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True colours: Regrading Spectre

True colours: Regrading Spectre

Spectre looked great and is probably one of the best looking of all the Bond films in terms of cinematography. However, the film had a slight colour problem which becomes especially apparent with the Blu-Ray. A yellow tint has been added to the whole film which makes the colours of certain scenes appear unnatural. One internet user has gone through the trouble of removing the yellow tint as well as the green tint blanket, thus bringing the colours back to life and making Spectre more pleasing to watch.

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Gunbarrel Comparison between the Original and Regraded version

While this process does comparatively little to darker scenes in the film, the light ones are greatly improved.

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The colourful opening sequence in Mexico City suffered greatly from the yellow tint

Colour grading is the process of altering and enhancing the colour of a motion picture, video image, or still image either electronically, photo-chemically or digitally. The photo-chemical process is also referred to as colour timing and is typically performed at a photographic laboratory. Modern colour correction, whether for theatrical film, video distribution, or print is generally done digitally in a colour suite.

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Considerable difference can be seen in the Austria scenes. After regrading the film, the snow is as white as it should be

There is no particular reason why certain tints are added to a film, may it be in post-processing before a general release or afterwards for the home video versions. Often, a specific colour grade can improve the mood of a film.

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Primary color correction affects the whole image by utilizing control over intensities of red, green, blue, gamma (mid tones), shadows (blacks) and highlights (whites) of the entire frame. Secondary correction is based on the same types of processing used for Chroma Keying to isolate a range of hue, saturation and brightness values to bring about alterations in hue, saturation and luminance only in that range, while having a minimal or usually no effect on the remainder of the color spectrum.

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As mentioned above, the darker scenes of Spectre are only minimally improved by the regrading procedure. Still, there is a notable difference in the naturalness of the image we see on screen.

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 Using digital grading, objects and color ranges within a scene can be isolated with precision and adjusted. Color tints can be manipulated and visual treatments pushed to extremes not physically possible with laboratory processing. With these advancements, the color correction process has become increasingly similar to well-established digital painting techniques, ushering forth a new era of digital cinematography.

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For some viewers, even the finished result of a colour regrading isn’t satisfactory. Throughout the process, whites may turn out to be slightly too blue. What is undoubtedly achieved however, is a cleaner, more natural look which can change the feel of the whole film.

The same user who recently regraded Spectre, had also regraded the 1967 Bond film “You Only Live Twice” which had a distinct and strong pink tint on the official Blu-Ray release.

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Screenshot comparison of “You Only Live Twice” (1976)

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7 Comments

M11 - 23. Jan, 2016 - Reply

Where can we find this regraded version of the film?

Benjamin Lind
Benjamin Lind - 25. Jan, 2016 - Reply

Sorry, links to copyright protected material are not allowed on this site.

Matthijs - 02. Nov, 2016 - Reply

The regraded is way to purple. I like the yellow tint much more

Irish Jane - 10. Apr, 2018 - Reply

I agree with matthijs. I think the movie was graded it that way to set the mood that you are in a warm place like of morocco. The regraded version appeared cooler which made me think it was filmed in russia or somewhere cold.

ILiketoWatch - 06. May, 2018 - Reply

Saw this movie for the second time last night; this last time on cable. Just as with the first viewing I was immediately distracted by the unnatural yellow coloring of the movie. I didn’t find it warm. I found it musty.

Thanks for showing what the movie could have looked like. I would have enjoyed it more.

By the way, Casino Royale is one of the best looking movies I have viewed. The scene on top of the red crane, the blue water and blue sky as backdrops — sumptuous. And the final scene depicting Lake Como — again, rich and alive.

MynameisBond - 13. Jun, 2018 - Reply

How was this color grade done did you do it shot by shot? Also how long did it take? Just as i was looking for pointers as a color grading newbie but fairly capable editor!! Cheers any response would be more than helpful. 🙂

Benjamin Lind
Benjamin Lind - 28. Jun, 2018 - Reply

I did not do the color grading myself, just stumbled over a forum post where someone had posted it.