KitPlus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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MONITORING SCOPES: A CREATIVE TRILOGY Paul Isaacs Director of Product Management and Design, Sound Devices, LLC. The purpose of colour correction is to fix any problems with exposure and colour, ensuring the final image looks right. Colour grading is used to set the mood by adjusting the colours of the video imagery to achieve a certain look or feel. At the core of colour correction is tonal range: the range of brightness from dark (black) to light (white). When the tonal range is narrow, imagery will lack contrast and appear flat. Increasing the range will increase the contrast, providing brighter whites and deeper, darker blacks. This contrast often helps increase colour saturation and can make a shot appear more vibrant. Professionals often use cameras to record log-format video, which allows for greater dynamic range and exposure detail to be captured in shadows and highlights for a given video bit depth. This requires that, while on set, having a quality monitor with precision scopes to properly analyze the video signal is even more vital. There are a number of widely used exposure monitoring tools available today. Zebras and false colors are excellent for quickly identifying areas of over- or under-exposure and for setting an approximate correct exposure for skin tone. For more accurate monitoring of exposure and colour balance, it is preferable to use scopes of which there are three commonly used varieties —waveform, histogram, and vectorscope. Waveform is a tool designed to check and aid in the setting of exposure levels, both for brightness and colour. Its vertical scale provides more accurate exposure level measurement than false colors or zebras. A monitor’s waveform can have three modes: luma, RGB overlay, and RGB parade. Regardless of mode, the waveform is a scope ideally suited for avoiding over-saturation of colors and checking exposure of skin tone, as well as consistent background lighting. It is also useful to ensure background separation on green screen shots. 48 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 119 NOVEMBER 2016