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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)

About Benjamin Lind

Benjamin Lind
Benjamin Lind became a James Bond fan at the age of 15 and has since closely followed the production of every film since 'Tomorrow Never Dies'. Apart from writing about Bond, he is a founding member of the James Bond Club Germany and holds a position as advisor in its executive committee. In 2016, Lind released a charity documentary film entitled 'A Bond For Life - How James Bond changed my Life' in support of UNICEF.

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3 comments

  1. Where can we find this regraded version of the film?

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

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