This year, rather than spending New Years Eve drunk, I thought it’d make a nice change to stay sober and go riding. I arranged to meet up with Simon, Mike and Tirryn and see in the New Year with them. It’s been ages since I’d seen Mike and Simon so it was really nice to catch up and it was great to meet Tirryn.
We spent the day riding the usual central London spots; South Bank, the curved walls and St Pauls and then we headed to Simons in Greenwich for dinner. After eating we headed out to a local underground carpark where it was light, dry and warm. We spent the rest of the evening riding in the carpark and headed out at 11.55 for the countdown and to watch the fireworks. All in all a great evening and no hangover the following morning, result!
I shot a video of the day, which you can check out below. I’m mega pleased with how it turned out, I’ve been struggling with my workflow ever since I got the Sony A7s and I think I’ve finally got it figured out. Read on below the video if you’re interested in the technical bits.
As mentioned above, ever since getting the Sony A7s, I’ve been trying to refine and improve my workflow.
I shoot in SLog2, the super flat picture profile on the A7s. The major problem I was having was once I’d finished the video, graded it and done the final render from Premiere Pro, the colours were still looking flat, washed out and with a blue tint. Every video I made was coming out the same, even when I massively overdid the grade.
At first I thought it was my monitor. I have a Dell Ultrasharp U2413 as my grading monitor which is calibrated from the factory but I use an X-rite i1 Display Pro to calibrate it with, so I thought it was weird that the monitor would be at fault. You can see the blue tint and dull colours in this example. It’s not quite as flat as shot, but no where near what it looked like in the grading software before I exported it.
To begin with I was using the 3-way colour corrector in Premiere, so I began using Abobe Speedgrade instead. I was still getting the same results, so I switched to Davinci Resolve. Resolve threw another spanner in the works. I work on Windows, so I use DNxHD as an intermediate codec for editing. I was finding that Resolve was having trouble reading the DNxHD files and it was introducing what looked like interlacing artefacts into my footage. I spent hours reading online and eventually found a solution. It was as easy as ticking a box. I just had to make sure that the field order was set to ‘Progressive’ in the DNxHD preset settings in Adobe Media Encoder.
With one problem sorted, I went back to trying to get to the bottom of the original one. After literally days of reading up about Resolve and exporting (I was roundtripping from Premiere, to Speedgrade/Resolve for the grade, then back to Premiere for titles and audio) I realised that my videos were looking good until the final render out of Premiere. I started reading up on the exporter in Premiere and sure enough, other people were complaining about having problems with rendering to H.264 using the exporter in Premiere and Adobe Media Encoder. Someone suggested exporting uncompressed Avi from Premiere and then using Handbrake to compress to H.264. I tried that and viola! All my colour problems are solved!
So, it turns out Adobe is shit at exporting H.264. Hopefully this will save someone some time and hassle. I’ve been pulling my hair out over this for months.