color correction

Being at a color correction session for Book 2 today reminded me that I kicked off this blog a year ago this week with a snapshot of Korra from a Book 1 color correction session. A year later and I’m still behind in all my work, you’re all still mad the show is not out yet (which, please understand, is akin to being mad at a tree for not growing apples fast enough), and Korra is still a badass.
Thanks for caring enough to be mad and for following this blog! Love, Bryan

Tutorial on correcting hyperpigmentation.

1. Press orange-hued creamy concealer in a dry (rather than emollient) formula over the dark spots on the face. Here I used Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.

2. Press a VERY fine matte powder into the corrector, like the Ambient Lighting powders from Hourglass. Use a tiny amount to avoid cakiness.

5. Spray a toner or setting spray lightly over the entire face. (I mix a few drops of argan oil with water in a spray bottle.)

6. Buff a foundation, like Hourglass Illusion, all over the skin with a fluffy, synthetic brush such as the multi task brush by Real Techniques.

7. Set once more with powder and setting spray, then add blush, bronzer and highlighter.

1028 days ago I started this blog with a post about a color correction session for episode 6 of Korra. Today was the last of those sessions for the series. I still love this part of the process, as it is the final polish on the picture, gelling everything together and making it pop. Thanks so much to the Korra colorist, Randy Beveridge, who did such a killer job, played awesome music, and provided the good vibes. Thanks to Sean Holland and all the techs at Level 3 Post for making everything run so smoothly and keeping the sessions cozy.

*This would normally imply that we were finished with the picture on the finale, but we are still cranking on a handful of retakes. We’re using up every last minute we have before delivery to make this one-hour look as good as we can!


What a Movie’s Scenes Look Like Straight Out of the Camera Versus In Theaters

We receive a lot of questions from fans asking about when the film will be released, and why Post-Production takes so long. This video is a look at just one of several very time-consuming parts of the post-production process. In addition to color grading, there’s also editing (and keep in mind, by the time we’re done, that’s 20 days of footage), sound design, score composition, and of course the VFX needed to bring the magic to life!


Color correction used to be my least favorite part of editing, but now that’s I’ve sort of learned how to use it, it’s one of my favorite tools! Gives you a chance to drastically change the mood of a scene. I wasn’t happy with the light in the warehouse bouncing up from the floor while we were shooting, but it ended up really adding to the mood. Makes it feel creepier and crazier.  Also, there’s a picture of my hair in real life for those who care.

*color grading/whatever. I use magic bullet mojo, this clip also has the normal color corrector to boost the mids and misfire vignette (also from magic bullet).


As with the last photo collection, here’s another look into the color correction process I do to my images. The left column (or first photo of each pair) is the original photo untouched as it was taken from my camera. The right column (or second photo) is the finalized edit done with Adobe Camera Raw / LightRoom.

I answered a question on DA regarding some details on the color correction I perform:
“These are all RAW photos, meaning I can pull an insane amount more detail out of every facet of them than traditional JPEG’s. I shift around all sliders of these photos to somewhat extremes. One of the biggest tricks is that every one of these photos has their contrast slider turned all the way down to the lowest (or near the lowest.) This increases dynamic range and makes higher contrast elements such as the sky and the ground closer together. Increasing the blue-channel saturation makes the sky more vivid and deeper, as opposed to lighter / overexposed. Next, I separate the Red, Blue, and Green channels in hue to make all of the colors in the photo very differentiated. Colors get pushed to further primaries (all elements in the photos become more starkly red, green, or blue.) And lastly, to re-introduce a bit of harmony, I warm the scene up in temperature and make the tint a tad magenta.”

For details about why I do what I do to my photography, refer to this prior explanation.

@ndgo: Reality does have this much life and character! The problem is that cameras capture this reality at a very flat face-value representation. Through color correction, I try to bring the life that I experienced there in person back into the photos. I’m not making the photos look better than real life, I’m just trying to make them look LIKE it (or how I see it, anyway.)