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Color grading inside FCP using Lab color space? Any plugins?

1459 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 28, 2012 5:35 AM by Gary Scotland RSS
nick-b Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 7, 2011 1:31 PM
Hi guys,

Is it possible to color grade footage with Lab color space? I don't think Apple Color supports Lab so I'm hoping there's some other way. Are there any plugins that allow you to do that? If there are no plugins, are there any color grading apps you'd recommend that support Lab?

Thanks for any tips!

Nick
MacBook Pro, MacPro
  • Studio X Level 7 Level 7 (26,840 points)
    Why?

    Just curious.

    x
    MacPro + MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Ti PowerBook Mac OS X (10.5.8) FCS 3/2/1/HD
  • Shane Ross Level 8 Level 8 (41,665 points)
    What is "Lab?"

    Shane

    MacPro Octo 3.0Ghz, 4GB RAM, ATI 4870, Decklink Extreme 3D,, Mac OS X (10.5.5), Matrox MXO2 Mini, FCP 7.0.3, Avid MC 5, a plaethora of hard drives
  • Studio X Level 7 Level 7 (26,840 points)
    All well and good, but it has nothing to do with video. It is a print space.

    Export still images and do what you want as a filmstrip in Photoshop.

    x
    MacPro + MacBookPro, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Ti PowerBook Mac OS X (10.5.8) FCS 3/2/1/HD
  • Shane Ross Level 8 Level 8 (41,665 points)
    What Studio X said. Lab is not for video work.

    Shane

    MacPro Octo 3.0Ghz, 4GB RAM, ATI 4870, Decklink Extreme 3D,, Mac OS X (10.5.5), Matrox MXO2 Mini, FCP 7.0.3, Avid MC 5, a plaethora of hard drives
  • Tom Hartney Calculating status...

    It is not a print space or an online/video space - it is completely device independent and far more powerful than rgb or cmyk.

     

    I wish a lot more apps had it

  • Nick Holmes Level 7 Level 7 (29,805 points)

    That all sounds very nice but why color grade in a space other than what the medium displays in?

    Applying the phrase "far more powerful" is misleading at best. This is not a discussion about racing cars.

     

    Video and by extension, television displays in RGB. Those of us here who actually produce content for broadcasters and mass distribution on DVD or Blu-Ray have to abide by a strict set of regulations and standards to ensure a uniform viewing experience across a wide variety of devices.

     

    If you are making video for your own entertainment, go ahead and play around with things. For the rest of us, adhering to the station's broadcast spec sheet makes the difference between getting paid or getting fired.

  • Zebulun Level 5 Level 5 (6,745 points)

    I like LAB space too.

     

    I've never heard of using LAB to color video but if you want to, you can use Photoshop Extended to do the conversion.

     

    Just be aware that color space conversions are never exact math and I just did this exporting 720p bars from FCP, importing that .mov into Photoshop CS5 Extended.  It's not the best application to use video in but it'll work. However, rendering bars in LAB and then exporting bars in the same format as imported, there are chrominance and luminance differences do to the space conversion math. 

     

    I think to prevent yourself from proceeding out of broadcast legalities (which should always be adhered to), you'd want someway to scope and monitor your files within Photoshop.

     

    I think it would be a wiser use of your time however, to learn the tools you have in your video's native colorspace.

     

    Good luck.

  • Tom Hartney Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Why use LAB if it doesn't end up in LAB colour space?

    I get the comment by a lot of people who don't understand what LAB is

     

    It is kind of like saying how can a print designer do work on a computer monitor when the printed material ends up on paper as cmyk.

     

    Basically you use LAB because you can do things in LAB that you can't do when Editing in CMYK or RGB. (Note Editing - you convert to RGB or CMYK after.)

     

    The main advantage of it as a Tool is that is treats Tone / Luminance (L) independent to colour.

     

    You can ramp up curves without blowing out the image or shifting the colour.

    or vice versa you can change the colour without changing the tone.

    You can't do this with CMYK or RGB because the tone of the image, the luminance, is embedded into the colour channels.

     

    And you can REALLY ramp things up and still get great looking images.

     

    That makes LAB a great grading tool - for a look that would be unavailable if Editing in CMYK or RGB.

     

    We have print graders using LAB for work that ends up printed as CMYK,

    I use LAB for online work that ends up as RGB -  in a professional advertising agency.

     

    By device independent I mean that it is at a level higher than CMYK or RGB.

    It is not relying on the output device - a monitor, tv screen or printer - to define how the colour is created.

     

    You can do you work in LAB then export it out to CMYK & RGB with very little loss as LAB encompasses both colour spaces and far far more.

    That is what makes LAB a powerful colour space.

  • pinto007 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    What Studio X said. Lab is not for video work.

    SCS has added "LAB Adjust Filter" to Sony Vegas Pro 12, and now what do you say?:)

  • Studio X Level 7 Level 7 (26,840 points)

    All well and good but TV monitors (and most computer monitors) do not display it.

     

    You run the risk of creating material that is out of range of your display device - in which case you are at the mercy of its conversion/mapping algorithym.

     

    This happens all the time in the print world - people do retouching/ adjustment work in an extremely wide gamut space then print on a device that only supports part of that space. All colors that are out of gamut get mapped to ones that are in gamut by the printer - which can lead to some clunky looking output.

     

    x

  • Gary Scotland Level 5 Level 5 (7,635 points)

    Lab is alive and kicking for video in Photoshop and After Effects CS5 - have a look here:

     

    Rich Harington photoshop for Video Tutorial using Lab mode

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