’).

What inspired you to create this one?

Living in the desert myself, I’m no stranger to sand storms and dust storms. This particular one, however, came about very quickly and almost immediately darkened and clouded the entire city. There was so much wind that I wasn’t able to grab a clear shot whilst on the ground, so this image was once again captured from my window inside my hotel room.

How does this Look change the video clip?

In the case of this Look, it really adds more drama and dimension to the video in question. It feels darker, more mysterious. It creates a moodiness and atmosphere that is totally opposite of the previous example. And by tweaking the shadows/highlights and exposure in Clip (on the original footage), I was able to give it a little more contrast and dimension.

What did you expect when you captured this Look?

I was curious how this Look would perform on the Seashore clip. One of the benefits of Adobe Hue CC is that the Looks created will never completely de-saturate, so while the primary tones of the Look were nearly monochromatic, it leaves behind enough essence of color to just add to this creepy, moody feeling. And again, because you can always go back into the Look itself and alter the intensity and primary hue angle, I was able to achieve a cinematic ‘darkness’ instantly, with footage that was shot in a bright, clear environment.

Look #3: Spring SouthwestLook3_0190

When & Where did you capture this Look?

This Look was captured in Phoenix, Arizona at approximately 12:00pm, late March 2015.

What was the inspiration for this Look?

While people are accustomed to the earthy red and brown tones of the desert, some are unaware that there’s also a lot of green…and blue sky is almost a daily occurrence. This particular day seemed to have the perfect combination incredibly vivid blues and greens (with a hint of desert brown).

How do you think this one impacts the clip?

Based on the midtone shift that I selected when I was creating this Look, once applied to the video clip, it really emphasizes the blues and greens at the beach; the water sparkles, the plant life thrives, and you can definitely sense that this isn’t early morning nor late in the day…it once again, ‘feels’ like a mid-day shot, clear and vibrant.

What did you think you’d get when you captured the Look?

I was concerned that the blues might be accentuated too much; this is again where the Intensity slider came into play (along with auditioning this on the footage in question, right inside the app, to find a good balance). It definitely ‘cools’ the image (without feeling too blue) but more importantly (and shockingly) is that this particular example Look really carries that ‘time of day’ stamp with it. As mentioned above, you know it’s not morning. And it feels like Spring, somehow…

 

So, if you were going to make this video clip into a movie, which of these Looks would you want to use?

For a long form piece, I’d probably go with the Sandstorm Look; it has a very cinematic, dark feel…and with the ocean sounds behind it (and some slow, building underscore) it effortlessly creates a sense of drama and interest.

What do you think of Adobe Hue?

Adobe Hue CC is a fantastic way to apply your own visual memories of color and light, time and day, directly to your video content. It’s a great way to get started with color and grading, and the simple implementation of the app itself gives the user a truly infinite palette of color presets, right from their camera phone.

What are your suggestions for people who want to use Adobe Hue?

Try it for yourself; it can amaze you. The fact that we’re actually creating 3D LUT files gives the power user a lot of flexibility; and for new users, it is once again a unique way to have color presets ‘built’ for your video, based on places and images of color and light that you’ve personally experienced. And that’s what we try to do with our stories…share our personal experience, our connections to place in time, the look of feel of that place in time, and this is precisely what Adobe Hue CC delivers.

Thanks for chatting, Jason!

 

Want to accept Jason’s challenge? Download the same video file Jason used and alter it using a Look from Adobe Hue and Premiere Clip. Publish & Share your video with #AdobeHue and #MadeWithClip for a chance to have your workflow featured!

See Jason take this video to the next level by bringing his #MadeWithClip project and Looks from Adobe Hue into Adobe Premiere CC 2015:

 


About Adobe Hue: Adobe Hue CC is a new kind of app that allows you to capture color and light dynamics from real-world experiences, either live with your device’s camera, or from an image you have saved in your camera roll or Creative Cloud account. Looks you capture with Adobe Hue can be brought into Premiere Clip, Premiere Pro, and After Effects to immediately transform your video footage, whether you’re a color grading specialist or new to the process.

Thinking Like a Colorist

Watch a replay of Robbie Carman’s Ask a Video Pro webinar to learn how you can bring creative color into your editing and postproduction workflow: bit.ly/1FFTy5R

Colorist Robbie Carman began his career as an editor, so he knows both sides of the traditional divide between cutting and finishing. But he’ll be the first to tell you that the traditional divide is a thing of the past. With today’s digital workflows, powerful hardware and production tools creative work with color is much more accessible.

At NAB this year, Robbie presented a session that would have been inconceivable even just a few short years ago: “Work Like an Editor, Think Like a Colorist,” where he highlighted the new color workflows between Premiere Pro, SpeedGrade, and Project Candy. Most importantly for many filmmakers and production professionals, he showed how color can be a incorporated into everyone’s workflow – especially with the new color tools coming soon to the Creative Cloud.

RobbieCarman_ColorPresentation

Robbie kicked off his NAB presentation with a quote from Expressionist artist Vassily Kandinksy: “Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” Robbie continued, “Everything I do as a colorist, I try to live by this guiding principle.” As a speaker, he has a knack to making complex content easy and engaging.

Watch the presentation below and get inspired by Robbie’s passion – as well as a nice overview of some of the great things coming to Adobe pro video.

And if you want more Robbie (and really, who wouldn’t?) you can watch a replay of Robbie’s Ask a Video Pro session – at bit.ly/1FFTy5R

What’s coming next to SpeedGrade and Creative Cloud? (Hint: it’s going to be colorful)

This year at NAB 2015 we’re taking the wraps off some really exciting new tools and workflows for video pros, including a new mobile Look capture technology, a brand new Color workspace in Adobe Premiere Pro, and Creative Cloud Library support for Looks, so you can share Looks between Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Premiere Clip. And we haven’t forgotten SpeedGrade: the next release of our professional color grading application includes support for Lumetri Looks created in Premiere Pro – meaning that every color manipulation made in Premiere Pro is rendered identically in SpeedGrade. You will also get more responsive scopes, new SpeedLooks, and general performance and stability improvements.

Our team of color geniuses has done some amazing work. When you see the release you’ll see their attention has been focused above all on Premiere Pro and incorporating the Creative Cloud and mobile workflows into the creative color process. This is all about re-inventing the ways we work with color – and making color tools more accessible, and more flexible than they have ever been. Let’s take a closer look at what’s coming.

 

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Behind the scenes with colorist Thomas Bergman

Recently Adobe TV posted a beautiful video created by Thomas Bergman of Silbersalz Film, a production company located in Stuttgart, Germany. The film is one of my all-time favorites: their production quality is stunning. Their work illustrates the impact of  “creative looks” on moving images, and shows the range of a professional color grading application for shaping narrative visually.

Needless to say, I am proud that the company is an all-Creative Cloud, all-SpeedGrade post house.

This interview was recorded on set at the Silbersalz facility during production on their SpeedGrade film.

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Interview with cinematographer and colorist Will Read

I spoke last November with Will Read, a brilliant filmmaker based in London and a keen Creative Cloud and SpeedGrade user. Will was one of the presenters at the SpeedGrade 10th anniversary event we held in Munich in November 2013.

UK-based filmmaker Will Read

UK-based filmmaker Will Read

In the interview, Will speaks about his integrated approach to filmmaking. His workflow was born from a bad experience with his first film project. Although he had taken great care to shoot that film well, the final result was spoiled by bad telecine work and even worse color grading. He vowed then and there never again to let someone else ruin his images. Will then set out to learn color grading on his own, so that he could marry that expertise with his love of cinematography. The ultimate result was an end-to-end pipeline which gives the maximum amount of artistic control to the minimum number of people.

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Adobe SpeedGrade: Getting Started – by Alexis Van Hurkman

We’re big fans of Alexis Van Hurkman and his fantastic introduction to the art of color grading – The Color Correction Handbook – has a special place on our bookshelf. So we were thrilled when we heard that Alexis would be writing a new SpeedGrade book for our favorite publisher, Peachpit Press.

Adobe SpeedGrade - Getting Started - Alexis Van Hurkman

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Applying Creative Looks across Multiple Clips

The power of SpeedGrade lies in the way it allows you to build up color corrections and creative looks as grading layers. Because grading layers are non-destructively applied in SpeedGrade, you can play around to your heart’s content until you get your footage looking just right.

It gets even more interesting when you add grading tracks on the Timeline. Grading tracks allow you to add a new set of grades on top of your clip-based color corrections – and they allow you to do this across multiple clips, or a whole project.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to add a grading track. Continue reading…

Adding Atmosphere with Vignettes

Vignettes are a great tool for visual storytelling. They add a depth to shots and they help give digital content a more filmic feel – and Adobe SpeedGrade CS6 offers powerful tools for creating them.

Psychologically, vignettes allow you to focus the viewer’s attention on the subject and subtly mimic the human eye, where color perception drops off around the periphery of our field of vision.

You create vignettes for an individual shot, by adding a mask to a grading layer, within a clip, or by adding a separate grading track on the timeline, for example to go across multiple clips. Colorists sometimes combine vignettes, adding atmosphere and a greater sense of space to their shots. In this post we’re going to look at how to add a single vignette to a shot in SpeedGrade. Continue reading…

Grading Secondaries in SpeedGrade

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the SpeedGrade webinar with Jeff August last week! In case you missed it, we’ll have a recording of the webinar available in a few days. In this post we’re taking a look at how to apply secondaries in Adobe SpeedGrade CS6.

Secondary color corrections are applied to specific colors within your images – as opposed to primary color corrections which affect the whole image.

For each secondary, you select a color range, and then apply adjustments to just those pixels. Secondary adjustments allow you to accent, modify, or tone down parts of your image. With SpeedGrade, secondary color corrections are added as individual grading layers within the overall grade. Continue reading…

Upcoming: SpeedGrade webinar for editors

Please join us for SpeedGrade for Aspiring Colorists, a special webinar on August 16, starting at 10:00 am PST.

If you are an editor, and you want to learn about color grading, this course if for you. The session will start with a review of the color tools in  Adobe Premiere Pro and then move on to provide a primer in the powerful color correction and look design capabilities of Adobe SpeedGrade CS6. Continue reading…

Extending SpeedGrade with SpeedLooks

SpeedGrade CS6 has been out for a few months now and we’re already seeing some great third-party additions. SpeedLooks, created by LookLabs, are a great example, and help to illustrate the power of color grading to dramatically transform your images.

I chatted with colorist Jeff August of LookLabs recently to learn more – quick plug: Jeff will be giving an online seminar on color grading for video editors on August 16

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Color Correction Basics – Working with the Waveform

Most color grading workflows include two types of tasks: color correction and look design. Look design is what you do to give your story its individual character: it’s the visual style that communicates mood and place.

For example an action film might have a gritty, de-saturated look; a horror story might have a cold blue otherworldly look, a period piece might have vibrant colors, like a painting or an old color photograph. Different scenes within a film usually use slightly different palettes. In short, look design is a part of storytelling Look design is a very exciting aspect of the new digital filmmaking tools: we never had as much freedom as we do now to define how we want our productions to look.

Before you get to detailed look design, you will usually want to begin by color correcting your shots. Continue reading…

A Quick Look at the SpeedGrade Look Panel

The Look panel is where all the fun happens in SpeedGrade. This is where you apply color corrections and design your look: the two parts of most color grading workflows.

Color correction, sometimes called the “technical grade,” is about making your shots look good and matched.

The creative part of grading is where you give your project its distinctive visual style. Here in SpeedGrade-Land we usually refer to this as “look design.”

To open the Look panel, make sure you have a clip selected on the Timeline (see Four Ways to Load Footage in SpeedGrade for more info). If a clip is not selected, the Look panel tab will remain inactive and you can’t open it. Continue reading…

SpeedGrade – A Little Bit of History

The origin of SpeedGrade can be traced back to a playback application called FrameCycler, which was first release by IRIDAS in 2001. FrameCycler provided uncompressed playback of frame sequences and was widely adopted in the visual effects community where artists needed an easy way to check their work.

In a recent interview on Animotion (great site, by the way), Lin Kayser, the founder of IRIDAS tells the story. As Lin points out in that interview FrameCycler employed the pixel shader technology in GPUs to provide LUT support in FrameCycler. Pixel shader technology is widely used in gaming to provide really fast screen refresh rates, but is not commonly used professional color applications. Continue reading…

Four Ways to Load Footage in SpeedGrade

Last time we looked at the SpeedGrade Desktop. This week, let’s look at how to get your content onto the Timeline where you can work on it.

Patrick Palmer, Product Manager for SpeedGrade has created a video which shows how this is done.

There are four ways to get your footage into SpeedGrade. The most automated way to do this is to use the Send to SpeedGrade command in Premiere Pro. The most flexible way is to load an Edit Decision List (EDL) and conform your clips. This allows you to update, or swap out, individual clips, for example. You can also load an existing SpeedGrade project ( an .ircp file). The most manual way, is to add individual clips to the Timeline one-by-one. Continue reading…

Meet the SpeedGrade CS6 Desktop

Over the next couple of months on this blog, we’re going to walk through the basic areas and features in Adobe SpeedGrade CS6. Today we’re taking a look at the Desktop.

Before we dive into the Desktop, I just want to mention a really cool story by DP and colorist Jerome Sabourin called Why I Use SpeedGrade. Jerome shares a bit of his own journey as a cinematographer, and describes how he uses SpeedGrade in his work. It’s a great read.

Now, back to the Desktop… Continue reading…