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Darren’s been busy in the editing room lately, working on finishing touches to three videos for Algoma University’s Foundation Office.  Molly Media Studios was contracted by the Foundation Office to produce three videos for their current capital campaign, Essential Elements: The Campaign for Algoma University.  All these pics are from one of these videos, during the color grading process (what some people misname color correction).

Ashley and Nona in the art studio looking through work from the previous semester.

This screeenshot from the video shows Ashley and Nona, her professor, in the art studio at Algoma University looking at Ashley’s work done during the past semester.  She is very talented, by the way, and produces beautiful artwork which is subtle and bold at the same time.  Beautiful stuff.

But the pic is a bit yellow, isn’t it.  Let’s fix that.

This color graded version has much less yellow in it so the skin tones are more realistic and the blues show up better in Nona’s striped shirt.

The color graded clip has beautiful skin tones and is more pleasing overall.  The blue in Nona’s shirt seems to have more life, and Ashley’s hair doesn’t seem so yellow/blonde.  This was achieved by pushing the midtones and the highlights over towards the blue edge of the color spectrum and away from the yellows.  Not much, but just a subtle push was enough to achieve this look.  You always have to be careful not to overdo color grading — it is very easy to keep on pushing a look into the realm of what looks completely over the top.  Be careful of that.

See in the scopes how I’ve pushed the mids and the highs toward the blue edge of the spectrum, slightly.

The welcome sign to Sault Ste. Marie that went up last year at the northern edge of the city.

Nice shot of the sign welcoming folks to Sault Ste. Marie, but kind of overexposed and light overall.  Some blacks need to be introduced to the shot and the midtones could be brought up slightly.  And possibly a little saturation increase toward the blue/greens so that the words of the sign will pop out some more.

The color graded version of the welcome sign.

Much better, right?

Notice in the scope how the original shot doesn’t really have any blacks, represented by the “0” line on the graph.

Notice that the blacks have been made richer by lowering the range of tonalities until it touches the “0” line in the graph. “0” represents black, “100” represents white. Everything in between is your range of tones.

This shot looks good, but it can look better!

After color grading the hallway looks richer and has better contrast overall.  This is very subtle color grading, but really adds to the overall effect of the finished piece.

Ashley’s looking a bit yellow. Let’s fix that.

After color grading, Ashley’s skin tones are much more acceptable, and the walls behind her are more acceptably the dull white they actually were.

Not bad, but a little dark and still a bit yellow. Let’s fix!

After. Much better, again.

See if you can look at the rest of the screenshots and figure out what has been done to color grade them into their new form.  This is one of the best exercises I can think of if you’re trying to learn color grading — look and compare and figure out what’s been done!

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This image of the saturation graph from the above graded image shows how I’ve increased the greens in the spectrum to let the color of the trees leaves shine through. Subtle but important for the overall effect.

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Algoma University

Algoma University

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