Mixing Light Color Correction Podcast Series

Color Balance & Grading Gray Skies

September 17, 2014

Do you need to color balance every shot in your video? What are the best strategies to color balance and enhance gray skies? Listen & learn.

Episode 16: From The Mailbag

Color Balance Every Shot? & How To Best Grade Gray Skies?

The MailBag questions have been coming in fast and furious!  Thanks so much!  Keep them coming!

In this installment of From The Mailbag we have a couple good questions from Mixing Light members Max Cypress & Marshal Davis.

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.

Color Balance

Up first, member Max asks a question that a lot of people ask:

As someone who is new to color grading, one area I have been kind of caught up in is color balancing. Does every shot need to be color balanced before the grade begins or is this just something that is done when an obvious color cast is present? Also on a related note, should peak white levels and black levels be even on the RGB color parade before the grade begins?

We discuss how important color balancing is and what makes up proper black and white levels.  If you’re new to color grading then this question (and our answers) will probably help you out a lot.

Gray Skies

Next, member Marshal asks a question about grading gray skies.  For a lot of clients, gray skies are something they always point out and want to fix and therefore an important subject for every colorist.

I color a thirty-minute documentary television series each week. I often run into shots during important poignant moments, but due to the fact that it was a gloomy day, (ie. Gray Skies, dim light on everyone’s faces etc.) I know there are obviously limits to what one can do. But I would love to hear what you do when you encounter material like this? 

For this question, we break down several techniques including dropping mid tones, segmenting parts of the shot and not being afraid of not colorizing gray skies

MailBag Notes

In the second part of this Mailbag, Robbie references the 3-Band technique.  You can find this Insight HERE

Dan also has a recent Insight on matching skies which you can find HERE

Enjoy the Mail Bag!

– Team Mixing Light

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