Sky Replacement - Essential Skill For Colorists?

Sky Replacement – Is It An Essential Skill For Colorists?

January 11, 2017

If a client asks for a sky replacement; as a colourist, should you? If so, how? Plus a tip on where to start when evaluating a sequence.

Day 11: 25 Insights in 25 Days New Year Marathon


Enhanced Or Natural

In this Insight I’m asking questions about Sky Replacement and if it belongs in the grading suite.

The first question I’m asking is: How easy are they to do in Resolve? I explain the process in this Insight in case you have never tried them before.

The second question I’m asking is: Should we (colourists) do them?

Footage Link

You can download the Red One Mysterium clip here to try grading yourself before watching my video insight below.

You can also download the sky here.

Challenge: Before you watch my video, please have a go at the clip yourself!

Reward vs Effort

I’m happy to do a sky replacement in my grading suite if the shot genuinely calls for it. I normally try not to do this in front of my clients; as much as I love them all, as soon as I start sky replacing they get carried away. Suddenly I’m spending the day tracking and replacing skies in 27 shots.

I also feel like Resolve needs a few more tool refinements and additions to help blend the edges on some difficult shots.

I’m asking you all what your position on it is, both attended and unattended?

In the video below, I cover :

  • Replacing A Sky In A Static Shot
  • Tracking Your Sky Into A Moving Shot
  • Using Compound Clips To Grade Composited Shots

I guess my final thoughts are: Sky-replacing in the grade is only as easy as the hardest shot in the whole timeline.

If you can’t make that one work, don’t even try the easy ones.

If you’ve got any questions, be sure to leave a comment!


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