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Top 3 Tips For Achieving Colour Accuracy With X-Rite

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As technology, has developed and changed, the lines between photography and filmmaking have blurred, says Ollie Kenchington, X-Rite Brand Ambassador (Coloratti).

For instance, there are a lot of similarities in the way photographers and filmmakers 'shoot for ideal' using professional colour targets. Whether you are capturing stills or video, it's vital that all your devices are in sync, including projectors, cameras, scanners, printers or monitors. Simple tools like the X-Rite ColorChecker Video and ColorChecker Photo targets offer both filmmakers and photographers a simple and easy way to ensure colour accuracy. These tools help creatives in either discipline set perfect exposure, match multiple cameras, and ensure they get faithful colours in camera.

Tip 1 – Don't rely on fixing it in Post
I often hear "we can fix it in post" but this approach isn't viable in the competitive environment in which I operate. Having colour accuracy from the start is critical to ensuring the best end results. Using the X-Rite ColorChecker Video improves productivity for professionals as they can compare, measure and analyse differences in colour reproduction, as well as saving both time and money. Whether filmmakers or photographers handle their own colour grading or hire a colourist, it's essential to have the most accurate image you can from the point of acquisition rather than just relying on post-production time.

Tip 2 – Spend the time profiling and calibrating displays
Properly profiling and calibrating your displays is time well spent as it significantly reduces editing time and delivers a more realistic representation of final output. The alternative is spending hours at a monitor perfecting the final image, only to discover that your display didn't accurately represent your captured files. The i1Display Pro from X-Rite incorporates three functions – ambient light measurement, monitor profiling, and projector profiling – into a fully integrated unit. This is an easy solution for ensuring you have an accurate representation throughout and that your colour results are consistent from production through to post and final delivery.

Tip 3 – Make sure you start out right
X-Rite ColorChecker Video and i1Display Pro are a simple and uncomplicated solution to a very complex, high-tech world, where there is a lot of conflicting information that can be easily misunderstood. This is especially the case for people that are starting out in this industry at a much earlier age than they would have previously, and may not have had any formal training. The amount of information available online can cause a lot of background noise for young creatives, that can distract from the basics when they're trying to get the best result.

There's a desire for a quick fix to guarantee the best quality every time, but the reality is that it's not as simple as that; the shoot environment changes every single time, so there's no single set up that covers all bases. X-Rite tools are a very simple way to make sure that the fundamentals, like consistent exposure and white balancing, are in place from the start.

This article is also available to read in the latest edition of Broadcast Film & Video.

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