How To Get Color Right In Your Video - InformationWeek

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2/9/2012
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How To Get Color Right In Your Video

Getting colors in video to look right is tricky. You will do better if you white balance the shot before you begin.

Digital cameras have made creating sophisticated video content easy and relatively inexpensive. Getting the lighting right, however, can be a challenge when there is either too much or too little light on the set. Although many problems can be fixed in post production, there are simple on-set techniques that can greatly reduce your post-production work.

The easiest way to save post-production time is to white balance before each shot. White balancing is simply telling the camera what color white is. This enables it to understand how to properly record the intensity of other colors under your lighting conditions.

First, it's a good idea to use the same camera--or multiple cameras of the same model--for all your shots. This is vital unless you'd like your movie to look like it was shot under radically varying conditions.

Another good idea is to use a custom white balance. With most cameras, you should get a custom white balance before each new camera angle, or if the lighting conditions change drastically from one take to the next.

White balance works slightly differently on each camera, so be sure to consult the camera's manual for a white balance setting. Most cameras have several settings that attempt to perform white balance automatically, plus a method for setting the white balance yourself. The latter usually appears as "Custom WB" or something similar. That'll be the one you want.

If your camera doesn't have a custom white balance setting, it should at least have a number of auto-balance presets. Select the one that most closely resembles your lighting conditions.

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