Take the 2-minute tour ×
Video Production Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm brand new to video production, but I'm finding that when splicing some clips together in the NLE captured with my GH1 camera, there can often be very jarring jumps in the color, white balance, brightness, and things like that.

How do amateur videographers keep the image looking consistent from one shot to the next? Is it a matter of using the same manual settings on the camera for every shot, or a matter of using some NLE editing features?

share|improve this question
    
I should add that I'm interested in AUTOMATIC or near-automatic ways of keeping color consistent. Aren't there some features or plugins of PC software that can simply "guess" and auto-adjust all the clips to "normalize" them or make them look "natural" (via heuristics)? –  themirror Jan 26 '13 at 21:20
add comment

2 Answers

Consistent camera settings are a good beginning for continuous looking footage. Here below I will try to explain how to achieve consistent brightness and colour of footage.

Consistent brightness

Assuming that the lighting of the scene stays the same, you can pick a shutter speed, aperture and ISO that gives you a desired exposure. If in the next recording you will use the same settings on the same scene the brightness of the image will stay the same.

It gets trickier when the light changes. By using your exposure meter you can get close to consistent footage. If for example in scene 1 your exposure meter shows -2/3 with the desired settings, try to get an exposure of -2/3 in scene 2 with the same metering mode.
This will only work when the scenes are lighted similar to each other. Night/day shots or inside/outside shots are not going to get consistent brightness ever.

Later in post-processing you can of course alter the brightness of two different clips, but you don't have much working space getting it right in camera is the best starting point.

Constant colour

Again assuming that the scene lighting stays the same, you can pick the white balance. On a GH1 this can be done in several different ways, it even allows you to set the colour temperature in Kelvin. Pick a method of your liking, but to avoid Automatic White-Balance (AWB). AWB is a big cause for changing colours across different clips because it can get thrown off easily by changing objects in the scene.

Baseline: for the same scene, set the white-balance manually and don't let AWB decide for you.

Again, in post-processing you will probably need to do some colour grading and this gives you the chance to colour correct your footage.
But, get it right in camera and you will save yourself some work.

share|improve this answer
    
I should add that I'm interested in AUTOMATIC or near-automatic ways of keeping color consistent. Aren't there some features or plugins of PC software that can simply "guess" and auto-adjust all the clips to "normalize" them or make them look "natural" (via heuristics)? –  themirror Jan 26 '13 at 21:21
    
Exactly those heuristics and automations (e.g. auto white-balance) make it hard to get consistent looking footage. As a human you can judge better than a computer what WB or exposure setting should be used for a certain scene. I'm only familiar with a plugin that is used to minimise flicker ( = rapid brightness change) in time lapses. It's called GBDeflicker and does a pretty good job when used with time-lapses. I have not tried it in another setup. –  Bart Arondson Jan 26 '13 at 21:24
add comment

The key rule of avoiding these jumps is to use manual settings on your camera. I already had these jumps only because a cloud was suddenly covering the sun.

Normally, I let the camera adjust WB, exposure, and focus. Then I turn everything off and start filming.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.