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    best monitor setup for color correction / grading
    #1
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    What's the best way to setup monitor(s) for color correction / grading using After Effects CS5?

    What I'm after is more or less WYSIWYG -- I want the AE composition viewer to show me the colors, contrast, shadow detail, highlight detail, etc. that I'll see when I export the composition to a Blu-ray and look at it on an HDTV. Mostly interested in HD, but I'll probably end up doing some SD work (DVD) too.

    I've searched this forum and others, researched all around, and I actually thought I understood it for a few minutes. Sadly, now I'm confused again. If I read this article correctly, it would seem that AE can do more or less WYSIWYG with a single monitor setup, if the monitor is an HP dreamcolor or an Eizo CG243W (that supports at least Rec.709 for HD, but Rec. 601 for SD). Has anyone found this to be true?

    How do most people setup an Adobe CS5 NLE workstation to do color correction and grading? It seems like maybe the best value might be to use a cheap-ish monitor for most of the panels and a decent HDTV (one that can be calibrated) for the composition viewer, but IDK.

    Just a note here -- I realize that the "best" way to color grade would be using a big honking production monitor with all the bells and whistles run by a dedicated color grading system. But that's a little out of my budget. I'm trying to keep this down below, say, $3000 USD.

    Clearly I need to tap into the group's experience with this. Please tell me what you think.


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    #2
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    Anyone?


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    #3
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    Really?


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    #4
    Senior Member story2rewrite's Avatar
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    This is the one I have. Not the best.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...049&Tpk=vw246h

    It seems to work good for me.

    Here's a more expensive one I've heard good things about...

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...~ck=dellSearch


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    #5
    Senior Member David W. Jones's Avatar
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    I'm using a Panasonic BT-LH2600W.
    While not a high end choice, it is fine for the broadcast work I do.

    Good Luck!
    David W. Jones
    www.joneshdfilms.com


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    #6
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    According to lifelong pros, you're not going to get accurate color without a broadcast monitor that has a blue-only setting and can be calibrated. These are, as you know, very expensive pieces of hardware, considering you can get three or 4 (or 5 or 6) 1080p 22" LCD Televisions for the cost of one 15" broadcast monitor.

    Matrox makes a $400 PCI card w/ breakout box that gives you an HDMI output; they also have a utility that will calibrate the signal to any HDMI TV or monitor. Note I say "the signal", not the actual monitor.

    I tried this with a 22" Samsung 1080 LCD TV. I found the utility didn't work very well. Supposedly you need a TV with "true 1:1" pixel matching available - most HDMI TV's adjust the signal to fit, whether it's SD, 720, or 1080. That may be an issue.

    Using the same Matrox box (or you can get a BlackMagic Intensity card for like $175), I hooked up my 5" Marshall on-camera LCD; this screen is small, but it can be calibrated to bars with blue-only, has a great viewing angle, and can be set to 1:1 to check detail or grain.

    So, for under a grand, I've got an on-camera solution where I know I'm getting accurate color - AND I can use it on my desktop (with a $5 passive HDMI splitter). When I edit, I get accurate color overview (albeit on a small screen) and I have my dual mac monitors for editing and control panels - AND a 22" HDTV to view footage, comps, etc on. It's not the optimum solution, but my broadcast spots are hitting the dub house with no color problems.

    Both Marshall and SmallHD make 5" LCDs that can be calibrated; the Marshall is about $550. With a blackmagic card and a well priced HDTV, you can do this all for under a grand. Well worth it - especially if you shoot AND do editing/effects.


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