Hi all,

I'm curious how you handle color management for your stop motion projects. What's your workflow like? What color profiles are best? Etc. 

This is something that, every time I think I have it figured out, something unexpected happens and makes me doubt everything. Researching the topic online is frustrating because no one can seem to agree. Whenever it's explained thoroughly, it's difficult to understand because the explanation is meant for experts. 

The things I find frustrating is dialing in all of my colors, matching all of my color profiles, then exporting the final only to have it come out looking oversaturated, undersaturated, tinted, etc. Furthermore, opening the exports in different programs and having them all look slightly different. 

Thanks for any input!

EDIT: Just read the topic on RAW workflows, so I'm currently testing one of those suggestions. 

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Hi Scott

This is something I find very difficult too. I believe the issue with the final render coming out different may be to do with not defining the color space when you are in after effects and premiere, then the computer makes its own adjustments. I am trying a range of approaches to color management, but will certainly take it to a friend who knows about this before handing it off to a final master render.

Looks like you found the thread from some years ago, when I was asking a whole load of questions about workflow and color management. There were some great replies, which I printed out and still refer to sometimes. 

I am just dipping my toe into Davinci Resolve, which has the great advantage of being a single program for effects and editing and all. I don't know whether this will make things easier, but it seems like a good way to go. And Resolve started out as a color grading program, so it is reckoned to be outstanding in that respect. And it's free! Resolve has an export button for YouTube, and another for Vimeo, so adjusts for the requirements for that channel. Some of the issues seem to be that videos get processed by YT and V etc and this changes the colours.

Another problem can be simply to do with your own monitor, which will not be calibrated, so may not be showing the actual colours you end up rendering. Another black hole to dive down!

One of the things I found really irritating was when I took some frames into Photoshop, added eye blinks, then inserted them back into the shot, only to find they had changed colour! I think the solution to that was just to import all the frames from one shot, even if only working on a few of them. That way the colour shift happens across all of them.

Do post how you get on, I would be interested to hear.

 I reached the same conclusion years ago, never put just a few frames into another program to add effects, load the whole shot.  

I am struggling too, with different colour shifts according to what format I save my shots in, and what app I use to do that.  Also, the 2 lenses I use most give different colours and brightness at the same aperture, which I was too slow to realise, so I have a lot of non-matching shots right from the start.  And a CR2 image that looks bright in Dragonframe can look dark in other apps, even on the same monitor.    I am editing in Da Vinci Resolve, but doing most of my processing in After Effects (converting Raw, keying) and TV Paint (Resizing, rig removal and cleanup, compositing layers).  I'm saving PNG sequences until the final HD version because I have had so many issues with getting QTs at the wrong frame rate, with default settings tucked away somewhere I missed, so I get missing frames and have to render again.  Image sequences avoid that.  Once it is all shot and in the edit I will attempt a final colour grade in Resolve to see if I can minimise the differences.  Haven't even looked at the colour grading side of it yet.  Up against a deadline (June 29th) and no time to explore.  

At least there seem to be lots of YouTube tutorials on colour grading in Resolve! (If you have time...) Good luck!

Thanks for the input. I tried a suggested workflow but the results were very slow and the final output had a lot less contrast than my edits. While I look into Resolve, I'll stick with my current process which gives me "good enough" results. My final outputs need to be H264 so I've been rendering out an Apple ProRes 4444 from After Effects with the sRGB color profile (from what I've read, that's best for videos intended for the web), then H264 from Adobe Media Encoder with a preset. The final render looks close enough to my After Effects edits, with some minor differences that I try to ignore. 

Also, StopmoNick, there are indeed a couple places where the frame rate settings are tucked away in After Effects. The one that I usually miss is in the project library where all of the footage is listed. Right-click and select "interpret footage", and there's a setting to change the frame rate of the footage (this is also where my color profiles get thrown off, as After Effects usually assumes the wrong profile). Otherwise, After Effects will assume a frame rate that might not be what you intended. There's also the Composition frame rate that you want to match to your footage. Finally, when you render, there's a frame rate setting. So there's 3 points at which the frame rate could get messed up. I've also heard that the newest version of Quicktime Player tends to drop frames for some reason.

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