Mixing Light Color Correction Podcast Series

Client Direction & The National Spot Look

September 7, 2014

In this episode of From The MailBag learn about what to do when you have no client direction & how to achieve that national spot look


Episode 14: From The Mailbag

What Do You Do When You Have No Client Direction? & How Do You Get That National Spot Look?

It’s been a while, but we’re back with another episode of From The Mailbag!

This past week, Team Mixing Light recorded 6 new Mail Bag episodes so expect those soon!

For this installment, we have two great questions from members Chris Climer & Clay Butcher.

Remember, if you have questions that you’d like to get an opinion on please use the contact form. Your questions can be aesthetic, technical or even client related. We’d love to hear from you, and your question might make future episodes of From the Mailbag.

Client Direction

Up first, we got a question from longtime Mixing Light Member Chris Climer.  He asks:

What is the percentage of your work where your client gives you initial direction vs. them just dropping off a project and saying “we trust you to give us something good” or “you are the colorist you tell me”? And if you don’t get direction from a client, what is your process to convey what you think the color should be for the individual project?

This is a great question from Chris and we’ll break this down in detail Part 1 of this weeks MailBag.  All of us have experience with this and we discuss several ways to approach this situation.

The National Spot Look

Next, we got a question from Clay Butcher asking about how to achieve a national spot look:

I’ve been making some TV ads airing locally here in Anchorage, AK. I’m always astonished by how bright and vibrant national airing ads are compared to local market ads. I’m wondering if you could do a breakdown of what goes into getting a video to that level? I know they have better gear and lighting every step of the way, but is there something I could do in post to improve this aspect? I’d love to learn it!

We break down this question in Part 2 and discuss both heavy duty production & postproduction teams available on national spots and what you can do to borrow techniques from larger productions.

Enjoy the Mail Bag!

– Team Mixing Light

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Homepage Forums Client Direction & The National Spot Look

  • What kinda of work do you guys do on skin tones to make them look smoother for commercials. Any digital makeup techniques?

  • RobbieCarman

    Greg. The ole skin smooth can be accomplished (if you do it light handed) easily with a qualification of the skin tone, limiting that qualification with a mask and tracking of that mask (if needed) and then by using the mist controls. Another one I’ve been using since node based PTZR came into play in Resolve 10 has been doing light blemish removal. It’s not true roto and sometimes its just won’t do the job but it can be much easier then having to toss a shot over to an After Effects, Flame or other compositing solution.

  • Have you seen this
    Its OpenFX, they kinda have too many options since resolve can do most of the masking better than them.
    Its worth playing with.

  • I saw a really neat trick of using the new midtone details function to smooth skin after qualifying it. Reducing it around 20 seemed to give a nice skin smoothing effect. Anyone else try this yet?

  • RobbieCarman

    yep, this is a good way also.

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Also – after qualifying the skin and isolating with a mask (as necessary), Noise Reduction is another way of smoothing skin. For a more high-fashion look, combine any technique here with a composite mode (Screen or Soft Light usually work best) over the non-smoothed image.

  • Chris Climer

    Thanks guys that really helped…..especially Pat’s wrap line. At work I get a lot of think outside when coloring and then I do and I don’t like it, so I go back to just a nice balance look and it feels better to me….and my boss is fine with it to(which is matters the most), Being the videographer as well I need to remember to use line that I just shot it right. Thanks again

  • Patrick Inhofer

    Chris – Thanks for the great question! I’m glad we can help.

  • Clay Butcher

    Thanks guys, good stuff!

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