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The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction, 2nd Edition

Book Description

The only guide to the art and technique of color correction based on the invaluable knowledge of more than a dozen of the top colorists in the world. This book allows you unprecedented access to the way the masters of the craft approach their work.

Containing decades of industry experience and professional colorist know-how, this book provides an understanding of what top-tier colorists look for in an image and how they know what to do to make it great. Featuring techniques performed in a variety of color correction software applications (DaVinci Resolve, Apple Color, Synthetic Aperture's Color Finesse, and more), this book turns what has long been a misunderstood "black art" into a set of skills that any colorist, editor, independent filmmaker, or motion graphics artist can begin to master. Packed with explanations, tips, and concepts that build on each other, you will learn how to:
* fix poorly exposed shots and shots with color casts
* create looks
* match shots
* master primary and secondary color correction techniques
* use color correction to advance a story

This edition includes

* An updated DVD containing two hours of video tutorials using DaVinci Resolve, extended interview transcripts and color correction sessions with the professional colorists featured in the book

* A brand new tutorial-based chapter, with companion project files on the DVD, so you can work along with the text

* New insight from additional professional colorists, including legendary colorists, Bob Festa, Stefan Sonnenfeld, and Pankaj Baipai, showing you the 'hows' and 'whys' of each grade

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Using this Book and the DVD Materials
  8. Chapter 1: Primary Color Correction: Tonal Range Primer
    1. Monitoring
      1. Video Monitor
    2. Viewing Environment
    3. Waveform and Vectorscope Displays
    4. Alternative Displays and Tools for Analysis
    5. First Things First: Black Level
    6. Reading the Waveform Monitor
    7. Setting the Black Level
    8. Setting Highlights
    9. Setting Gamma or Midtones
    10. Defining Contrast
  9. Chapter 2: Primary Color Correction: Tonal Correction Tools
    1. Main Tools for Tonal Corrections
      1. Sliders and Numerical Controls for Tonal Range
    2. Don’t Use Brightness or Contrast Controls
      1. DaVinci Resolve
      2. Color Primary In Room
      3. The Avid Symphony and Color Finesse HSL Control Tab
    3. Histograms or Levels
      1. Forms and Functions of Histograms
    4. Curves Tab
    5. Curves Tutorial
    6. Isolating Tonal Ranges with Curves
    7. Luma Range Display
    8. Luma Range Editing
    9. Alternative to Luma Range
  10. Chapter 3: Primary Color Correction: Color Control Primer
    1. Balancing the Image
      1. Analyzing Color Casts
      2. Using Your Eyes
      3. Color and the Waveform
    2. Color and the Vectorscope
    3. Histograms
    4. Eyedropper
    5. Balancing Color with a Flat Pass Waveform Monitor
    6. Color Contrast
  11. Chapter 4: Primary Color Correction: Color Manipulation Tools
    1. Color Wheels
    2. Color Wheels and Trackballs with RGB Parade
    3. Saturation Controls
    4. Histograms
    5. Curves
    6. RGB Lift, Gamma, and Gain Sliders
    7. Channels or Channel Mixers
    8. Printer Lights
    9. Filters
    10. Additional Tools
  12. Chapter 5: Secondary Color Correction Primer
    1. The Purpose of Secondary Correction
    2. Are You Qualified?
    3. Color Vector Isolation
    4. Isolating a Vector in DaVinci Resolve
    5. Spot Color Correction (Vignettes or Power Windows)
      1. The Vignette
      2. Geographical Color Fix
      3. User-Defined Shapes
      4. Using Spot Color Correction to Relight
    6. Color Vector with Window or Vignette
    7. Secondaries Are Crucial
  13. Chapter 6: Secondaries with the Pros
    1. Vignettes
    2. Vignetting the Ultralight Flyover Scene
    3. Vignetting the “Kiss” Bedroom Scene
    4. Vignette to Create Day-for-Night
    5. Vector and Luma Qualified Secondaries
    6. Secondary Corrections Can Focus Attention
    7. Using Secondaries to Match
    8. Using a Luma Key to Build Contrast
    9. Use a Secondary to Soften Skin Tones
    10. Multiple Windows and Masks
    11. Creating Depth and Texture
  14. Chapter 7: Correcting Shots
    1. Four More Grades of the “Banker’s Light” Scene
    2. Saving a Shot with Bad Color Cast
    3. Four Trips Down the “Alley”
    4. Three Passes Over the Barn
    5. Building Up a Weak Piece of Video
    6. Using Many Tools to Fix a Shot
    7. Grading with Curves in Primary
    8. Broadening the Color Palette
  15. Chapter 8: Telling the Story
    1. Color Changes the Story
    2. Talk Like a DP
    3. The Story Is the Script
    4. Emphasize Elements to Further the Story
    5. Imposing Story on the Boxer
    6. Story Epilogue
  16. Chapter 9: Matching Shots
    1. Matching the Lions of the Art Institute
    2. Matching Scene to Scene
    3. Matching When Lighting Changes in a Scene
    4. Matching AND Saving!
    5. Matching Conclusion
  17. Chapter 10: Creating Looks
    1. Enough Is Enough
    2. Preset Looks
    3. Festa’s PowerGrade Library Revealed
    4. Preset Looks in Apple’s Color
      1. Film Processing Looks
      2. Skip Bleach or Bleach Bypass
      3. Match the Look
      4. Looks for Promos and Opens
    5. True Grit
    6. Graphic Looks
    7. Day-for-Night
    8. NOT Doing a Look
      1. Plug-In Looks
  18. Chapter 11: Miscellaneous Wisdom
    1. Starting Off
    2. Communicating with Clients
    3. The Future of Color Correction
    4. Taking It to Extremes
    5. The Importance of Color Contrast
    6. Maintaining a Look
    7. Looking at Real Life for Inspiration
    8. Smoke
    9. Keeping Butts in the Seats
    10. Books of Note
    11. Color Correction Training on DVD
    12. Conclusion
  19. Chapter 12: Tutorials
    1. Primary Color Correction
    2. Secondary Correction
    3. Creating Looks
    4. Compositing Modes for a Better Look
    5. Final Thoughts
  20. Index