Hi! Junior music video editor talking. I work with FCP since 2013 and i've never got to the look that i was looking for when it comes to color correction in my videos. Do you have any plug-in / external program / add-on to use that i can learn? I heard that DaVinci Resolve is actually a great tool, but i've never tried it.
Also, i've recently (yes, recently, because internet learning is not my thing but it's my only source) come upon LUTs. And here it is... the second question: do you think that's better to use something more of a preset (like a LUT) or do you do your color correction entirely by yourselves?
all diff. meanings, all mixed-up in daily conversation (esp. the last two), all diff. steps in workflow
best example: White Balancing a shot; built-in feature in FCPX, delivering good results in 80-90%. Not working for example to get rid of the (in)famous 'Cyan Hue' of Panasonic cameras…
Has its limits - a red lit stage cannot be correct to natural, RGBBW colors …
… in its beginning meant for correction either, as to transform/transpose the specific color-sensitivity of a camera to, for example, a standard rec709 scheme … So, many commercial LUT tools offer endless lists of camera models and a few 'target' color-schemes.
as in the analogue days, when for example 'cross processing' (google yourself, please) intentionally 'wrong' developed a film to give it a 'look', LUTs soon were used for 'filtering'.
nowadays most LUT tools (as LUTx - very handy with its live-preview! own/use it myself) are 'filters', giving a video some … hmm, 'look', as 'Desert', '80ies', 'night watch'. You find many such filter presets in FCPX.
Color Finale/DaVinci/ et al
Those mighty tools allow all three - correction, transformation and look. Demand a lot of background knowledge - no on click/done toys!
you get DaVinci for free, but it asks for an ex/import routine, CF is a plugin=you adjust IN FinalCut - but not for free …
gon.alzaibar wrote: Also, i've recently (yes, recently, because internet learning is not my thing but it's my only source) come upon LUTs.
To get good results, you have to learn the basics of color correction. There is no other way. Someone who knows what he is doing will get better results with the limited on-board tools of FCP X than someone with no theoretical background with any fancy plugin or Resolve - let alone LUTs.
In FCP X, you can save a combination of filters and effects as an effect preset and label the resulting LOOK, i.e. in an effect category my looks.
Imho a look, a style, should be justified by an intention to express a specified mood that fits to the story and what you are trying to tell to the audience. You don't get there by skipping through a list of look-LUTs . Music videos tend to look exchangeable and expendable for the random use of, er, cinematic looks.
… Imho a look, a style, should be justified by an intention to express a specified mood …
to underscore that:
have a look at TRAFFIC (2000, dir: S.Soderbergh, M.Douglas, B.Del Torres. C.Z. Jones) - each of the three storylines has its own 'style' (thanks for that word, Axel) , partly really drastic, the scenes in Mexico are bare black/yellow, … skintones? HA!!
1. Colour Finale from Colour Grading Central (Karsten posted the link for you);
2. LUTX from Coremelt.com.
Both offer free trials and will let you manipulate your colour with or without LUTs so you can get a feel for what works for you. I think you may be well served to spend a bit of time with the free training from Denver Riddle . Again, as per Karsten's recommendation.
I'm pretty good at color grading and I usually shoot on a Canon C100 Mark 2 with it's flat profile, whatever it's called. I record ProRes 422HQ to an external recorder. FCPX has a Canon C-Log or something in it but I never ever use it because it just doesn't look right when I turn it on. I don't know if it's meant for different Canon cameras or what. So instead I use the built-in color filter. To be quite honest, it's a lot better than most people make it out to be. I expand the dynamic range myself using the scopes and then to my thang with the color. Usually I'm able to achieve excellent results unless the video was shot poorly. I like being able to stack multiple color filters as well. I really like that I can adjust the lows, mids and highs of every single aspect. That's an incredible feature that you rarely see anywhere else.
I've tried Denver Riddle's thing and honestly it's just not for me. I could not achieve better results than I could with the built-in color filter. Denver Riddle has tutorials using only perfectly shot video as examples. If you try color correcting something shot wrong, I feel I'm better off with the regular built-in color filter. After the trial was up I decided it was NOT worth the money and uninstalled. Maybe it's nice if you have one of those big physical boards but I don't and I work waaaay faster with a mouse anyway. Plus I enjoy having real estate on my table for random wires, SD cards, knick-knacks and crumbs.
I've also tried Resolvee. The last version I tried was version 11. But the entire application is so incredibly unintuitive that I couldn't even figure out how to get a clip into its timeline just to play with. Plus I don't like that it's an entirely separate application.
I've also tried Lumetri in Premiere and I can't stand it. Yes there are a lot of options on the surface but t still feels much more limited in what can be done than the standard color filter in FCPX. You also can't stack multiple Lumetris. You get one per clip.
Before trying 10.0.1 the first time, I had made myself an "expert" with Apples Color . Somewhat bragging here, but I really feel I was aware of advanced CC tools years before Resolve became free and everybody became an expert. Then, I saw the color board and thought, okay, this is the iMovie tool, they have to be kidding.
On the long run, I fell in love with it. And, like you, I couldn't justify $100 for CF or $150 for CFP.
What can't be done with the Color effect?
Example: you have a plate with a steak, green salad (fifty shades of green) with red radish and differently red strawberries and a serving of french fries in a (supposed) candle-lit restaurant. Then it's actually way easier to use multiple nodes of Hue vs Sat, Hue vs Hue and Lum vs. Sat curves in Resolve to make every ingredient look fresh or crispy and still preserve the mood. Stacking secondaries in FCP X is possible, but since every instance is limited to a 0-100% accuracy, it isn't the best method.
What is more, you can directly grade raw video in Resolve, and for the shot I described above you'd prefer raw footage.
In most cases, I wouldn't need these options, I'd just need a wysiwyg, fast and intuitive polishing. This is the colorboard with scopes.
What about TrackX / SliceX and the future Chromatic?
As I said, the occasions where I really need to i.e. track a face are very rare, and even then I am much more impressed by Resolve 14's face refinement. The face is tracked, but also forehead, brows, cheeks, nose, lips, eyes and neck are automatically detected and can be treated separately with very precise tools (the $299 Studio only, but "Lite" will show you the tracking results). So IF I needed hat, I think the $299 would be better spent there.
As I see it, you can have the most advanced CC app for free, with the minor inconvenience of a roundtrip (why go for second best?).
You can stuff the streamlined, fastest and most efficient NLE of all times with loads of costly plugins, bloat it up and end up with slower workflows and thwarted performance.
Redifer wrote: I've also tried Resolvee. The last version I tried was version 11. But the entire application is so incredibly unintuitive that I couldn't even figure out how to get a clip into its timeline just to play with. Plus I don't like that it's an entirely separate application.
It became easier. And the roundtrip with FCP X is simple and reliable. XML out, XML in:
poof, your timeline is in EDIT. Jump to COLOR, grade, jump to DELIVER, render, save, export XML. I wonder if someone wrote an apple script to automate this. Like, I select the project in FCP X's browser, hit (f.i.) "F1", and it jumps to the COLOR workspace ...
I almost never need to color grade to that surgical degree, and never have time with broadcast turn-around demands. We may shoot something in the morning, and it has to be on air by 5pm that same day, "fancy" and external apps we don't have time for. Would be nice if we did. Fortunately the built-in Color effect works great for most of my work. I mostly nudge pucks with arrow keys or punch in numerical values. I did use Color Finale Pro a lot, but now testing Chromatic and totally sold on it. Does everything I need, and surpasses the Color effect when I need it.