Using Your Current Photographic Tools for Video
Let's talk about key things. Key things that I believe, I believe if you don't pay attention to, can detrimentally affect a production at some point. All right, so it all starts with... So it all starts with color, okay. Now we talked a little bit about it yesterday. And I'm gonna pull up a couple tools here. Remember what I said about being a photographer? I'm a photographer first. I just happen to have an extensive knowledge base in motion capture now, which eventually you all will as well. So I have these tools from my photo career. ColorChecker Passport from X-Rite and an i1Display Pro or an i1Display Pro from X-Rite. Now, for those of your guys who don't have these tools, let's just sidestep and pretend we're only talking about photography. You should be color-managed anyway. Because I believe you cannot edit color accurately if you do not see it accurately. We used to call it color correction. That's not the proper term anymore. It's color management, okay. So a tool like this w...
ill have a white balance target. There's actually another version of the ColorChecker Passport called the ColorChecker Sekonic, which actually has a gray card in place of this panel right here. So we'll talk about a monitor later, but if you guys are actually in this production studio, you take a look at some of the cameras that people have or that they're using and there's something that has something called false color. And in the video world, false color is an indication that you're either clipping a channel, you're out of exposure, whatever it is. In some cameras, false color will give you a color when you've clipped your highlight and you have a mid-tone. Okay, so if you're having a ColorChecker Passport, it's a really kinda neat little tool to be able to use in managing your color and in some cases, actually managing your exposure and checking your exposure. So I'm gonna assume that the majority of the folks at home don't know what this guy does, okay. So I said this is an i1Display Pro and it's from X-Rite. What it does is it will calibrate whatever display or monitor that I'm using. So what you guys didn't see the other day and if you actually look on my Instagram feed, you would've seen me actually calibrating the display that we're using here in the room. And I posted two things. I posted the picture of me doing it and then, an actual picture of the differences in color between my laptop display and the actual display. And there is a variance to it and there is a difference to it. Remember what I said. If I can't edit color accurately, if I don't see it accurately, what makes me think that anyone in this room is gonna see what I want them to see? Now, there's a limitation to this, right, because if I'm color managed and my viewers at home aren't color managed, their monitors might be off, but I wanna put out the best product possible and I wanna put out the most accurate color-accurate product possible, so that when it gets to my customer, they're looking at the best version of that product that I put out. Okay, so the way this guy works is you plug it in and then, what you end up doing is you plug it in and you end up draping it across like over your monitor like this, okay. And actually, I'll do it on the screen. So you end up, like, draping it on the monitor, okay. And then, you open up a piece of software and the software, like, spit out different colors. And here's a cool thing, right. To us, it just looks like colors. But in reality, this device is measuring the color that it's seeing, comparing it to the value that it knows that color to be and then, in the back end, shifting those shades of color so that it is getting the best out of the display as possible. Now, for those of you who actually know a little bit more about video editing, I'm gonna step back and talk about color spaces, right. So inside of photography, we primarily operate in, like, three color spaces. We got ProPhoto RGB, Adobe 1998 and sRGB, right? And these devices calibrate for that. In the video world, we have two other color spaces that we work in, Rec 709 and NTSC. And Rec 709 and NTSC are slightly similar, but can be different. So if you're gonna be color grading and color correcting for like abroadcast, you can actually profile your displaying based off of those color spaces so that you can be accurate when your stuff hits broadcast. Okay, now, will that apply to you guys? I would say, maybe one to two percent, three percent of y'all. Okay, sometimes you'll get the fortunate opportunity of being able to record something for broadcast or it's gonna get sent to commercial, it's gonna go up, and you'll have that opportunity. What are we gonna do? We're gonna deliver to Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook. Well, that's sRGB color space so you can profile here as RGB color space. And when you're editing, it's gonna be properly profiled. Now, there will be a bunch of, there's some of you guys out there that know more about color science and there will a percentage of you that will hear the phrase, well, Premiere Pro and Final Cut are not color managed. Meaning, they don't have an active color profile inside of the programs. So basically, what that means is those programs don't have their own color management but they're pulling the resonant profile from the computer. So if I'm color managed here and I'm running a profile, it's just gonna transfer that profile over by default. I'm gonna see exactly what I aim to see, okay. Eventually when those programs get color managed, it's just gonna be that much of a better story. Okay, so for us in the motion world, we have capture, we have edit and then, we have output. And you have to make sure that you're managed throughout the whole process. Now when it comes to this chart. Okay, this chart we use in photography to kind of see where color shift is. This chart we can use in video to match cameras. Okay, so these chips and then, this chart here falls in a certain space, falls in a certain way when you look at a scope or waveform or whatever it is and you can kind of, like, if you have two cameras that have the chart, bring them up and actually try to match what we call their forms and scopes in post. Now if you guys end up taking an editing course, you're gonna get introduced to this idea of vector scopes and RGB Parade. And those are color correction tools that allow you to correct and color manage your files in post-production when you're doing multiple cameras and they don't quite match. Okay, because even though we're setting custom white balances inside of our cameras, there can be an instance where one camera is sensitive to certain color or we're using, like, different manufacturers. And if you have, like, a point of reference, it always makes that point of reference a little bit easier for us to kind of get to a good result, okay. So what is that process look like? So I'm gonna capture something. First thing I'll do is I will get a white balance. Custom white balance that we talked about yesterday. And then, I'll flip it over and roll footage of this white target, full frame. Okay, so the first is you custom white balance and then, you roll footage of this target, full frame. Does it need to be in focus? No, it doesn't, okay. And then, the next thing that I'll do is I'll roll footage of this target. Okay, that way every frame, every camera that has a file will have the two reference targets for me so that I can actually work in post, okay. And that's how I work. And then, I'm already color managed on my monitor. I have profiles, so a good question I get is, how often do you profile? I generally profile once a month and then, before critical work. So every time I've got an important job, I re-profile my monitor, always. Anytime I'm gonna do something for a client, I will always re-profile. And then, generally speaking, if I haven't done anything for critical work in a while, I'll do it once a month, okay. That way you're just always making sure that you're always looking at the right color. So how we doing on color management? Any questions, comments, concerns?
I think one thing to bring up and I was just typing a response to the chatroom just now. But one of the things that comes up is the idea that for people who are just jumping into video, seems like there are a lot of tools and a lot of purchases that are necessary. I know the last segment was all just tools to get a specific effect and so, if you don't want that effect, you don't need those tools for sure. During this segment, do you consider these absolutely essential or are these things that you'll build up to as you're working?
So let's step back, okay. Let's just step back a second and look at your opportunity. Okay. What are we? We're photographers, okay. So if you are already in the business of photography, if you are already doing photography, these are tools that you already should have and should possess, because if you're in the business, you need to make sure that the product you're providing your clients are quality and they're standardized, okay. So if you're new to photography, I totally understand. So if you're new to photography and you're looking at all of this stuff. These tools, in my opinion, are essential over the course of a career. If you truly wanna be at the top of your game and you truly wanna provide the best possible product for a customer, then at some point, you're gonna come across these tools and at some point, you're gonna get them. It doesn't matter when but at some point, you will. And I guarantee that, because these are tools that are essential in running a business, okay. Now, let's talk to you guys who actually are photographers and if you are photographers and you don't own these tools, I'd really encourage you to consider looking at these tools because it's time to up your game and it's time to get that standard and it's time to look at things that are important that will, even though they're infinitesimal and minute, will set you that much apart from the person down the street who's trying to do what you're doing, okay. You wanna be accurate, you wanna be standardized. So now, let's stop talking about our photography business and go into motion. If you already own these tools for photography, you should be using them for motion. So you're not just buying a tool for photography now. You're buying a tool that can be used in both worlds and that's we're at. Now, I understand, because I've been there, I've done that. Budget is a finite item. Budget is a finite item. When I say my budget is $300 for a couch and I go to Ikea and look at the $300 couch and go, that's not good enough, well, too bad, your budget's $300, dude. You buy the only couch or you sit on the floor. Okay, so I understand that budgets are a finite item and you need to prioritize. So I'm gonna do my best to key in on the one tool or the couple tools that I think, unless you get, you won't be able to produce, okay.
Well, I love what you said that these are necessary over the course of a career. But I love also just to bring it back, like, the first assignment that you gave was to go out and shoot with your phone, you know. It's a process. You start out, you start working and then, as you're working, you'll figure out, like, oh, I want to be able to do this and I can't. Or this is not as good as I think it can be. And so, but this topic of you know, gear fear is a big one when you're moving into a new thing and so, I think it's good that we're able to address it, so thank you.
Yeah, no worries and the thing is, guys, I've been where you're at. I've been there and I know exactly what you mean when you say, Victor, I just spent $2,500, $3, on a camera, I've still gotta buy a couple lens that are about two grand apiece, and I've got to buy all this other support stuff for my photography business. And after that's all done, what sort of budget do I have left to buy video equipment? Go back to the first day. Go back to this idea of, you've got photographic tools that you've spent and invested a lot of money on. You've got a photographic tripod that will support your camera and keep it stable. It may not pan but it'll get your job done for a while. You probably have a photographic monopod that'll work for a while, okay. You probably have reflectors that will always work. Your lenses will always work. These are things that you already own. Just because you bought them for the purpose of photography does not mean you can't use them for video. It's just, I have an opportunity now to educate you guys on proper video tools, so of course I'm gonna do that.