Think all you have to do in Maya 2011 to work linearly is set the two input/output options in the render globals? Wrong! Well, you’ll technically be correct. But you actually have to set three other options hidden away in the preferences, otherwise your nice 32bit linear EXR files will look totally washed out.
For better or for worse, I decided to take charge of the visual look of the project upon receiving the first round of animation. Jerika had no plan for lighting, other than the established set lighting that was done by another student previously, which I personally found flat, boring and impractical to render for animation. Having done a significant amount of lighting design for film productions in the quarters before, I felt I could do better.
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.