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TOPIC: Matching Color and Brightness Between 2 Cameras

Matching Color and Brightness Between 2 Cameras 05 Dec 2019 05:51 #103008

  • roundz
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I've been having an issue trying to match the look of 2 different cameras when trying to edit them together in FCPX.

One camera has a dull look to is with the other one is much too rich.

I've tried the auto balance, match color, and I've messed around a little with the color corrector but I'm far from an expert in that area. I work with a lot of footage from these 2 cameras so it would be nice to figure out an easy way to get them more closely matched without taking a ton of time.

I've included samples of each cameras footage below:

JM-Clips1.jpg


JM-Clips2.jpg


Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
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Matching Color and Brightness Between 2 Cameras 06 Dec 2019 11:27 #103012

  • joema
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Each different camera/sensor has unique color science and an overall look. It can be difficult and/or time consuming to perfectly match two different cameras.

One way to reduce the problem is shoot in a log or flat color profile, which may reduce the unique color "signature" from each camera. You then correct "upward" from that flat profile. The problem is a severe log profile like Sony Slog3 or Panasonic V-log doesn't work well with an 8-bit codec. On 8-bit cameras it's best to use a mild log profile like Sony Slog2.

Another option is use the camera's "neutral" profile which is less flat than a log profile, but still contains more color so might be a little easier in post.

To match different shots you can use the FCPX built-in comparison viewer, as described here:
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Matching Color and Brightness Between 2 Cameras 06 Dec 2019 18:44 #103014

  • VidGreg
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Hey Roundz, Welcome to the fcp.co forums.
Some more info would likely result in better help, like are you trying to be professional as in is this a real wedding you are event videoing, or "movie making/staged". How is it to be delivered? What cameras do you use? Codecs? Do you do lighting?
Making lots of assumptions, I would recommend start with the cameras. As Joema says, each camera has it's own characteristics so I would test to find the best matching formats/settings available. Many consumer level cameras do not have RAW format or advanced codecs, LOG profiles, and most likely limited to 8bit so Joema's advice may not apply. Pro cameras come with much better sensors and profiles.

Looking at just the 2 frames, I think you should be able to get much better results than shown.
I would make sure to white balance each camera, here a color chart may prove helpful. Remember to re-balance if going indoors/outdoors. Camera sensors really differ in recording various light levels.

I believe that FCPX built-in color corrections should be able to match the cameras and you can save the corrections as a color preset(s). The presets can be applied to all the corresponding camera clips. This would be my approach.
I tend to use secondary color corrections to tweak the clips. FCPX allows multiple CC.
I recommend you spend lots of time working with color corrections and especially learn how to use the various scopes.
I have only had limited success with the automatic color match, but it can be a good starting point.
You can also apply a "look" and an adjustment layer to the clips/timeline.

Many good tutorials on using scopes, color corrections, the new color wheels, etc… Lots of links right here on fcp.co Check out the Tutorials section.

If you are always using the same 2 cameras, you have an advantage getting familiar with the differences and coming up with solutions.
I'm normally working with multiple cameras with footage from amateur operators as my wife and I help shoot and teach videography to families and organizations. Not always the best material, but we are making "family movies" not Hollywood. Still want the best quality we can make. Very high quality videos can now be created with very low budgets. Mostly, it is the experience, memories and fun in making a movie that is important to us.

I really like what Sam Mestman is doing with We Make Movies. He would be a good person to follow and encourage to write up more articles, as he not only deals with this everyday, but he also started out as a colorist I believe? Thanks Sam :)

Hope this Helps
Lots of assumptions.

Happy Editing, Greg
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Matching Color and Brightness Between 2 Cameras 07 Dec 2019 05:37 #103015

  • Axel
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roundz wrote:
One camera has a dull look to is with the other one is much too rich.

(...)

I've included samples of each cameras footage below:

JM-Clips1.jpg


JM-Clips2.jpg

The upper image looks partially overexposed, the second one (is that the one you find ‘dull’?) not, seems to be some flat picture profile.

Less objectively one could find the first one “videoish” and the second “cinematic”. It is more easy to match the second to the first than the other way around.
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Matching Color and Brightness Between 2 Cameras 07 Dec 2019 13:09 #103018

  • joema
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While there are some techniques to matching different cameras, there is not a LUT or plugin that does this perfectly. The best approach is use cameras with the same color science and settings. This does not mean the exact same camera, e.g, video from several Sony Alpha-series cameras are very similar and use the same codec.

The cost of not doing this is unending work in post on most every multi-cam production you do.

I shot a bunch of two-camera interviews with Backmagic Ursa cameras and matching them in post was trivial. Likewise I shot a five-camera event where our additional lights had color temp dialed in by a meter, and using all Sony Alpha cameras with white balance set by a meter, all using color profile Slog2, and matching those was fast and easy. The entire edit just took a couple of days.

By contrast I edited a large documentary where each camera was set differently and just doing the color work took weeks.
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