HyColour is a plugin borne out of frustration with the built in colour controls of Final Cut Pro X.
Colour correcting my edits is a part of the process of filmmaking that I look forward to. It’s a chance to put some music on and just ‘look’ at the images that have been shot. A sort of, calm, after the narrative storm of editing. So it’s incredibly frustrating that the colour tools in FCPX are awkward to use and require the user to flip between various tabs to perform, what are, minor colour tweaks to my footage. Just tweaking the exposure, saturation, colour balance and sharpness of the image requires many clicks of the mouse to perform.
I also shoot stills from time to time and have long admired the simple-to-use interface of Lightroom. And it’s this functionality that I was hoping to bring to FCPX.
Creating the plugin itself, took quite some time. I didn’t just want to publish effects from Motion to FCPX wholesale, without any thought as to how they functioned for me. The way the sliders react to inputs so as not to give really course adjustments, but fine adjustments, was really important to me. I genuinely wanted to make a tool that actually did save time and worked in the real world.
Additionally, I hit a brick wall with the green cast removal tool. I just couldn’t get it to remove the greencast completely. After many hours of struggling, I discovered the trick and couldn’t believe how effective it was. It was one of those high five moments that doesn’t often happen!
And it seems to have touched a nerve with users. Take up has been really encouraging and early feedback has been fantastic. I’m really thankful to the people who have taken the time to write and thank me for creating it.
At the moment, the plugin is in version 1.5. Extra to the release version is an overall exposure control and a sharpening/softening tool with easy and advanced controls.
Version 2 is being built and this will include some pretty cool extra features that users have suggested. With these new features I’m fairly sure that users will not have to use the in-built colour correction tools in FCPX ever again!
With this plugin, I’m committed to giving purchasers free upgrades, so at $25.00 it represents pretty good value for a tool that you can use on any job.
So, HyColour 1.5 is available now from www.hyfx.tv with free updates for life.
Yesterday was pretty full on. Woke at 5:20am after a fitful sleep, huge tailbacks on the motorway because of a crash and arrived almost an hour late for a shoot.
The client was sympathetic, but we had a lot to shoot and so we cracked on straight away.
The reason why I mention this is because in these situations, ‘creativity’ is almost always the first attribute to disappear in favour of just ‘getting shots’.
And this is frustrating.
We shot for almost 9hrs straight without a break. A series of interviews in ad-hoc situations with ever changing availability of interviewees. As well as load of supporting cutaways to get right.
And I couldn’t help thinking at the dead-end of the day, when the client has left an you still have empty rooms to shoot, ‘what would Philip Bloom do in this situation?’.
We were creatively dead on our feet, with little or no grip to spice things up and with empty rooms to shoot and cleaners to dodge… ‘how can I make this interesting?’.
And the answer is… ‘I’m not sure, quite honestly’. If he was in exactly the same situation, same camera, same grip, same light, same time constraints, what could he get from this that I can’t?
I’m guessing when I think ‘composition’. That’s the only thing that is the variable that can differentiate filmmakers.
I’m glad I studied Art as I think that gives me some advantage from others who have not. But it’s this skill that can make a bland, obvious shot, into an interesting, humorous, thought provoking or skilful looking shot.
So, maybe, it’s time to look again at this art form in itself. It’s like a muscle.
Use it, or you’ll lose it and I think Philip has a great eye for composition.
Maybe Philip could comment?
I admire the people who blog and tweet extensively – people like Philip Bloom, Den Lennie from FStop Academy, Alistair Chapman from XDCAM User, Rick Young from Mac Video and now Movie Machine and Philip Johnston from HD Warrior. These guys make a living out of educating, sharing and illuminating us with their opinions, and I thank them for their enthusiasm.
I often wonder how they find the time to work and blog, but I guess, they have made that choice to try and make it part of their businesses.
I say this as a pre-text to a post that hopefully will give you a idea of why I admire their dedication to blogging – I find it difficult to find the time. So I’ve tried to consolidate the summer’s activities into one post in an effort to be more efficient. And here it is, THE BIG SUMMER ROUNDUP!
The summer started out with filming Simon Fischer. An extraordinary violinist who has an amazing style and tone – having played on albums for Take That and various other contemporary groups as well as extensively on the classical circuit. He was making a training DVD for sale online. Myself and Rick Young shot him, his students and his £600k violin in a loft studio in London. Check out his site here www.simonfischeruk.com
Buying a crane
Also this Summer, I decided to buy a small crane to give my shots a little more production value. The Panasonic AF101 sites very nicely on the end, on top of the Manfrotto 546 tripod. And it really does shine. Quite quick to set up on location, it really does add a lot of production value, without a load of hassle.
This is my second year of having the opportunity to shoot the corporate video of Coachman Caravans. They’re a great company, based in Hull and really love the products they make. There is a saying that shooting caravans on location in just a landscape shot spoiled, but I worked at trying to make the vans more kinetic by having them in action on the roads.
The shoot is divided into two parts – the studio shoot and the location shoot.
Here are some of the results:
Never had a great deal of experience with farming, but this year was the year to win a farming contract with JSR Farming Group. Quite an amazing company that seem to farm substantial portions of East Yorkshire and have a real expertise in Pig Genetics (of all things!).
I will be filming the whole farming year and I was fortunate to start over the Harvest – the chance for some amazing shots.
Olympic TV Studios
London 2012 was extraordinary and one of the largest, most technical broadcasting feats of modern times. During the Olympics, I was asked to film for a television company that make TV studios. To create a record and case study of their infrastructure. They created a temporary glass studio overlooking the Olympic for their presenters. Similar to the BBC studio. So similar in fact, it was the floor below the BBC studio, in a ex-council block of 1960′s flats over looking the park.
Believe in Hull
Towards the end of the summer, I made a short film for the churches in Hull. It’s called ‘Believe in Hull’ and is named after their project that will happen in 2013. It’s an advert for the project that was a nightmare to organise and really simple to shoot. Trying the co-ordinate the diaries for a host of church leaders over the summer, was like a living nightmare. Still, I managed it and wrote the script, shot and edited the film just before the weather broke for Autumn.
Can’t show you this one – not sure if you’d want to see it either. But it involved a day in a abattoir watching the ‘process’.
It’s the smell that’s the worse thing…