Colorists Mike Trevett and Tom Nichol in BBC Street’s Baselight grading suite at BBC Scotland.
The flagship facilities of the BBC in Glasgow have stepped up to state-of-the art color grading software with their FilmLight suite running new Baselight TWO software.
BBC Street, the in-house post production facility at BBC Scotland in Glasgow, has upgraded their grading and finishing suite by installing the latest version of FilmLight’s cutting edge 4K/HDR system, Baselight TWO.
“We work across a range of productions from continuing drama series to documentary, factual and children’s productions,” Helen Doherty, post productions operations manager, BBC Scotland, told me, “The speed at which we have to turn around post for our ongoing drama series can be challenging. The latest Baselight 5 release and its new features has helped support the workflow in this genre.”
There are specific reasons for this in the new version of software.
“Baselight's "Color Space Journey" is excellent, especially with the new FilmLight working color spaces,” Doherty said. “We can make more out of what media we get in the Baselight suite because we can use each of Baselight's operators in a consistent manner across many different flavors of video.”
But making the decision to undertake a major upgrade in a facility as busy as BBC Street could be risky, so I asked Doherty what the incentives were.
“Upgrading was a no brainer,” she said. “More, better choices of tools for grading with greater functionality for HD and HDR. Baselight 5 has taken our creative work to a new level.
For instance: new Perspective Transform lets you add perspective to any image for corner pinning, screen replacements etc. It can be tracked using a Four-Point Tracker or with the newly upgraded, perspective-capable Area Tracker.”
Perspective Transform lets you add perspective to any image for corner pinning or screen replacements.
“The Texture Equaliser softens or enhances textures by dividing the image into spatial frequency bands,” she told me, "they are then adjusted individually for required effect.”
“Vector Paint provides Color, Clone and Matte brushes with fully trackable paint layers for precise skin retouches etc;.” she said. “Denoise and Deflicker tools remove even the most random flicker.”
The way Doherty put it, it’s all about keeping things under control.
“Baselight has excellent color management,” she said. “Also media management with FLUX Manage. It has powerful browse, multi-insert, copy and delete capabilities.”
As most post pros know, it’s not just about doing things—it’s also most often about re-doing them, and re-doing them under deadline pressure.
“As I said before, we mostly work on drama and documentaries for television,” Doherty explained, “But we also get asked to adjust all sorts of things, even from our graphics department, which v5 makes possible. We also have the ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ series,’ Molly and Mack’ children’s series and smaller grading jobs from productions like the ‘One Show’, a daily BBC One evening chat show, and other shows occasionally.”
So the upgrade is already paying off.
“We have greater power and overall capability in our grading now,” she finished up. “We are ready for anything that comes in as we are no longer tied to just TV work. We are future proofed to a certain degree, thanks to Baselight 5.”
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