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Thread: Bringing dull footage to life ....

  1. #1
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    Default Bringing dull footage to life ....

    Hello .... does anyone have any tips or techniques for bringing some life to dull footage? I have recently filmed some youth participation events for the local council. The events all take place in the council chambers which is a typically dank, badly lit, beige-walled room. I made the appropriate white balance adjustments to copensate for the terrible false lighting and used manual focus where possible to try and add some depth. However I am still left with footage that lacks any kind of punch and range of colour. I appreciate that I can't work miracles and make the place look really dynamic but I would really appreciate any advice regarding adjustments I can make in post production. I am using Premier Pro 1.5 and unfortunatley don't have access to any additional software such as After Effects or Magic Bullet. Also are there any settings I could have adjusted before filming that might have made things easier?

    Many thanks for your help

    Robin

  2. #2

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    I think if you're in a badly lit room, and you don't have a great camera there's not a lot you can do unfortunately. You could try and lift the exposure slightly to get more out of the background but then do you really want to expose for the background rather than for the people?

    I don't know Premier Pro - does it have a colour correction tool? If I have 'flat' looking footage in Avid, what often helps is I lift the gamma a little (roughly in and around 10 - try and see what feels right) and then increases the saturation slightly. That can often bring a lot of life into it. But be careful as it's easy to get carried away! Remember you are looking for something that still looks natural, so just make subtle adjustments.

  3. #3
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    In premiere pro go to your video effects. In "adjust" there is a proc amp for adjusting saturation, hue, contrast and brightness. Only use the brightness effect sparingly and if absolutely necessary. The contrast and saturation filters are good. For hue, go to color correction filters. There are a host of color correction, gamma, black and white point, RGB etc,etc tools to play with. Having not seen the footage, I think your best bet is experimenting yourself with the different filters. I have had the best luck with the proc amp and white and black point filters as well as the RGB levels. Remember, less is more when fine tuning.

  4. #4
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    great .. thanks for the advice .... I'll try some of your suggestions tonight and let you know how I get on.

  5. #5
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    Can you post 2 or 3 screen grabs from the video so we can see what the specific problems are in terms of light levels, white balance and colouring?

  6. #6
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    Hello - I have attached two frames from my footage.

    thanks again for all your help

    robin
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    I spent about a minute with this, so you can obviously do much betterwith more time and effort . . . bumped proc amp contrast and saturation . . . bumped gamma level and increased white clip. good luck!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    Thanks a lot! I'll give it a go.

    robin

  9. #9
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    For next time....

    Get it right when you shoot is always the best way - in post all you can do is paper over the cracks and often end up with a worse result.

    The light on your subjects is vile. Even in a place where you have to rely on awful available light there are always some places that are better than others.

    Those reflective round thingys are a boon if you have a person to hold it and even a piece of white card can work wonders.

    Using Reflectors to Light Your Subject

  10. #10
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    Great point there! One can also adjust the gain setting on the camera, but too much gain on the camera setting can add an artifical "glow" or a very grainy look. The reflector cards are a great suggestion! Camera mounted lights will also help these situations. I have a 150 watt vari light and a 100 watt mini soft box that mount on my cameras for such situations.

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