[tig] Standard def finishing in data style

david gibson davegibson1971
Fri May 14 00:05:53 BST 2004

"A Revolution In Color"

Ah ignorance and arrogance the lynch pins of any self respecting revolution!

dave gibson
senior colourist
digital post, NZ.

Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 11:25:08 -0700
From: "Bob Festa" <bfesta at rioting.com>
To: <tig at colorist.org>
Subject: [tig] Standard def finishing in data style


I understand the concept of using a "Q color" or similar device for
data, The guy in this article is proposing to do the same thing with
digital beta cam standard def. Am I the only one that finds this

Link and entire shoot magazine article enclosed below:


YOUR SHOT May 07, 2004=20

A Revolution In Color=20

By Jerry Steele=20
Jerry Steele is a visual effects supervisor at Steele VFX, Santa Monica.

 A revolution is afoot in commercial post- production-a revolution in
color correction. Like all insurrections, this one is a challenge to the
old order and as such, it is being warmly welcomed by some and fiercely
resisted by others. Yet in my view, its success is inevitable. As the
new way of color correcting spots promises to increase creative
flexibility while saving time and money, it is going to be impossible to

Traditionally, once directors finish shooting their film, the dailies
are transferred to video for offlining. When that is done, the job goes
back to the telecine house for color correction and final transfer to
video, and from there the spot is composited. Color correction is
time-consuming and expensive, in part because so much more than
30-seconds of film is put through the process. For the average spot,
30-minutes of footage might undergo color correction in a process that
can take all day. Additionally, while the colorist's work is meant to be
final, the picture is often colored again in the compositing stage
because elements tend to look different when they are composited
together or set side by side. With color, context is everything.

It therefore seems fair to ask: Why color correct all this film when
only 30 seconds will be used? Why color footage in a telecine suite only
to color it again in the compositor's room? Would it not be much more
efficient to color just the 30-seconds that appear in the spot and do it
as a final process?=20

Recently, we have been advising our clients to perform two simultaneous
transfers at the dailies phase, a low-resolution color corrected pass
for use in offline, and a broadcast resolution flat pass that we can use
for both compositing and coloring in the final stage of post. Because we
are only coloring 30-seconds of material, that part of the process can
be accomplished in an hour, or at most two.

Compositors have had the tools to color imagery for some time, but
recently the tools have been significantly improved. Quantel's current
generation of Q technology provides coloring tools that are the equal
of, and in some instances superior to those of a Da Vinci.=20

To cite one example, a Da Vinci color corrector includes a windows
function that allows the colorist to isolate parts of the frame for
separate coloring. This function is limited, however, by the fact that
the windows occur in geometric shapes. The Quantel system, by contrast,
allows the artist to set up multiple animating passes. These animating
shapes can be used to, for example, track a person's hair or hat as it
moves through a scene. The artist can then affect the color of the hat
independent of the background environment, and immediately see how the
two elements look in combination.

Typically in a Da Vinci system, the colorist would be obliged to
transfer the hat and the background scene in separate passes. Even then,
it can be difficult to judge if the color correction is correct because
there is no way to composite the two elements to see if they work

Directors have been skeptical of this new methodology as it marks a
fundamental change in the way they have been working for a long time. It
also obliges them to remain involved in the project further along in the
post process. But the directors we have worked with in this way have
been quickly won over. The increased control it gives them over the
final look of their film has proven to be a compelling argument.=20

Colorists will contend that theirs is a special art and that their eye
alone should be trusted with setting the commercial's final look. On the
other hand, compositors are talented and highly trained artists too and,
as I've noted, are already routinely readjusting the "final" look set by
the colorist.

That part of the debate will continue on for some time, but the most
powerful argument in favor of this new way of coloring is economic.
Proceeding the way I have described saves the agency the cost of a day
of telecine, as well as a day's time in their schedule. That is a big
deal, and that is why this revolution won't be stopped.

Bob Festa                               bfesta at ascentmedia.com
Director of Commercial Imaging        310 434 6000
R!OT Santa Monica

Bob Festa                               bfesta at ascentmedia.com
Director of Commercial Imaging        310 434 6000
R!OT Santa Monica

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