Grading with clean plates for VFX

When color grading a piece that has clean plates for VFX it’s essential to do your best to envision the shot as a whole.  Hopefully, the framing is locked off and the lighting is controlled.  However, that is not always the case.  It’s important to know what the VFX capabilities are after your color grade session and to know what the client is expecting.  If there is only a small area of the plate that is of importance, there is no need to pay any attention to the rest of the shot since it won’t be part of the final composite.  Lighting can shift when removing elements from a shot in order to shoot the clean plate so sometimes grabbing a still and using the split screen function to mimic the final composite can give you and the client a good idea of what needs to be accomplished in order to color a matching plate.

I recently completed this :15 for Summit Natural Gas and created a quick breakdown that shows the layers and final composite to remove the puppeteer.  It was an enjoyable job to work on with an aggressive look that I find quite effective.

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