Ollie Kenchington is not only a filmmaker and colourist but one of the UK’s top training experts I KNOW THIS MUCH... S tarting out as a stills photographer, Ollie Kenchingtonmade the jump tomoving images when he became the pro video expert on Final Cut S-Log3 only gives youmore flexibility if you have the information there. If you are shooting an FS5 or FS7, outputting Raw in 10-bit 4:2:2 , it’s fine. These cameras are
There are built-in tools or plug-ins in DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier Pro to use the colour charts and get corrected, neutral colours. My workflow is to edit an assembly of shots first, but at the start I use little clips of the colour charts for all the shots I’ve used. I export the colour chart clips to DaVinci Resolve. I domy colour correction there, comparing the target I shot to the known values for Hue v Hue and Hue v Saturation, so all cameras are the same. Some plug- ins, like ColorFinale, will automatically do it for you but it’s not as accurate. I prefer to do it manually every time. I then export those back to themain edit and apply the changes to the shots. So I havematched cameras and neutral colours throughout the whole edit. Don’t rely on creative LUTs I do generate a customLUT on set of a large shoot for a consistent look on all the monitors, but I never use creative LUTs. If you buy a LUT package and put a creative LUT on top of footage that’s not been sorted for colour, it magnifies any errors. I see people putting creative LUTs on their films and it’s like watching a car crash. You have to create a neutral look, with accurate skin tones. Only then can you start to change it for amore creative look. But you have to be careful with some colours that are important in the particular shoot. In a shoot for a beer manufacturer, the colour of the beer is very important, for example. Calibration is crucial On set, I use an Atomos Shogun and a Sumo which can both be calibrated with an i1 Display. I then set the exposure. If you were using LUTs on a Sony shooting S-Log, you’d have to overexpose but the LUT doesn’t “know” that, so the results aren’t right. Once you have shot the colour chart, got the exposure right using your zebras, you’re ready to go. Concentrate on the narrative, not the technicalities. I just love the process of shooting and editing.
Pro 6 and 7 for Apple. With a highly technical knowledge of colour grading and editing along with many years’ experience teaching students at filmschool, Olliemixes training and working as a freelance colourist with making corporate films for big clients including Apple, BMW, Microsoft and Rolls Royce as well as working on TV productions andmusic videos. He’s used lots of different cameras, is an accredited trainer in all the big software packages and knows colour theory like the back of his hand. We caught up with him to learn about how to get colours nailed. I’m the white-balance guy! Good colour management is about getting the white-balance right to get the colours in alignment, and the correct exposure to get the contrast right. You have to know how to expose properly for the gamma profile you’re using at the time such as S-Log3. Youmust use a proper white- balance chart rather than a white sheet of paper as this will have colour pigments that the eye can’t see. You need a proper white-balance target which has no coloured pigments and is off-white. Not an 18%grey exposure target. Onmy blog I mentioned that I use X-Rite products as part of my colour process. They saw it, and now I’man ambassador for them. And you need to do it regularly during shooting. It’s no good doing a white- balance in themorning then leaving it as the light will change during the day. Log is not always the answer I see somany people shooting a Sony A7S II and they do everything in S-Log3 to keep the profile as flat as possible. But that’s an 8-bit 4:2:0 camera, and shooting in such a flat profile throws away 70%of the colour information because S-Log3 compresses the file to fit more dynamic range in.
designed for a big dynamic range. People are scared of changing the gamma in themiddle of a shoot as often they just want simplicity. That’s why some people always shoot S-Log3 with the white-balance set to 5500K. Use Log when you need to, for example when there’s a lot of contrast. Otherwise change settings. Use a colour chart every time You also need to shoot a colour target before every shot. I use the X-Rite target which has patches of saturated colours as well as secondary chips, so you can see how far out your colours are in processing. Some people think it’s time consuming. But you remember to charge your batteries, set your lights up, get the camera on a tripod and focus it. So you need tomake time to shoot a colour target, especially if the shot hasmultiple cameras. To get exposure right, I use a 90% reflectance target which is equivalent to 90IRE. I set my zebras to 90, or use the histogram, to get the exposure set at that level. But if you are shooting S-Log, then it’s different as the Sony needsmore light to its sensor. For S-Log2 you set your zebras to 59while for S-Log3 it’s 61. Learn to light properly! Many filmmakers who use an A7S II for run-and-gunwork think shooting S-Log is an easy way to get good results when the lighting is too contrasty as they compress the highlights rather than raising the shadows with something like a reflector. But grading S-Log3 froma shot like this is a chore and you don’t have to do it. If you do light things and get it all right in camera, you can spend all your effort in post on creativity, not fixing bad shots. Colour is vital Around 70%of communication is non- verbal and colour is one of those factors.
PRO MOVIEMAKER SUMMER 2018
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