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DVD Review: Page (1) of 1 - 04/18/06 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page
VASST Absolute Training for Vegas+DVD, Vol. 4 DVD Training series for Sony Vegas+DVD By David Hadden

We all know that the most powerful imaging tools in an editors arsenal are their color correction tools, and, I certainly know my way around the color correction tools available in Sony Vegas. When I watched this DVD, however, I got the feeling that I was ?in for some learning, and I was right.

When I ordered the VASST ?Absolute Training for Vegas+DVD, Vol. 4 DVD, I figured that I would end up hearing a lot of what I already knew about color correction, and a few new tips and tricks to improve my workflow. I should have known that I would get more from VASST than something so minor. This DVD is almost two hours long and chock full of color correction tool information and various color correction techniques, I felt like I was sitting down to dinner, only to find out that it was Thanksgiving. There was so much information in this DVD that I had to keep my remote handy to be able to back up and listen again so that it could really sink in.

Glenn Chan discusses display calibration.

Glenn Chan and Douglas Spotted Eagle started by covering broadcast and consumer monitor calibration clearly and simply in SD, and also gave some good info on HD monitoring as well however, that was just the beginning.  Not only do they talk about how to properly view your footage so that you could correct color, but they also went through a plethora of techniques so that everyone from the most basic to the most advanced user can learn something new. They not only cover every color enhancement filter available with Sony Vegas out of the box, but they also provide you with other filters that can be VERY useful for certain coloring work, as well as presets that you can load into Vegas to speed up your color correction process. 
The meat of this DVD was as close to hands-on training as you can get without having one of these guys sitting right next to you, demonstrating a wide variety filters within Sony Vegas. Beyond monitor calibration and setup, there is well over an hour of straight color correction tool training with just about every color correction technique that a person will probably ever need.

Color correction filters discussed

There is extensive coverage on the primary and secondary color corrector filters, and workflows to match cameras and make your footage pop. Having trouble with noise in your footage, theyve got tips on that too. This DVD clearly explains how to use masks for color correction; its like being able to do minor re-lighting in your scene, this is such a powerful technique that everyone should know how to do it. Chroma keying is covered with the secondary C/C tool as well as the Chromakey filter, and theres instruction on using the Chromablur filter as well. One great bit of training this DVD contains is a handy little tip on how to correct your white balance easily and quickly in post. Having trouble getting skin tones right?  You can find out how to use your video scopes to get a generally correct skin tone from your footage as well as a few more ways that you can use filters. I do wish there had been more coverage on scopes but I can only assume there was not enough time to cover all the information on video scopes. The most relevant techniques related to using scopes were covered however.

We know that color correction can be a tool and a technical job, but its also an art, and this DVD covers both aspects. With it you will gain the tools and training to not only make technically correct footage, but also to paint a beautiful image with your video.

As you can probably tell, I thoroughly liked this DVD. It did bother me a little that Glen Chan comes off as somewhat nervous in his footage (why he would be, is a mystery to me though, this guy really knew his stuff and had no reason to be nervous). This was the only real issue that I had with Chans portions of the DVD, and while not a big deal, its a slight distraction from the content. There were also a couple of moments that a bit hard for me to follow, but after watching over those parts again, I was able to understand it. These two issues are quite minor, but worth mention.

In the end of it all the value that this DVD can provide to every Vegas editor is so high compared to the cost, that you would be wise to buy this it at twice the price. The benefit for me was literally gained in just a matter of minutes after I watched this DVD. I had just been  on location for an interview shoot, and was having a heck of a time correcting for this aggravating security light that could not be turned off. I was able to employ the techniques in this video and solve my issues with the color correction in a matter of minutes.  This is a must have video for your training library, and if you dont have a library? Then believe me when I tell you that this is the video that you should start it with.

May your levels always be right, and your colors always be correct.

Dave Hadden

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Dave Hadden has been shooting, producing, and editing corporate and commercial work for more years than some, but not as many as he'd like. If you can't find him sitting in front of Sony Vegas editing all hours of the day and night, or shooting for his next production. You'll probably find him helping folks on forums, spending time with is wife, or taking a class at the local college.
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