Having just completed The Magic of Film bumper, here are some color correction comparisons. The footage had all been converted from the native h264 to ProRes 4:2:2 for easier editing, however, both compression methods started to break down the farther I pushed the colors; this is where RAW video would *really* be nice. The algorithms also broke down in shots that had a lot of movement and motion blur. Overall, however, the compression is passable, especially for web distribution, and the other benefits of using the 5D certainly outweigh the mediocre compression quality coming off of the camera.
As for the color itself, I wanted to go for a look for the footage that wouldn’t jar the audience during the transition to and from the black and white shots. I went for a warm duotone sort of desaturated look, bringing down the levels on the backgrounds so the subjects would pop a little bit more.
Footage from the Camera
Continuing with the coverage of the 5D shoot, here’s a greenscreen element we shot a few days ago. The setup was ghetto; a portable screen, filled with wrinkles, in the living room. On any other camera, the wrinkles would have caused problems down the line in compositing, but because we were able to put a 70-200mm lens on the camera, the screen was thrown completely out of focus. That’s not possible to do with prosumer camcorders without a multitude of adapters and accessories, you’d essentially have to put a better lens on the camera somehow. In all of the footage we’ve shot, the huge size of the sensor on the 5D compared to prosumer camcorders really shows in the visual look of the image and the amount of depth of field that is obtainable (take a look at some of the shots in the post below).
Because the screen was thrown out of focus, it was much easier to pull a clean key. The process was also much simpler; there wasn’t a need to pre-blur the green or blue channels to compensate for a 4:2:0 colorspace or other foolishness that accompanies prosumer formats.
I’ve been raving about it quite a bit, but working with this camera is such a breath of fresh air to someone who’s had to work through the godawful limitations of prosumer formats in a demanding visual effects context.