Archive for the ‘ Creating an Editing Environment ’ Category

Creating an Editing Environment, Part 2

In this installment of Creating an Editing Environment, I’m going to focus on the area immediately surrounding the monitor you spend your working time staring at.  In particular, we’re going to talk about the colors in that environment.

Next time you’re in front of your editing machine (assuming it’s separate form the one you’re reading this on), look at the screen, but take note of what you see around it in your peripheral vision.  Is it nice and clean or is it full of stuff?  What color do you predominantly see?  To give you an idea, while I sit here typing these words, I see a lot of white (walls, paper, speakers), brown (desk surface), and some bright red of the mug that is sitting to my right holding pens & pencils.  This is a good example of what you shouldn’t see when you sit down to edit.

Just like you want to be sure you can hear your sound, you want to be sure you’re really seeing your picture.  To that end, you want a pretty uniform surface behind your monitor, and for it to be a neutral (like a medium grey).  Why?  If there are any bright colors within your field of vision while you sit at the monitor, it will affect, however slightly, the way your eye views that color.  If you’re editing, and especially if you’re color correcting, you don’t want anything to potentially skew your perception of that color.

In order to get a nice, neutral environment, you’re going to need a few things:

  1. A nice, clean desk, much unlike the one I described above.
  2. A wall painted a nice neutral shade of grey (or white or black, but grey is a personal preference of mine since it’s not on either extreme)
  3. Nice true white lights, such as LEDs.  As most of you are no doubt aware, typical household lights have a yellow cast to them, and fluorescents have a bluish cast.
  4. If you’re editing interface does not take up the entire monitor, make sure you have a nice neutral wallpaper selected as well.

And there you have it, a reasonably monotone environment which should allow you to focus on the color and content of the footage you’re working on.  Now, if you can’t paint your walls or install LEDs, just try to make the space as neutral as you can.  I’ll be back with more of Creating an Editing Environment soon!