X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

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Basil Hayes

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X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 3:00 pm

Hello all,

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on workflow with the X-Rite ColorChecker, Resolve and Premiere Pro?

Would I be correct in saying that you could make the initial grade (just to have some colour in the footage during the cut) using the Colorchecker facility in Resolve, render out proxies to edit, then pull the cut XML back into Resolve for the final grade (where the real color work begins)?

I'm sure someone has a much neater way of doing this? Hopefully one that makes it as painless as possible as the round trip with Premiere isn't that great IMHO.

Many thanks in advance,
Basil
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Sam Steti

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 4:18 pm

I don't understand the point of round tripping before editing, except if you have to make proxies anyway...
(and what do you mean by "just to have some colour in the footage during the cut" ? You don't have any colour before colormatch ?)
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Basil Hayes

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 4:30 pm

Hi Sam,

Thanks for your comment, the reason for my wishing to put a colour pass over the footage before the edit is because for some people it's difficult to visualise the end result from LOG footage, having a quick colour pass put over it (such as you would for dailies) makes the edit a much nicer experience than just viewing flat footage.
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Sam Steti

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 7:28 pm

Yep, of course, I should have guessed it was all about flat/log...

Well, then it (the workflow) seems to be logical at the end of the day, especially if you come back to Resolve afterwards, obviously. So you can do this in "timeline mode" (not only clips if you have several ones on the TL).
Also keep in mind that the next pass in Resolve - I presume you'll reconnect the native footage - you'll have to deal with log again anyway.

I admit I use X-Rite often in the same way, which is more to have clips ambiances match each other when coming from different cam/daylight/place/..., than to bring colors back to life. I personally would rather use a LUT in this instance, even more with flat footage. Plus, I imagine you have different clips and therefore different colorchecker to adjust before delivering, whereas a LUT would be a unique action to perform once for the whole TL... But of course it's ok too.
And the XML round trip is the same for all, don't worry (you're not alone :D )
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waltervolpatto

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostMon Mar 23, 2015 8:29 pm

I rather work in a different way: given the camera you have, there is a tonal mapping that can be represented by a LUT from teh LOG color space to rec709, I will simply apply that one.

when the edit is done and you start the color, you simply sandwidtch the correction-lut-correction so you can color either in LOG or LIn if you fancy,

You have no idea of how many times I heard the phrase: "this does nto look like my dailies, can we start from there, I'm used to that."

If you use an 'automatch' it will never came back the same and then you have to fight it...
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Sam Steti

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostTue Mar 24, 2015 8:32 am

Hi Basil,

1/I agree with Walter, you can read his suggestion is the same (but he wrote less words :D ); a LUT would be better;

2/ Walter, although I agree with the LUT suggestion (he may even find a LUT dedicated to the particular log of his cam), if you colormatch on a single node so that you can wipe it out later on, I don't know why it would "never come back the same" (or I didn't get what you meant). My 2 cents about that : start 2 or 3 versions with and without LUT/colormatch
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Torgeir Helgesen Riseth

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostTue Mar 24, 2015 10:39 am

I agree with Walter: Use a LUT for your dailies. It's faster and gives the editor a general idea of the look.
-When the project comes back for online grading you can take your time with the X-rite for each setup, and chose wether or not you want to apply the LUT again to get back to "what I saw in the edit", as Walter describes it.
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Basil Hayes

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostTue Mar 24, 2015 2:34 pm

Thanks Walter, Sam and Torgeir, I can absolutely see where you are all coming from on this, a LOG > Rec709 LUT makes perfect sense, and it is a lot quicker!

I have one other question? When the XML of the edit comes back into Resolve, this obviously contains a timeline with edited clips, but there wouldn't be any nodes on the clips. Sam, I believe that's what you were referring to when you said -

Also keep in mind that the next pass in Resolve - I presume you'll reconnect the native footage - you'll have to deal with log again anyway


Because the clips are cut into a sequence, I wouldn't be able to see the poster end of the clip with the footage of the X-Rite (if for example I wanted to match two cameras simply using the tool after the edit, although I completely take on board what you are saying Walter).

Am I missing something in the re-import of the XML that allows Resolve to know I want to use the clips with the nodes I have created in the original timeline before outputting the proxies? Or, would I have to create stills of the looks in the first place to easily copy the nodes across to the new timeline?

Thanks again for your help.
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Sam Steti

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostTue Mar 24, 2015 4:09 pm

When coming back from edit into Resolve, you're supposed to import the XML exported from your NLE (Premiere), with "automatically import source clips into media pool" unchecked if you want to reconnect to your log source files.
At this point, you see your log files on a TL you've cut in Premiere (there were proxies in Pr., now log files are replacing proxies in the Resolve TL), right ? (at least if you followed roundtrip recommendations.)

Now, at this stage, if you want to colormatch with the X-Rite, of course you have to see the x-rite footage in the TL :) So you can find and cut it in your source files to bring it back on the TL, or maybe it had always been in Resolve and Premiere in all the round trip if you did so, whatever...
Then you could apply colormatch to the whole TL (instead of clip, in the top right of the color pane) in a first node before going on by grading on other nodes.
I personally wouldn't do this nor recommend it...

"I want to use the clips with the nodes I have created in the original timeline before outputting the proxies". So now you have several nodes you had put before making proxies ? I thought it would only be a LUT ? :D .
Anyway, the best way imho is to use "Colotrace" (you'll find topics here around about it). Simple and efficient.
You could also have a look and learn making "groups" and use "flags" And yes why not applying a still to a group, but check colortrace first ;)
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Basil Hayes

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostTue Mar 24, 2015 4:26 pm

Yes, sorry you are right, there would only be primary correction and a LUT.

I was thinking more about how I'd use the ColourChecker to colour balance a number of different source material when the edit comes back into Resolve (like you say, without importing the proxies), to hopefully have them at a similar starting point before going into the grade.

Will definitely have a read up on Colortrace, though thanks. I also like the idea of using flags/groups to help shorten the grade, thanks for that.
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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostWed Mar 25, 2015 12:45 am

waltervolpatto wrote:You have no idea of how many times I heard the phrase: "this does nto look like my dailies, can we start from there, I'm used to that."


Interesting you say that, cause i was under the impression that up in the big smoke clients are more open and understanding about the fact that dalies just have a lut or a cdl applied and that actual creative colouring can be taken to a whole different level/direction once the edit made it to the grading room.


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waltervolpatto

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostWed Mar 25, 2015 2:34 am

Stepan Ko wrote:
waltervolpatto wrote:You have no idea of how many times I heard the phrase: "this does nto look like my dailies, can we start from there, I'm used to that."


Interesting you say that, cause i was under the impression that up in the big smoke clients are more open and understanding about the fact that dalies just have a lut or a cdl applied and that actual creative colouring can be taken to a whole different level/direction once the edit made it to the grading room.


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Nope...

If you think in a way, they saw the movie as offline for what, six months? They fall in love with it and that is the "starting point"...

Invariably, every time....

edit:

another consideration. The editor/director might choose a shot because you can see the eye of the actor vs another that is darker, if you have a completely different color at the end of the DI process (namely very dark) you might freak out them both.
Same in teh opposite direction: blew out details that they need to see or reveal objects in teh shadow that where not supposed to be seen...

Then, really the next thing is "it does not look like my monitor" cry call!!!
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Torgeir Helgesen Riseth

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostWed Mar 25, 2015 2:24 pm

Basil,

the way I would go about it would be:
- Firstly conform my Resolve TL with the original "raw" material (not proxies)
- Then I would go through the raw material folder(s) and look for shots of the x-rite in different setups. Now, if your camera crew have been real nice with you these should be in separate clips..
- I would put all these shots at the beginning of my TL
- Now I would group clips from the different setups together (including the correlated X-rite clip)
- Now I would do a group pre-clip node in which I would configurate using the X-rite
- After the configuration I would simply delete all the X-rite shots at the beginning of my TL (leaving the TL as is was after XML import) and carry on my grading
Torgeir Helgesen Riseth
Director of Photography • Digital Color Grader
www.blindiflm.no • www.viperfilm.com
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Sam Steti

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Re: X-Rite Colorchecker, Premiere Pro and Resolve Workflow

PostWed Mar 25, 2015 2:54 pm

Yep, this is what I do, except the X-Rite clips of each cam which "travels" (Resolve > NLE > Resolve) with Raw or proxies wherever they round trip...
This means that even in the NLE edit, X-Rite clips coming from Resolve are preserved on the TL, and also exported in the final cut and XML to Resolve (regardless to raw or proxy profile of the TL).

The first couple of times, I had forgotten and had to reimport these on the TL (at the last Resolve pass stage)... I found it easier to let'em all the way from the beginning to the end of the workflow.

Same group trick as Torgeir afterwards as I said (plus I sometimes try X-Rite on/off versions of grading for some clips).

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