in filmmaking, videography, videos

More experiments with FilmConvert

After I got FilmConvert last week, I wanted to try out the program further to see how well it could really do at improving some of my images. So I shot some footage this weekend in Seattle and tried using FilmConvert to grade it.

Here is a video I shot of the 2013 Seattle Chinese Kite Festival, which took place at the Seattle Chinese Garden in South Seattle. This video was shot using the Prolost Flat Picture Style and graded conventionally to bring up saturation and increase contrast.

Now here’s the same video, but instead of using normal grading, all I did was use FilmConvert to apply the Fuji Provia 100 preset and set film grain to 0.

I was really frustrated with both of these videos to be honest. The shooting situation was very challenging – bright sunlight, no shadows, a ton of green everywhere. I wasn’t thrilled with how either of the videos turned out from a color perspective, although I do think the FilmConvert-ed footage achieves a consistent look throughout (whether I’m a fan of that look or not is a different question…).

Later Saturday evening, I was pleased to be able to attend Seattle’s Street Food Festival at Cal Anderson Park. Last year they held the event at Denny Park and I thought that was a much better time; the streets at Cal Anderson are just way too narrow to host thousands of people (plus, this year the lines were unbelievably massive). Nonetheless, good food and good times were had by all.

This video was shot using the flaat 10 Picture Style. I used FilmConvert’s Fuji 8543 preset and set film grain to 0.

I notice that FilmConvert presets can often jack up the contrast a bit too high and wash out some of the colors, occasionally to the footage’s detriment. For example, see the skin tones at around :28 into the video, which definitely need some warming up (a function that FilmConvert does supply – I just wanted to see how the presets would work on default settings). Otherwise, I think the grading looks quite nice, if you can ignore that terrible moire early on in the video.

All of this footage was shot on a Canon 60D. For the Kite Festival, I used a Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Video Monopod.