those darn REDS!!

wwjd wrote on 10/11/2013, 11:00 AM
I like to crank up SATURATION in Color Corrector on most clips so they pop. But the REDS seem to always go BLARRINGLY LOUDER than greens for blues. Thought it was my monitor but various tests elswhere show it mostly just the reds. Might be my camera?

Anyway, easy way to ease off RED saturation?
For that matter, any better way to punch up SINGLE colors? Like more BLUEs or GREENs only?

I can dial in color in low, mid, high in the CC but what if just want ALL the greens globally brighter? all at once?


OldSmoke wrote on 10/11/2013, 11:09 AM
Try color curves. It takes some playing around with it but it gives you much better control.

Proud owner of Sony Vegas Pro 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13 and now Magix VP15&16.

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Grazie wrote on 10/11/2013, 11:49 AM
You got some samples you want to post here?


larry-peter wrote on 10/11/2013, 12:46 PM
If you haven't tried it the FREE AAV Colorlab plug in has been a go-to for me when I want to saturate or de-saturate single colors (rather than just reduce levels - which appear to be different things). Gives great control over 6 color vectors and can accomplish a lot of things that are hard or can't be done with Sony's color tools.

Download from:
wwjd wrote on 10/11/2013, 12:52 PM
I'll see about posting examples tonight maybe

Recently installed the AAV Colorlab but haven't used it yet. I should review CURVES again, but I think it didn't do what I wanted with red - probably because I am inexperienced with it.
pilsburypie wrote on 10/11/2013, 2:07 PM
Wow that AAV Colorlab is good! Just downloaded and it is so easy to use. I think it can add something to a great many of my clips........
Kimberly wrote on 10/11/2013, 2:10 PM
+1 for NewBlue Colorfast. Not free but there is a coupon through October 15 . . .
Grazie wrote on 10/11/2013, 2:15 PM
So many great plugs today for Vegas. It wasn't long ago that .....

CF, MARVELLOUS! Glad you got to it Kimbo.


Kimberly wrote on 10/11/2013, 2:27 PM
Not to hijack this thread, but NewBlue is offering a coupon for 30% off on all stuff. Good through October 15. Received in an email from NewBlue and it included language that said Forward/Tweet.

NEW30 ------> that's as close to Tweeting as I'll ever get : o
musicvid10 wrote on 10/11/2013, 3:47 PM
The reason reds are so cantankerous is largely a byproduct of chroma subsampling. It is better now than it was in VHS days. it will be even better when we can all deliver playable 4:2:2. UHDTV, for instance looks terrific in demos.

If you hard-clamp your chroma levels in addition to luminance, as we discussed previously, it will help a lot.
wwjd wrote on 10/11/2013, 4:19 PM
because there are twice as many red subpixel thingys than the green blue? kinda like that?

I'm using LEVELS to clamp everything to 16-235 but dont understand about clamping chroma levels? or is that the levels? I'M SO GREEN!!
robwood wrote on 10/11/2013, 5:13 PM
could be the camera has a tilt towards skintone colors (pink-red-orange-yellow)... lot of monitors have that too.

you can clamp chroma levels by using the Secondary Color Corrector.

1) uncheck luminance and hue limiting, just keep sat
2) set the saturation Low/High to 162 162, use the Smooth to adjust the range that gets clamped.
3) drag the Saturation slider (above) to whatever amount you want reduced... use SCOPES to determine this; there's a relationship between the Smooth function and the Sat slider when doing this... you may have to nudge each of them to hit the sweet spot.

actually, "clamp" is too harsh a word for this: it's a way to maintain a fair amount of control over the dividing line of clamp/no-clamp.
musicvid10 wrote on 10/11/2013, 6:10 PM
Actually, hard-clamped chroma in addition to luminance is now a requirement of most broadcasters and digital studios. Doesn't mean you can't roll it off a bit before it hits the wall, though . . .

wwjd wrote on 10/11/2013, 6:46 PM
will photos work for ya? Most clips I have are 150MB up to 2GB.
so here is an example where, on my screens and eyes, the red just seems way brighter than the blues and greens.

using that AA COLOR plug seems PERFECT for me! I grab the red, crank it down, done!

original (shot on Canon T3i/600D, Cinestyle profile)

saturation bangin' like I like it - Red blown out

AAColor dials back teh red (I may try pushing green next for those trees) yet SKIN still looks good enough

and the final look, minus the yellowed, "aged film" look I will be apply to this production
wwjd wrote on 10/12/2013, 2:18 PM
so, is it reds or my eyes and monitors?
farss wrote on 10/12/2013, 4:14 PM
The "sat.jpg" looks the best to me, the final frame the red is shifted too much towards pink. Your blacks in the warrior's clothes are also elevated

I suspect the reason you're having so much trouble is the original shot is slightly over exposed plus you're shooting in full sun. From bitter experience I've found you need to be very careful not to over expose when using any "cine" style gamma curves. If you under expose a bit and pull the mid lows up in post it can look very good. If you don't then skin takes on a plastic look which I notice in your warrior's hand.

I just had a quick play around with and only on my office PC so I was flying blind but using nothing but Colour Curves I was able to add much drama to it.

Not much can be done about the deep shadows, shooting later in the day or using a scrim (silk) would have helped a lot.

wwjd wrote on 10/12/2013, 7:40 PM
Thanks for messing with it. I do like your reds better, much richer without blown out. Greens are low, though. Never knew I should underexpose Cinestyle in bright daylight, now I know. I'll have to try that. I thought I always wanted as much light as possible without blowing out so I get detail in shadows - that's what I been aiming for mostly. :)

Using AAColor and 16-235 levels for the first time, so coming to grips with those, but it seems exactly what I wanted: A way to dial back all reds at the same time, just a little.
Using BRIGHT/CONTRAST to stretch back out the low and high to make it look more normal - NOT flat.

Thanks again, for the valued input!
farss wrote on 10/12/2013, 8:54 PM
[I]"Never knew I should underexpose Cinestyle in bright daylight, now I know."[/I]

First of all test, test and test again. Even the greatest DoP can give bad advice.

Secondly trying to shoot anything with any camera under unmoderated midday sun is inviting serious problems. One obvious problem is how deep the shadows are, trying to keep shadow detail without blowing out highlights etc. is impossible.
Think "golden hour" unless you're lucky enough to be shooting in a country with lots of air pollution or can afford a lot of scrims, bounce boards and lights. That's probably why you're having a problem with the greens in the foliage.

Thirdly, attention to detail. The red tape on the hilt is probably a piece of cheap synthetic ribbon. That might look OK to our eyes but it's not doing any favours for the camera. A quick check using RGB parades show that red is clipping the red channel and that will cause an unrecoverable colour shift. If you cannot find a piece of binding that's natural deep red fabric, rub the fabric with bees wax.

I also immediately noticed the sword was fake. If you need weapons in a shot they must be very convincing. Just for the record, plastic and wooden swords are not safer than real ones especially if sword play is called for.

wwjd wrote on 10/12/2013, 9:33 PM
I'm using Magic Lantern's color histograph, but maybe I'm not reading it right also. CINESTYLE profile is definitely helping me out with Shadows - I thought my camera was crap when I got it... turns out it just has limited dynamic range.

yeah.... the sword IS plastic as this is a "less than zero" budget, hobbyist weekend project, silly by design, where I am screwing around learning more about production, cameras and editing... like my last one. So... the props will be lame, unless someday I get an investor or something :D
The ninja costume at $20 is the most I've spent on this!! (not counting the new $800 lens).
You'll understand why it is plastic when you see the whole video. I'll post up here when it is done - probably a couple months
Serena Steuart wrote on 10/13/2013, 9:20 PM
I'm not sure that "under-expose" skin is quite sufficient information for consistent results. To add a little to Bob's excellent advice, Cine gamma curves give you a wider dynamic range than "normal" video by rolling off the highlights and (generally) clipping at 109ire (instead of 100ire). This gives a flattish (i.e. lower contrast) image which requires grading with curves in post (using a S curve). A good rule of thumb is to expose Caucasian skin between 50-60 ire, which you check by setting a zebra to that value. Once you clip any of the colours it isn't possible to achieve a good grade, so the general advice to underexpose is a good precaution. However it is also important not to crush the shadows, so getting a good exposure takes a bit of care.
wwjd wrote on 10/13/2013, 9:55 PM
ima newb and don't understand anything about setting IRE. Just a canon DSLR.
When I look at the little RBG histograph from MAGIC LANTERN, I usually keep everything out of clipping (I have zebras set at 99 or so) but tend to keep the MAJORITY of the graph toward the high side - lowest ISO as possible, brightest aperature before clipping.... should I keep that graph more in the middle, or on the low end instead? I always felt the dark stuff got lost if I was too low on the graph, and I like to see detail in the blacks/grays, because then I can darken if needed, but if it is too dark, there is nothing to lighten.... so I lean toward the light side....

I'm interested in which is the right or best way to do it since I am still learning.

I stopped using the proper technicolor cinestyle correction LUT because it just crushed lows and highs back out. I been tweaking with contrast, bright, gamma and gain by eye until it looks good instead of using LUT. I know the LUT is the "correct way", but if it doesn't look how I want, than it is wrong to me.
Serena Steuart wrote on 10/13/2013, 10:29 PM
As Bob recommended: test and test again. Using standard video profiles it is often difficult to not clip highlights such as clouds if you want to keep low lights so you have to be quite certain what your displays are telling you. When you set zebra to 99 you can think of that as 99 ire, so try setting to 60 and test shoot people, setting aperture to just extinguish zebra bars on their skin. Try other settings. Look at the results. I know you like unnaturally saturated colours so testing is quite important. There are several courses that might interest you, such as video[/link]/ and that film look[/link] which could save a lot of frustrations.
wwjd wrote on 10/14/2013, 8:59 AM
I use Cinestyle Profile, just not the expected LUT. Works great for me that way.
A poster on the Bloom video stated getting more light helps detail in the low - just like I am doing because that is what my testing has produced.
I'm in a happy place - except reds seem pushed. But now that is fixable easily also! Thanks, gang!
farss wrote on 10/14/2013, 3:42 PM
[I]"A poster on the Bloom video stated getting more light helps detail in the low - ."[/I]

I'm having a hard time working out how to reply to a comment like that and remain polite :(

Of course opening the iris will enable the camera to capture more detail in the shadows. If the entire frame is filled with someone standing in shadow then one must indeed open the iris to get them properly exposed.

What happens though when you move the camera back so that the frame now includes someone standing in full sun?

You simply cannot correctly expose someone standing in the deep shadows of the midday sun and someone standing in full sun. The same happens for the shadows cast by the person standing in full sun on themselves e.g. their eyes. No matter which way you move the iris something is going to be toast and overall the image will look ugly.

Quite simply the dynamic range of the recording system has been exceeded.

What to do?
You can gain a bit more dynamic range by using a "Cine" gamma curve however just how much can be squashed into what is recorded is limited by your camera only recording 8 bits per RGB channel. It's also limited by the dynamic range of the sensor, at one end (shadows) there's noise and at the other (highlights) there's the risk of sensor overload.

You could blow a fortune and buy a better camera however the most expensive medium, film, can still have a dynamic range less that what the midday sun can create. The very best digital film camera, Sony's F65 has a dynamic range of something around 16 stops, that's no match for the midday sun that's challenging you with over 20 stops.

The obvious solution is to give the camera a half decent chance of recording a good image by wrangling what is in front of the camera. This is comparatively very cheap to do compared to changing cameras, it is what film makers have been doing for as long as they've been recording moving images.

The cheapest solution as I've mentioned several times is to wait for the Earth to rotate ninety degrees or so. As that happens the light from the sun has to travel through more of the atmosphere before it reaches what you're shooting and that diffuses the light so more of it fills the shadows. Once the sun is below the horizon all the light has been refracted by the upper atmosphere making it a soft, not hard light. Not bad for free :)

The next cheapest helpers are scrims, nets and reflectors. You can buy a cheap reflector off eBay for under $50 or find a piece of white board on the street for $0. There's books and videos on YouTube showing how to roll your own for next to nothing, even for those who've never used a hammer.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is, if you haven't already done so, to invest in a copy of The DV Rebels Guide. Even though it was written a decade ago none of the advice is out of date. In that time the author has gone from making no budget indie action movies to big budget Hollywood features.

Grazie wrote on 10/14/2013, 3:56 PM
. . and another option is a rotated Grad ND to reduce the light coming into the lens from the sunlit side of things. I use that when it is impossible to use my reflectors, and can't wait for the Sun to get its act together for me.