Thread: Colorchecker on Timecode Slate

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  1. #1 Colorchecker on Timecode Slate 
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    On set on The Martian the team is using a color checker glued on there Timecode Slate ... something I tought I would also do ... but

    in my eyes it looks like an 24ColorCard 2x3 from CameraTrax https://www.cameratrax.com/color_balance_2x3.php that does not cost more then 15 USD or something ... from what I read online 24colorcard is like crap ? and many people suggest the xrite mini is an better option https://www.xritephoto.eu/x-rite-min...r-classic.html

    so my question is are they using the 24ColorCard ? Will that work in Davinci Resolve ?



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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Good observation/question. I can't imagine using anything other than a fresh DSC Labs chart on a feature. They make a smaller version of their "one shot" chart that is specifically supported by Resolve. My best guess is they picked that one due to it's particularly small size to avoid blocking other info on the slate.
    FWIW, even a chart whose colors are off can be used to improve consistency in starting points for grading, but expect some serious grumbling from your colorist...

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  3. #3  
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    It's bullshit. Just use a full-size color chart at the beginning of the scene. The color checker on the slate is ignored, because it's almost always not in the position of the actors. Typically in dailies, we really only use the chart on a massive scene change, like when it goes from day to night or interior to exterior. I think sticking it on the slate is a waste of space, plus it's too small to really use.

    I have worked on productions where they put a chip chart on the back of the slate and occasionally flipped the slate back-to-front. But just a few times a day is fine as far as I'm concerned. Getting any chart is helpful provided a) it's big in the frame, b) it's lit correctly, and c) it's in the same position as the actors.
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  4. #4  
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    You need to use a standardized chip chart with known values. Look at the Davinci list. However, the caveat is that often the automated color correction is not really even in the ballpark because the contrast in such a small area of the image is much different than your entire scene. I have found over time that the large three grey scale bars in an X-Rite video checker are a much better fit. You can neutralize the 18% grey and find a decent contrast through the black and 90% white bars by leveling out your RGB waveform in Resolve.

    I used to make a sliding drawer behind standard (non-digital) slates out of two drawer rails, cut to fit and a picture frame with an X-Rite chart. I could slide it down when I slated and then push it back up behind to protect it after. The reason for this is that all of these charts are pretty fragile and get dirty very quickly, which destroys their value. So you really need to protect them if you are going to do this.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by C. Burkhart View Post
    You need to use a standardized chip chart with known values. Look at the Davinci list. However, the caveat is that often the automated color correction is not really even in the ballpark because the contrast in such a small area of the image is much different than your entire scene. I have found over time that the large three grey scale bars in an X-Rite video checker are a much better fit. You can neutralize the 18% grey and find a decent contrast through the black and 90% white bars by leveling out your RGB waveform in Resolve.

    I used to make a sliding drawer behind standard (non-digital) slates out of two drawer rails, cut to fit and a picture frame with an X-Rite chart. I could slide it down when I slated and then push it back up behind to protect it after. The reason for this is that all of these charts are pretty fragile and get dirty very quickly, which destroys their value. So you really need to protect them if you are going to do this.
    I think this makes sense. It is true that the better color charts are delicate.

    I would caution anybody that the X-Rite charts are not accurate for chroma values, but they're not that far off for color vectors. I would lean more towards the DSC charts whenever possible -- those are a lot closer to reality.
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Simon Dunne's Avatar
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    Most of the time, the slate is not even pulled when sending a shot for VFX, just the frames needed, plus handles. It all depends on the pipeline though, but when that shot comes back to the grade, you've lost this reference already.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Dunne View Post
    Most of the time, the slate is not even pulled when sending a shot for VFX, just the frames needed, plus handles. It all depends on the pipeline though, but when that shot comes back to the grade, you've lost this reference already.
    That's generally true, but in studio level productions the frames are sent with a CDL and a show LUT that, when applied in a proper pipeline (which is also given to the VFX vendors), replicate the dailies grade. Using that approach, the composites come back to editorial matching the originals. There's no magic to any of this, there's simply proper planning and management.

    As for charts, I feel that while they were very helpful in film days - when many factors could cause a mismatch, and when the originating medium was fundamentally different than the medium it was being converted to - they are a lot less necessary in the digital age, particularly in "professional" productions where things are generally exposed sensibly and proper transforms get you to an appropriate starting point pretty easily. Of course, if your're working primarily in the "indie" or "DIY" world, YMMV...
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  8. #8  
    Will that work in Davinci Resolve ?
    Those tools are not invented to work but to be used during work. Done by the Human. When that approach makes sense. In many scenes and types of shoots it doesn't.

    Chart feature in apps is thrown in to attract the masses with InstaFeatureSexy and fundamentally flawed.

    Autotune/automatch/autowhatnotsoidon'tinvestanymentaleffort > pass the Craft to someone else.

    Charts and algorythms don't pass the expression, Humans do.
    Otherwise > generic algorythm souless zombie apocalypse.

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