Archives du Mois : octobre 2015


Fully Automated Color Grading
in Pushing one Button

NEXYAD Visual Effects Newsletter #11, the 2nd of october 2015

Automatic Color Grading using Nexyad Skins


Paper by NEXYAD


NEXYAD has developed technology for applying color charts at images during post-production, to greatly change the atmosphere : the automatic color grading, that we called the NEXYAD Skins.

This automatic color grading applies equally to the rush or to contrast and luminance calibrated images and provides calibrated recolored images, in a dynamic already validated by technicians and artists for movie.

With our technology, it becomes difficult to make « bad taste » renders, or they are made voluntarily and then have a strong artistic scope.

The principle of our automatic color grading of automatically granting colors so that the rendering is harmonious.

We act as a musician on the piano : if each color corresponds to a music note, and thus a key, then playing multiple notes at the same time is putting a set of colors side by side in the same image. Question is : is it harmonious ?

The music is governed by rules called « rules of harmony. » For the same dominant note such as the A note, one can construct chords (set of notes played simulanément) containing the A note, but which give a completely different sensory and emotional experience.

Figure 1
The note A on the piano keyboard

Examples of music chords :

. A Major : A note is dominant and the atmosphere is cheerful

Figure 2
Chord « A Major » that includes the note A

. A minor : A note is dominant and the mood is sad

Figure 3
Chord « A minor » that includes the note A

. D minor : A note comes in support of another note (D which is dominant), the atmosphere is sad
the global tune id not A, it is D.

Figure 4
Chord « D minor » that includes the note A

. etc …

On a piano, you don’t put your fingers anywhere because if you do it is not called music, it is called « noise ».

For colors, that’s exactly the same thing : all colors do not go together, and there are very many different combinations of colors which generate a different harmony.

These color groups have been studied among others by artists (Kandinsky, the Bauhaus school, …), which proposed what is called « colors grammars ».
When capturing images, if the colors in the image belong to a colors grammar, then rendering is harmonious, and the atmosphere is that of the grammar (dynamic, joyful, sad, blue, etc …).

There are several solutions for your image to be compatible with a grammar of colors :

. Solution 1: you know the grammars of colors, you know the sensations and impressions they generate, you choose one, and you ensure that the photographed or filmed elements have precisely the right colors there. It takes a lot of knowledge, and also ways for sets, costumes, etc …
Note : apart in productions with very large budget, it is rare for outdoor shoots that this kind of method can apply.

. Solution 2: you know the grammars of colors, you know the sensations and impressions they generate, you choose one, and you change some colors of your rush image, by hand, in post production to bond grammar that interests you. It takes a lot of knowledge, software tools for color grading, and also human resources and time.

. Solution 3: you apply NEXYAD automatic color grading solutions (NEXYAD skins) and see what it generates on YOUR images, or else you give NEXYAD adjectives that describe the mood and NEXYAD will choose for you.

If you think your photographs and films in terms of color and chords, with sensory emotional load generated on the viewer-s brain, regardless of the image content and the story being told, you have an efficient way to work your artistic content, and you are free to choose clear artistic directions such as :

. consistency: the story told, the content of images, colors and grammar are fully consistent
(Eg : it tells a sad story, filmed objects are old, dirty … and the colors give an impression of sadness). If you add a sad music, you get a maximum of sadness message from your work to the viewer.

. shift: certain elements of the work contradicts the others.
Eg : the story told is dramatic, image content is joyful, the colors give a naive rendering.
If you add a childlike music, the viewer sees an inconsistency and generates itself a strong emotion to offset the discrepancy. Your work then integrates the spectator within itself instead of projecting toward the viewer…

. etc …

The perfect control of color rendering brings an effective tool for artists in photography and cinema.
note : saying that your creativity is higher than that and that you need to be completelu free of rules in your creation means that a piano doesn’t have enough keys for you … It is possible (yes it is), but think twice before saying it. Many music genius before used the piano to create wonderful pieces of music, and no one would say they are not artists : Mozart, Beethoven, …


Let’s take the case of a scene that contains 3 colors, and let’s say that you want to apply a grammar of colors that need to change every original color.

The NEXYAD tool (NEXYAD Skin) will take original colors and will choose which final color thay should be tranformed in :

Nexyad : Colors in rush image

Some colors may be kept identical, other modified to stick to a color of the grammar, and finally other fully removed and replaced with a new color.

NEXYAD technology can do that … automatically.
You select the grammar of colors, and NEXYAD Skin manages to harmonize colors. This exceptional result is the fruit of a very high level research conducted since 1995 by NEXYAD on perception of color and advanced image processing.

Regarding the brightness, we can pass from the luminance dynamics of a rush image to the dynamics of the calibrated image using a « Calibration curve ». If the dynamics of final rendering is always the same but the dynamics of the rush picture varies (unexpected variation of lights, camera change, …), then it’s never the same curve that is used for calibration.
The NEXYAD Skin computes the proper curve for each image fully automatically.


In this example, we apply several NEXYAD Skins on the same film. This does not mean that all colors grammars are interesting for all films, this is only a technical demonstration to all potential partners and users.
For a given artistic direction and a given sequence, there are only a few NEXYAD skins that may be interesting.
note: you can customize the automatic renders, using simple parameters like saturation, etc. Then you’ll get absolutely unique renders.

Here is a picture from a royalty free movie bought by NEXYAD on the internet (you may buy it too if you want to try color calibration renders) :

Nexyad Skin Green & Orange

Nexyad Skin 3-strip Technicolor

Nexyad Skin Golden

Nexyad Skin Steel & Pink

Nexyad Skin Teal & Orange

Nexyad Skin Sovcolor
Nexyad Skin Sovcolor

Nexyad Skin Green & Pink
Nexyad Skin Green & Pink


New Nexyad Skin « Steel & Pink »

NEXYAD Skin « Steel & Pink », an automatic color Grading for your films, videos, TV shows and pictures.

What is a Nexyad Skin ?
The Nexyad Skins are based on a high technology combining image analysis, human visual perception analysis, image processing and color theories of great picturial movements. Whatever the incoming images (rushes or already modified) the application of our Skins generates a final rendering with the selected colors positioned where we wish.
Our skins are not LUT and it do not need any human intervention.

Technology Demo NEXYAD Skin "Steel & Pink" 01 from NEXYAD on Vimeo.

Technology Demo NEXYAD Skin "Steel & Pink" 02 from NEXYAD on Vimeo.

Nexyad Visual-Effects continues his library of Nexyad Skins with here a combination of Steel and Pink. Blue, teal, green and grey turn toward steel, a kind of dark teal recalling steel. We have turned orange, yellow and red toward a tint of light magenta for harmonize those colors all together. Note that we kill violet. This give a very cold atmosphere and even a feeling of cold weather. Indeed, on the color wheel, our pink is near from violet and blue. It can be use to introduce sadness, old fashioned, strange, dramatic and negative values to images.
For our technology demo, we have choosen a royalty free movie shot in Iceland to increase the cold effect and another one that could look like Berlin in the 60’s of twentief century. Remember that our color grading is obtained in pushing just one button. We quote an image from « Aviator » with Leonardo Di Caprio. This superproduction costed $ 110 millions, so we can expect that color grading was also expensive.

« Aviator » directed by Martin Scorsese for quote.


Other NEXYAD Skins already available

Nexyad Skin Sovcolor
NEXYAD Skin « Sovcolor »

Nexyad Skin Teal & Orange
NEXYAD Skin « Teal & Orange »

Nexyad Skin Green & Pink
NEXYAD Skin « Green & Pink »

Nexyad Skin 3-Strip Technicolor
NEXYAD SKIN « 3-strip Technicolor »

Nexyad Skin Green & Orange
NEXYAD Skin « Green & Orange »

Nexyad Skin Golden
NEXYAD Skin « Golden »