Thursday, 12 December 2013

Yr2 Week 6 (Fri 22 Nov - Grading & DVD Studio Workshops)

Starting at 2, we began with the workshop on Colour grading in DMW2. What is it exactly: measureable adjustment of colour within a picture, often done to broadcast safely, as well as correct errors during photography, or some other issue like wrong lighting, shadows, stylistic reasoning such as atmosphere/mood etc.

Some of the main elements when it comes to this part of editing center around the white and black points in an image (the extremes, and the many shades of grey between them that make up tone).  The wider apart they are, the higher the contrast levels in the image. Over exposure is no good either, since it will 'crush' the blacks in the image.

The way we can avoid either scenario is two fold: 1)use objects in the scene as colour references to ensure it looks right and 2) when in the editing programme (Final Cut Pro in this case), use the scopes in the Color Correction option to check over the levels. The scope involved include, most importantly, the Waveform (which deals with broadcastable colour, as well as the white balancing) and the Vectorscope (which, as its name implies, deals with the tones and saturation of the colours). The program DaVinci Resolve can do this beforehand, and allows more specificity and option when adjusting the colours (as well as a 3-way colour adjuster made up of wheels, it also allows you to change specific colours within the scene (the yellow of a glove, the blue of a cup, the pink of hat etc.) and ensure that, regardless of where the object moves, the new adjustment goes with it.

With that done, a quick break was taken, and at 4, we took the workshop for DVD Studio Pro in the same room: this was for Helen's project, exploring interactive possibilities.  Some of the basic ground rules when making any DVD here include:
  • Our video standard is PAL (which covers mainly Europe), as opposed to NTSC (America) and SECAM (Asia).
  • Setting it to SD (Standard Definition) DVD as opposed to HD DVD (Blu-ray or the titular defunct format) for pretty clear and dry reasons.
  • Video used should ideally be MPEG (Usually MPEG2) and the audio AIFF/AC.3.
As for the program itself, it offers timelines for video and audio (which can hold 9 video tracks and 8 of audio in total, as well as 32 subtitles) as well as a visualizer to show the 'mapping' of the video(s) to the menu(s). To import a video file after working on it in FCP, it should be compressed down to PAL (720X576 - the resolution). Moving onto designing the menu, the 'Palette' option enables you to select templates, as well as the button shapes (this also allows 'Easter Eggs to be made' with aid of a marker on the chosen video track for the button to pop up. Markers also allows for the creation of chapters, which can be linked back to the 'Scene Select' option common on nearly all DVDs, though is is done in FC beforehand).

And well, that covers that. Really, it was a fairly brief affair, though it certainly opens up a lot of possibilities, especially the way easter eggs can be created, for how someone can interact with a DVD, which gives me some creative leeway in how I can take/alter the experience, or what things I can let the viewer experience. As for colour grading, it isn't much news to me, given my past experience with FCP, but it was an engaging refresher that helped me reinforce my skills a bit and remind myself of all the components.

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