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Color correction

Visit Pixar's color suite to see how artists tweak colors to meet artistic goals. Discover the art of color correction in film with Pixar's colorist, Mark Dinicola, and director of photography, Sharon Calahan. Learn how they enhance movie scenes by adjusting contrast, saturation, and hue, and explore techniques for selecting regions to create a visually stunning and immersive experience for the audience.

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Video transcript

- I know, I know I promised you I'd give you a chance to sit in my chair. Well, now I think you're finally ready. One of the final polishing steps in making a film is the final color adjustments to every single frame of the film, in order to increase its impact on the audience. And that's exactly what we do here in the color mastering suite, but it's not actually me who does it. Let me introduce you to our colorist, Mark Dinicola. Hi, Mark. - Hi, Don, thank you for having me. - Great, so tell me what is your job? - I operate this color mastering system. It's the tool set of a colorist, and a colorist is responsible for actually making all adjustments to a finished film. I could show you an example on Ratatouille. - Cool. - So if we take this shot from Ratatouille, for example, we might start by adding contrast, then we might add some saturation. Normally when I do this, the DP is sitting here with me, and on this film, the DP was Sharon Calahan. Perhaps we should ask Sharon to come in. Hey Sharon! - Hey guys, what's up? - So on Ratatouille, what were some of the issues and interesting facts that came up while you were doing color correction on that movie? - Well, Ratatouille was a film that had a very unique, stylized look to it that we envisioned in the very beginning, and a lot of it is just kinda carrying it all the way through to make sure the final product looks as good as it can and has that vision in it. And for Ratatouille, some of those things were having nice, rich shadows, making sure that there's adequate contrast and saturation in the scene, making sure the eye looks where it's supposed to look. But stylistically, one of the things that was really important to me was making the human skin look good and the food look really good, and tying it all together, and one of the ways that I use color correction to help with that is to add a little bit of red to the darks, the deep darks, so that it kind of tied the look together and almost made the film feel like it was dipped in chocolate a little bit. - Very cool. - I wanted the audience to leave feeling hungry. - So guys, in this next exercise, we're gonna give you a chance to make some of your own color adjustments on these scenes. To make changes to the entire image, press select + all. And to adjust hue and saturation, and lightness, and contrast, you can use these sliders. We like using sliders because it allows us to make very fine-tuned adjustments. And instead of making changes to the whole image, you can also select smaller regions in the image to focus on. To do this, press select region, and then click around the image to define an area you want to adjust, like this. Once you've made a selection, your adjustments to hue, saturation, and lightness, and contrast will only affect what's inside this region, and anything outside it will be ignored. Go ahead and see what kinds of looks you can come up with. Remember, the goal is to have fun and explore what's possible.