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    Color Grading VLOG Clip
    #1
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    Let us assume that one has 3 plugins:
    * White Balance
    * LUT
    * Sharpener
    In what order should I apply the plugins for color grading of VLOG clip?
    Also, is the process of white/gray balance using White/Gray card the same for Rec 709 and VLOG shooting?
    James Duke, jduke@lifestorypictures.com, http://www.lifestorypictures.com.


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    #2
    Senior Member JRJphoto's Avatar
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    First of all, you should always set your white balance with this camera in the proper way on the day. DVX200 does not shoot 14 bit raw, nor should Vlog subsidize laziness. You must setup exactly as you would if you were shooting Rec.709...get the right scene setting (I recommend Scene 4, the stills like one that emulates the GH4 colorimetry), white balance as normal, set your Vlog-L on, expose properly for Vlog-L. Also, on the day, if the image is shot correctly with the proper focus, you shouldn't need to sharpen the image. Less work in post. Work smart, not hard.

    Anyway...

    Apply your LUT first. This gives your Vlog footage the proper foundation for all other corrections or adjustments. The Varicam Vlog to Rec.709 LUT works fine for a base.

    Now if you need to make adjustments (white balance, etc) you can do that within a Rec.709 color space. Hopefully, your monitors are calibrated accordingly.

    After you have your footage neutral as possible, you can begin to color grade. Sharpening is a part of this process.

    As far as exposure goes.....

    White balance off the white card, not the grey card. Grey card is for exposure. This isn't stills photography. Get your white in the key light and go from there. Once you're ready to expose, keeping your waveform monitor up, exposing in Rec.709 your highlights will clip at 105 IRE, so expose no greater than 100 IRE to be safe, 95 IRE is better. Get your skin tones around 75 IRE. Shooting in Vlog-L, your highlights will clip at 80 IRE, so get your highlights around 75 IRE to be safe, your mids around 55 IRE, and your shadows can go 8 stops under before they clip. I prefer to shoot at ISO 250 (-6db gain) for Vlog to give me a lower noise floor.

    At this point, noise reduction, as well as sharpening, will both come into play occasionally in the color grade. I find DVX200's noise to be acceptable and pleasingly film-like in good or better shooting conditions at negative gain so I don't really use noise reduction (or sharpening, either) most of the time.
    Jason R. Johnston
    Cinematographer Videographer Photographer

    web: jasonrjohnston.com
    instagram: jasonrjohnston


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    #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ;1986647215
    Let us assume that one has 3 plugins:
    * White Balance
    * LUT
    * Sharpener
    In what order should I apply the plugins for color grading of VLOG clip?
    Also, is the process of white/gray balance using White/Gray card the same for Rec 709 and VLOG shooting?
    James Duke, jduke@lifestorypictures.com, http://www.lifestorypictures.com.

    Why use plugins? I think you will get better results color grading in an app like DaVinci Resolve.

    And using a LUT is not necessarily the best way to color grade the image. There are basically three approaches to use
    in Resolve to grade Log-encoded images and the order in which you would select them are:

    1. Resolve Color Management (RCM)
    2. LUT
    3. Manually

    RCM would be the first choice. Just select the input color space as Panasonic VLog, your timeline color space as Rec709 and the output color space also as Rec709 and start grading.

    If you do decide to go the LUT route, then for each clip create a 3 node graph and apply the LUT to the 2nd node. You can now grade before and after the LUT. This is necessary
    as a LUT (any LUT) can clip the shadows and highlights and you won't be able to retrieve the image data if it is applied in the first node.

    Manually of course is the last resort and will take a lot of expertise and time to get the image looking right.

    On the question of whether to use a white or gray card for white balancing and exposure setting, there are a couple of good references that go over this issue.

    In this reference by Art Adams he suggests using the gray card for both white balancing and exposure setting:

    http://www.provideocoalition.com/secret-art-of-white-balancing

    In this reference by Barry Green he suggests using the gray card for exposure for VLog, but does not say whether white or gray should
    be used for white balancing (unless I missed it):


    http://info.panasonic.com/dvx200-ebook.html

    Earlier in the book Barry discusses white balancing with a white card but this section is not directly dealing with VLog mode.

    Hope this helps.




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    #4
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    Thank you guys for your advice!
    James Duke, jduke@lifestorypictures.com, http://www.lifestorypictures.com.


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    #5
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    i would;

    1) balance
    2) throw the lut in the garbage
    3) use sharpening very carefully and when you think you have it right, cut that value in half....


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    #6
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    Would you please let me know why you prefer Scene 4 (the stills like one that emulates the GH4 colorimetry) rather than 1. I compared them today on a wide floral shot, but cannot make up my mind. Maybe I should try a closeup. They both have pluses and minuses. Of corse I can always "move" one towards the other using levels/gamma Theoretically, I should see noise increase with this move, but I do not see any in the wide shot.

    James Duke, jduke@lifestorypictures.com, http://www.lifestorypictures.com.


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    #7
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    Would you please let me know why you prefer Scene 4 (the stills like one that emulates the GH4 colorimetry) rather than 1. I compared them today on a wide floral shot, but cannot make up my mind. Maybe I should try a closeup. They both have pluses and minuses. Of corse I can always "move" one towards the other using levels/gamma Theoretically, I should see noise increase with this move, but I do not see any in the wide shot.

    James Duke, jduke@lifestorypictures.com, http://www.lifestorypictures.com.


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