In the olden days, producers knew what visual effects were. Now they’ve gotten into this methodology where they’ll hire a middleman – a visual effects supervisor, and this person works for the producing studio.
They’re middle managers. And when you go into a review with one of them, there’s this weird sort of competition that happens.

It’s a game called ‘Find What’s Wrong With This Shot’. And there’s always going to be something wrong, because everything’s subjective. And you can micromanage it down to a pixel, and that happens all the time. We’re doing it digitally, so there’s no pressure to save on film costs or whatever, so it’s not unusual to go through 500 revisions of the same shot, moving pixels around and scrutinizing this or that.

That’s not how you manage artists. You encourage artists, and then you’ll get – you know – art.

If your idea of managing artists is just pointing out what’s wrong and making them fix it over and over again, you end up with artists who just stand around asking “OK lady, where do you want this sofa? You want it over there? No? Fine. You want it over there? I don’t give a fuck. I’ll put it wherever you want it.” It’s creative mismanagement, it’s part of the whole corporate modality. The fish stinks from the head on down. Back on Star Wars, Robocop, we never thought about what was wrong with a shot.

We just thought about how to make it better.

Phil Tippett

Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

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Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #1 by lenny87 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:35 am

Hello there everybody,
I am looking for some advice about color correcting my character with my 3D Cartoon scene.

For those who know me and know about my Zupaman project,...i have finally finished my new 3D cartoon scene with baked textures and my new outfit :D

Zupa-behind_tree.PNG


I am at the stage now, where i have to think about the color correction, so that it looks more realistic that my character is in the 3D cartoon world.

I know that it will never look completely realistic, but i just want to get the best out of it. I have already planned to create the 3point lighting effect on my
character with a brightness/contrast node and some masks. So that it will match with the shadows and highlights from my 3D scene.

My question is about how i should color correct my character and my 3D scene:
-Shall i do the color correcting of my keyed out character separate (on its own plate, without the 3D-scene) ?
-Or should i do the color correcting after i have merged them together (like in the attached picture) ?

-And is it better to do the color correcting in Fusion? Or better in Resolve, after i have done all the compositing?

-And what kind of color correcting should i think of ? In other words: what is missing in the attached picture? What is not professional ? And how can i make it look more professional/better ?

I hope somebody can help and give me some advice.
Thanx in front
Greetz Lenny
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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #2 by SecondMan » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:34 pm

lenny87 wrote:-Shall i do the color correcting of my keyed out character separate (on its own plate, without the 3D-scene) ?


On its own, taking good care of your edges when colour correcting. For some operations you will need to predivide/post-mutiply (or wrap colour operations between alpha divide/alpha multiply). After all that, merge as usual.

-Or should i do the color correcting after i have merged them together (like in the attached picture) ?


You can also do additional colour corrections to the merged result. Say you have balanced everything out nicely, but you just want to make it warmer or colour overall.

-And is it better to do the color correcting in Fusion? Or better in Resolve, after i have done all the compositing?


Do it in Fusion. The colour correction tools and possibilities are way more advanced than anything you can do in Resolve. Though again, there's a great option in Resolve to take an entire episode of Zupaman and do you final overall colour grading in Resolve, just to make sure all shots sit well together and the overall feel of your show is exactly what you had in mind.

-And what kind of color correcting should i think of ? In other words: what is missing in the attached picture? What is not professional ? And how can i make it look more professional/better ?


Look at references! Look up pictures of people who are in an environment that is primarily a lot of green, with a blue sky. And outside. Look at what the light direction does, what the shadows look like (hardness and colour, what the proximity to the environment does to the skintones etc. Look at what happens to the edges of people when shot against a bright blue sky (you may be surprised). Take your own camera outside and film some stuff. What does an environment look like when filmed through your camera. Is there perhaps something that you could change to the look of you background to make it look as if it has actually been filmed? What does you lens do with things that are close by? Far away? What about the centre of the image vs. the image edges?

Study. Train your eyes. Don't just follow other people's advise, either - your understanding will be so much better once you see it.

Good luck! :)

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #3 by lenny87 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:59 pm

He Secondman,
Thanx for your reply, this helped me a lot and it opens up the way i need to start thinking :-)

On its own, taking good care of your edges when colour correcting. For some operations you will need to predivide/post-mutiply (or wrap colour operations between alpha divide/alpha multiply). After all that, merge as usual.


Okay this makes a lot of sense :-) I understand the predivide/post-mutiply process. but what is a wrap colour operation?

Look at references! Look up pictures of people who are in an environment that is primarily a lot of green, with a blue sky. And outside. Look at what the light direction does, what the shadows look like (hardness and colour, what the proximity to the environment does to the skintones etc. Look at what happens to the edges of people when shot against a bright blue sky (you may be surprised). Take your own camera outside and film some stuff. What does an environment look like when filmed through your camera. Is there perhaps something that you could change to the look of you background to make it look as if it has actually been filmed? What does you lens do with things that are close by? Far away? What about the centre of the image vs. the image edges?

Study. Train your eyes. Don't just follow other people's advise, either - your understanding will be so much better once you see it.


This is such an eye opener,..thanx man i will dive into it. I also like the tip to:

Is there perhaps something that you could change to the look of you background to make it look as if it has actually been filmed


You got any idea in what kind of direction i should think color corrections or node wise in Fusion to achieve this?

Thanx in front
Greetz lenny

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #4 by ShadowMaker SdR » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:38 pm

Lenny, you say you have a new outfit. Does that mean you're still shooting the footage? Because in that case you will able to improve your results the most, by changing the way you shoot your footage. If you know what background you're going to match to, then match the lighting in your footage following SecondMan's tips.
Don't do in post what you can do in camera.

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #5 by lenny87 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:10 am

ShadowMaker SdR wrote:Lenny, you say you have a new outfit. Does that mean you're still shooting the footage? Because in that case you will able to improve your results the most, by changing the way you shoot your footage. If you know what background you're going to match to, then match the lighting in your footage following SecondMan's tips.
Don't do in post what you can do in camera.


He Shadowmaker,
Thanx for your reply.
Yes i am still shooting :-) I have done this before, matching the lighting to my 3d scene when i film. But a local guy (who works daily with greenscreen) recommended me to film flat. Cause it keys much easier and better. I have an appointment with him next week and i will ask him more about it.

So in general i definitely agree with your point. I guess i will have to test out what is the better easier workflow:
-i will film it and set the lights up like in the 3D scene. And then see how hard it is to key.

-if it is very hard to key, it might be quicker to film flat and do the shadows with some masks and a few keyframes

Anyway thanx for your advice
greetz lenny

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #6 by pingking » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:13 am

there is a difference in lighting the green screen and in lighting the actor in front of it

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #7 by ShadowMaker SdR » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:44 am

What Pingking says: you need to film the greenscreen as flat as possible (use seperate lights especially for the screen) and use different lights to light your self to match with the background. That's always better/quicker/more realistic than doing it with masks afterwards.

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #8 by lenny87 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:40 pm

ShadowMaker SdR wrote:What Pingking says: you need to film the greenscreen as flat as possible (use seperate lights especially for the screen) and use different lights to light your self to match with the background. That's always better/quicker/more realistic than doing it with masks afterwards.


Thanx shadowmaker,
I do have separate lights for the greenscreen and seperate lights for the character. But my lights which light the character, sometimes influence the lighting of the background.
Anyway i will go and practice more with it, so that it doesn't influences the lighting of the background anymore.

Greetz Lenny

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #9 by cranky_pants » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:53 am

Hey Lenny,

I think you can still film your green screen footage flat and also match the lighting of your 3D background and such. I'm not sure what camera you have, but some allow you to record video "flat" (or RAW) and view a Rec 709 LUT only through the viewer/monitor. This is helpful because you can retain as much information as possible for the video you shoot (since it's recording that flat look) but also give you an actual live preview on how it will normally look. Try that if you have the capability. I know it's possible on the BMD Ursa cameras but can't confirm for the lower tiered ones.

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #10 by ShadowMaker SdR » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:25 am

Cranky_pants you're confusing a flat color profile with flat lighting. One has to do with the way the color values are stored inside the file format, the other has to do with the way you set up your lights on set.

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Re: Color correcting my Keyed out character + my 3D Cartoon scene

Post #11 by cranky_pants » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:20 am

ShadowMaker SdR wrote:Cranky_pants you're confusing a flat color profile with flat lighting. One has to do with the way the color values are stored inside the file format, the other has to do with the way you set up your lights on set.


Ah sorry, I misread it. :oops:

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