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Whites of the eye go blue after color-correction


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Friends,

I have just received several pieces of graded footage.

The whites of the eye went visibly blue.

What could be the reasons behind that?

Every opinion would be of high value for me.

Thanks!

A.IMG-20220217-WA0010.thumb.jpg.7d15ab883c229ac51de7a3d61a4a07d3.jpg

 

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg

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1 hour ago, David Mullen ASC said:

Fremen actors?

David,

I wish I could boast of having worked with those folks. These actors are common Russian people with a little too much make-up on which I miserably failed to negotiate down. Is the answer really this obvious?..

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On 2/18/2022 at 9:48 AM, David Mullen ASC said:

You’d have to ask your colorist. The first shot seems fine but the second might have too much saturation in the cyans which is exaggerating it in the eyes.

David,

Thank you! I'm going to see the guy today. Hopefully it is saturation. I've come across an article which describes a dozen

deseases resulting in this eye condition.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That is a tough grade you got.

Basically, your image is too blue, at least on my monitor. That is the trouble with grades. They look different on every device you view them on. They are not like a print. Even then, the print depends on the lighting.

These grades may look terrible on your monitor, but they look OK on mine. 

 

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

 

The color grading was done to the max adjustment for warming it in Lightroom 5. Also, some tests with desaturation a notch and some additional tint control in some. The only thing what did pretty good was max warming and hand retouching the whites.

I don't remember which image was which, so don't ask. Just playing around with options. The image with the whitest eyes were retouched. The rest of the images did not have the eyes retouched.

If you want to keep your images blue with white eyes, I think you are going to have a hard time unless they have some crazy AI software for it.

Do they have cine' retouching software that can just target the white of the eyes or does it have to be done frame by frame?

I'm thinking your lightning / color balance was bad...but I'm no expert on lighting. Maybe she does have blue eyes?

Good luck figuring it out! 

 

 

 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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18 hours ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

That is a tough grade you got.

Basically, your image is too blue, at least on my monitor. That is the trouble with grades. They look different on every device you view them on. They are not like a print. Even then, the print depends on the lighting.

These grades may look terrible on your monitor, but they look OK on mine. 

 

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg.98b4fc7b27bee53b

 

The color grading was done to the max adjustment for warming it in Lightroom 5. Also, some tests with desaturation a notch and some additional tint control in some. The only thing what did pretty good was max warming and hand retouching the whites.

I don't remember which image was which, so don't ask. Just playing around with options. The image with the whitest eyes were retouched. The rest of the images did not have the eyes retouched.

If you want to keep your images blue with white eyes, I think you are going to have a hard time unless they have some crazy AI software for it.

Do they have cine' retouching software that can just target the white of the eyes or does it have to be done frame by frame?

I'm thinking your lightning / color balance was bad...but I'm no expert on lighting. Maybe she does have blue eyes?

Good luck figuring it out! 

 

 

 

Hello Daniel,

Thank you for the work you've decided to put into those images. Much appreciated! It's so true - everything looks different on any display. Your grades on my display, for instance, have a warm, slightly pink tint, creating a different mood. However, the whites are perfect - so it feels natural. The director likes the blueish-green tint created by the glass of the windows of the car, though. So I'll try to work on saturation, while keeping the original tint. I don't remember if the actress were wearing contact lenses. Could those be the reason?.. I remember we used additional LED-light coming in through the windshield. I think now, looking at your grades, I should have paid closer attention to that light source. Anyway, thank you again for sharing your thoughts!

A.

Edited by Anzer Sizov
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The problem with this stuff is that there are a thousand "reasonable" grades for any one image, which is why I've always objected slightly to the deification of colourists. So long as you can keep it consistent from shot to shot and everyone likes it, there are no rules. In that context, the shot with the cyan eyes doesn't look that wrong to me. It's cold in tone, but not to the point where I'd expect it to fail a quality control check.

I think Daniel's grades do have a certain golden tone that's slightly at odds with the rain on the window, but again, it's not wrong, particularly. Maybe this is a scene just after a rain storm when the sun comes out, when the characters have realised everything's going to be OK after all. Maybe it isn't. It depends.

One of the things you have to take into account is that light coming from different directions may be different colours. Assuming the actor is wearing a neutral grey coat, you can sample the collar either to the right or left of her face and get a different answer as to what's really correct.

If you like the version with the cyan eyes, go with it. It's art. You can do what you like.

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3 hours ago, Anzer Sizov said:

Hello Daniel,

Thank you for the work you've decided to put into those images. Much appreciated! It's so true - everything looks different on any display. Your grades on my display, for instance, have a warm, slightly pink tint, creating a different mood. However, the whites are perfect - so it feels natural. The director likes the blueish-green tint created by the glass of the windows of the car, though. So I'll try to work on saturation, while keeping the original tint. I don't remember if the actress were wearing contact lenses. Could those be the reason?.. I remember we used additional LED-light coming in through the windshield. I think now, looking at your grades, I should have paid closer attention to that light source. Anyway, thank you again for sharing your thoughts!

A.

Hi Anzer, I never thought about contact lenses. Who knows?

Sure, a blue, cold cast has its look. But I think you are going to have a hard time with it as everything looks blue. It is very easy to make the eyes white and leave it all blue...if you can retouch each frame. I could have made the eyes whiter, but I felt it is cheating if you can't do it with movie software easily. That was why I wondered if they had some special movie software that could do a large number of frames at once just targeting the eyes. 

If any of you make a movie and the whole thing is off color, and you just can't fix it in post...turn it B&W. It may not be what you wanted, but it is better than nothing. 

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2 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

The problem with this stuff is that there are a thousand "reasonable" grades for any one image, which is why I've always objected slightly to the deification of colourists. So long as you can keep it consistent from shot to shot and everyone likes it, there are no rules. In that context, the shot with the cyan eyes doesn't look that wrong to me. It's cold in tone, but not to the point where I'd expect it to fail a quality control check.

I think Daniel's grades do have a certain golden tone that's slightly at odds with the rain on the window, but again, it's not wrong, particularly. Maybe this is a scene just after a rain storm when the sun comes out, when the characters have realised everything's going to be OK after all. Maybe it isn't. It depends.

One of the things you have to take into account is that light coming from different directions may be different colours. Assuming the actor is wearing a neutral grey coat, you can sample the collar either to the right or left of her face and get a different answer as to what's really correct.

If you like the version with the cyan eyes, go with it. It's art. You can do what you like.

 

That is all correct. On a rainy day you don't expect warm tones. But it would take that amount of warming to kinda fix the eyes.

What should be done, if they like the cold look, is to just target the yes. But if much of the film has blue eyes and they don't make super-duper movie software that will just fix the eyes easily...it is not practical to do. 

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg%20(1).jpg

Above is the image as-is with just the eyes desaturated and slightly whitened. The eyes are very blue. 100% desaturation was not enough. I needed 200%. In other worlds, the maximum desaturation adjustment in Lightroom 5 still didn't fix it. I had to target another spot of the eyes and do it all again.

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg%20(2).jpg

This is the image as-is with no adjustments.

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg%20(3).jpg

This is the image darker and desaturated a couple of notches. Nothing done to the eyes. It is just another way to make the eyes less obvious. 

But none of these grade's matter. It is what you can do with the movie software that matters not what can be done in Lightroom. Even if you got a film broken down into TIFF files, and you did it in Lightroom, it is very hard keeping things consistent from frame-to-frame hand-painting the eyes. 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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It is just desaturated and darker. A couple of clicks and you are done. 

I was thinking about the contact lens. Thinking you could use yellow contact lenses to counteract the blue. Never wearing them, I'm not sure, but I believe contact lenses don't cover the white of the eyes. They are just in the center. If so, that won't work. Next time try tinted eyeglasses. But run some tests.

Here is the deal with post work...

If you are paying someone to do it, you are stuck with what they give you. You can pay more $$ and sit next to them for a pow-wow on the grading. But it usually cost more. At least that is how it is with timed film scans. You pay extra. 

When you do your own post work you can try different things. You can do 10 different grades in 10 minutes. (More or less) But some grading takes hours for just one frame.

I'm very good at post work...with still photos.  Even so, this took me 2-1/2 hours in Lightroom along with some single image HDR.

 

sunlit-slipper-silver-print-vs-inkjet-print-copyright-2013-daniel-d-teoli-jr.jpg

sunlit-slipper-copyright-1973-daniel-d-t

Sunlit Slipper 1973 D.D.Teoli Jr.

 

But I don't care who does that post work. I don't think you can fix those blue eyes unless you...

1) Go warm.

2) Or paint the eyes.

3) Or you have magic movie software.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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On 3/1/2022 at 2:08 PM, Phil Rhodes said:

The problem with this stuff is that there are a thousand "reasonable" grades for any one image, which is why I've always objected slightly to the deification of colourists. So long as you can keep it consistent from shot to shot and everyone likes it, there are no rules. In that context, the shot with the cyan eyes doesn't look that wrong to me. It's cold in tone, but not to the point where I'd expect it to fail a quality control check.

I think Daniel's grades do have a certain golden tone that's slightly at odds with the rain on the window, but again, it's not wrong, particularly. Maybe this is a scene just after a rain storm when the sun comes out, when the characters have realised everything's going to be OK after all. Maybe it isn't. It depends.

One of the things you have to take into account is that light coming from different directions may be different colours. Assuming the actor is wearing a neutral grey coat, you can sample the collar either to the right or left of her face and get a different answer as to what's really correct.

If you like the version with the cyan eyes, go with it. It's art. You can do what you like.

Hello Phil,

Thank you for your thoughts. I've never expected that this minor issue would provoke such a profound thinking. Appreciate that! I like the way you dig deeper into the drama and art itself, where there are no rights or wrongs, and I much appreciate the idea of consistency which defines a choice. I'll keep it in my bag. Sorry it took me quite a while to reply.

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On 3/1/2022 at 4:27 PM, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

 

That is all correct. On a rainy day you don't expect warm tones. But it would take that amount of warming to kinda fix the eyes.

What should be done, if they like the cold look, is to just target the yes. But if much of the film has blue eyes and they don't make super-duper movie software that will just fix the eyes easily...it is not practical to do. 

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg%20(1).jpg

Above is the image as-is with just the eyes desaturated and slightly whitened. The eyes are very blue. 100% desaturation was not enough. I needed 200%. In other worlds, the maximum desaturation adjustment in Lightroom 5 still didn't fix it. I had to target another spot of the eyes and do it all again.

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg%20(2).jpg

This is the image as-is with no adjustments.

IMG-20220217-WA0006.jpg%20(3).jpg

This is the image darker and desaturated a couple of notches. Nothing done to the eyes. It is just another way to make the eyes less obvious. 

But none of these grade's matter. It is what you can do with the movie software that matters not what can be done in Lightroom. Even if you got a film broken down into TIFF files, and you did it in Lightroom, it is very hard keeping things consistent from frame-to-frame hand-painting the eyes. 

Hello Daniel,

Thank you for such a tremendous effort. I'd go with Phil - the final grade seems to be the most appropriate for that particular scene. The guy warns her that her business (a hospital she runs) might be in serious danger because someone powerful wants that land. I've seen the first cut and noticed a very interesting mechanism. If the story is properly structured, performances are solid and the whole thing is generally engaging and believable - you get involved, you root for somebody and do not notice "the kitchen". Only when the story is weak in its core you notice the shortcomings. The grade might be perfect per-se but I guess it will never save the writing.

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On 3/2/2022 at 4:42 AM, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

It is just desaturated and darker. A couple of clicks and you are done. 

I was thinking about the contact lens. Thinking you could use yellow contact lenses to counteract the blue. Never wearing them, I'm not sure, but I believe contact lenses don't cover the white of the eyes. They are just in the center. If so, that won't work. Next time try tinted eyeglasses. But run some tests.

Here is the deal with post work...

If you are paying someone to do it, you are stuck with what they give you. You can pay more $$ and sit next to them for a pow-wow on the grading. But it usually cost more. At least that is how it is with timed film scans. You pay extra. 

When you do your own post work you can try different things. You can do 10 different grades in 10 minutes. (More or less) But some grading takes hours for just one frame.

I'm very good at post work...with still photos.  Even so, this took me 2-1/2 hours in Lightroom along with some single image HDR.

 

sunlit-slipper-silver-print-vs-inkjet-print-copyright-2013-daniel-d-teoli-jr.jpg

sunlit-slipper-copyright-1973-daniel-d-t

Sunlit Slipper 1973 D.D.Teoli Jr.

 

But I don't care who does that post work. I don't think you can fix those blue eyes unless you...

1) Go warm.

2) Or paint the eyes.

3) Or you have magic movie software.

Daniel,

Thank you for your thoughts on post-work. I guess, one might end-up highly depending on the colorist (especially the one who's been working closely with that platform or this TV-channel). The guy might be following certain patterns that will tick the necessary boxes with the client - which may not be what a cinematographer has in mind. Understanding the importance and versatile possibilities of post-work, I still try to do as much as possible on-set. Looking in those fremen eyes again, I guess I should try harder. Thank you! I'm sorry it took me this long to reply to your posts.

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On 3/5/2022 at 10:22 PM, Anzer Sizov said:

Hello Phil,

Thank you for your thoughts. I've never expected that this minor issue would provoke such a profound thinking. Appreciate that! I like the way you dig deeper into the drama and art itself, where there are no rights or wrongs, and I much appreciate the idea of consistency which defines a choice. I'll keep it in my bag. Sorry it took me quite a while to reply.

This is not minor. Blue eyes look bad and you have to figure out a solution. As well as learn from the experience so you wont be wasting time on this issue again. 

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On 3/5/2022 at 10:41 PM, Anzer Sizov said:

Hello Daniel,

Thank you for such a tremendous effort. I'd go with Phil - the final grade seems to be the most appropriate for that particular scene. The guy warns her that her business (a hospital she runs) might be in serious danger because someone powerful wants that land. I've seen the first cut and noticed a very interesting mechanism. If the story is properly structured, performances are solid and the whole thing is generally engaging and believable - you get involved, you root for somebody and do not notice "the kitchen". Only when the story is weak in its core you notice the shortcomings. The grade might be perfect per-se but I guess it will never save the writing.

 

Well, as long as you found something workable that is great. I am happy for you. I know a tremendous amount of work can go into a film. And to have it look bad because of the color is a heartbreaker. 

One clarification...

When I wrote:

'You can do 10 different grades in 10 minutes.' 

I meant experimental grades of a scene or still, not the entire film.  You just keep experimenting until you can refine it to your liking. Then you work on zeroing it in.

One other note...

You should look at your grade on its intended viewing medium...TV,  Movie Screen, YouTube / phone, whatever. Each may need their own grade. If it is too much with the dedicated grading, just split the difference. That is what I do or you can go crazy. 

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12 hours ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

You should look at your grade on its intended viewing medium...TV,  Movie Screen, YouTube / phone, whatever. Each may need their own grade. If it is too much with the dedicated grading, just split the difference. That is what I do or you can go crazy. 

This is *not* how you should grade and you shouldn't make a different grade for each target! 

Color correction should be done against a reference monitor using a defined color space and gamma, using proper scopes (waveform/vectorscope, etc). It should look correct on that calibrated reference monitor, and that's the only one that you should really be concerned with. If you start looking at every conceivable display (none of which will be calibrated in the wild), you will go mad.

If you're really good, you can even do most grading strictly by the scopes, but that takes a fair bit of time and experience.

You *should* QC it on the intended target, but you shouldn't make color decisions based on those screens unless every screen you're looking at is calibrated. Two screens of the same model by the same manufacturer with the same settings in the menus will rarely produce the same result. If you grade it properly to a known standard, things will fall into place when you export out for your intended targets (for example, you could grade Rec 709 and then bring that to whoever is making the theatrical DCP. The DCP encoder will apply the correct transforms so it looks right when projected). 

If you try to "split the difference" you're going to end up with a mediocre grade on all platforms, and creating a different grade for each platform is kind of crazy because of the duplication of effort and time involved. Unless you're doing first-run theatrical releases, this is out of most budgets and is unnecessary. 

At a certain point, one has to accept that most people's screens are messed up, and you can't fix that. But you can grade to a known standard. 

As for the eyes, if they require a different grade than the overall scene, just use a qualifier to create a matte that isolates the whites, give it some soft edges, then neutralize your highlights as needed, and apply a tracker to the eye matte so that it follows any head movement. It's trivial in any color correction system made in the past 15+ years, such as Resolve. 

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
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I saw a trailer of a war movie from 2008. Think it was called Defiance. Very blue scenes in the woods. But you saw no whites of the eyes. Don't know how it was in the movie, but that was how the trailer was. And it worked fine, even though very blue. 

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This happens with basically any image that recieved the TEAL/ORANGE grading treatment. It's a result of the colour gamut being condensed down, which leads to more uniform blocks of colour - skintones lose their rudiness and complexity and become a more uniform "warm" tone, and blues all bleed together and spread out - this almost always leads to the whites of people's eyes taking on a cooler blue tone.

 

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On 3/10/2022 at 12:46 PM, Mark Kenfield said:

This happens with basically any image that recieved the TEAL/ORANGE grading treatment. It's a result of the colour gamut being condensed down, which leads to more uniform blocks of colour - skintones lose their rudiness and complexity and become a more uniform "warm" tone, and blues all bleed together and spread out - this almost always leads to the whites of people's eyes taking on a cooler blue tone.

 

Hi Mark,

Again, it took a while to respond. My apologies. Thank you for your thought, much appreciated. You've made me think that grading may easily be done in a sort of 'lazy' manner, when a certain preset is applied. For instance, the "trusty" one that usually makes most of the material look both acceptable in terms of QC and "beautiful" according to the TV-people, who commission the production.

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On 3/10/2022 at 6:05 AM, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

I saw a trailer of a war movie from 2008. Think it was called Defiance. Very blue scenes in the woods. But you saw no whites of the eyes. Don't know how it was in the movie, but that was how the trailer was. And it worked fine, even though very blue. 

Hi Daniel,

I've just watched the trailer. I see what you mean. According to IMDB (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1034303/technical?ref_=ttfc_sa_5) it was Kodak 500T. It really works fine. I guess it is all about the coherence between the meaning/atmosphere/feel you want to convey and the colors/tones/hues you end up applying. An innocent pair of slightly off-colored eyes and so much to think of.

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  • 1 month later...

Is there any way to do an HSL Qualifier so you could pinpoint the hue of the eye whites and shift them back away from the blue tone? Also I think the first shot looks pretty good, though I do see the problem far more with the second shot.

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