Rob Bessette, a professional colourist from Boston, MA joins you for this colour grading and colour correction course. This is an eight part course, which starts off with the basics of colour correction and moves on to advanced techniques such as motion tracking and colour keying.
Rob uses the DaVinci Resolve software package from Blackmagic Design which is an industry standard post production application. DaVinci Resolve is available for free in a Lite form or as a paid package. This colour correction course can be followed using the free version of DaVinci Resolve.
A few areas covered in the course:
The colour grading course starts with an introduction to colour grading and colour correction and the way colours can be used to tell your story. Making your colours match up to the artistic look you’re trying to achieve and ensuring nothing stands out to the viewer as ‘wrong’ is an invisible art where practice and patience will really help. Learn to manipulate colour, fix mistakes like overexposure, underexposure and proper white balance as part of this course. Lots of practice and patience are important to achieve professional results but with help from Rob Bessette and the use of DaVinci Resolve software your films and footage will take on a professional look in no time.
The fundamentals of colour grading are applicable to all colour grading applications (not just DaVinci Resolve) and the tips and knowledge shared in this lesson will educate you in many aspects. An explanation and demonstration of contrast and how this affects footage is given along with a detailed explanation of colour wheels and their uses when adjusting shadows, mid-tones and highlights.
Colours can be used to add warmth to your film footage or make a shot appear much cooler with the use of red tones and blue tones respectively, Rob demonstrates this and explains complimentary colours and how things like skin tones can be affected by changing the overall colour balance.
It’s really important to have a colour calibrated monitor when colour grading and correcting, there a loads of colour calibrating products available that will get your monitor as close to calibrated as possible. Having a good accurate monitor in the first place will also help along with having 65k lighting in the room and a light coloured backsplash. In this lesson we visit some of the scopes available in the DaVinci software and Rob talks through how to make sense of the information given to us in the RGB parade and vector scope views. These scopes help us greatly when creating a consistently colour matched piece as shown with the swimming pool footage used for the demonstration in this lesson.
Preparing and organising your footage can be quite daunting at first, Rob shows you his methods of arranging footage into the media pool prior to getting to work on the colour grading and colour correction.
We visit the edit screen and demonstrate the functionality with the edit section of the DaVinci Resolve software, this application can be used as a start to finished result editor if you wish or an xml / edl file can be loaded into DaVinci Resolve to load all the cuts and appropriate edits from your editing suite of choice (Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere etc)
Later in the lesson Rob talks you through using a master reference shot, how to address any issues such as missing files and how to ensure consistency by sometimes sacrificing small elements of your desired look.
We now get to enter the Colour page of the DaVinci Resolve application and start to colour our footage. The parade view and vector scopes are essential for this part so ensure you have them open as demonstrated. Stills of a piece of footage can be used as a reference to aid when matching colour from other shots and Rob explains this and demonstrates in easy steps. DaVinci Resolve operates on a node based workflow that we touch on in this lesson, the node based system can be used in really advanced ways but we’re going to keep things relatively easy to work through until later on.
Power windows give us the ability to create squares, circles, custom shapes and gradients which allow us to make the subject matter in a video ‘pop out’ more or create stylish vignettes.
A demonstration of the power windows and overview of each shape and it’s ideal uses is given, for example the square power window is useful for colour correcting angular shapes such as a TV or advert board in a piece of footage. The circle power window tends to be the most useful and organic looking - great to use for faces and natural shapes.
The blur tab can be used to emulate an out of focus shot and bring our focal point to different areas of a shot. Rob also demonstrates creating a gritty style of colour on a piece of footage to completely change the mood.
Here we visit ‘Qualifiers’ for hue, saturation and luminance and learn how to isolate specific areas of footage for adjustment. Rob uses qualifiers on the grass in an example scene to isolate one area of colour and fine tune. This is taken a step further with the use of power windows to fully isolate one section of the frame (and a specific colour) for adjustment. This lesson finishes off with individual correction of offensive saturated colours in a shot by only using the saturation section - great if you had a police car with lights in a shot or similar.
Motion tracking when used in conjunction with the power windows and adjustments we’ve learned in the previous lesson can be a very powerful way to track your colour corrections across moving subjects in a scene. Tracking in DaVinci Resolve can be mostly automated using the tracker tab and playing through the selection to analyse the motion in a clip as demonstrated.
Tracking points can be removed by simply drawing a box around the unwanted points and pressing the [Delete] key.
Stabilising footage is also looked at in this lesson and Rob goes through the different options available when treating your shaky footage from different filming scenarios. Pan, tilt, zoom and rotate options are available when stabilising to ensure that the DaVinci Resolve application knows what kind of shot you’re trying to treat. You can choose to ignore or add any of these options - for example if your shot is a panned shot, simply deselect pan and only the vertical axis will be stabilised.
GetFilming is an online film school and community, we bring together the very best experts currently working in the film, TV and online video industries with our community of aspiring filmmakers.
We work with professionals such as Adrian Mead, Rob Bessette, Evan Abrams and Dave Miller. Our tutors have worked with everyone from Sky, BBC, HBO, AMC, ITV to clients ranging from Subway and Adidas to Gibson and everything in between.