How to post-process video footage shot in your camera’s flat colour profile.
First, an understanding of basic colour correction (that’s before colour grading) is helpful, to understand the adjustments in post-production which can be applied to any footage, and which shooting in a Log colour profile will then further open up:
Most consumer-level DSLR and mirrorless camera systems have a limited dynamic range – that is, how many stops of light can be captured before the detail is lost in the highlights, the shadows, or both. This limits how much the contrast and saturation of the image can be affected in post-production.
To counteract this at the production stage, shooting in a “flat” colour profile can effectively increase a camera’s dynamic range. Often a “Cine” colour profile will be flatter than, say, “Standard” or “Natural”, depending on your camera system. A “Log” colour profile (such as S-Log2 or S-Log3 on Sony, V-Log L on Panasonic, C-Log on Canon) dramatically flattens the image by reducing the contrast and saturation of the image as it’s being captured in-camera.
Jeven Dovey introduces the basic Log workflow (regardless of the specific camera system):
Gerald Undone compares Cine, S-Log and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) picture profiles:
There’s more from Gerald on Common Log Grading Mistakes & How to Avoid Them, while his longer tutorial on How to Correct Log & HLG Footage & Make LUTs contains sample S-Log footage for free download.
Paule Porter and Joo Works, in their individual styles, cover roughly the same basics of how to correct and grade footage shot with the V-Log L colour profile on Panasonic cameras:
Harv Video/Audio Stuff briefly demonstrates How To Expose C-LOG Properly – Nail It In Camera:
Sam Holland demonstrates, in further detail, Canon C Log vs Standard Picture Profiles:
Even though this post is about the general workflow with Log, and not about specific software, who doesn’t want a five-minute Log grading tutorial – in this case, in DaVinci Resolve?
Hopefully, what’s become clear is the need to shoot for the grade – that is, to work backwards from the final look you want for your image, so that at the shooting stage you manage exposure and colour to capture what you’ll need in post:
Featured image via Harv Video/Audio Stuff.