I'm looking for some expertise in color correction in any compositing package. I personally use after effects and I'm well aware of it's limitation (though I use some plugins for the CC).
My question applies to any system.
My question is somewhat simple.
We just finished editing an HD (1920x1080 24p) commercial, and I did some major color correction (vfx) to the footage
the example : shot in North Amercia with a very bad weather, I had to turn the scene into a Jamaican beach. So, I applied a major color correction to the water, faked the transluscence of the sea bed, change sky, add caustic and so on......
But now, it's time for the output. And I have a lack of experience regarding final outputs, specially regarding the luma value.
When the footage was shot, everything ran through a HD vectorscope to make sure the levels were all good. But the raw footage I've been working on is very uncontrasted, I don't think it's a bad thing, it's to my understanding meant to keep as much data in the frame. (I was on set talking to the DOP about it)
But the final look I'm looking for needs to be more contrasted, and I want make some final color adjustments to the whole thing.
I'm very hestitant about applying those changes, because as soon as I adjust levels, contrast, brightness, gamma,.... I'm somehwat losing visual data.
FOR EXAMPLE : Imagine having a guy with a black shirt, and in the raw footage you can clearly see all the wrinkles, but when increasing the contrast, I lose the wrinkles details into a black area. Bare in mind, that I'm not pushing to the extreme were I lose everything ! I have a clear understanding of photography.
My question is more about "WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE ?".
Because when I run the footage through a vectorscope, or an RGB histogram, I can clearly see that I'm pushing the blacks and whites quiet far......
Or should I just ignore the level infos, and follow my visual eye and act more as an artist.
I'M REALLY LOOKING FOR SOME PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE AND ADVICES ON HOW TO ADJUST THE PICTURE RESPECTING TECHNICAL RULES AND MEETING THE ARTISTIC REQUIEREMENTS.
So all the Shake, DaVinci, Inferno artists......please help.
Thanks in advance