May 6, 2012

Improve Your Color Correction Skills While Playing the 'Color' Game

Many argue the legitimacy of games when it comes to learning, but games can certainly exercise the mind if they challenge you to think and problem-solve. I've never really seen a game of any kind that could possibly help me become a better filmmaker -- that is, until now. If you're brand new to color correction, or even any sort of graphic art where color is involved, there is now a game called Color that will help you improve your skills.

Steve Hullfish over at ProVideo Coalition discovered the game, and rightly he mentions that it could improve your skills at color correction by forcing you to quickly and efficiently match colors in hue and saturation. Here's a quote from Steve about the game:

Trying to see and match colors is critical to a colorist. Also, as I played numerous iterations of the game, I realized that my eyes must have a specific deficiency in a hue range that is just on the magenta side of red. I was getting perfect and very good scores all the way around the color wheel, but in that specific area I was rarely getting very good scores.

While this might seem like a negative, it's good to know whether you have any deficiencies in your vision, especially if you're going to be coloring. It might hurt a little to know that your vision isn't as perfect as you thought it was, but there have been plenty of people with deficiencies who have succeeded in the film industry. Regardless, this is going to improve your skills at recognizing colors that work together, and it's an important skill to develop. The game gets much harder as you advance, since it starts simply with hue and saturation, and then adds complimentary, analogous, ternary, and quaternary. I had a few perfects early on, but ternary starts to get very difficult, and quaternary is downright hard.

The game comes from a website called Method of Action which is aimed at teaching design to analytic and logical thinkers (people like me, actually). Their other two games, Kern Type, and Shape Type, are more design-based, but still fun if you're interested in this field. Either way, the Color game is a great way to improve your skills after you learn your camera, take some video, and begin the editing process.

Post your color score below if you're feeling competitive!

Links: Color Game & Method of Action

[via ProVideo Coalition]

 

Your Comment

61 Comments

4.7... :/

May 6, 2012

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7.7...This just made my day

May 6, 2012

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maghoxfr

8.4. This is an awesome game, I agree it just made my day too. Thank you for sharing, Joe!

May 6, 2012

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2nd round, 8.9. My confidence was definitely stronger this time! I think my weaknesses are in the reds too.

May 6, 2012

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7.3 love the website strugeling with the speed.

May 6, 2012

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Koert van der Ploeg

6.8

May 6, 2012

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Chris Soto

8.2 and I can't see how it is useful at all.

May 6, 2012

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Hugo

9.2. The last few quaternary colours caught me up.

May 6, 2012

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Latham

9.2. Too fast!

May 6, 2012

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9.4, I win.

May 6, 2012

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Guillaume

7.5

May 6, 2012

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Setiawan

8.9 second try...

May 6, 2012

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Setiawan

8.2 Not bad.

May 6, 2012

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8.0 while watching TV.. mh :D

May 6, 2012

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Carlos

Whoa, I got 9.8 on my first try; only missed the "complimentary" (although I got one or two "very goods" in other categories, too, so it looks like it's a bit forgiving). I guess getting a color calibrator for my laptop screen was a worthwhile investment (or, you know, I just have good vision). I wonder if this correlates with things like age etc.

May 6, 2012

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cows

I guess I did less well at typing correct words, though.

May 6, 2012

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cows

8.3 - and I scored the lowest on complementary :S

May 6, 2012

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mardus

6.8! (although I forgot to blink and my contact lenses have dried up). This is actually quite useful, thanks for posting.

May 6, 2012

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9.8 first try, 9.8 second try.

May 6, 2012

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Jacob

I managed to get '11' in one of the categories once, but I haven't been able to reproduce it. I wonder if it's a bug or a reward for doing extra-well. Getting "perfect" four times in a row does not seem to be sufficient.

May 6, 2012

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cows

That's the "This Is Spinal Tap" bug. :)

May 6, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

7.7....this is cool, but I'm not sure how much it would help with color correction, unless you're correcting with a gun to your head. With unlimited time, presumably anyone could get a perfect score, unless they had an actual physical deficiency in the colors they percieve. But I suppose it could help to see what colors you're fastest/slowest with.

On this topic, does anyone know of a good guide to color correction for film? I'm getting closer and closer to that stage and fearing it, because I can't afford to hire a pro but it's the stage I know the absolute least about.

May 7, 2012

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No colorist has unlimited time, time is money, great colorist deliver quality fast, they use $30,000 systems just to shave a few seconds off each correction over desktops.

May 7, 2012

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Ryan

By film do you mean 35mm film, feature films, grading for theatrical release, or what,
regardless step one is get a calibrated monitor that matches your final output gamma and color spaces

May 7, 2012

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Ryan

8.7 first try!

May 7, 2012

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Edge

9.3 second

May 7, 2012

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Edge

9.3 second time around

May 7, 2012

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Edge

9.7

May 7, 2012

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So it seems like it is possible to get a score above 10. In particular, I just got a 10.2. My hunch is that if you get all perfects in a particular category AND get at least one of the colors exactly correct (rather than just imperceptibly close) it gives an 11.

May 7, 2012

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cows

9.2.

May 7, 2012

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Rob

8.0 watching a movie... lol funny game but my monitor is really off... Well, I just use scopes...

May 7, 2012

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Alex Mand

7.3 !...

May 7, 2012

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keri

7.7

May 7, 2012

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Stan Perry

8.3 first try, I'll definitely go back to this. Not entirely sure my monitor is calibrated though....

May 7, 2012

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8.2! Cool btw!

May 7, 2012

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Tobias

9.2, but I'm not convinced of the usefulness of this. By the time you get to quaternary, it's frankly confusing. That's not because you can't match colours, but because you have no immediate reference to which "cursor" is which quadrant of the central wheel. In other words, it's not getting harder in terms of matching colours, it's getting harder mechanically. Personally, I think the xrite colour ordering test is probably more useful.

http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?PageID=77

(for the record, I score zero, as in perfect, on that test, so I might be biased towards it :p )

May 7, 2012

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Luke

Got 8.8 for the test. And for the above (nice one Luke) I got 21 (apparently still signification better than the average for my age group). Although I also agree with the above comment, I'm also beginning to wonder how well these tests compare to physical world tests - as I've previously done a colour test with an optometrist and achieved a perfect score. Also, I think monitor calibration does play a major role in many of our scores.

May 7, 2012

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8.8!

I agree with Luke though. In the later levels half my time is spent readjusting to what my dominant cursor is.

May 7, 2012

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Ampersand

8.8!

May 7, 2012

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9.2 for me... its like Tetris for Color Finesse 3.

May 7, 2012

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shaun wilson

first try, 7.8
second try, 8.7

and yes, "adjusting to what my dominant cursor is" can actually be more difficult than nailing the colors :)

May 7, 2012

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and 15 on the x-rite test

May 7, 2012

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8.9 on first try.

May 7, 2012

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Jerry

0 on the other game :D

May 7, 2012

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Jerry

8.4

May 7, 2012

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Cory Ewing

8.8 but the first tertiary I bombed learning how the mechanics work with the cursor.

May 7, 2012

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I got an 8.7 overall. Pretty beat little game, though it is a little hard to tell which cursor your mouse is controlling towards the end of the game. But, it is good eye training for matching colors.

May 7, 2012

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Braden

9.2

May 7, 2012

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Gerardo

Out of curiosity I tried it on an uncalibrated not-at-all modern screen (10+ years old) and actually managed to get a 10.3. Of course, this is probably like the 10th time I've played the game, so the practice helped. I like the timing because the difficulty is less in knowing when the colors match (because that's not necessarily something that can be practiced) and more in knowing which direction to move when they don't; as such, I think including the timer makes it more "useful."

May 7, 2012

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cows

whether the monitor is calibrated or not doesn't matter: you're matching one on-screen color to another on-screen color, whether it will look red-ish or orange-ish when projected on a cinema screen is irrelevant

May 8, 2012

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(he quality of the display does matter, a lot: if it shows all greens as exactly the same color, you're going to fail, no matter how good your eyes are)

May 8, 2012

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Not really. If, for instance, the hue shifts slightly relative to saturation, then you might think you've matched the hue and only need to adjust the saturation, when, in fact, you're not correct about either.

May 8, 2012

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cows

my point is that if hue and saturation are shifted, they are shifted both in the reference patch and in your selected color: they will only look identical when they're identical, and your task is not made any more difficult by the fact that they're incorrect (unless, as I said above, the monitor is making all colors look the same, then that can be a problem)

I'll try to check this when I get home: I'll screw my RGB settings, then play again :)

May 9, 2012

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The difficulty of the game, at least with respect to the fact that it's on a timer, is not knowing when you've found the right color (since, as you say, this will be true whether the display is calibrated properly or not), it's knowing how to get to the right color. And if curves that are supposed to be linear are not linear, this becomes much more difficult. Specifically, hue and saturation may not be completely independent. For instance, it could be the fact that colors that a monitor displays as green go toward yellow as they become less saturated, meaning that you can't find the correct hue and saturation independently of each other. On a properly calibrated display, though, hue and saturation will always be independent of each other. That makes this game considerably easier.

May 9, 2012

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cows

ok, that's a fair point
but then you can always adjust when you get to the surroundings of the target color
I'd find it very difficult to discern "the hue is changing as I change saturation" from "my initial estimate of this color's hue was wrong", but I can easily adjust as I go
but aggree: if you're going all-pro about it (first match hue, then match saturation), a good and properly calibrated monitor is needed; if you go "let's just match colors", as I tend to do, then it's not

May 10, 2012

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8.4 on the one here, played the other one mentioned and got a 4... pretty cool way to waste time playing games

May 8, 2012

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9.4, it seems like I can't match greens and magentas as well as other colors.

May 9, 2012

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Chris larsen

9.8 on third try. Seems like I have problems matching the greens as well.

May 9, 2012

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Lasse

I got 6.3 on my first try, and it was very confusing as I didn't know what to do on the higher levels. On the tenth try I got my best score so far of 9.8. So practice, concentration and patience are very important to improve your score.

May 16, 2012

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JR

I got 10.4 (11,9,9,1212,10) on my 3rd try, didn't think it was possible.

May 21, 2012

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Andrey Kazanchev

One year later, 9.3 on the first try :)

August 12, 2013

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