Thread: Help on Color Grade

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  1. #1 Help on Color Grade 
    Hello Everyone,

    I am in the process of color grading a project, but have a certain look I am going for. I regularly use DaVinci Resolve, so for the most part I am pretty familiar with the software. The look i am trying too match is in the linked video. Any idea what kind of approach I can take to achieve something like this? I know that a lot of it has to do with lighting, set design, lenses etc., but am trying to pull off a similar look if I can. If there are any resources that can illustrate something like this too that would be greatly beneficial. I have been looking for some time to gather the knowledge to grade like this, but can not come across anything.

    Look description: Flat, muted color, soft skin tones, "overall film look"

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6eXXzts6Tk

    Thanks,
    Mike
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  2. #2  
    The biggest thing I see from the example that you don't mention is the use of power windows/secondaries to help focus the viewers eyes on the main focus of the scene. Vignettes and blur can take a otherwise flat scene and punch it up a lot. Just be weary to use them so much that they're obvious. Good luck.
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  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by michael butir View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I am in the process of color grading a project, but have a certain look I am going for. I regularly use DaVinci Resolve, so for the most part I am pretty familiar with the software. The look i am trying too match is in the linked video. Any idea what kind of approach I can take to achieve something like this? I know that a lot of it has to do with lighting, set design, lenses etc., but am trying to pull off a similar look if I can. If there are any resources that can illustrate something like this too that would be greatly beneficial. I have been looking for some time to gather the knowledge to grade like this, but can not come across anything.

    Look description: Flat, muted color, soft skin tones, "overall film look"

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6eXXzts6Tk

    Thanks,
    Mike
    That aesthetic is done mostly by the DoP. You cannot "grade" that look from something shot differently. You can match HSL particulars but that won't match the "look".

    Colorist's technique can be given by the colorist doing this and rest is guesswork. Technique alone wouldn't help you much. It's not the technique and knowing which button does what. It's knowing where to get to.
    Former is easier and you learn it first. Latter takes years.
    Former is in the rational analytical domain and can be abstracted, summed up and passed on by "you put sugar and flower and bake for X minutes....". Latter cannot. Former alone is insufficient to craft the aesthetic.

    Ask the sound mixing/mastering engineer/artist how to match that "soft" and "analog" feel of that song in a couple steps which you can do by yourself and observe the facial expression.
    Analog > Camera feel optimization http://omeneo.com
    Digital > Camera performance optimization http://omeneo.com/primers

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  4. #4  
    Hi Guys,

    Thank you very much for the input!
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  5. #5  
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    The overall grade is quite soft and muted, but the brand colors sprinkled into the sets and wardrobe have been keyed and emphasized in the grade.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Bob Gundu's Avatar
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    Large soft diffused light source and a shallow depth of field will go a long way before even grading.
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by jussi rovanpera View Post
    The overall grade is quite soft and muted, but the brand colors sprinkled into the sets and wardrobe have been keyed and emphasized in the grade.
    Hi Jussi,

    Aside from overall set design, what would be the best way to apply a soft grade? I know that part of this can be applied with some curves adjustments not crushing the blacks. Is that the only way? I have also looked into some filters. Looks like Tiffen makes a Pro Mist filter that helps soften a bit, but didn't know if there was a way to mimic a similar look in the grade.

    Thanks,
    Mike
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  8. #8  
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    The main thing would be just the right kind of tone curve.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael butir View Post
    Aside from overall set design, what would be the best way to apply a soft grade? I know that part of this can be applied with some curves adjustments not crushing the blacks. Is that the only way?
    There are ways to soften blacks without actually affecting level too much, and you can also slightly lift blacks while bringing down the mids. You can make good arguments for doing this with Primaries, Log controls, curves, or even Printer Lights. Every situation is different: experiment and try stuff.
    www.colorbymarc.com | colorist / post-production consultant
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