Rotoscoping Color

Skin Tones + Qualifiers

I was inspired by scrolling through Instagram with some heavy color treatments from RGB Led tubes. I shot this project before the RGB lights were more common place – we actually used kino flos and had a somewhat complicated wiring setup to a DMX board. How times have changed since then! Shooting with tube lights in the frame was once something that seemed higher end at the time is now more common place with the advent of all these new technologies. I went back to this project to see if I could spice it up a little bit.

Camera: RED Epic Dragon
Lenses: Canon CN-E EF Mount

Step 1
Color space transform to Rec.709

Step 2
Contrast Adjustment

Step 3
Skin qualifier and adjustment

Step 4
Rotoscope and Look

Step 6
Highlight adjustment

Step 6
Diffusion and final look adjustment

The most difficult aspect was rotoscoping the model in the background and getting enough of a balance where we can feel just slightly the green environment spelling onto her. I think the next thing I will try to tackle is getting the highlight reflections on her skin to reflect more of a greenish hue than the current white light for a more realistic look where it feels like there is green light.

Here is the moving image to get a sense of the rotoscoping:

Warm Dusk

Skin Tones + Qualifiers

I’ve found short films and passion projects to be the best way for me to cut my teeth on various techniques. Most of the time, the directors lean heavily on me to help define a look for the project. I also get to walk away with the footage to use for my own demo purposes such as experimenting with color grading to put up on sites like this.

This particular scene was actually shot at dusk in NYC. The environment was already rich, and it just needed some additional life added to it.

Working on Skin Qualifiers

Skin Tones + Qualifiers

Skin qualification has been one of the more challenging skills to develop along my journey in color grading. The one thing that separates beginner to intermediate in my opinion is the ability to separate the skin tones and apply the grade to suit the look you want on your images.

Over the past year working with colorists in grading sessions on films and commercials I’ve worked on has taught me a lot about the process: that it isn’t easy and that it does require a good amount of skill. I recently worked on a tiny project where I got to practice more of this skill.