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Color Grading the 5D MKII for Case Combines

  • April 14, 2019
  • Shane Hurlbut, ASC
Color Grading the 5D MKII for Case Combines

There’s so many great comments on the BTS of the Case Tractor commercial that I wanted to share the 30 second spot with you. I am always comparing the 5D to Reversal Film Stock because you have to get it close in camera. Lets go on a journey to see how well we did. I will show you the offline edit of the MOV. files out of the camera that were decompressed with CS5. This decompressor is phenomenal. Adobe has it going on.

The first cut will be an offline edit and then next one will be the finished spot done on a Speed Grade DI color correction system. Andrew Huebscher was my colorist.  He is extraordinary with this platform. I have not seen very many people with that level of talent. Andrew is a Director of Photography with a great eye for color and contrast. Additionally, he can track, move and create windows that do magic things to push the 5D camera to perform at its very best. Check out The Last 3 MinutesNavy Rescue Swimmer, Navy Diver, as well as Case. These are perfect examples of his talent.  Bruce Hermann at Lost Planet edited the spots for me and I love his style and cutting pace.  Enjoy!!

Here is the un-color corrected offline edit done by Bruce Hermann at Lost Planet

Now here is the finished product with voice over, music, and sound design.


The following 5 screen grabs from the spot tell you what Andrew and I did in the color correction bay.

Un-color Corrected Aerial Shot: Crop Duster Cam 3-5D's mounted to the landing gear of a Cessna single engine
Un-color Corrected Aerial Shot: Crop Duster Cam 3-5D’s mounted to the landing gear of a Cessna single engine
Color Corrected Aerial Shot
Color Corrected Aerial Shot

This was an interesting shot. When we got it to the edit bay it was soft because the engine vibration was blurring every other frame. So Lancer at Bandito Brothers Post extracted every other frame and then used Twixtor to frame blend. I feel it works great for a 2.5 second shot. Or we could have hired a gyro stabilized Cineflex mount for a A-Star chopper, flown in the pilot, the Aerial photographer and the mount. $25,000.00 later you would have had the same shot.

We increased the contrast on this and added the rich golden wheat color that is the thread that takes you through the whole spot. That was it.

Un-Color Corrected wide shot of a wheat field at sunset
Un-Color Corrected wide shot of a wheat field at sunset
Color Corrected wide shot of a wheat field at sunset
Color Corrected wide shot of a wheat field at sunset

On this one we did a slight vignette on the edges. Andrew and I increased the contrast and we put a power window on the wheat to dial up the richness and saturation of the afternoon sun.

Un-Color Corrected shot of our Actor driving the Case Combine
Un-Color Corrected shot of our Actor driving the Case Combine
Color Corrected shot of our actor in the cab of the Case combine
Color Corrected shot of our actor in the cab of the Case combine

The Farmer in the cab was shot on a 50mm Kowa. We grabbed the wheat with the secondaries and brought out its warmth. We put a power window on the actors face to bring up his detail and warm up his skin tone. We then took another power window and brought up the luminance level of the LCD screen in the upper left hand corner.

Un-Color Corrected shot of combines harvesting at sunset
Un-Color Corrected shot of combines harvesting at sunset
Color Corrected shot of combines harvesting at sunset
Color Corrected shot of combines harvesting at sunset

This is a 75mm Kowa, with the beautiful sunny side up flare in the lower left hand corner. We put a slight vignette on the shot around the edges. We warmed it up slightly and increased the contrast and saturation, but very slightly. Notice how nicely the sun blows out in the frame, no HD hard edges. This feels like film, like digital film.

Un-Color Corrected shot of farmer in the field at sunrise
Un-Color Corrected shot of farmer in the field at sunrise
Color Corrected shot of farmer in the field at sunrise
Color Corrected shot of farmer in the field at sunrise

This was also shot on the 75mm Kowa, at sunrise. I loved this location because it felt like the landscape was right out of a Margaret Bourke White print during the great depression.

All of us are looking at this endless horizon of creative expression, ARE YOU READY? I know I am.

  • Canon
  • Cinematography
  • Color Correction
  • HDSLR Cameras
  • Post / Color

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