My first edit with HF. Feedback is welcome.

AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
Hey guys. After following some essential vids on HF, experimenting and generally trying to understand if HF's logic can connect with mine, I was convinced it is actually one of the most intuitive programs for me that I tried. Bought it and this is my first cut.
http://youtu.be/LPSMZcRvAas
Stock footage, graded in Resolve, edited in HF without comps. The music I added at the last moment and simply aligned to the start of the timeline, which obviously isn't the correct way to do, but it turns out I made a nice count on frames as some breaks aligns nicely with the clips.
I also learned the hard way of working in the right container (MOV), but with the wrong codec (MP4). I rendered the graded clips on Resolve's default assuming its a good edit format and had to deal with super slowness inside HF. To the point that my preview window wasn't showing the transitions or skipped frames.
I learned afterwards that delivery and edit formats can differ hugely and noticed that DNxHD is one of the best codecs for edit, either within MOV or MXF, both available with Resolve. So I will try that with the next.
Any feedback is welcome. I think I have done a nice job for a complete novice (started reading on post a month ago, played with Resolve 2 weeks ago), and didn't go overboard with the grading. Not sure how it looks on your screen though, because mine isn't calibrated...lol.
:)

Comments

  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Most of the grading there works nicely. The stadium shot near the start I thought benefited the most, in that the grade brought out a metallic sheen that felt suitably futuristic.
    Only thing I'd say to look at is that a couple of clips don't quite fill the frame, presumably because those stock clips were smaller than the rest. You can use the transform controls to enlarge those clips to fill the frame, so that you don't have black bars around the edges of the shot.
  • AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Thanks Simon. Yes I am really happy how the stadium turned out, wanted to do that blue-ish mood that blockbusters have these days. It was really hard to grade that one because I also tried to put a powerwindow over the stadium, invert it, and then adjust it surroundings, but the tracking didn't go well at all so in the end I left it out.
    Hmmm I really have to look into the scaling, because most of my stock is 1920x1080 so I started a new project like that and then dragged all clips on the timeline, changing nothing. It looked alright in the preview but maybe I just didn't see it.
  • Sci Fi Ecstasy ChannelSci Fi Ecstasy Channel Website User Posts: 48
    Good job! Color grading is more of an art than a science in my opinion. It's something I'm struggling to learn.
  • AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    I think it too but maybe because I haven't catch up with the technical thinking part yet, which is a lot! I am reading a dozen pages of Resolve's manual while commuting by train and so far the science part focuses on the prep one should make for the different outputs like web, broadcast, projecting, etc.
    What do you use for grading and what parts are you struggling with? Are you struggling because you are thinking that you should do it in a different way, or because you are in doubt why its going so easy and that you must have been missing something essential? *I usually have issues with the latter one. Thinking, "hold on, is this it, am I missing steps or am I really done?" and then struggling with myself because of doubt.
  • Sci Fi Ecstasy ChannelSci Fi Ecstasy Channel Website User Posts: 48
    Sorry, haven't had time to log on for awhile...
    I think I struggle due to a lack of understanding. I see color grading that looks great in motion pictures and other people's videos, but I don't really understand "What I'm seeing" or why it looks the way it does. I have played around with color grading in Vision Lab, and now in Hit Film, but end up using pre sets. That's what I did in my latest project (The Jet Pack Movie I made with my Son) The pre sets are never what I really want, but they are ultimately better than anything I come up with on my own. I think it's just going to take a huge investment in research and learning, along with practice to master the art of color grading. I'm not very skilled at lighting either, which ultimately ties in with color grading as the "Production step" to getting the final look you want.
  • AmbiroaAmbiroa Website User Posts: 180 Just Starting Out

    I think I understand what you are saying, but let me ask you this: do you find it important to be able to "explain" your emotions response to something visual (audio-visually)?
    Because if you can let that go, and just surrender yourself to whatever feelings you develop when seeing or hearing something, you can actually enjoy it more and possibly recreate it for personal projects.
    For example, did you see Prometheus? It has little red in the movie, which makes the movie much colder, and I do mean colder in the temperature human sense. It feels chilly, bit of hostile, but definitely more lonely and helpless. And that is possibly exactly what the director tried to convey, because if you as a non-trained person end up there, your chance in survival is probably less than 10%.
    The opposite is very true as well. Movies that have lots of reds, feels much more warm. To stay in the sci-fi genre, Wall-E which starts on a planet that has red, orange hues, feel so much warmer than Prometheus and the planet that one landed on. Why? Because humans simply associate the reds with the red hue their skin have which usually occurs when you are having a hot time (ie on the beach).
    So instead of thinking why a certain look work in the movie, try to feel the look.
     

    Sorry, haven't had time to log on for awhile...
    I think I struggle due to a lack of understanding. I see color grading that looks great in motion pictures and other people's videos, but I don't really understand "What I'm seeing" or why it looks the way it does. I have played around with color grading in Vision Lab, and now in Hit Film, but end up using pre sets. That's what I did in my latest project (The Jet Pack Movie I made with my Son) The pre sets are never what I really want, but they are ultimately better than anything I come up with on my own. I think it's just going to take a huge investment in research and learning, along with practice to master the art of color grading. I'm not very skilled at lighting either, which ultimately ties in with color grading as the "Production step" to getting the final look you want.
  • Sci Fi Ecstasy ChannelSci Fi Ecstasy Channel Website User Posts: 48
    Thanks for the insite. I have seen both of those films, but had not broken down the difference between reds and blues in my mind. I do understand that color tempreture conveys mood. I think your advice will give me a good starting point for future projects.
    Ultimately, there are so many different aspects to color grading than just color tempreture. I have watched many tutorials, and sometimes there are parts that go over my head, not to mention that different artists aproach things differently, but it's all a matter of learning how to use all of the different tools in the box.
    I have noticed when looking at pre sets, that is to say, all of the diffetent settings in them, that it's more than just the color tempreture and colors wheels settings.
    Thanks for the response. Now I guess I have to pull my Prometheus DVD off the shelf and give it a second look!
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    The tricky thing about colour grading is that it's part science (the tech of creating the look you want) and part esoteric art (figuring out what look you want in the first place).
    Chatham's examples are really good. I'd also suggest checking out the films of Guillermo del Toro, as he has a particular palette he tends to work with in all his films. He also has an interesting tendency to shoot daytime with blue-ish hues and night with orange hues, which is the opposite of the norm.
    In particular, check out Pacific Rim and give this article a read. It has some fascinating insights into how you can tell your story entirely through character design, costume, colours etc.
    The point, really, is that if you just slap a grade on at the end, it'll never seem as natural as a colour palette that is carried through every step of design, production and post.
  • Sci Fi Ecstasy ChannelSci Fi Ecstasy Channel Website User Posts: 48
    Thanks Simon, that was a great article. "Visual language" is something I'm often aware of when I watch a film, but this article put it into perspective in a way I had not thought about. I can see how color grading is such a powerful part of visual language.
    I'm going to have to get Pacific Rim on DVD when it comes out and watch for the aspects the author of this article pointed out.
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