Masking and Color Grading. Lovely Stuff.

In this Film Riot episode, we take a look at color grading a shot of a plane. You’d expect to go for one grade over the whole image, but to keep detail in the sky, on the actors and the subject, you will be masking the shot. Depending on your shot you could get away with using things like the roto brush or sky replacement techniques but as the shot in this video was of a plane, similar in color to the sky, Ryan goes with rotoscoping.

Once you’ve drank your cup of tea and have your mask done, you can now grade the image to give each separate part whatever look you want. You could create a post-apocalyptic sky, you could make it look like winter, summer…you get the idea. Be warned though, the more color grading you do on each mask will mean the more the separate layers will show. So if you try to keep the grades close to each other, it will be a seamless grade and that’s what we’re looking for here!

Film Riot also covers using Optical Flares, which is great tool you can use to add, you guessed it, optical flares. The reason they are doing this is to bring up the shadows without using more grading and to give a nice subtle contrast in tone to focus attention on the subject. Another thing they did was to add a couple of un-sharpened masks to add to contrast and to bring out some of the detail.

The key to getting a good result in post all starts in the filming! If you completely blow out the sky in the production then you are going to be screwed when it comes to post – you can be the best color grading expert in the world, but if you have no detail to work with then you aren’t going to be able to do much in post.

SOURCE: Film Riot YouTube