Video color & white balance adjustments

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Me, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Me

    Me Guest

    Hi all, I am hoping someone can help. I have been playing around with video
    for a number of years and produce stuff for home and family viewing. My
    brother, who is the associate pastor for our church, likes my stuff well
    enough that he volunteered me to be the video production guy for an upcoming
    six weeks long program that will need short, specific video selections for
    display on an LCD projector. No big problem with that, but I am going to
    need to include some video that other people have shot and that leads to two
    main questions.

    1 - I always set my white balance when shooting, but most people don't. Is
    there a program/filter/etc. that will allow me to adjust white balance after
    the video has been shot? Hopefully this will allow me to balance the video
    between old stuff and stuff I shoot in the same location.

    2 - For home use purposes, I don't worry about it too much, but most of my
    video is clear, but seems to have a "flat" color depth. In other words, it
    closely mimics the reality of the things I shot, but isn't very vibrant.
    Most professional video/movies/TV seems to have an exaggerated color depth.
    The blue sky is a much deeper blue then reality. Reds are more vibrant and
    greens are richer. Does anyone have any ideas of tricks or techniques I can
    use to enrich the color of my video?

    I use premiere 6.0 (thank goodness for free software with hardware
    purchases) but I really don't do anything but basic cut edits and slight
    adjustments. I have played around with the COLOR BALANCE filter,
    particularly with the saturation settings, but all that seems to do is cause
    multi-colored "ballooning" around any brightly colored objects in my field
    of view. Note, I am NOT trying to reproduce some Hollywood flick. I am
    realistic enough to know that I have neither the time nor experience to do
    this at their levels, but I have to believe that there are a few tricks I
    can use to increase the color level of my video to give it a richer feel.

    Any ideas, suggestions, tutorials or websites to refer me to?


    Me, Aug 31, 2003
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  2. Me

    Ed Anson Guest

    I use Final Cut Pro, which includes a color correction filter. Among
    other things, it will make white balance adjustments. Even though I
    generally set my white balance when shooting, I often find myself
    tweaking it in post. It's easy enough to do.
    What you probably want is the saturation adjustment. FCP's color
    correction filter includes that as well.
    You need to be careful about exceeding the saturation limits.
    Unfortunately, the increase needed to bring part of the image up to what
    you want may be enough to exceed the limit in another part of the image.
    FCP includes a filter called Broadcast Safe (or something like that)
    which automatically keeps things within safe limits. I use it with good

    It's possible that Premiere has similar tools, but I'm not familiar with it.
    Ed Anson, Aug 31, 2003
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  3. [...]
    In Premiere, which you use, you have available both 3-color adjustment and hue
    adjustment. These can take a bit of practice for getting good results easily
    and quickly. BTW, you can also adjust tone-relationships to match image
    contrasts and mid-tone brightnesses in Premiere (and other good editors).
    Shooting subjects that are well-saturated to begin with is the easiest way
    (shooting on very clear days, etc. - and possibly using a polarizer for
    exteriors), but this is may not be an option for interiors (where it is often
    more useful to lower saturation a bit to get better skin-tone, better results
    with mixed lighting, etc.). Different cameras also are capable of different
    color-quality. You don't say what you use, but a good 3-CCD Mini-DV
    camcorder will give you better color than a 1-CCD Hi-8 camcorder,
    for instance. Also, if the camcorder sensitivity is low, you may be using
    high gain for the interiors, which will rob you of color saturation and
    good picture smoothness. Adding more light, if possible, would help
    with this...
    You cannot correct color-bleeding/blooming of original footage.
    A better camera is likely to improve both color resolution and
    saturation, particularly if it has good sensitivity...
    If you can darken the image without making it too dark to look
    good (best done in-camera, since blank highlights cannot be recovered
    while editing, but dark areas often can be) - this will often improve the
    color saturation and sharpness and overall look of the image. Raising
    the light level and/or improving the sensitivity of the camera you use
    can also help. If none of this is practical, going for a bland,
    overall-consistent look may be your best option until you can control
    the variables that will make the most difference...
    David Ruether, Sep 1, 2003
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