Colour Grading - how to achieve this grade/muted look?

Hi guys,

Wondering if anyone knows how the highlights/mids were achieved in the screenshots below. How the sunlight isn't harsh and seems to be muted and looks filmic.

When I say highlights I mean everything the sunlight is touching, not the brightest parts of the image (like blowouts on the cars in the background etc). Sorry about my terminology.

FYI: Video was shot on a 550D/t2i, and a Sigma 30mm 1.4. All grading was done with Colour Curves only in After Effects. Too bad the creator of these videos, Kendy Ty, doesn't do tutorials!

Here is the video if you want to watch it, the two shots are from 2:20 & 2:45:

https://vimeo.com/63626357






Thanks guys!
 
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Well if i was going to grade to get this sort of look id raise the black point a bit and lower the white point a bit to a mid tone sort of territory then raise the gamma a little so there is less contrast between the midpoint and the blacks. Colour wise it looks pretty neutral with a blue/slightly magenta tint on or something.

but I agree with Nikola there was prob a lut involved at the filming stage.
 
It's hard to tell what was done to the footage without knowing what the original looks like. It's a lower contrast level than usual. As Jooble said, raise the blacks and desaturate (more in the blacks and highlights) and you'll be most of the way there. Adjust to the particular feel you want and adjust to match shots.

There is also a chance (as Jooble mentioned) that is has a teal/orange treatment, though for this, I suspect it's ignored the orange and just gone for a teal wash.

The 500d normally gives you a deep rich, saturated look so you have to bring it back to the look you're chasing.
 
Thanks for the replies guys!

I would say the whole "only done with curves" thing is BS.

Seems to me like there are LUTs involved.

He gets asked a lot and he is adamant that it's only curves. I believe him. I've tried piecing together bits and pieces of info about his grade and export/workflow over comments in his videos and pics from his site and flickr etc, as not only is it probably the best DSLR footage I've ever seen (Sleepwalking in the Rift is up there as well), I've never seen grain hold that well in any other video I've seen online.

Here's a post on his website about his grade/old picture profile (he currently uses a different picture profile):

http://www.kendyty.com/#!stills/ck0q

You can see there he raises the shadows and makes slight changes to the curves. Still unsure about that muted highs/mids look though.

Well if i was going to grade to get this sort of look id raise the black point a bit and lower the white point a bit to a mid tone sort of territory then raise the gamma a little so there is less contrast between the midpoint and the blacks. Colour wise it looks pretty neutral with a blue/slightly magenta tint on or something.

but I agree with Nikola there was prob a lut involved at the filming stage.

You mean drag the highlights down like the opposite of this RGB curve in this picture:



And when you say raise the gamma do you mean just the gamma slider?

I thought there looks like a slight magenta/green tint to the mids/highs.

It's hard to tell what was done to the footage without knowing what the original looks like. It's a lower contrast level than usual. As Jooble said, raise the blacks and desaturate (more in the blacks and highlights) and you'll be most of the way there. Adjust to the particular feel you want and adjust to match shots.

There is also a chance (as Jooble mentioned) that is has a teal/orange treatment, though for this, I suspect it's ignored the orange and just gone for a teal wash.

The 500d normally gives you a deep rich, saturated look so you have to bring it back to the look you're chasing.

You mean desaturate the highs and shadows individually, not an overall desaturate? I'm not sure if I can do this in Sony Vegas
 
You mean desaturate the highs and shadows individually, not an overall desaturate? I'm not sure if I can do this in Sony Vegas

Yes, that's what I meant.

While most editing programs can grade, they're not made for it. If the program you're using can do what's required, it'll take you a lot more work than if you used the proper program designed for the task.

From the picture you've posted above, it's a rather simple grade. Lift the blacks which reduce the contrast and make the picture look more washed out, then push slightly towards green while pinning the green highlights to stay the same, then shift the mids towards red (and away from blue).
 
Honestly, those images look to me like someone was trying to emulate log footage with something that didn't start as LOG.. or in essence 'un-grading' the footage. It's not a terrible look, but looks unfinished/unpolished to me. *shrug* Hard to judge without any context though I guess since the grade should amplify the mood, so if it's raw/gritty, I guess that kind of look might work, but blah.. it's just.. blah.
 
Yes, that's what I meant.

While most editing programs can grade, they're not made for it. If the program you're using can do what's required, it'll take you a lot more work than if you used the proper program designed for the task.

Actually I might be able to do it with Magic bullet looks

From the picture you've posted above, it's a rather simple grade. Lift the blacks which reduce the contrast and make the picture look more washed out, then push slightly towards green while pinning the green highlights to stay the same, then shift the mids towards red (and away from blue).

Are you referring to the pic in the OP?

Honestly, those images look to me like someone was trying to emulate log footage with something that didn't start as LOG.. or in essence 'un-grading' the footage. It's not a terrible look, but looks unfinished/unpolished to me. *shrug* Hard to judge without any context though I guess since the grade should amplify the mood, so if it's raw/gritty, I guess that kind of look might work, but blah.. it's just.. blah.

Did you watch the video I posted as well? Thats a screenshot from the downloaded file from Vimeo which is more washed out as it doesn't have the flash player "conversion" done to it yet, the video is more contrasty and more for what I imagine his vision is.
 
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