How to achieve teal color grading

Love it or hate it, it’s in fashion. As Stu Maschwitz many times explained on his blog, the “teal” color is used a lot in the last 10 years in Hollywood. Either as teal, or towards blue or green, but definitely not “natural” red though. I used the same convention for the music video I shot a few months ago.

Yesterday someone asked me how it was done, so I decided to put this blog post together. Click the following image to view the arranged Vegas plugins used.

14 Comments »

Efren Gutierrez wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 8:57 AM PST:

just wondering what do you think about magic bullet mojo?, it is supossed to do this efect to…


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Eugenia wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 12:52 PM PST:

I’ve already reviewed it. Please search the archives.


Jeff wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 5:50 PM PST:

Will all respect, I’m among the “hate it [the teal in general] crowd”… I appreciate the form of art you are trying to achieve and wanted to say it’s nice work. I’m just from a different crowd I guess, not much into color “grading”, I prefer natural colors (but then, I don’t shoot videoclips or feature-length films…), and only use color “correction” if required… which is also my approach to photography, perhaps I’m just a weirdo/alien among video/photographers. Anyway 😉

I was wondering: I thought you did not use Vegas anymore (due to the problems with videos created by AVCHD cameras like the flip, zi6, and the like)? AFAICT you shot this with your HV20 which (I presume) does not cause such problems with Vegas… the SX200 and 780 wouldn’t work very well with it (well and I assume you wanted the full controls of a dedicated camcorder too)? So what do you do with the footage from those AVCHD camcorders that crash Vegas?


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Eugenia wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 6:42 PM PST:

>(but then, I don’t shoot videoclips or feature-length films…)

This is the major difference. From the moment you’re into doing this sort of thing, you will have to color grade instead of just color correcting. Otherwise it looks amateurish.

>AVCHD cameras like the flip, zi6

These are not AVCHD cameras. They are plain h.264 cameras. AVCHD uses a different profile and container, and so editors like Vegas can use a different, more optimized, decoder to deal with it. Vegas has no problem with AVCHD, or HDV. It does have a problem with SX200, Flip, Zi6, and even the Canon 5D/7D as you mentioned, which are pure h.264 MOV cams, and use Quicktime as decoder instead of their optimized AVCHD decoder. However, since I use Cineform NeoHD, I don’t get hit by the problem. I simply transcode to Cineform AVI, and all is good with Vegas with that format. That’s how I edited this video too, since I had to remove pulldown for non-slow-mo scenes, so I had to use Cineform anyway.


Glenn wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 9:19 PM PST:

SX200 files that haven’t been converted to Cineform load fine into Vegas 9 and playback in realtime, even with most plugins running. I haven’t had much luck converting them to Cineform though (Neo HDV). It appears to mess up the frame rate.


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Eugenia wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 9:41 PM PST:

This is only true if you are using a VERY fast machine. Even on my 2.4 Ghz QuadCore these files only play at 22 fps instead of 30 fps. And that’s just 720p we’re talking about. 1080p is unusable. Additionally, if you use too many of them in the timeline, and edit, Vegas will eventually crash. In other words, for 95% of the people, it’s wiser to use Cineform.

As for Cineform, you need a new version of Cineform NeoSCENE to work with these files. NeoHDV is not sold anymore, so you’re probably stuck with an old version that doesn’t work well with these files or something. Cineform does change 30.00 to 29.97 fps, but that’s welcoming, the way I see it.


Glenn wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 10:20 PM PST:

They work in realtime on my old 2.4ghz dual core machine and the newer Quad core. Even with colour corrector and levels plugins added. That’s at best(half) resolution. But if there are any other video tracks unmuted, then it will play slower.

With Neo HDV, I still use the flip function for my 35mm adapter footage. So the upgrade I’d need would be Neo HD, unless it’s possible to run both Neo Scene and my current Neo HDV.

Yes, the 30.00 to 29.97 part I don’t like. Neither are frame rates I’ll ever use. I just set the playback rate of the 30fps clips to 0.833 so they become 25fps, with ‘disable resampling’ selected. It’s not an exact calculation, but close enough. Actually, maybe you have resampling on, causing yours to play slower?


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Eugenia wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 10:24 PM PST:

>They work in realtime on my old

This does not happen here. I use preview/auto or preview/full, but it never gets better than 22 fps. Without any plugins.

>Actually, maybe you have resampling on, causing yours to play slower?

Resampling only kicks in if you change the fps from the source, I don’t do that.


Glenn wrote on January 15th, 2010 at 5:19 AM PST:

That’s strange, but you’re still using Vegas 8.1, right? Maybe they’ve improved the performance in 9. I normally use preview anyway, but best (half) works well. Although at full, then it’s probably close to 21 or 22fps.


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Eugenia wrote on January 15th, 2010 at 10:47 AM PST:

No, I’m using Vegas Pro 9 on that machine.


Michael C. wrote on January 15th, 2010 at 11:04 AM PST:

I just vacuum-cleaned my PC, and oh boy, what an improvement in performance.


Exuss wrote on January 18th, 2010 at 6:52 AM PST:

In those examples teal looks like a zombie-skin 🙂


W.Doug wrote on January 18th, 2010 at 8:23 AM PST:

Eugenia, I’m really apreciate (and I’think it’s very helpfull to the reader’s) if you post another color grading examples. I use this grading and really liked http://www

Thanx for all information and sorry about the bad english.


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Eugenia wrote on January 18th, 2010 at 6:12 PM PST:

That video is similar to mine in grading. So just use my tutorial above.


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