Irfan Post 18a – Correcting the colours in the day…

Right, this is three days in a row of colour correction news, as to fit all of this onto one blog post would boggle the reader (as well as screw my head off). I will be blunt before I head into this. Colour Correction is dull. While editing and even sound editing has a creative edge to it that constructs the story, colour correction is actually quite dull, when doing the task in the strictest possible way. In other words, when you are just correcting colours. I had more fun doing colour correction for Caution Wet Paint, as I was actually manipulating the colours to make a story. But then CWP was a very different beast from Irfan – it was designed to look like a comic book, while Irfan is a serious piece, and so the colour correction process for this film is purely functional.

What I will show today is the colour correction of a normal scene shot in the daytime with great lighting. In other words, a scene that does not need a lot of work done to it. And I have chosen Irfan’s longest scene, the initial conflict between the two main characters, Irfan and Vasile.

This is how the original sots of Irfan look like when the character of Irfan is at the front door of Vasile’s house. It is beautiful, but the colours are a bit dull and flat. This was shot on digital film, and unfortunately no matter how good the camera is, you always have to do a little bit of correction to bounce up the picture. Of course the alternative is to shoot in black and white. A note to self when I do my next film, grade it so everything is B&W and you save yourself a lot of heartache during post!

But here is the picture of Sippy who plays the title role – Irfan with the colours now corrected:

As you can see, the picture looks instantly a hell of a lot better. More vibrant, especially when it comes to people. While last week I was talking about the colour of the car, the really tricky bit comes to people. Objects have uniform colours, smooth contours, and are often static. Even when objects are moving, the light usually acts in a predictable way on them.

Not for people. But my films are about people and so while for objects, you can usually copy and paste the settings from one shot to the next, for people, it is very different. Each shot requires the patience of a saint.

And for completion, let us take a look at the character of Vasile, played by Cristian. Different skin tones and an almost 180 spin in the angle means that the light is going to play completely new tricks on him, even though we are shooting in the same location. Here is Cristian before:

and after:

As you can see, the principles between the shots of Irfan and Vasile are the same. Bounce up the sin colour, improve the general light ambiance of the scene. But her, I also fiddled a bit with the background. While Sippy is in the shot, we get a blurry view of some bushes and the sky in the background, and so it was just a case of taking little bit of the brightness out of the sky so the image does not completely white-out. However, when Cristian is in frame, the background is a door, and is fairly detailed. I like the look of it, and so enhanced the image just a tad, making the door’s colour a little richer, and refining a few of the details on the door. Well, trust me, I did. Subtle changes, but I liked them…

Next Irfan post, what happens when you colour correct in the dark..

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