One of the topics none of us seem to cover enough (maybe that’s because we don’t know enough about it) is color grading (tho we’ve got plenty of stuff in the superStore@planet5D on grading).

The other day, Slaven Blagsic sent me this email (and I get to see plenty of cool and not so cool things LOL) and after a few seconds of watching his Color Grading Reel (which I also don’t see very many of), I had to find out more.

Everybody knows today market is different, but most of us think DSLRs are still alive with their raw capabilities and here is the proof :)

Here is my new Color Grading Reel mostly created from the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Magic Lantern RAW video.

I used DaVinci Resolve and sometimes Colorista II with Premiere CC and After Effects.

Thank you for doing a great job.

Best regards
Slaven Blagsic

And, after a tiny bit of coaxing and prodding, Slaven agreed to do a guest post for our planet5D readers on what he’s learned and experiencing when grading Magic Lantern RAW video.

Cinemart Color Grading Reel

From Slaven Blagsic:

The current market is changing rapidly. We are witnessing the large increase in the arrival of the new and excellent cinema cameras. Going through the comments online I saw that everyone wanted to know whether DSLR cameras steel have their place under the sun. In short, I will try to express my own experiences in working with the RAW format.

This is our Color Grading Reel, based upon Canon EOS 5D Mark III – 14-bit ML RAW format which enabled amazing opportunities in color grading.

edited/color graded by: Slaven Blagsic
filmed by: Cinemart team
cinemart.tv

You can see for yourself how much it could be used from the each video.

Despite the existing disadvantages there are two reasons why I always like to work with DSLRs. The first reason is, of course, the possibility for RAW shooting and the other reason is the form factor. Its small weight and dimensions during filming provide us with the fast movement and availability for changing positions, when such work is required.

Filming and working with RAW is much more demanding, but isn’t it so with the Red cameras as well and filmmakers still love it? :)

RAW requires much more work in post production, however it pays off at the end.

The difference between the classic and Magic Lantern RAW filming is huge. RAW contains much more information that provides better dynamic range, 14-bit colors, excellent correction and high picture sharpness, generally saying; a professional work in each feature project.

What it is important and rather rare, even on high-end cinema cameras, is the possibility of DSLR for the internal recording on the CF card. Although, they must be very fast cards with minimal speed of 1000x.

color grading reel 1

The latest versions of Magic Lantern allow sound recording and as such, provides easier synchronization with the sound taken from the outside sound recorder.

There are many methods available but the Magic Lantern Raw workflow I use is the following:

I convert .mlv file from the camera with mlv_dump or MLVMystic. Later on, I import it to After Effects (at this point, if you wish, you can go directly to DaVinci Resolve instead of After Effects).

During importing I use basic color correction with Camera Raw, and in Project Settings set color to 16-bit, then export to ProRes 4444.

color grading 2

Next I import to Premiere, synchronize with PluraEyes and edit, then export XML to DaVinci Resolve.

At this point the complete color grading is done. After this is finished I export XML and then again import to Premiere. I use stabilization as necessary, further edit in After Effects and Premiere and then export the final version of the video. All After Effects edits or similar are done after DaVinci Resolve, of course, because it is not supported by the XML.

If you are not familiar with the usage of the DaVinci Resolve the entire processes could be simplified by Color Grading in excellent Red Giant Colorista II in Premiere or in your favorite NLE.

Hopefully this way I managed to inspire you to try to include DSLR RAW filming into your projects and enjoy the possibilities of the Color Grading :)

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)



planetMitch

chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind planet5D.com

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.