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If you are looking for information about False Color 3 – you are in the right place. This is a place where I collect all the information needed for everyone using the plugin or for everyone considering the purchase in the future.

I will go through the whole process starting with the description of all the available versions, differences between them, supported platforms and operating systems. Then I will show you how to get the right version for you and how to install it on your computer. In the next step we are going to look at the supported applications and demonstrate how to use the plugin in each of the programs.

Lastly I will provide a few examples and resources showing the best practices and real life scenarios where the plugin works best.

Available Versions

The False Color plugin comes in 2 versions: Free and Pro. Here is what’s included in each:

Free Version

Free evaluation version can be downloaded directly from the download page.

There is no time-limit in the trial version however the below limitations were introduced:

  • Only 1 default preset (R3D),
  • GPU & CPU processing
  • No customisation options,
  • Remote False Color app disconnects every couple of minutes in trial mode,
  • Watermark in the center.

Free version contains installers for all the supported platforms and operating systems:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects version for Windows and Mac OS
  • OpenFX (DaVinci Resolve, Nuke, Sony Vegas Pro and more) version for Windows and Mac OS

Full Version

Full version of the plugin can be purchased for a specific platform (Adobe, OFX, OFX + Remote) or as a bundle for all the supported platforms. Below you will find a list of all the features and configuration options.

  • Fully customizable luminosity ranges for the False Color overlay,
  • Fully customizable colors in each luminosity range,
  • 13 presets
  • Sharp or smooth transition between color ranges
  • Grayscale ranges
  • Overlay Transparency control (you can mix the overlay with the original image),
  • Scale can be turned on and off,
  • Scale overlay can be dragged around the preview image in Resolve,
  • Available in OFX and Adobe format.

False Color Plugin features industry standard presets as well as some special-case presets like shadows, lights and skin-tones ranges:

  • Default (RED),
  • Flanders,
  • SmallHD (50x & 70x models),
  • SmallHD (DPx models),
  • ARRI,
  • Atomos,
  • BlackMagic VA,
  • Zacuto
  • Video Devices PIX-E4
  • Video Devices PIX-E12
  • Skin-tones separation,
  • Highlights,
  • Shadows.
 

R3D

 

Flanders

 

SmallHD - FalseColor known from 50x & 70x models

 

SmallHD - False Color known from the DPx models

 

ARRI

 

Atomos

 

Blackmagic Video Assist

 

Zacuto

 

VideoDevices PIX-E4

 

VideoDevices PIX-E12

 

Highlights

Protect your brightest parts by using highlights preset

 

Shadows - set the range for your shadows and monitor them with ease!

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Saturation MAP

Instead of generating the false color overlay based on the luminosity the plugin will display the saturation values across the image. In the picture above we can see how the saturation might affect the deep shadows and how this can be easily noticed using Saturation Map.

Pro version of the False Color plugin is available for 2 platforms Adobe & OFX:

Adobe

A version designed for Adobe products: Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Adobe After Effects CC.

  • Windows (7+) version
  • Mac OS (Yosemite+) version

OFX

A version for OpenFX platforms (DaVinci Resolve, NuKe, Sony Vegas Pro, Scratch).

  • Windows (7+) version
  • Mac OS (Yosemite+) version

It can be purchased separately or together as a bundle at a lower price – see below.

Remote False Color

OFX plugin version is available as a bundle together with Remote False Color.

It’s an additional application that allows you remote monitoring of the false color overlay in the separate window that can be placed in the external monitor outside of Resolve. This way you can monitor the luminosity while grading in Resolve without obscuring the original image in the viewer.

Installation

All the available versions come with the installers for both Windows and MacOS.

Windows installation file is in the exe format and Mac OS installer comes in dmg form.

Windows

Download and unzip the installation files. You should be able to see EXE setup file – just double click it and follow the instructions on screen – first you need to allow the installer to run, then you have to accept the EULA and follow the instructions. Once the setup is finished the plugin is installed in the system and ready to go.

Mac OS

Download and unzip the installation files. You should be able to see DNG file – just double click it. A new window shows up with the PKG file inside:

Just double click again and an installer will show up. You need to agree to the terms of use and provide your credentials to install the plugin in your system. Once the installer finishes the plugin is installed in the system and ready to go!

Troubleshooting

Plugin doesn’t show up in Resolve on macOS

Make sure you can access the below directory from Finder:

/Library/OFX/Plugins/

If you cannot access this location it means that file permissions are not set properly for the current user.
To resolve the issue the permissions have to be changed for the above directory including all subdirectories and files so that DaVinci Resolve can access them.

In order to do that just right-click the directory and select Get Info. In the bottom part you will see a section called Sharing & Permissions:

The above picture shows how the permissions should be configured. Make sure to click the golden padlock first to unlock the grid for editing.

BlackMagic Fusion crashes on startup

The FalseColor plugin is not designed to work with BlackMagic Fusion and for some reason the application crashes on startup when the False Color plugin is installed in the system.

To fix the issue the False Color plugin has to be added to the Fusion’s blacklist. To do that open the below file (if there’s no such file, create one)

~/Library/Application Support/Blackmagic Design/Fusion/Profiles/Default/FusionOFX.blacklist

Once the file exists paste the below lines into the file and save.


/Library/OFX/Plugins/FalseColorPluginGPU.ofx.bundle
/Library/OFX/Plugins/FalseColorPluginGPU.ofx.bundle/Contents/MacOS/FalseColorPluginGPU.ofx
/Library/OFX/Plugins/FalseColorPluginCPU.ofx.bundle
/Library/OFX/Plugins/FalseColorPluginCPU.ofx.bundle/Contents/MacOS/FalseColorPluginCPU.ofx

This will prevent it loading that particular plugin bundles.

Uninstallation

There is no automatic uninstaller on MAC platform, so the files need to be removed manually.

Windows

OFX version:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\OFX\Plugins\FalseColorPluginGPU.ofx.bundle

C:\Program Files\Common Files\OFX\Plugins\FalseColorPluginCPU.ofx.bundle

Adobe version:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\7.0\MediaCore\FalseColor.aex

Mac OS

OFX version:

/Library/OFX/Plugins/FalseColorPluginGPU.ofx.bundle

/Library/OFX/Plugins/FalseColorPluginCPU.ofx.bundle

Adobe version:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/7.0/MediaCore/FalseColor.plugin

Licensing

License can be activated using the False Color Config application (desktop shortcut on WIndows, Applications folder on Mac):

 

  • Once the license is purchased you will receive your license key associated with your email address. Buy license button will redirect you to the sales page.
  • Open FalseColor Config (Applications on Mac and Desktop icon on Windows) and paste your license key and email address to the appropriate fields.
  • Click Activate button and wait for the confirmation form the server. Your active licenses will be listed in the box at the bottom of the window.

By purchasing the product you purchase the License which can be activated 3 times. Each activation is associated with the hardware, so 3 activations mean that you can activate the product on 3 different machines. If you activate the license on the same machine for the second time it’s still considered as one activation. So when you format your disk and install the product again you won’t increase your current activations. If you happen to run out of activations (new PC, hardware change, etc) – any old activation can be removed.

When you need to reset your activations please contact us.

Usage

DaVinci Resolve

To use the False Color plugin in DaVinci Resolve you need to be in the Color Pane (at the very bottom). Then locate the OpenFX icon in the top-right part of the user interface as indicated below.

Then look for the Scopes section with the False Color plugin inside in the right panel. Now all you need to do is to drag and drop the plugin onto one of your nodes.

Adobe Premiere Pro

In order to use the False Color plugin in Adobe Premiere Pro CC you need to locate the Effects window. You can expand the Video Effects section or use the search box to find False Color. It’s located in the Scopes group.

To actually use the plugin just drag & drop it onto the clip or adjustment layer in your timeline. The plugins’ settings can be adjusted in the Plugins Effects Controls window.

Adobe After Effects

In order to use False Color plugin in Adobe After Effects CC first you need to locate the Effects section in the user interface. By default it’s located in the right side of the main window. Then you can browse and expand the tree or use the search box to find False Color in the Scopes section.

Once found it can be applied to the clip by drag & dropping it. The plugins’ parameters can be adjusted in the Effect Control window (usually on the left side of the main window).

Examples

In the screenshots below you can see the original video clip as well as the clip with applied False Color plugin in the Luminosity and Saturation mode. In the first screenshot you can see SmallHD preset and in the second one I used the default (RED) one.

Matching contrast ratios

The 2 examples below demonstrate how the False Color plugin might be helpful when matching contrast ratios between the two shots. Saturation mode might help with setting the correct color richness levels. This might be tricky especially in the shadows and bright highlights.

Using false color overlay might speed up the process and enhance the workflow. This might be also quite useful where the professional color grading monitor is not available.

DIT

Using False Color plugin within DaVinci Resolve might augment the DIT work on set. Especially when using the presets matching the tools used in cameras. Some of the DPs that had a chance to use this plugin this way found it very convenient.

Resources

First article that I always recommend is Cinematography Lighting Ratios 101 by Patrick O’Sullivan at WanderingDP.

The article covers how False Color might be useful off-set when analyzing lighting ratios or even matching shots:

Video Tutorials

And here are couple of very nice videos demonstrating how to use the plugin in real scenarios within DaVinci Resolve made by LensProToGo and  Aram K:

Read previous post:
False Color Plugin and ACES

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