False Colors have been around for some time now, but it seems that many filmmakers don’t really understand the true value of this amazing tool.
A few years ago, getting a monitor capable of displaying false colors was like buying a shiny Mercedez. It was an extremely expensive tool to have, and only pros were able to afford it. Nowadays most external video recorders or high-end monitors are capable of displaying false colors information. Even some cameras now have false colors information available straight out of the box.
So… What are False Colors?
To explain it in a very simple way, false colors are a visual representation of your exposure. Many of us use a waveform monitor to check exposure, but the problem with waveform is, that if you are not experienced filmmaker, it’s very hard to really tell exactly what is going on. False colors visually showing you by the set of few different colors where your shadows, mid tones, highlights are, and in some cases even more precise if you set it up in a particular way. Personally…I have been using false colors everywhere I go. For color grading setup I have dedicated SmallHD monitor that I use exclusively for false colors information, and it made my workflow so much faster and easier because now I get to see visually where the skin exposure is, and it helps me to match shots faster with more accuracy. If you can’t afford expensive monitor for color grading, check out False Colors plugin by TimeInPixels. Very cool and very accurate plugin.
Even working on the budget projects, out on the sun, false colors monitor is very reliable and easy to see where you clipping those highlights.