Color experts: the Top Gear "look" (FCS2)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Kingsly, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    For those of you who know how to use Color, I want this:




    It's almost a x-processed look. I love it. Help?
  2. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    You can start by using vignetting in either Aperture or Lightroom.

    The levels of color intensity, exposure, contrast, etc. should be relatively easy to mimic.
  3. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I can do it all in aperture, but haven't the slightest clue about Color and mimicking the look in video.
  4. Lunja macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2005
    Lincoln UK
    To get a good filmic feel from video, you may need to deinterlace it.

    Also I read somewhere that to get a film-style look, you'll need to tweak the gamma levels, since these differ between video and film. Can anyone confirm this?

    Ps: I'm very jealous that you have Color :p I bought my copy of Final Cut Studio about a month before Color was released, and now I erally want to get into grading!
  5. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040


    I can mimic film pretty well using FCP's 3 way color corrector, but every time I watch Top Gear there's just an extra... Je ne sais quoi to it. Just wondering if anyone knew the specific process they tend to use (yes I know it's different between the mercedes and the muscle car shots).

    Mannnnn... I wish I was better at Color. This is why I'm a director. I get to just hand someone else those photos and say "Make it look like that!" :(
  6. Lunja macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2005
    Lincoln UK
    Haha - I prefer directing. Then you can blame someone else when your footage is over exposed :)

    I went to a Color seminar recently, and the Apple Pro recommended grading in two passes, one grade in the primary room to conform the colour of your footage, adjust any white balance issues etc, and then going into the secondary room to apply your desired look.

    If you find out any simple tricks on how to get this sort of look, let us know!
  7. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    In terms of just doing this in Final Cut or AE. From what i can tell their is a blue cooling gel tint over the top of it (probably a preset available), the vignetting in the corners, there is a slight diffuse glow on it so that the whites spread and it was probably shot with a very high shutter speed (although that can be replicated). De-interlaced or at 24p.

    Just my take on things, Im not an expert... yet!
  8. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    It's not too difficult a look to achieve — if you have the kind of footage they have to work with. I don't know what kind of footage you're grading, but the reason you're missing that je ne sais quoi could well be because your footage was not shot with the grip equipment they have. (That's pure postulation, obviously.)

    I do watch Top Gear, but haven't seen any of this series, so my memory's a little patchy and I'm pretty much going off the photos you posted.

    Here are some things the pictures suggest they do:
    • vignette
    • crush blacks
    • blue tint
    • shoot when it's quite bright, polish cars (I'd imagine Hammond does that)
    • difficult to tell from the stills but I expect their shutter is 1/50 sec.

    They might be shooting hi-def these days, but could just be DigiBeta at 25p (could even be 50i and de-interlaced). I know they love their gradient filters too.
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Go to the Apple FCS videos page and check out the "EURO RSCG" video. It's a testimonial from the company that did a Jaguar ad using FCS 2 and the look of the add is very similar to the images you posted. It doesn't show a step-by-step of how to get the look, but it shows enough of the process to get your feet wet (and to see how involved it can be).

    Here is a tutorial from about how to get a Top Gear feel in FCP. Even though it's for FCP you can still take the concepts it shows to get the look and apply them in Color.

    Here is a post from the Apple discussion boards and while it's not super informative it does add a few more pieces to the puzzle.

    W/all that being said Color is obviously not pick-up-and-play or put-a-magic-filter-on-it type app. It's the complete opposite of that so for someone not familiar w/the app there isn't going to be quick and dirty solution that lets you stumble through the app w/o knowing what you are doing.

    Walter Biscardi made an excellent introductory DVD for Color Steve Hullfish has two very good books on color correction Color Correction for Digital Video: Using Desktop Tools to Perfect Your Image and The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction

    The books probably contain more about color grading than you ever what to know, but picking up at least one might be a good idea so that you have a basic understanding of the grading process and to help you communicate clearly and concisely w/your colorist.

  10. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2004
    Hollywood, CA
    Thread revival - FWIW I know that TG uses filters on their cameras for when they record these segments. So it's not entirely done via post processing. Keep in mind that they also have the full weight of the BBC's resources at their disposal.

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