Color in the Digital Environment
Are you a photographer?
Are you a Director of Photography?
If you answered yes to either of these questions then you are in the business of Color. (I'll use the American spelling of color throughout this article).
Often we say that color is subjective, that it affects moods and tones, and we can even
try to suggest that we see colors exactly as other people do, but this is not always the
In our professional life as photographers, designers, cinematographers and filmmakers,
there exists a need to be able to agree on color. To do this we need a point of
reference, we need to have a series of colors laid out, in a consistent fashion to be able
to determine what color is what, and so assign a name a value to a representation of
color. In the business of creating images, color is critical. Let's take a moment just to
realize that color imaging (while it has appeared in painting and other forms) has not
been part of the modern "photographic" landscape for very long.
The first color images were created less than one-hundred years ago, and the first color
motion films are also a relatively new concept. Initially with film, eventually with
television and now with CCD's, CMOS sensors and digital imaging devices, computer
screens, LCD panels, printed paper, modern film and transparency technologies, color
has never been so important for the professional imager. It's imperative to begin with
the intended colors before the images are redisplayed in all of these other media.
With Digital technology and differing mediums, color across platforms is more
important now than it has ever been. The RED CamBook from DSC Labs addresses
this. RED is a digital equivalent to film and I mean this in the sense that, like motion
picture film, the quality of the frames being recorded can go across many platforms.
Click on image for larger view.
Digital photography and cinematography is reaching further into the digital media
landscape. The images you capture with a digital RAW workflow can be and are used
quite easily in anything from motion picture film release, HD broadcast, standard
definition, web, print, magazine or billboard. We can agree that this is a wide ranging
spectrum of potential media.
It also means that the end consumers will be viewing the same image from paper,
projected film, projected video, LCD, PLASMA screen and a variety of color and gamma
ranges throughout the vast digital media landscape.
Imagine trying to get a consistent hue of green or blue or teal across all of these
platforms. Add to this that every set-up has a slight variation in color temperature and
tint. All of these scenes need to first be brought into a "look" for a specific scene and
then a specific program altogether.
So, it becomes easy to understand why it's important to have a color reference chart for
each new scenes' lighting conditions. All of the formats carry specific gamma and color
spaces to reproduce color. The chart is the point of agreement.
|Related Articles / Tutorials:|
MEGAN: Award-winning Viral Fan Short Tests 8K RED Workflow
Along with the elite Delta Force team, the title character in the viral short film MEGAN investigates a mysterious attack in downtown Los Angeles after deep-sea drilling has unleashed the unknown. Achieving viral status online and film festival wins around the world, the 7-minute short is the latest in a growing trend where emerging filmmakers are impressing studios with proof-of-concepts that demonstrate an ability to stretch technology in a creative way. Shooting with the RED DSMC2 camera and HELIUM 8K sensor, the filmmakers used innovative approaches to VFX and workflow, including large LCD screens instead of greenscreen. The combination of the filmmakers' enthusiasm and exceptional chops caught the attention of major players on the Hollywood production and post scene, combining to create an inspirational reminder of just how much is possible when passion meets focus to spark creativity.
VFX LEGION: FX ON SCANDAL & HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Shot in LA and set in D.C. and Philly, Scandal & How To Get Away With Murder’s stories unfold in virtual environments that seamlessly blend with live-action footage, defying the viewer’s eye. Here Is some of how it is done using Shotgun, Redshift, The Foundry’s NUKE, Media Shuttle, et al.
Mercedes-Benz and Friends Make 360-Degree Stadium Halo Board
A visit to the Atlanta Falcon games at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium this past football season provided an unexpected treat: the world’s largest 360-degree cylindrical LED video screen at a sports venue. At 58-feet tall, the screen, dubbed the “Halo Board” because it surrounds the inner stadium, can display 20K resolution and gives a new meaning to the term “immersive video.” The campaign was made possible through a partnership between creative companies The-Artery, The Astronauts Guild, and VR Playhouse, along with the latest technologies from RED Digital Cinema and Radiant Images.
RED IPP2: Real-World Looks At An Image Processing Revolution
Science is one thing, the real world is another, and yet beautiful things can happen when the two interact with each other. Our conversation begins with RED Digital Cinema's Graeme Nattress explaining the ways that RED's customers are shaping the company's new approaches to color science, as reflected in RED's new image processing pipeline, IPP2. From there, filmmakers Chris McKechnie and David Battistella get specific about how RED IPP2 has revolutionized their RED workflows, both in the field and in post. No hype here. Just the facts, plus some very pretty pictures, and, okay, more than a little bit of excitement in the lab, in the field, and in the edit suite.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: Behind the Scenes with RED
Anticipation for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was already heated up when director James Gunn announced that it was to be the first feature film captured with the RED WEAPON camera using an 8K RED DRAGON VV sensor. In this marvelous behind the scenes featurette courtesy RED Digital Cinema, James discusses the decision to use the RED WEAPON, and how it played out with director of photography Henry Braham, BSC. Both of them found the combination of the massive sensor and small form factor incredibly compelling, providing them the technology to capture the epic scale of the action, in a package small enough to allow them to get exceptionally close to the scenes of genuine intimacy that are this series' secret weapon. (See what we did there?)
Don Burgess aligns with Light Iron and Panavision for ALLIED
Don Burgess, ASC trusts Light Iron. His last seven films can attest, so Burgess chose Light Iron to support him again with digital dailies and post finishing services on Allied. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, the World War II-set film sees an intelligence officer's romance with a French Resistance fighter tested when high command thinks a double agent might be in play.
Editorial, Feature, People / Interview, Business, Project
Exposing the RED MX
David Battistella looks at the RED camera, an offering from a company that have now delivered over 7000 cameras to customers worldwide. David examines exposure techniques for the MX sensor and gives us an upgraded review and updated vision of the best exposure practices. Read on for the details of this highly informative product review...
Exposing the RED: Perfect Exposure, Every Time
Director DP, REDtrepreneur, early adopter and obsessed student of the RED camera system David Battistella takes a closer look at how to hit the sweet spot on the RED sensor. David shows how understanding REDs inner workings will help you expose your scene just right, every time.
Under the Gun with RED One
Dylan Reeve and a small team of New Zealand filmmakers had 48 hours to get their assignment, write a script, direct, shoot and post their film, then hand in the finished show...oh yeah, and refine their RED shooting and editing skills under the gun while trying to beat out 230 other teams! Sound wild? You have no idea....
Shooting with RED: Testing, testing...
CreativeCOW leader Gary Adcock's experience shooting both film and HD gives him a unique perspective as he takes you along for thorough testing with the new RED camera. In part 1 of this series, he focuses on the camera's benefits and shortcomings of the camera itself, as well as some of the challenges shooting with it.