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Colorist


I made this video to demonstrate how the colorist process works in our system. It's complicated, but we don't do colorist in post anymore. The colorist process is now done on the world itself, and the camera and film are always neutral.
 
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Nate,
it looks like the shaders on some of the objects (wall, couch) actually change color. Are you saying that your system take the newly defined shader(s) then bounces the light causing all other objects in the scene to pick up some of that color? Global Illumination is what I'm talking about.
 
Nate,
it looks like the shaders on some of the objects (wall, couch) actually change color. Are you saying that your system take the newly defined shader(s) then bounces the light causing all other objects in the scene to pick up some of that color? Global Illumination is what I'm talking about.
Yeah, this is less complicated that it looks, but very effective. I'm not doing anything difficult here, just instituted a protocol where all primary shaders (in this case walls and trim) have to be routed to a parent material with a modifier that effects HSL for that. So it's not a anything special, just a node based blueprint template that gives scene creators a unified control over the most significant colors making up scene X.

Everything is always using GI in my core settings, but yes that's what makes this work. In my old colorist process, I could change that wall color, but it looked fake if you looked at the bounces. Doing things this way allows me to reshade the entire scene with the light bounces naturally, in a physically accurate way.
 
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indietalk

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It's complicated, but we don't do colorist in post anymore. The colorist process is now done on the world itself, and the camera and film are always neutral.
I'm not sure exactly what this means. Camera and film/source as usually always neutral except for white balance, and I guess film stock, but what do you mean not in post? When where you doing it before and when are you doing it now? Perhaps that's the best way to ask it.
 
I'm not sure exactly what this means. Camera and film/source as usually always neutral except for white balance, and I guess film stock, but what do you mean not in post? When where you doing it before and when are you doing it now? Perhaps that's the best way to ask it.
This wouldn't technically be called a colorist process, I just call it that because it's used to replace that process. What's responsible for the confusion is that in UE5 we were doing the standard colorist process, but it was encoded into the camera itself, standardizing stylistic templates and making them portable. In this new way, I detatched the color profile from the cameras, leaving them nuetral, and instead instituted master controls that affect physically based shaders in the environment through a selective hierarchy in a meta node. So imagine just installing a few extra dimmer knobs in your room, but instead of affecting light intensity, one of the knobs changed the underlying HSL of the paper material used as a base for any wallpaper design, etc. Then you make that set of dimmers universal, so it can be plug and play across different shooting environments.

So I can take this node graph blueprint and port it over the to canyon set, and just have one master control for the rock material. Purple or gold canyon in 3 seconds with accurate light bounces. So basically, the trick was to install a color control hierarchy that affected physical materials, rather than the textures on top of them.
 
This is all about streamlining, isn't it? Right from GPU then done! No compositing or Color correction. Ready for the next shot.
Yeah, effeciency is king when you're trying to set up for bulk process. If I was planning to make 3 scenes, this setup wouldn't make a lot of sense, but if you're going to do 1000 scenes, shaving 3 minutes off of each one and locking that pipeline segment really adds up. Thinking like an accountant goes a long way as you scale production.

Here's a video I made that mentions the concept way back when we were still using 2d animation for this project.

 
I started taking a casual look at Unreal Engine. It's powerful and there are thousands upon thousands of pre-made assets for free or very little money. Everything from houses, flooring, furniture to fully animated models. I haven't looks too close at the Unreal Marketplace but I suppose most of that stuff would be compatible with any CGI animation package.. There's something called blueprints that looks like a unique feature to Unreal that allows the user to change materials and colors when they want... Cool stuff.
 
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Okay well cool sounds a lot like an instagram filter lol.
Oh, this was a lot easier than writing the code for an instagram filter, lol. This was just a blueprint where I connected up some variables. I made the blueprint, tested it, did the cinematography, rendered it, found a song, edited the video and published it in 24 hours. It's really just a set of 3 trackballs attached to the base materials used as the main colors in the scene.
 
I started taking a casual look at Unreal Engine. It's powerful and there are thousands upon thousands of pre-made assets for free or very little money. Everything from houses, flooring, furniture to fully animated models. I haven't looks too close at the Unreal Marketplace but I suppose most of that stuff would be compatible with any CGI animation package.. There's something called blueprints that looks like a unique feature to Unreal that allows the user to change materials and colors when they want... Cool stuff.
It's an increedible system with a thriving ecosystem surrounding it. A mecca of design intelligence really. Blueprints is just UE5's name for modular segments of node based visual programming that users can create and modify. You see the same stuff in Davinchi, or Nuke, or Max. Universal logic flowcharts with active nodes that supply engine functionality.

Super simple example. I want to write a node that causes a pinball to flash yellow when hit by one of the bumpers, so I create a node establishing the flashing pattern, link it to a node that assigns the color to the pinball, run it thorough a modifier that combines it with the extant chrome surface, and valve that process with other nodes that can detect states within the sim.

IF pinball collision bumper THEN execute sequence FLASH COLOR OVERLAY.

That's a simple example, but there's basically no limit to the complexity.
 
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