Using SpyderCheckr Camera Calibrations with Video

Datacolor’s SpyderCheckr produces color correction presets for Lightroom, ACR, and Phocus. These presets are typically applied to still images processed in these applications. Now that Lightroom 4 can catalog, clip, and even make basic adjustments to your video, the question of using SpyderCheckr Lightroom Presets to correct color for your video cameras arises. This possibility is particularly interesting when it comes to adjusting video capture from different types of cameras, such as GoPro cameras and DSLRs, or different types of DSLRs, to match their color as closely as possible.

The answer is: yes, it is possible to apply an existing SpyderCheckr preset, from a still image shot with your camera, to video shot with the same camera. However, since that preset was most likely shot in RAW, and certainly as a still image, its best to start from scratch, and shoot the SpyderCheckr target in a video clip, to capture the actual video workflow for color correction.

Video of The SpyderCheckr, to Color Correct the Camera

You can then capture a still frame from the video, and process that still frame the same way you would any SpyderCheckr target shot.

The Capture Frame Option, to Grab a Still Frame from the Video

The resulting Preset can then be applied to a still image, and by selecting that still image and one or more video clips, the Sync Settings button can then be used to apply the color corrections to video clips.

The Sync Settings Option, used to Apply the Calibration to Videos

The dialog box shown below will appear, showing which of the Lightroom Development Settings can be applied to video. Be sure the Color Adjustments box is checked, so that the HSL Adjustments from SpyderCheckr will be applied to the video clips.

The Synchronization Dialog Box, Where the Settings are Selected

Once the clips have been color corrected for the camera they have been shot with, they can be exported from Lightroom for processing in any other Video Editing application you use. Be sure to check the Include Video Files checkbox. Versions of Lightroom 4, up to 4.4 appear to have a bug when Video Export is set to Original in Lightroom 4. If your video clips appear to render instantly, without taking the necessary time to apply the corrections to each frame, it may be necessary to choose another Export format in order to have your Lightroom Cuts and Adjustments (including your Color Correction) applied to your video clips.
It may also be possible to force the edits to render, even in Original format, if you first flag the video clips. However, the flag icons are conditional in Lightroom 4 Library mode, and disappear when a video is the selected item. So instead, set the Painter tool to Flag, and “spray” the videos you wish to flag, so that a flag icon appears in the upper right of each in grid and filmstrip mode. These flagged videos should (this may be a conditional bug, so no guarantees) render with edits in the Original format.
The Video Format section of the Export Dialog

A future article will focus on the process of tuning output from different cameras for use in the same video project.

Credits: C. David Tobie, Copyright 2012.   Website:   Return to Blog’s Main Page

Published by cdtobie

This blog covers a range of issues of interest to photographers and those involved in the digital photographic workflow, digital tools and platforms, and fine art output.

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