Is there a cost to color balancing in Post?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Mike Rehmus, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Mike Rehmus

    Mike Rehmus Guest

    Just thinking about the effects on picture quality if one doesn't correctly
    (or at all) white balance the camera before the shoot.

    Present editing programs allow one to white balance the picture even if one
    uses the wrong filter (shoulder camera with internal filter packs).

    So if we get a full 8 bits out of the camera after color balancing, does
    color balancing in the edit suite affect the quality of the video?

    I haven't taken a hard look at this so in a way this is a question for which
    I haven't done a lick of research. Does anyone have any information on this
    Mike Rehmus, Aug 13, 2003
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  2. Yes, you can grade something like stuff coming off mini-DV. However,
    if you're too far off, you really have to push the settings, and the
    end-result will become grainy. Minor corrections will be no problem.


    Sydney, Australia

    "Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground."

    SpamPal keeps my mailbox spamfree :) (
    Martin Heffels, Aug 13, 2003
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  3. I color balance almost everything in post. It is rare to get the WB just right
    in the type of work I do while shooting, using the gear I use - and it can be
    done so easily and so much more precisely in post, with so few ill effects
    (assuming that it is close in the first place...;-) that I see no reason not to
    shoot more freely, correcting that last bit of error later. If the image is far
    off color (as in, nearly monochrome), good correction is not possible, and
    it will show ill effects from the effort (like increased "grain").
    David Ruether, Aug 14, 2003
  4. Mike Rehmus

    Guy Guest

    I thought you used Sony VX2000s or PD150s. Why can you not WB correctly?

    You don't shoot on auto do you?
    Guy, Aug 14, 2003
  5. Yes - this is the only practical method for quick-shooting in
    multi-colored environments (and the results are close to correct
    most of the time, with the hue bias used [most would call them
    "good enough" - but some of us are particular, so we do some
    correction in post to make a better product...;-]). BTW, I've
    rarely been happy with MWB results (unless using a decent
    monitor) - the AWB (or DWB) is generally better with these
    cameras. The recent exception: shooting in a large church with
    a combination of daylight, tungsten, florescent, and (as the primary
    source[!]), sodium-vapor. Here the blue-green biased MWB of
    these cameras with a white sheet helped to get good color when
    the AWB gave me strongly red results. With dimmed tungsten
    plus candles, AWB or TWB with strong hue bias gets me close
    enough to balance well in post. When you are moving fast past
    open doorways (blue), stained glass windows (red/blue),
    tungsten-lit (orange) or florescent-lit areas (green), or moving
    into and out of daylight (afternoon, evening, or dusk - or even
    night), using MWB makes no sense, and will guarantee more
    off-color footage than using AWB will... For some idea of the
    range of lighting challenges a wedding can present, see:
    for about 50 frame-grabs from one of my wedding videos.
    I would have spent much of my time white-balancing, instead
    of shooting what I would have missed...;-)
    David Ruether, Aug 14, 2003
  6. Dogme! :)


    Sydney, Australia

    "Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground."

    SpamPal keeps my mailbox spamfree :) (
    Martin Heffels, Aug 15, 2003
  7. Mike Rehmus

    Geoff Guest

    Kind of missing his point aren't you? He's suggesting the camera is
    moving through a variety of lighting conditions, and considering he's
    shooting a wedding, there are no second takes, missed footage is not an
    option, nor would be sorting out footage from various cameras balanced
    repeatedly during shooting as the shooters or subjects move though each
    type of light. I personally can see exactly why AWB would be
    advantageous. He's got a solution that works well for him.

    Then of course, you are shooting documentaries, and your clients are a
    much more sophisticated bunch -- right?
    Geoff, Aug 15, 2003
  8. Mike Rehmus

    Guy Guest

    I would suggest you have missed the point.

    And yes I would characterise broadcast clients "more sophisticated" than you
    average "just married" couple. I am sure David's productions are fine and
    of high quality but I take issue with his techniques. Good camera technique
    and good multi-cam scripting will not loose footage. If you are moving
    quickly from lighting environment to another script in a handover to another
    correctly WBed camera. It aint rocket science! If the camera moves quickly
    through an area with different lighting it is less obvious to keep the WB
    manually set rather than seeing the WB drift around.

    Sorry you can't see the wood for the trees.
    Guy, Aug 15, 2003
  9. Mike Rehmus

    Geoff Guest

    I guess you missed my sarcasm about the sophistication of your clients.

    You need to swallow a dose of the humbleness you espouse.
    Geoff, Aug 15, 2003
  10. Mike Rehmus

    Guy Guest

    You must be American---right?
    Guy, Aug 15, 2003
  11. Mike Rehmus

    Geoff Guest

    No. Why would you ask?
    Geoff, Aug 15, 2003
  12. Mike Rehmus

    Guy Guest

    I guess David we are not going to agree. It is completely alien to me to
    use auto controls because one is not in control of the camera. I am not
    stick in the mud at all. It is just not how it is done here. I did not
    appreciate you were a one man band and work soooo many cams so I can
    understand perhaps why you do what you do. All power to you. I have never
    come across a one man band wedding video producer. Even the small outfits
    near me use minimum 3 operators. You maust be making a fair old margin by
    not paying other operators?? :)

    Best regards
    Guy, Aug 15, 2003
  13. Mike Rehmus

    Seattle Eric Guest

    Can't you guys edit down these posts? Sheesh.

    Nothin' like looking at:
    Seattle Eric, Aug 15, 2003
  14. Mike Rehmus

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    Sheesh yourself.
    You just wasted 6K worth of bandwidth, for no reason, repeating the longest

    Mike Kujbida, Aug 16, 2003
  15. Mike Rehmus

    grinner Guest

    There is far more color creativity going on in popst now than color
    correction. It's cost? Only the hourly rate if the suite/editor.
    May as well shoot in preset cause it will be tweeked in post anyway.

    all new forum... come on by!
    grinner, Aug 16, 2003
  16. Yes...., and yes....;-)
    As I point out in the VX2000 review, though, these cameras as a class
    (and the VX2000 in particular, with its excellent auto controls) permit
    (actually, encourage, since their manual controls are not great...) a
    different approach to camera operation from that of the shoulder-mounts
    (with their better provision for manual control, but inferior auto controls),
    which is auto control with biasing - and with these it is actually more reliable
    than trying to use manual focus with unsharp finders, manual apertures with
    non-continuous diaphragm shifting, manual WB when it is not well set up
    in the camera for neutral results, etc. (The review is at: BTW, this is a process
    that happened in still photography earlier: pros resisted using AF and AE,
    but eventually realized their advantages for making good-quality images
    faster (especially as the AE and AF accuracy improved in the cameras).
    I resisted using auto controls with still cameras longer than most, but now
    I would not return to MF and ME except with stationary subjects and/or
    camera - I can get more good images (and more good footage in video)
    relying on good AE and AF (and WB) then when not (and the minor
    errors [which would be present in manual operation also] can be corrected
    in post, where it is most practical to do it...).
    David Ruether, Aug 16, 2003
  17. 'Tis so, 'cuz these do not present the problems you
    imaging (I do not think you have used the auto controls
    much, or you would know that they do not respond instantly,
    to avoid just the problems you imagine...;-) The auto-control
    response to change is "gooey", simulating a good manual response
    (if one could start the response that promptly, and respond that
    smoothly...;-). Sure, there will be change - but that is desirable
    in most instances (and if not, that is what the lock buttons are
    for - or corrections in post...). For you: try a smooth exposure
    shift as you pan from an exterior view to an interior (or to any
    predominantly darker or lighter area). You cannot do it smoothly,
    since the manual exposure shifts in 1/2 stop increments with
    these cameras instead of smoothly. Try follow-focusing manually
    a bride coming down the aisle, starting with a close-up tele view
    and ending in a wide view (with WA attached). Works fine in AF.
    Oh, you missed it? Sorry, you cannot repeat it...;-) Try walking
    ]from a tungsten interior through a door to outside and manually
    shift WB to match. Can't be done, though the AWB will get you
    close enough to correct the result in post. Anyway, you can
    come up with ways to fool auto controls, and I can come up with
    ways in which auto controls are superior - but the point was, for
    fast shooting with these auto-oriented cameras, auto mode will
    get you more (much more, if you are really shooting fast) good
    footage than using manual controls. But, as I pointed out before,
    I would not try this with the bigger cameras with better manual
    controls and worse auto controls (nor would I use auto controls
    when the situation is static, and does not require them...). Be
    open to the advantages the newer gear provides - if you are
    always planting these small cameras on tripods, limiting your
    range of motion to accommodate what changes you can
    compensate for manually, you are limiting the range of
    your video vision. I prefer to be not so dull - these cameras
    enable a wider range of view...;-)
    David Ruether, Aug 17, 2003
  18. Mike Rehmus

    Guy Guest

    I think it is time to put this thread to bed. I am very happy that you do
    what you do 'cause you aint doin what I'm doin.....

    Thanks for the chat

    Guy, Aug 17, 2003
  19. Mike Rehmus

    keith Guest

    slightly off topic but here goes anyhow....

    What is the NG's view of a "OB-truck-in-a-suitcase" for multi camera
    shoots? onboard vision control, monitoring, talkback to cameras,
    sound-mix switcher and audio? operating from a couple of flight
    cases.. anyone tried it, any war stories?

    keith, Aug 17, 2003
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