Color Balancing In Mastergrade

Can someone point me to a tutorial or insight in how to properly color match black and white values in Mastergrade or the image node.

The color warper has the plot and match features, but I can’t find anything equivalent in mastergrade. Shouldnt this be the first thing to do?? Am I missing something?

Thanks in Advance

If you’re talking about technical matching for comping elements together, I think your best bet is to use the Color Corrector. Unfortunately, the Color Corrector and Mastergrade nodes don’t concantenate, so you’ll be stuck using the color corrector (or take a hit in quality)

If you’re taking about balancing different shots together as part of grading, I believe the recommended workflow is to use the scopes to evaluate levels between shots. At least, that’s how I do it.

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Never sure what concatenate means.
I am using the grade (action type node) a bit more recently as an experiment because it works better with linear but I can do color warper type stuff.

F8 is your friend to see the key you pull. Three things I do to match; one is use the color picker that’s in the viewer for blacks and whites and two is use the color warper vectorscope preset in the second viewer for chroma and three is by eye with high and low gamma in the viewer.

It’s annoying there’s no front back and matte though.

However on a tight deadline I usually slip into log and and use cc with a matte without a matte anyway I want it.

Yeah ive always wondered that. Nuke has rhe Grade node where you can set the blackpoint then match it to the plate. Its a really good and quick way to get those in the right space.

I tend to use the CC and sample the values then match them up. Switch to the RGB channels and make the final tweaks for each one.


You can use the cc RGB histogram to do this too.

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Because the facility I work at uses a scene linear pipeline, I have to constantly add color management nodes to the CC or CW as they dont work with scene linear correctly. It just seems to me that these types of features should be directly in the mastergrade node?

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Ha, yeah, concantenate is a 10 dollar word for something that’s pretty simple - it just means that if you have a string of similar nodes in a row, the application will boil all the transformations or color changes into a single change without re-processing everything at each step of the way.

You’ll see this more often in Nuke - Grade node to do black/white level balancing and then a string of CC, Exposure, and Grade nodes to dial in the look. As long as the nodes are all together, then the calculation is the same as if it were done in all one node.

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If you adjust the black and white levels using the histogram in cc you’ll get a similar effect to grade node (as Ben noted) and get a much better response in the cc node in linear.

But I still maintain it doesn’t matter how you get there. Most colourists I’ve talked to grade in log.

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I heard about this because of Nuke.
In Action if you chain a bunch of axis together and scale an image up then down and up again you don’t get any degradation. That is concatenate. If you try that using the same amount of 2D transform nodes in Batch, you will have totally messed up your image.

Recently I was just using the MasterGrade to match blacks. I was using the scopes but it can be tricky when there is so much information in your scene.

I had a particularly dark phantom shot with some very curious blacks that kept changing colour throughout the shot so I devised a technique I’m calling black theft. I basically luma keyed the background and multiplied, keeping only the blacks and then did a blur divide (dilate) to fill the frame with the black in the scene. Think of it like pixel spread interpolate. I then replaced the black in my CG with this black using a combination of grading and keying the CG back into the black. In this instance it worked really well. When my CG was in the blacks it was really in the blacks.

I don’t mind jumping around my colourspaces if a tool works better in log. But I have been really enjoying the MasterGrade

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I’m a fan of the ‘white balance’ node in the Image pipeline to get you started.

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