Colorist Tip #13 – Know the Look

Use your saved images to break down what makes each look: What tonal ranges get what hue, saturation, how much contrast, etc.

Every Look has certain characteristics and certain steps to create it – how much to stretch the contrast, what tonal ranges need to get what hue, and how much of that hue to actually let show in the image.

Here are a couple examples I whipped up really quick (please excuse the roughness):

The base image

The "Blockbuster" or "Transformers" look

A more desaturated "Blockbuster" look

Bleach Bypass

Bleach Bypass w/Tint

The L.A. "Grad" look

A quick "Underworld" look

An "Underworld" look with natural skintones

A "2 Strip Process" look

These are just rough examples, not finely tuned (some pretty extreme) but you get the idea. Every look has characteristics. Understanding the characteristics of the looks you like will make it easier to apply in the future to different footage instead of just fumbling about with the software.

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