Raining Bricks—A Color Grading Experiment

metaLAB has been partaking in a Summer of Color this year, which has brought a different color-related topic before the group each week for a discussion followed by a short period of collaborative making and tinkering.

In looking at color’s relationship to the digital world, we examined the history and progression of black and white to film color processes and then to digital compression of color and processes of color grading. These last two items we explored through looking specifically at the capabilities of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera in our equipment arsenal.

One strength of the Blackmagic is its ability to capture 13-stops of dynamic range, with the choice between film Log and video REC709. Working with the film Log option, we shot sample footage, which, out of the camera appears muddy, muting saturation in favor of wider dynamic range information.

We then took this footage and bringing it into Final Cut X, did basic adjustments, reestablishing some contrast by raising the highlights, and lowering the shadows and also punching the saturation. Following on this, we also played with adjustment of color temperature to try and create a shift from a sunny day  to a rainstorm and back to a sunny day. The use of legos and brightly-colored umbrella was to make the color shifts more visibly apparent.

Subsequent color-grading tests will be done as part of the post-production process on our upcoming film, Cold Storage, which we anticipate for winter release.