Getting things to look clean white?

Tom Loveridge Nov 18, 2016

  1. Hi All,

    Ive been grading a few things recently and they have required a section that needed everything to be clean white - labs, labs coats, beauty etc.

    I feel like I'm going the wrong way about it, adding loads of nodes and desaturating everything but I can still see a hint of colour in the whites!

    I've attached a file in this link (i wasn't able to upload a .tiff file), where the background should be white but i just cant seem to get there? Any tips on getting this to look clean white, and any tips I can use in the future?

  2. Every time I click I get a different image.
  3. Are you downloading the WeTransfer file?
  4. Couple of thoughts.

    REC709 white is always a bit of a warm white so simply desaturating might not give you the desired tone. Try to balance it as neutral as you can with some help of scopes and then play with some blue push.

    Secondly, Be carefull working with secondaries and separating the background, it can easily lead to unnatural images. My advice would be get as close as possible in one node and then, maybe, adjust the bg.

    Hope this helps
  5. Oh, I got it. I first had to enable flash, then approve the cookie policy and then I would download the file.

    I'd say the 'bleeding' of the yellow on the body is actually a much bigger problem.

    By raising the highlights on a gradient (the background is increasingly darker the farther you go out) is a good start as it whitens the background and makes the image a bit more high-key.
  6. You can always do the opposite: pull a key on the parts of the picture you don't want to touch (faces, products), then invert the key and desaturate and blend what's left to make it more "pure white." Many, many TV commercials go through a beauty pass where VFX people go in and basically remove the white background and replace or change it to give it more of an edge. That's a big deal in car spots for sure.

  7. Now everything makes sense to me - I always thought that my desaturated studio background is slightly warm (not like in this picture but noticeable warm)!! And i was always like "aaah - that monitor is crap" ...

    Can you guys give some tips about super clean black and whites in rec 709, please?
  8. One thing I can tell u is that the screen itself can be a major problem here... And by that I mean screen uniformity issues. Even if ur dE report shows very low dE values for the highlights, these only account for measuring area of the probe, ergo the center of the screen...

    If the screen has uniformity problems then these numbers could be way off when area of interest is not dead center... Making u think ur grade is off while it's the screen contaminating the output...

    This is a very common problem on low quality screens, and most importantly pretty much all LCD screens (high-end will have it less)

    Cal properly, when in doubt move the area of interest into the center to check the grade.

    Here's a tool that can evaluate the screen uniformity of ur display:
  9. three screen cap's here, the first one is using gain hue ball, the issue resualting on this shot is that the bg varies in denisty and the further from white the bg gets, the further off the ballance gets, and the bg will never ballance with this approach;
    gain hue ball.jpg

    the second screen cap uses RGB offset knobs, B up, R down.. this approach get the bg to ballance pretty quickly and easly;
    gain hue ball.jpg
    and the last screen cap uses L*a*b, this is what i normaly use to ballance an image, in this casei only had one tiny tweak of b channel to get the bg to ballance reasonably well, took maybe 1 second tops;

    three ways of getting there, i tend to use L*a*b, it's the second node in my default node tree, and this is why

    Attached Files:

  10. There are several ways to do this:

    1. Use the Temp and Tint sliders to balance the shot, use the waveform to make sure you are close. Next make a mask around your subject, invert it, and lift the gamma and the gain, until in the graph you see a white line, make a new node use your primaries to balance the shot and lift your whites. You can do the secondaries after.

    2. You can generate a white solid, and in the node tree make an alpha output, and just mask around your subject after a basic balance using the temp/tint slider/ the primaries/the curves.

    The waveform is your friend when it comes to balancing the shot, just like Mr. Dermot Shane showed above.
    Marc Wielage likes this.
  11. I once saw an interview with actor/comedian John Hodgman talking about the famous "Mac vs. PC" commercials of the 1990s and early 2000s. He mentioned that all of them were shot in a limbo set, but it was an enormous white limbo set in West LA, like 100' square, with tons of soft lighting, and they were like 30 feet away from the background. Steve Jobs himself had ordered for the set to be absolutely pure white, without a single shadow or flaw in any way. This is basically what you have to do if you want pristine results without VFX. The lighting and the room are 90% of it.
    Geoff Boyle likes this.

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