Color Grading: Creating a Cinematic Look | Fred Trevino | Skillshare

Color Grading: Creating a Cinematic Look

Fred Trevino, Colorist

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10 Lessons (1h 15m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Learning Cinematic Traits

    • 3. Film Grain: Fine to Heavy

    • 4. Frame Rate: 18 to 240fps

    • 5. Depth of Field: Picking a Focal Point

    • 6. Lens Choice: Think Ahead

    • 7. Composition

    • 8. Quality of Light and More

    • 9. Two Cinematic Grades: One with Good Footage and One with Bad.

    • 10. Outro

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About This Class

What is a cinematic look? In this course we'll go over what makes up a cinematic grade and how to get there. You'll learn about the many characteristics that make up this look and watch as I grade 2 separate projects to get that polished look we're all after. This course is for beginner to intermediate students who may not be experts but are ready to expand their color correction and grading knowledge.

In this course we'll learn about:

  • Top Cinematic Traits
  • Film Grain
  • Frame Rate
  • Depth of Field
  • Lens Choice
  • Composition
  • Quality of Light and More!

Ending with a grading session where you'll watch me take a film through to create a cinematic grade! So if you're interested in getting your footage and film to the next level, let jump right in!

About Your Teacher

Fred Trevino is a colorist with over 10 years experience.  He's graded over 40 feature films and hundreds of projects for high end clients such as HBO, Versace, ESPN, Under Armour and more. His narrative color work has screened at well known film festivals like Sundance, Cannes, and Slamdance. His goal is to use the experience and skills he's developed over his career to accelerate your learning in the field of color.


1. Intro: When we think of movies, what comes to mind is a very specific look. Very specific and at the same time, very personal. Some of us think of comedy, some of us think of drama or horror or something in between. All of these types of films have a very unique look that most of us call a cinematic look. We all want this in our films. Wonder how to get it and buy gear, filters, plugins, lights, and more to get to this mysterious, sought-after look after ten years of experience and having granted over 40 feature films, I've come to learn what makes up a cinematic look. Whenever any of us make a movie, we want it to look like the movies we love. We wanted it to look polished. We want it to look gritty. We wanted to look beautiful. And one of the top request that I get as a colorist is how can I make something look more cinematic? The reason I'm making this course is because everyone asks this question everyone wants to know. And in this course, we'll go over it. Not only how we can get there, but what traits to look for in footers. It's already shot to make your film and your project look more like a movie. My name is Fred Trevino and this course is about creating a cinematic look. I've created over 40 feature films and I've worked on hundreds of videos for clients such as product, HBO, ESPN, Sundance Channel, Versace, Pepsi, and a lot more. This course is intended for anyone who's looking to improve their footage, improve their knowledge of color correction and color grading, and know what it takes to make something look like a movie. Let's get started. 2. Learning Cinematic Traits: So in this lesson I want to go over some of the traits that make up a cinematic look. The reason I want to go over these things before we jump into the actual grading as because half of a colorist job is having the I to spot what can be done and what can't be done. If, for example, you get a film that is very poorly shot or shot with very few cinematic characteristics, it'll be very hard to enhance those characteristics and get a truth film like Look, I think this is one of the main reasons that so many people have trouble making their footage looks cinematic. And that's it. They just don't know what traits a movie has that gives that special unique look we all love and are used to seeing. So with that in mind, let's jump in. 3. Film Grain: Fine to Heavy: Okay, so in this lesson, I want to kinda talk a little bit about film and the history of film and where this look kind of comes from. One thing you have to realize is what we consider a cinematic look is really just the history of technology, the history of different cameras. So the first one, let's start off with is pretty easy. Let's talk about grain. So basically, grain is something that comes from old 35-millimeter film. It's basically the size of the different pieces of silver That are in actual physical film stock, whether it's 3516 or eight millimeter. Basically, if a film stock is a high ISL film stock, it means that it tends to be Grenier because it has larger bits of silver in the film stock, which helps catch light. And so the larger these little pieces of silver are in the film, that's what grain is. Now, because of the decades and decades of watching movies, we've come to associate grain as something that makes something looks cinematic. Even though for decades, kodak Fuji, we're just trying to get that grain out of movies and they would promote their film stocks as having very fine grain. Now you find that because we're so used to seeing this grain in movies, it's something that people want to see. Okay, so when someone says cinematic, look though, some people might have a ton of grain in mind. Some people might have no grain in mind. 4. Frame Rate: 18 to 240fps: Okay, so another characteristic of a cinematic look is frame rate. Basically as the film travels through the camera, the speed at which the film travels through the camera can control the look. Think of something going 240 frames per second, which creates extreme slow-motion. Something going through the film at a 120 frames per second, which creates slow-motion. And then if you think of old timey film, a lot of times those movies went at 18 frames per second, which created that very jumpy, jittery look that we see in old movies. Once film had to sync up with sound, that's where we get the 24 frames per second. And after decades of seeing the specific look of the film running through the camera at 24 frames per second. That kind of became the look that we consider to be cinematic or how movies look. And so basically the point that I'm trying to make here is that the subtle changes in frame rate do affect how something looks. And this, again is part of what makes something look like a movie. 5. Depth of Field: Picking a Focal Point: Okay, so the next characteristic is depth of field. Depth of field is basically what's in focus and what is not in focus. Specifically, if the background is blurry or if the entire image is completely in focus. The way this is used is basically to attract attention to specific details. Think of something like a close-up on a character. Usually in movies when we see close-ups or extreme close-ups, the background is completely out of focus and only the character is in focus. Or if we want to see a complete wide shot of say, something like battle scene in a movie. Everything is in focus. So depth of field is another tool that can be used to control the look of a film. And basically how we can use this Wallberg color grading is that we have certain tools, intervention, resolve, that, control, what's in focus and what is not in focus. And a lot of these tools are actually designed to look like lenses with a shallow depth of field. It's something that a lot of cinematographers, a lot of directors uses a tool to create something and we've gotten so used to this look that a shallow depth of field tends to be associated with a film or cinematic look. 6. Lens Choice: Think Ahead: The next characteristic is lens choices. Basically, lens choice is how wide of a shot you have or how tight of a shot you have. One of the easiest ways to tell if someone is new to shooting something is that they use a lot of wide shots and they don't even think about which lens there. Using. A good example of this is a lot of first-time filmmakers will have a zoom lens and they basically turn on the camera, leave the camera as is, which is normally the widest setting, and they shoot a scene that's in a wide shot. That same scene might be a little bit more powerful in a little bit more cinematic. If they were to zoom in, get more tight close ups using the telephoto part of the lens, which is the tighter more zoomed in part of the lens over the wide angle part of the lens. So lens choice completely can change the motion and feel of a scene based on whether you're shooting very wide are very tight. The selection of lens dictates on top of what we've already mentioned of frame rate and depth of field and film grain than grainy look of ISO. All of these layer on top of what makes something look cinematic. You're seeing that as we're going, we're kind of building a look through all of these characteristics. 7. Composition: So the next trait that's really important is composition. This is one that we can all see because it basically tells us how something was framed, which is another term for that. We all know popular films where things might be symmetrical. We might have negative space. Knowing composition and knowing what certain looks can create. Certain emotions are really what some people might call a cinematic look. For example, a classic example that I get all the time is Wes Anderson films. We all know that he tends to pose everything and compose a lot of the shots. Very symmetrical. So a lot of times people might come and say, Oh, I want my film to look very cinematic. And they send me stills of Sanderson film or that was Sanderson film. And sometimes you can go in there and reframe a shot, make it look a little bit more to what they are wanting. A little bit more to a certain style of cinema. Or sometimes if a shot is two beautifully composed, you can go in there and kind of rotate it and shifted a little bit, make it look a little bit off to create a different kind of cinematic look. So again, composition or just adding to the different layers of what makes something look like a movie. 8. Quality of Light and More: Okay, so the last characteristic I want to talk a little bit about in depth is quality of light. And as you know, lighting is one of the most important things in creating a look for your image. As a colorist, it's important to be able to look at an image and know whether something was shot with hard lighting, soft lighting, tungsten, daylight, 5600 Kelvin, 3200 Kelvin fluorescent lighting. And knowing what color each one of those lighting sources is will help you in determining what can be done to that light. What can be done to the image to make it look a little bit more cinematic, Really, that's all we're doing when we're color, correcting our color grading as we're manipulating the lighting. So we might have hard lighting, we might have soft lighting. You might have the color of the light as well. For example, streetlights, sodium vapor lights, which are very orange or very red. These definitely have influence on the look you're going for. I hope by this point you're kind of getting that it's really a compilation of lens choice, lighting, field of view, depth of field, grain composition. All of these little different bits that come together to make something look cinematic. Okay, so one more thing that I want to bring up besides all these other traits that I've already brought up is that things like the Art Department, wardrobe make even things like aspect ratio all affect the look and make something look more movie like or film like. Think of widescreen aspect ratio, 235 aspect ratio. When we take, you can take any movie, something you shown on your phone, put bars on top and the bottom to make it look like it's U235 aspect ratio. And it'll suddenly look like a movie again because that's what we're used to seeing and that's what we're used to associating for film and knowing all of these things and how they come together, it will help your color grade so that you can magnify some of these things or take away from some of these things to create the specific cinematic look that you're going for. 9. Two Cinematic Grades: One with Good Footage and One with Bad.: Okay, so here we are finally going over a cinematic grade. So in the previous lesson, you learned about a lot of the different traits. And now we're going to go through here. And before we get started, I just wanted to talk a little bit about the overall color correction or grading process that you have with clients. Or a lot of times it's also good if you're grading your own film or maybe you're working with friend and you're grading their films. The first thing I typically do when I get a call or an email from a client is I asked to see the film, and then I also ask to see some reference still some images, some photos. Anything that can inspire the look or that will show me the look they've been going for. This can even be paintings. Most people send photos are stills from movies that they like or movies that inspired their movie in there. Look, for example, some people might send me stills from the movie, drive or royal tenon bombs or whatever movie they like. I like looking at those. And the reason that I do this is because a lot of times when a client emails and they tell me that they want them to look vibrant or happy or saturated a lot like say the movie on a leaf for example. They typically might have a different idea than I have. And just to get on the same page, I asked them, send me the stills from the movies that you like, that you want for your film. And that way I know what you mean by vibrant, happy, gritty, sad, Moody, dark, cinematic, whatever that might be. And then that helps me get on the same page with them. And from there we do what's called a spotting session or a look session. And all that is is they come in. It's typically the director, the director of photography, and we sit down, we go through the film, we talk about the film. They tell me their ideas. And for each scene, we might set up a kind of base look for that scene or the film. Typically this is for the more larger major scenes. Sometimes it's for every scene. It really just depends on how much work we think we need for establishing a look for that film. And so then another thing you wanna do, typically, you obviously want to check out what the film looks like. And this is kind of going back to the previous lesson where I talked about cinematic traits. So if a client comes to me and says, Oh, I want my film would look very cinematic or very film like I asked to look at it. And this, for example, if I see something like this, where it's obvious that they picked a long telephoto lens zoomed in. They have shallow depth of field. I can see the background and focus. It's a nice composition and I can tell they framed everything and they working on, say for example, here, it was well composed. They had, they thought a little bit about their lens selection. For example, good set dressing, wardrobe, the lightings all there. So this is what I mean by a film that kind of has that cinematic look already baked in there. You can't really take a movie or anything that we're shan't say for example. Something like this. Very little about this IS cinematic. This is the kind of example we're, like I mentioned before. You can tell they basically turn on their camera, pointed it at a subject and hit record. You can tell there wasn't much thought and Lens selection, it's cut a little bit of a deep depth of field. It's the composition to just very kind of plain and boring in comparison to something like this or like this, for example. So again, what I'm trying to say is part of that cinematic look is baked into the film. And that helps dramatically when you're creating that look because rather than kind of fighting against an image that doesn't look good and you're doing a lot of extra adjustments to try to get it there. You have something like this where you kinda have a little bit of a head start and you can make something look really like a movie. All the movies you see that you love all the movies and looks that you love it because something were shot like this. So my tip to you, if you're shooting your own films, is to really learn the cinematography, learned the lighting, the lens, the composition, everything that I mentioned in the previous lesson and more, because that is honestly probably 50 to 70% of creating a cinematic look. From here, all we're doing is dialing in the contrast to highlight the style, the colors, the tones, the grain. And then we have other tools that can kinda help accentuate that look too. So here is, for example, the grade that I made for this shot. Okay, I'm gonna go through all the different steps that I made. And so what you can see is first, we're going to start off with the primary. Ok, so this is the original image. In the first thing we did. Well, actually, first of all, okay, so before we go over the different steps that it took to create that look, I just wanna go over how this film was shot a little bit. So as you can see, this clip is very washed out, very flat, very desaturated. And that's because it was shot in the log. For those of you that don't know what log is, basically, when you're shooting a film, you have the option to shoot it in just whatever normal camera profile that camera has. If you're shooting on, say, a Canon digital SLR, it might be called vivid, it might be called flat, it might be called standard, something like that. And what that basically gives you it's added dynamic range for that image. And again, what dynamic range means is basically how much information do I have to work with when I'm adjusting something to use this other shot as an example. That's how this was shot. This look is baked into this image. Okay, so I have very little to work with. If I want to bring this down a little bit, I can. But you can see it starts to look a little bit fake. A little bit, you know, push too far. If I, for example, saturate this. You can see very quickly the skin tones, trust, start looking a little too saturated. And so without getting too deep into that, I'll probably definitely make some course about that later. But without getting too deep into that, it basically means that when you shoot in a log setting, you have more information to work with. And color correcting will be easier and a lot of different effects will be easier. So you, if your camera has a log sitting, definitely use that. And if it does not, then use the flattest setting that your camera has. Okay, so now we're back here. And so the first step that I did is the primaries usually want to start off with the primaries. And what I did is that was the initial node, okay? Basically what these nodes are, different steps that you take and creating your grade. And for this initial node, we went from point a to point B. And all that I did here was trumped the shadows. Raise the highlights a little bit. Added contrast. I'll go over in detail here in a little bit, but just kinda giving you the quick overview of what was done to this image, I dropped the shadows as well, which is kind of like the lower end of the blacks. For example, the shoulder is a shadow. This is a shadow. Any dark, dark areas are usually the shadows. And that's basically what I did. And I basically shaped this image to look that way. So we went from here and really dropped down to look because for this here, we wanted it to look very, again, cinematic, dark, kind of Moody. This is a little bit of a tense scene where this fathers kind of making the kids breakfast and the kind of fear their father. And so it should have a dark, kind of creepy, scary look to it. And then the second one, which again this was called a primary look. Primary typically when you make adjustments, general adjustments to the image. And they made a second primary adjustment which was just this bring in a little saturation. To be specific, what I did was added color boost. And what color boost does compared to saturation is, saturation is basically uniformly increases your saturation across the board. So the skin tones saturate the same, the shadows, the highlights, the mid tones, the entire image. And then color boost is in other programs like Lightroom or Photoshop or things like that. It's something that's typically called by brands or a smart color kinda tool to where this only saturates the least saturated parts of your image. In most cases that's something like the darker areas, the shadow areas. And it kinda helps create a, a little bit more natural look when you're increasing the saturation. Now that doesn't mean that you never use saturation. Honestly, you probably uses some more times than not. But again, for this look, because I want this image to not be supersaturated like a commercial. I did color boost and brought it from here to here. Ok. And then next is when we start getting into the secondary secondaries, is basically when we start making fine adjustments, for example. When you start doing things like selecting only the skin tone or selecting only the back wall or only his shirt, or only parts of his hair or part of this shoulder here. Those are typically secondaries when you do Keys, mats, and that kind of thing. So for this, I started with the secondaries. And I basically brought up the greens that were in this wall based on how it was shot. You can see before? After. And that's basically what I did with this secondary, just to kind of give that background a little bit more of a green kind of creepy look to it, make it look a little bit more unhealthy. And it also helped kind of separate his face in his skin tones from the background. And again, here's the original. And then that's what's a little bit of green added to it, and then added a second secondary here. This will again start doing fine tuning. And I basically created a little window right here and just kinda gave that a little bit of a boost to kinda again accentuate the lighting in separate him from the background a little bit. You can see it's starting to take shape. And other secondary here. I brought up this kind of this side of his face, the highlights here. And you can see that combining these two kinda helps add a dimension to the shot to all of us. All of a sudden now we have a little bit of a highlight in the background here. We have a highlight and it just looks that much better. And then so from here, I was pretty happy with it, but I kept going a little bit more. I went into the effects. And basically what I did here was just simply add grain. Okay? Like that. And if I zoom in, green's a little bit harder to see. So I, here's before no grain, grain. And you can see usually when you add grain, it also kind of gives it a little bit of a, it kind of gives it as micro contrast boost and makes your image look a tiny bit darker. Okay, and then here, so I created this window here. And you can see that I made it super soft. And right now it's only affecting the parts of the image that you can see. So totally effecting this area here. And this area is very lightly. Okay. And again, fullscreen and basically I kind of made him go a little softer autofocus. And also this kind of back corner. This is one of those things. It's very subtle. But are really just did this to kinda show you the kind of tools that you have to kinda accentuate the depth of field, the out-of-focus look to something. Okay? And that's something that's just a small adjustment. And then typically your last node is kind of what someone might call the look, the final adjustment or last looks, the Polish, the look adjustment. And what I did for this one here, it was just a matter of. Do I like this luminance level or brightness level? Or do I want to go a little bit darker? And typically for these kind of final looks adjustment, it's where I kind of leave it up to the client, decide, Do you like something like this or a little brighter? Very small changes. But if you think of the entire scene looking like this, or the entire scene looking like this, then obviously that'll make a big difference. And sometimes this is kind of like where you play with things. You might increase the contrast a little bit more. You might cool down the scene a little bit more, or might warming up a little bit more. Do things like that. And so those are the looks all kind of turn them off again and kind of show you what they look like. Okay, so here's the easiest one, the notice. And then for these I'll kinda go into full screen saturation or color boost. And that's the secondary, the background. I ended a little. Saturation really boosted the greens is what I did. And specifically what I used this tool for is if we go here to the kind of custom curves I went into this hue versus saturation. And basically what Hugh versus centration does is you click on a color. For example, I clicked on the green background and it selects that color. If I click on his face, you can see it's flux, the reds or orange. And I could increase saturation on this phase or decrease it more if I wanted to. And that's how I did the background. And then again, this almost color boost. This was the background. Which again was simply something as easy as creating a window, which you feather. Almost like putting a light up. And that gives a little pop to that highlight in the background. Same thing here. Window. It's feathered. And then it gives that little bit of a boost. And we've seen the grain, all of these different steps. And then I'll kind of just add this. There we go. And so these were all the different steps that I took to create this look or to magnify the cinematic look that's already baked into the image. And so those are all the different steps that it took to take this image from here to here. With primary secondaries, affects adjustments with grain and. I'm adding a final polish image to this. Ok, so from here, I prefer kind of graded this ones to kind of give you an overview and idea of kinda the steps you would take based off the image. And now we're just kinda gonna quickly grade the rest of the scene. This is a pretty easy scene just because it's basically composed of his close up, this wide shot, his close up, and this closeup. So it's basically four shots. And what I would do from here is then basically copy that look across to the other shots. So something that easy. I've basically selected the shot and right-clicked on the greatest shan't hit apply grade. And it paste that look over. And that's basically it. So, and another thing about that, the reason that that works so well is again, because this was well shot. There's a lot of times who are let's say on the day of the shoot. Let's say it took you six hours to shoot this scene. And for example, maybe this was shot in the morning. And then by the time I got here was really late. That's what makes shots not match that. And also not having consistent lighting. So a lot of times even within the same shot, what I'll see is that I'll take this Look, for example, paste it to the exact same setup and they don't match. And the reason that that is is because either the lighting was inconsistent. For example, maybe they just used window lighting. That's all it. Maybe this was shot with natural lighting or maybe they did set up a few lights, but maybe halfway through the chute, they changed the life. Maybe they changed the color temperature, maybe they moved the light forward, maybe back. Maybe they, you know, again, we're using a zoom lens and they zoomed in a little bit. Something as simple as zooming into a shot a little bit, or zooming out or changing the, you know, the aperture or any sort of cameras setting can make shots not match. And so that's why when you're shooting, you wanna make sure that you're consistent across the board, your camera settings stay consistent, your lighting stays consistent. And that way that makes the post-production phase B is easy as this. So here's another shot. Again, I'm just right-clicking. Apply. Agreed. And here's one where you can tell needs to be adjusted a little bit simply because he's kind of taking over the frame. We only see a little bit of him. So this is a good example of what I was just saying. It makes this look a little too dark, but we'll get to that in a little bit. And again, I'll go here and again, I'm just kinda going through is to kind of show you how I'm doing it. You can also select multiple shots and do the same thing like this, which is obviously the faster way. Also, a lot of times in DA vinci resolve if you have. Shops that are of the same clip or of the same take. Lets say this all these shots were take three. On that day, you basically will grade one-shot and it'll automatically ripple to the other shots, which is pretty cool. In this situation. This is not the case, but just so you know, a lot of time, grading can be even that easy. So I think again, it can go up to a light box up here in the top right. This is a great way to kind of get an overview of the entire scene. One, it helps you look for shots. Like if I want to find more shots of this guy, which I don't see any. But it can also helps you kinda see the color palette. And if the look is staying consistent across the board, like here, I noticed that it's a very contrast, a dark, moody kind of green looked everything which is good. So I can see that I've created all of his shots. So now I'm actually going to maybe jumped to his shot next. And I'm going to try again, if the lighting is somewhat consistent on the day of the shoot, you should just be able to right-click and look at that. Okay. Now I understand this is looking extremely AZ, Okay? And I understand that a lot of your projects will not be this easy. But the point that I'm stressing is how important cinematography is. Preparation is set, dressing is lighting. You do not necessarily create a cinematic look. In the grading suite. You create a cinematic look from the first day of production preparation all the way through to color correction. Color Correction really just shows an accentuate what's already been done. Okay, and again, I'll just toggle between the two. Can see it's working. I honestly did not expect it to work that well. Ghana, I'll just select these two right-click and we are going to make other adjustments. I swear it going, but I just kinda want to show you how easy things can be when things are shot well. And that's actually why I brought these guys in because in a little bit I'm going to show you how hard it is and what can or can't be done when you have something shot like this. And I'll just like that one. And great. And I'll go back into the Lightroom. And you can see the look that's developing dark, deep shadows, books crate. And you can also, by the way, apply things here. So I'm just gonna select this guy and sort of works. Okay? And in a little bit we're going to go through and kind of fine tune this thing. And let's just this is not a close-up. I'm just kinda curious. Well, there you go. Here's what grade cinematography can do for you. This actually is not bad. I'm actually going to undo that. And now I'm just going to see what's left. So here's what I'm gonna do. I'm actually going to select all the wide shots. Okay, so now I've looked at all the wide shot and then we're just going to apply this to all of them, even though it won't be perfect. But you're starting to see what this film looks like. There we go. I missed this one. And then we're just gonna kinda toggle through all of the different shots and make small adjustments. So here I'm just gonna kinda scroll through. And one thing that I don't like about this shot here is how I think that shadows or maybe a little bit too dark. So I'm just going to raise them a tiny bit. And by the way, I'm hitting Command F to go into full screen. And I think that looks better. We can see a little. We definitely want us again to be kinda dark gritty scene. Okay. We'll screen or after, and now we're just kinda getting into personal taste a little bit. I'm going to, you may think different, I'm gonna kinda just go with the brighter one. Okay? And again, here we go. I'll maybe pick all these and then applying grade. And we should see them all kind of fit a little bit brighter. And what I did here basically is this before was at a negative seven and run up to a four. Now I'm kinda jumping through to make sure playing creed and impact in the lightbox. And here's the grade. So, okay, so here we are again in the light box. Ok. And now we're, we'll just simply go through here and jump through the different clips just to make sure everything is matching. And so far so good. And I'm pretty sure a lot of you are in are probably saying that this probably shot on very expensive cameras and this, and that. This scene was actually pretty cheap to shoot. But again, they just kinda prepared a lot for it. Okay. And that's this shot that was maybe a little dark. And again in the primaries. And the reason I'm sticking and making this adjustment in these primaries is because that's where those kind of overall adjustments to the entire image r. If I was adjusting just the green background, that's kinda where this guy is. Okay, so I'm gonna go here. And I'm just kinda grace this shadow is a little bit because this shadows look a little dark. And that's probably good. Okay, we can see that's matching here. And again, there's the consistency there where I can make similar adjustment across the across the entire scene because of how consistent this was shot. Ok, so from here now we are going to go to the other clips because honestly, I took my time creating this image and I'm going to go through the other ones and just kind of make adjustments. Because obviously this will not translate 100%. I think overall. For example, this is where we started. That was the first node. And happy with that. And then this is the second node, which is just again the color. And then the third node, which is the green background. I see that's happening up here as well. So that looks good. And then this guy here is when we start getting into these windows, that mean nothing. And I don't see any use for this, so I'm actually going to delete that. Maybe we'll add something else. This is the other window. Don't leave that. This is the grain Command F. Do need that. Wears off, on, off, on go. And don't need that. This is the slight diffusing blur effect. And then I do need this. It's a little bit darker. That looks good. Okay, so here's where we are now. You could consider this, that initial look with those extra things removed. So as I'm looking at this frame and he's kinda just putting the plate down here. Again, at this point it's all just a matter of your taste. You know, whatever you wanna do to the image. I feel like we've already kind of established a look for this scene. And now it's a matter of adding additional secondaries because this was the primary or we took it from here to here. The largest adjustment, I'd say probably 78% of the adjustment is typically in the primaries because that's a global adjustment to the entire image. And then this is kind of the Polish when you start getting into the secondaries. Like the green background, the highlights we did on him, the highlight here, the highlight in the background, for example. Let's bring him back out. And really this is where we just kinda get creative. So I liked the grain and like this. So now I'm going to add a window clicking here. Okay? And then I'm going to place this window over his head. I kinda wanna see a little bit more of him. Shift H is the keyboard shortcut to show us what the window is affecting. Shift H is a turn it off. Or if you like, clicking can do this up here, but I like keyboard shortcuts. Okay, so I'm just going to go to the gain or the highlights. Really, this is the highlights here, but what I'm going to do now is just raise him a little bit, is going to eventually sit down. But I just wanted to add a little something there. And again, it's such a saw window. He's really just kinda landing into the window. If you wanted to get very picky with it, you could track that window. But for this situation, I don't think that's that necessary. Again, that's kind of all I am doing, just adding a little something there. And honestly, I'm pretty happy with this image overall. Yeah, I think it looks pretty good. Yeah, if we wanted to play with the look though, I might go over to the Polish node here and just play around with it. So let's maybe do that really quick. Also, typically I do work on a control panel, but for this obviously I click around with the mouse just to kinda show you what's being done. And so for this, we will just do something like maybe we'll go to color temperature and I am just going to take the look and cool it down a little bit. And I'm going to change the whole scene. This is just simply to show you where you might go and make that kinda change. Again, everyone has a different opinion. You might like this better, you might like this better. That's actually part of color correction that can drive you crazy. And it's why you do need to take breaks. It's because as you're going through and making all these adjustments, playing with it, it can all start to look the same. And that's where you do want to walk away every now and then come back so you can get fresh eyes and decide if you actually do like this better, for this better. Ok, and do that. And the other thing I can maybe do is say, I'm going to maybe sharpen the image a little bit. I went here. This is the kind of blur window where I can blur the whole image of a 12. And then if you go down in the opposite direction, it kinda sharpens it a little bit. So I'm just gonna do a very soft sharpening and see a little more detail here. And again, I'm just kind of playing around with the tools just to kinda show you kind of when you're working in creating and grade how you just really, it's not a set formula, is just a matter of how things were shot. What the look is, what you're going for, being creative, playing with the tools a little bit and seeing what you like and don't like. And after a while you'll kind of develop a taste or a style for things that you like in different tools to try out. So for example, in this situation, I kinda do like sharpness. We could go in and say, Oh, I only want to sharpen this table area or anything, but because it's a wide shot and it's kind of soft light coming in through this window here. I think in this situation, that extra sharpness kind of adds a little something so that we can see the detail in his face and the detail in his face. Which I also know this is the main character of the film, so we definitely want to add a little extra something to that. Okay, so back to the light box here and I'm just going to select all of these shots again. And then I'm just going to reapply that grade. Quick way to make that adjustment to all of the different shots. So now all these shots have that new adjustment. But I made Command F that has that additional sharpness. And so just adding these small details one at a time is what takes you from something like this to this. And actually, you know what I'm gonna do again, just to keep showing you different things, is I like this crack here. So I'm going to bring it out and see if I can bring it out without it seeming a little too thick. So what I'm going to do now is talk a little bit technical. So the way these different nodes work, it's sequential. So. I created my primary and then the second node number two, makes the adjustments on top of whatever these were. And then the third node makes the adjustments to this and we kinda go down. If you know, Photoshop, it's kind of like the layer system where every new node makes adjustments to the previous node. And the reason I bring that up is because right now you can see that this is very black. You cannot see that crack at all. So if I were to say just add a node at the very end and just to show you very quickly and tried to and that up. Okay, what I'm doing here, I can see it. But you can see it will probably bring out noise and different things like that. So what I wanna do is I want to make adjustments to the cleanest, most original part of the image. And so what I mean by that is, rather than, let's say Even if I tried to make this work and feathered this, which you probably can. Which by the way, at the beginning I mentioned dynamic range and the fact that this was shot log two, I have more dynamic range. That's exactly what I'm showing you right now. The benefits of dynamic range. Dynamic range is what's letting me grab that crack right there. That, uh, from the shadows, if this was not shot in MOG, this look would be baked in, as in, this is the look of the image and everything in that shadow would be completely gone. You would not be able to recover it. But because we're shutting log and they captured all of this data, I can go in and create a window and pull that up. Okay? And again, what I'm seeing is basically it's a little bit messy, grainy. It'll be noticeable as kind of a window. So I'm actually going to delete this. Go here to the first one, and I'm going to create something called a pro, a parallel node. So I'm going to hit Option P, or you can go into and parallel node. Again, Option P is easier. Okay? And let me clean this up a little bit. So what a parallel node does, as it's called. So think of this little dot here, this little square as the original camera image. Okay? This is not the original first adjustment. This is kind of what's on the camera memory card, what's on your hard drive. And then this is the first adjustment that's done to it. And then this is the next generation of adjustment, the next-generation, et cetera. Until your, I'm down to generation five where you're just kind of stacking these different adjustments one on top of the other, which is fine. But when you're trying to pull things from the shadows, for example, you typically wanna go to the original. Source image, which is this, which is why I created a parallel node. And it's called parallel because it is making adjustments at the same level as this primary. And then this last node that I added, these two are on the same level and they're adjusting the source image at the same exact time on the same generation, you could say, versus this one, which is actually going through 12345, different levels or generations of quality if you want to put it that way. So by doing this, I'm getting a cleaner window. Okay? So I'm going to try this and again, this is very, very dark, so we're just kinda again playing with this. Let me option D turns everything off. And we go. And I'm sure want to position this. I only kinda wanna see there the crack. So I'm going to start here. And let's see what this does. So I'm just gonna gently race the shadows here, two points. And this obviously you see it's already kinda showing it's probably too much. So I'm going to drop this back. I just wanted to be very subtle, almost subconscious. See, it's, there we go now we're getting somewhere. You can kind of see it there. And then I went into the minutes, maybe 1 here. And honestly may not go any further than that. And actually May. And also for the record, I would usually maybe do more of like a shape or something. But I'm kind of showing you here one of the quicker ways to do this. So I think you'll get the idea. You could go in there and kind of draw a nice little shape to grab all of this, maybe some of this, or in other way to do this, which actually might do instead, is I'm going to actually do this whole wall and feather this and bring it back. And now I'm gonna go fullscreen Command F And OK. So anyway, I honestly think I probably like no crack. So I'm just going to actually leave it off. But again, that's what we're doing. We're just kinda messing around with the image. This is kind of what you do as a colorist. You play with the image, you bring out this, you might bring out this arm chair, all these little details before you know it, help you craft an image that looks beyond simply doing a primary grade. Because what most people do is they do what's the equivalent of a primary, where they just make one universal adjustment to the image and then they're kind of done. And that's all that they, all they did to the image. And then it doesn't look that great. So again, I'm going to go quickly through this guy here. Again, option D, We went from here. Looks good. This is the color boost. Looks good. Background, looks good. This we don't need Delete. This is actually the highlight of the face, so I'm actually just going to rotate it for him and shift h again to do that, I'm going to kind of reshape it for him. Shift H to turn it on full screen. I like that. And what I wanna do to I really want to see his eyes. So now I'm actually going to sharpen well, looks like already did sharpen it, but I'm going to sharpen it more. I sharpen it on the other guy. Here. I wanna see a little bit. Actually. That's better. That's how the image originally was. Bone. And it helps kind of see the beads of sweat and everything to scrape the grain. This is the kind of blur effect and when you remove that. And then again, this is the final polish. And wanna keep him on the brighter side. So I'm going to delete that. And again, just to kind of wrap up, soon. You can see how we kind of go into building a look. It starts off with how the image was shot. And then we'd go from the primaries to secondaries, make the small adjustments, which kind of, as they say, small things that make a huge difference. This is a good example of one. You know, a lot of people might, let me kinda show you. A lot of people would probably stop here on this image. And also on top of that, an image is not shot this well. And just by creating these additional effects, it kinda helps take your film to a different level that looks more systematic and more polished. So now I'm going to take something like this before we wrap up. Completely different look. This probably was not meant to be cinematic at all, like this. Completely different look, I am going to attempt to make this look cinematic. Again. I've never touched, this is actually just raw footage. This is a raw read file that's kind of stock footage that they have. And I'm going to try to do that. And so the first thing I see about this image is that it's too bright, okay? Most images that you want to look more like a movie, they're not this bright, so and it's also a very kind of wide unfocused shot where obviously this is a focused, that's a focus. But we're going to kind of help make this look a little bit more cinematic. So what I'm going to do in my primary adjustment is the first thing we'll do is dark and this a touch. Overall, this image looks pretty good and I mean, it was obviously will shot. Ok. So that darkness level. Again, this all comes to taste. And I'm going to then make this look a little darker here at that mid tones here. And then the lift or shadows, money, bring it down and touch. And again, if you're not familiar with these terms here, I would say my other course not to do a plug here, but my other course intro to an introduction with a pro colorist, I actually go over all of the different terms in the interface that can gain gamma, lift, contrast highlights shadows. So if you want to check that out, maybe this will make a little bit more sense if you're not familiar with Lyft gamma again, or you could call them shadows, mid tones, highlights. But I think you kind of get the point that I'm just kind of making this a little bit darker and the mood here. See already you're seeing the original image. And now I'm going to increase the contrast. And again, this is all just kind of playing with it. So I'm going to do this. And what I'm looking at, by the way, is the shadows in the highlights all at once. And then I'm going to use this tool here called Pivot, which what it pivots is the contrast level. So for example, as I started adjusting, It's kind of a way of, of fine tuning the contrast, where's the contrast is? You could say, a more rough adjustment of the contrast. Pivot is where you find tune the contrast. So I'm going to do this. Again. This is just the primary and going from this to this. Okay? And next thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to reframe this shot because this is too wide. I'm going to create a second node. Go here to our sizing palette. And I'm going to zoom in this fish on the read. So I know I have the latitude. Actually I want that out. And it really zoom in. And in a typical film you do, you'd be surprised how much things are reframed in re-crawl opt for a lot of different reasons. It may just be that it was intentional that you shot a little extra wide and you meant to reframe it imposed. Or sometimes it's just an issue of like, once you see your shot after it's cut, you realize it for story purposes or for edit purposes. You may need something a little bit tighter. And so for here, I'm just kinda reframing her a little bit there. I'll just do that again. I could play with it forever, but okay, so we'll just call this the primary adjustment that we did this and then we cropped it. We reframe the shot a little bit. I have an issue with her face. It's again, not sharp enough. So I'm just going to create a window right here, Shift H to C, what I'm adjusting. And I can do two things to, I can, That's too much. And when this is a very strong tool, by the way, just a little bit goes a long way. And you see because our eyes are a little soft. So I'm just gonna do that. They're okay. And actually going back to the primary and I'm going to actually cool this off a little bit. Someone I'm going to color temperature. And again, typically something that looks in amount, it is not so warm and vibrant. It looks right now that image looks very much like a typical video image. And I'm trying to take that away, some coolness. 4x. We started here or going here. And I'm really going to create a look. So I'm going to really push this like that. Okay, can save is turned to look like something. And we have them going to maybe push the contrast again. Again, it's all a matter of taste. Make it very contrast to n. I'm actually going to D saturate a little bit. And I'm really just making this book up as I go. Because typically when you have Story and everything else to go with it, that kind of helps. But I'm just kinda make something that looks good. And then these highlights up here are bothering me a little bit. So now I am going to do that as a secondary. Option s To create an additional node. Or again, the slower way to go up here and click on that. And highlights h l right here, is when you want to adjust just the bride or parts of the image like light bulbs and reflections and that kind of thing. So I'm gonna take that and it's too much honestly. Ok, there we go. And you can see that because this image was not meant to look cinematic, It wasn't a shot that way intentionally. It takes more work to get there, 10. Outro: Okay, so that's our course. I want to thank you so much for taking it. I hope you learned a ton in this course. And I just want to say a few more things before we wrap up. Remember that whenever you're trying to grade a film, whenever you're trying to make it look more polished, whether this is going for the cinematic look or anything else? Remember that it's always about a collaborative effort gets about the color is just about the DP, it's about the director. And the best way to get the best look that you want for your film has to communicate with the creative forces, the DEP, the director, or anyone else that you can think of that can bring something to the table. Any of the projects that have always come out the best that I've ever graded. They've always been. The projects where I sit in a room with a director of photography, with the director, and we try different things. We experiment. We might start off at point B and end up with something very different. And it's really about remembering that. It's about the story. What can I do to make the story better? Not necessarily what's the coolest look or the hippest look or something that's popular at the time. If you want to be the type colorist that creates original looks that maybe set certain trends or that have people walk up to you and say, oh, how did you do this? How did you create this? How did you create that? That typically comes from experimenting, trying different things, knowing your lenses, knowing the history of film, knowing why certain looks are popular and why they're not. And this will help you become a much more successful colorist in your career.