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Color Correction Handbook: Professional Techniques for Video and Cinema, Second Edition

Book Description

The colorist is responsible for the critical final stage of refinement of the film and broadcast image. Using all of the controls modern color correction software provides, colorists refine the mood, create style, add polish to scenes, and breathe life into the visuals. The craft of color correction can take considerable trial and error to learn, while the art of color grading takes years to perfect. Alexis Van Hurkman draws on his wealth of industry experience to provide a thoroughly updated edition of what has become the standard guide to color correction. Using a friendly, clear teaching style and a slew of real-world examples and anecdotes, Alexis demonstrates how to achieve professional results for any project, using any number of dedicated grading applications, or even an editing program’s built-in color correction tools.

From the most basic methods for evaluating and correcting an overall image to the most advanced targeted corrections and creative stylizations, Color Correction Handbook, Second Edition, is your one-stop guide. Among many valuable concepts and techniques, you’ll learn to:

•    Set up a professional color correction environment using the latest technologies and adhere to the most up-to-date standards

•    Work with log-encoded media and LUTs

•    Analyze shots quickly and correct errors of color and exposure

•    Create idealized adjustments for key features such as skin tone, skies, and product shots

•    Develop strategies for balancing clips in a scene to match one another for continuity, and grading greenscreen clips destined for visual effects

•    Master a variety of stylistic techniques used to set a scene’s mood

•    Apply principles of color and contrast to add depth and visual interest

•    Browse valuable research about memory colors, audience preferences, and critical corrections for achieving appealing skin tones and controlled  environments

•    Follow along with the downloadable files that accompany this book, including HD footage, cross-platform exercises, and project files.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. How to Get Your Media Files
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter 1. Color Correction Workflows
    1. Are You Grading for Cinema, Broadcast, or the Web?
    2. Where Colorists Fit In
    3. Before the Shoot: Choosing a Recording Format
    4. Digital Dailies: the Start of Postproduction
    5. Round-Trip Workflows
  9. Chapter 2. Setting Up a Color Correction Environment
    1. Understanding Display-Referred Color Management
    2. Choosing a Display
    3. Display Calibration
    4. Setting Up a Color Correction Suite
    5. Configuring a Grading Theater
    6. Other Hardware for Color Correction
  10. Chapter 3. Primary Contrast Adjustments
    1. How We See Color
    2. Luminance and Luma
    3. Evaluating Contrast Using Video Scopes
    4. Controls to Adjust Contrast
    5. Expanding Contrast
    6. Compressing Contrast
    7. Y’CBCR Luma Adjustments vs. RGB Luma Adjustments
    8. Redistributing Midtone Contrast
    9. Adjusting Log-Encoded Contrast
    10. Setting Appropriate Highlights and Shadows
    11. Working with High Dynamic Range (HDR) Media
    12. Contrast and Perception
    13. Contrast During Exhibition
    14. Dealing with Underexposure
    15. Dealing with Overexposure
  11. Chapter 4. Primary Color Adjustments
    1. Color Temperature
    2. What Is Chroma?
    3. Analyzing Color Balance
    4. Using Color Balance Controls
    5. Using Log Color Controls
    6. Color Temperature Controls
    7. Using Color Curves
    8. Saturation Adjustments
    9. Understanding and Controlling Color Contrast
  12. Chapter 5. HSL Qualification and Hue Curves
    1. HSL Qualification in Theory
    2. Individual Qualifier Controls
    3. A Basic HSL Qualification Workflow
    4. Tips for Using and Optimizing HSL Qualifications
    5. Different Ways of Using HSL Qualifiers
    6. Hue Curve Adjustments
    7. Other Types of HSL Adjustments
    8. Advanced Keyers
  13. Chapter 6. Shapes
    1. Shape UI and Controls
    2. Highlighting Subjects
    3. Creating Depth
    4. Shapes + HSL Qualifiers
    5. Aggressive Digital Relighting
    6. Shapes and Motion
  14. Chapter 7. Animating Grades
    1. Grade Animation Controls Compared
    2. Correcting Changes in Exposure
    3. Correcting Hue Shifts
    4. Grade Transitions Using Through Edits and Dissolves
    5. Artificial Lighting Changes
    6. Creative Grade Animation
  15. Chapter 8. Memory Colors: Skin Tone, Skies, and Foliage
    1. What Are Memory Colors?
    2. Ideals for Skin Tone
    3. Techniques for Adjusting Complexion Using Secondaries
    4. Ideals for Skies
    5. Techniques for Adjusting Skies
    6. Ideals for Foliage
  16. Chapter 9. Shot Matching and Scene Balancing
    1. Color Timing
    2. Strategies for Working with Clients
    3. How to Begin Balancing a Scene
    4. How to Match One Shot to Another
    5. Recycling Grades
    6. Scene Matching in Action
  17. Chapter 10. Quality Control and Broadcast Safe
    1. Grading for Film Output
    2. Video Signal Standards and Limits
    3. Quality Control Issues That Affect Colorists
    4. Six Structured Steps to Legalizing Your Picture
    5. Monitoring and Legalizing Saturation in Detail
    6. RGB Color Space Legality and the RGB Parade Scope
    7. Soft Clipping for Luma and RGB
    8. Other Video Scope Options for Broadcast Gamut Monitoring
    9. Creating Graphics and Animation with Legal Values
    10. Broadcast-Safe Settings in Grading Applications
    11. Broadcast-Safe Settings in Editing Applications
    12. Avid Media Composer and Symphony Broadcast-Safe Settings
    13. Adobe Premiere Pro Broadcast-Safe Settings
    14. Final Cut Pro X Broadcast-Safe Settings
    15. Final Cut Pro 7 Broadcast-Safe Settings
  18. Preview. Color Correction Look Book
    1. Tints and Color Washes
    2. Undertones
    3. Vibrance and Targeted Saturation
  19. Index