The Jump
A Blog by Ribbet Inc.

Colour Correction: Setting the Tone

There are many aspects of colour correcting; many tools to accomplish the right effect, and of course, stylistic preferences as well. I have been working with Da Vinci Colour Correction software for close to two years now, and although I have a strong understanding of it, there are always new things to learn. That is what I enjoy most about colour correction—the ongoing learning and discovery.

The camera, set, and lighting all play a large role in how you move forward, as they are your starting point and can vary from project to project or within projects. It all comes down to the goal of the project. Colourists play with colour. Any scene can be coloured to look dark and moody or brightened and saturated to look playful and fun. The overall vision sets the direction of the colour correction, and the colour corrector uses the tools and techniques to meet that vision.

As a colour corrector, it is important to always look to develop new filters and styles in order to create exciting and/or different looks. You want to get more efficient, but you also want to push the boundaries a bit and get creative.

The two images that I have included below are from a creative project that I have been working on. I’ve been experimenting to create a look for an abandoned amusement park shot by one of our co-workers.

Here you can see what they looked like before and after I finished colour grading.



When I first took a look at the footage, my natural immediate urge was to correct for accuracy; make the colours vibrant and make sure everything is visually appealing. However, since the goal is an abandoned park, that would be the exact opposite of what would need to happen. This is supposed to look like an abandoned amusement park that was once filled with children and is no longer in use. There has to be a different vibe to it, one that is almost a little scary. My co-worker advised me to take it to the extreme and mess around with it. So that is what I did. I knew that I wanted to give this an old and grungy feeling. Looking at the final graded image, you can see that the added bit of blue in the images brings out the cold, haunted feeling.

I also wanted to give it more of a vintage vibe, so I raised the shadows a bit, softened the image slightly, and removed some of the colour. The original image, as you can see, didn’t have a lot of colour in it originally, as it was shot in a flat profile, but by removing more of that colour and taking the vibrancy down, I am able to amp up the eerie aura.

This is only one scene, but it has set the stage for the other aspects throughout. My co-worker and I are very pleased with the look that has been created. Add in the sound and the full piece really has a haunted feeling. I really enjoyed this project, as most of my work focuses on corporate or commercial video, and this project gave me an opportunity to do something different creatively.



T. Ashley

Production Coordinator & Video Editor

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