Mark, just like you im still learning how to work with RAW video. Here is what I made to try to recreate a natural look.
FRAME GRADED BY ME - Trying to achieve neutral/natural look (COMPRESSED TO JPEG)
And here is the comparison with the compressed youtube video.
As you can see there is more visible detail (that may be the result of the bitrate you chose or the youtube compression) and there is much more visible dynamic range. I dont know if you like it, but I'll try to show what I've done with the dynamic range and the colors.
HOW TO USE ALL THE 13 STOPS OF DYNAMIC RANGE
1- Here is the original RAW frame
2- The first thing that I do is to bring down ALL the highlights. Thats something you should always do, because you can always recover highlight detail without creating artifacts.
3- After recovering all the highlights you can clearly see that the shot is a little bit underexposed. So the next step is to increase the exposure until you see that the highlights are well exposed. That will keep the highlights in the optimum level and will bring more shadow detail.
4- After that you should do something really important. Setting the white point. Most blackmagic videos are ugly and look like old dull movies because they dont have real whites and real blacks. To set the real whites you have to click on the "WHITE" slider while pressing the "ALT" key. The screen will go black. So you start sliding it to the right and you will start seeing real white points. Dont push it too much, Just some tiny white points will do it. Keep in mind that not all scenes have real whites.
5- If you want, you can push the shadows now, even more. I decided to push them just a little, but you can go crazy sometimes. I think thats more than enough for that scene.
6- Now you can set the real black. Its just like setting the real whites. Click on the "BLACK" slider while holding the "ALT" key. Start sliding it into the left. You will start to see real blacks. And again, not every scene has real blacks. Your scene have both.
And thats what I do to take advantage of the full dynamic range of the camera. That scene has low contrast, but things can change from water into wine with high contrast scenes.
Some guys are saying that you have some fluorescent colors. I did a natural grading with basic broadcast standards. That way you can create decent colors for all kinds of displays - the cheap ones and the high end ones.
Most people just pump up the saturation and contrast. You have to remember some basic concepts.
- When you raise the contrast, you also increase the saturation
- When you inrease the saturation, you can create wrong colors
How do you play with that:
- First you should raise the contrast JUST A LITTLE BIT
- THE BIG SECRET: Then you should DECREASE the saturation. That will eliminate fluorescent colors.
- After that you should increase the " Vibration". That will bring back the colors in a natural way.Edited by thedest - 11/19/13 at 7:50am