NO SECONDARIES CHALLENGE (using redcine-x as a grading tool)

Not many people will like this grade, just as not many people liked my zombie yellow grade hehe....but lately I've been practicing with extreme looks rather than the more tasteful, "balanced" looks where contrast is added, skin tones are adjusted and the over-all tint of the image is corrected. A good colorist knows subtlety and also knows what parts of an image need attention. This is clearly not an example of that. This is me seeing what I can do with RedCine-X only...no DaVinci Resolve, no EDIUS, no masks or secondaries. With this limited (although free) "grading" software (RedCine-X) I was trying to go for a Michael Bay look.....overly saturated, crazy popping skin tones, super high contrast with a blue wash over-all.

Not using secondaries is a good way to challenge your coloring abilities. Even though I've come close to something I wanted in the below example, there are problems......the blacks aren't balanced, they have a tint (they're not black), the noise is more prominent than it was because of my extreme curves/white-balance settings, and finally, the skin tones aren't right (there's banding and a clear separation of colour - even in 16-bit!) but they're close :) These problems could easily have be avoided, or fixed in DaVinci Resolve.

Can you do this with just curves? Can you separate skin tones and the background without secondaries? It's a great way to practice and a good skill to have. Using secondaries is always going to give you more flexibility and accuracy, but getting to a decent point without them is a skill worth your learning. Thanks heaps to Phillipe Ratton for supplying us with RAW stills from his film (more info here: reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?91813-upcoming-short-shot-on-scarlet)

If you're new to grading RED footage, or want to learn a little more about curves and RedCine-X, check out my tutorial here :)

 Here is much more subtle version of the same grade, again, done in RedCine-X. I'm a sucker for the teal/orange look!!

Here is much more subtle version of the same grade, again, done in RedCine-X. I'm a sucker for the teal/orange look!!

Posted on December 27, 2012 .