🎨 Colorist Newsletter #499

Published: Sun, 10/31/21

Issue CDXCIX: The Computational Edition
The Tao of Color Grading Newsletter
Curated links of news, reviews, thoughts, career advice, and humor for professional Video / Film Colorists & Finishers. Delivered Sundays.
From The Publisher
This week I'm starting the Newsletter with a promotion on behalf of Los Angeles colorist Mark Todd Osborne. Over the years I had a few meals with Mark, mostly at trade shows and conferences. I've also sat in on a few of his presentations. Mark is one of the colorists working on high-profile big-budget features and series who is 'out there' and sharing his insights with us.

I've found that colorists like Mark tend to have a unique view on what happens when a colorist becomes a collaborator with the D.P. and director; getting involved early, locking down color management workflows, working through camera tests, and working with color scientists.

But high-profile projects can be a pressure cooker. If you do enough of this kind of work, it forces colorists like Mark to be intentional with their workflows. When you're intentional in your work, there's a good chance you'll be able to communicate the reasoning and actions behind those intentions. In my experience, Mark is good at that kind of sharing.

So where's the 'promotional' part of this week's introduction?

Mark is giving a 6-hour webinar next Saturday, November 6. It's being hosted by TAC (they've snagged some good talent in the past year for these kinds of webinars). The focus on his webinar is on 'look development' and moving between the set and the grading suite.

Mark reached out to me this week to see if I'd link to the webinar signup page in the Newsletter? TAC followed up and offered a discount code to you, my reader. It's been a while since I featured an offer for Newsletter readers so here's TAC's offer for you plus a summary of what Mark will talk about:
Learn image analysis and the psychology of color from Hollywood veteran colorist, Mark Todd Osborne. Topics also include:

- Working with cinematographers creating 'show LUTs' for use on-set and in the grading suite
- Training the eye to read Raw images
- The theory and practice of color management
- Creating looks and node tree breakdowns in DaVinci Resolve
- Digital vs. Film Photography and film emulation

Saturday, 6 November 2021. 10a-4p Pacific Time
The price for this event goes up tomorrow, Monday, 1 November (but the discount code still works).
Click and use code TAO for a 10% discount
Full transparency: The Tao Newsletter gets an affiliate fee if you use the code TAO. If you're against affiliate fees, feel free to skip the discount code and I won't see a dime - but Mark's webinar should still be worth it.

Finally - as an experiment, I'm sending out a reminder email this Thursday - since lots of us can't commit to a Saturday event this far out. Don't be surprised by my mid-week reminder.

I'll see you in two Sundays on November 14.

I need to skip next weekend's edition to prepare for the 500th edition of the Newsletter :-)

Happy Grading!

- Patrick Inhofer
Colorist | Publisher | Coach

(and remember - if you have a story that's a fit for this Newsletter, hit reply or email it to 'newsletter@taoofcolor.com'! Include a quick reason for the suggested link.)

Join the 'Color Cartel' Protein Folding Team - Rosetta@home allows you to donate the spare CPU cycles of your rig to the scientific fight against coronaviruses and cancers! The Tao Newsletter's Color Cartel is a Top 5% team and climbing. Join Rosetta@home, set up an account, start 'folding', and connect to The Color Cartel team.
The Craft
Featuring the work of creative craftsmen, the theory of color, and industry news. Learn practical workflows, useful theories, and actionable insights from existing (and emerging) leaders and teachers in our industry.
This is a bit weird. I have an email with the shortlist of nominees for FlimLight's first color grading awards. But their website doesn't have this list except as a rotating image on their front page. What I've linked to is a still image from their image repository that Filmlight shared in the email. It's quite a range of nominees - which I love. Good luck to all the nominees!
(video) I'm not sure if I shared this when first released two months ago? It's a panel discussion with myself, Warren Eagels, Oliver Peters, and Jason Bowdach. If you missed it: "We sit down with 4 color grading professionals to talk post production and experience in grading and resources with blogs, tools, tutorials."
Mike Seymour writes about the camera tech in the new iPhone 13 and what it means for professionals. Here's just a small bit: "Through a combination of multiple lenses, computational photography, machine learning and new processing chips, the iPhone 13 Pro Max let filmmakers shoot HDR footage and ProRes compression types." He goes on to cover all these topics in much more detail.

(podcast) "Filmmaker and Chief Creative Officer at Maxon Stu Maschwitz joins us to discuss Computational Photography including the new iPhone13 Pro Max."

From a Newsletter reader comes this item produced by YouTube: "It analyses aesthetic trends across YouTube video. What’s striking is the variation in colour palettes of these trends from cottagecore, y2k, dark academia etc. Great visual reference about some things Gen Z audience is into at the moment and how it comes across in video.

"While aesthetics may seem obscure to the uninitiated, this isn’t the case for Gen Z. This can be seen in the sheer volume of content about aesthetics that is being created and consumed online." (via Martyn Bull)

ENDCRAWL.com is the only good way to make end credits.
Want to see what we're all about?

 TAO newsletter subscribers get to skip the waitlist. 
Get your free ENDCRAWL demo project.
The Tools
Our craft keeps changing. And growing. Learn about updates to your favorite software. Discover new tools to help you work faster or more creatively. Build your tool chest with new techniques and approaches. 

(video) In his weekly live stream colorist Cullen Kelly: "This week we're helping you round out your Colorist skills as we dive into bidding, outlining scope of work, and laying out a projects roadmap for both schedule and logistics. We'll also discuss how to ask for the right turnovers and optimize the prep process."

(video) My latest mini-course on LinkedIn Learning was just released: "An extensive look at the color page in DaVinci Resolve, starting with the settings and preferences that have a significant impact on color manipulations."

"[Patrick] then covers the concept of primary corrections and the tools used for establishing a base color correction, as well as secondary corrections and how to isolate and minimize problematic areas of the image. Patrick also shows how to combine primary and secondary color operations to enhance viewer engagement, and shares tips for improving your shot-matching skills to help your story have a better visual flow."

(video) From the Color Finale channel: "RGB Curves are used by many professionals to colour correct videos and photos. But for someone who may have just started on the path to post-production, RGB Curves is a challenging tool to understand at first. Discover how these curves work and feel free to follow along with your own footage and in the program of your choice."

"The old ARRI K1S1 LUT is now renamed to ALEXA Classic 709 and the new one is called ARRI 709 inside all ARRI cameras on the market ... colorists should have access to it to be able to recreate the exact same image that was displayed on set." (via Jonny Elwyn)

Dropbox finally opens its review & approval service to public beta: "Through direct partnerships and integrations, Dropbox is designing an ecosystem that supports the tools you’re using most. Now you can upload videos and access feedback directly from your editing application—no more hopping from app to app." I've linked to their blog post announcement.

If you've been waiting for Cinematch to release its plugin on Apple's NLE then your wait is over.

Flanders Scientific XM312U Professional HDR Grading Display
The XM312U has a peak luminance of 5,000cd/m2 making it one of the brightest HDR mastering monitors on the market.

It supports both PQ and HLG EOTFs making it suitable for practically any HDR workflow.
LEARN MORE at FlandersScientific.com
Pushing Photons
These stories are from MixingLight.com's membership Library of color grading articles, tutorials, and podcasts (Tao Of Color is co-Owner). Do you want to read a story listed here but not a member? Sign up for a free 7-Day Test Drive.​​​ There's also color correction Practice Projects for purchase. 

(video) "Colorist Dan Moran (well known for his gritty looks) tries to bring a bit of that style to a cleaner, HDR ready show look created in Baselight."

"DaVinci Resolve 17.4 is a substantial update. Colorist Joey D'Anna explores his favorite features, big and small, on the Color & Edit Pages."

(video) A replay of a webinar with special guest Dr. Charles Poynton recorded two weeks ago: "We've all seen the 1931 CIE RGB Chromaticity Chart but do you understand its importance to film and video? How does it map to human vision?"
Get it done, Faster, Better and Cheaper with the OWC Flex 8
OWC's New Award-Winning ThunderBay Flex 8 Powerhouse Solution Is Now Shipping

This Industry-first Thunderbolt™ 3 storage, docking, and PCIe expansion solution (with 85w charging) is dollar for dollar, the best way for serious media professionals to handle their storage, connectivity, and PCIe expansion needs.

All eight bays can utilize SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-inch SSDs or 3.5-inch HDDs. To take advantage of 40Gb/s PCIe technology, the top four bays are NVMe U.2 SSD ready.

The OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 is a recipient of the 2020 Future Best of Show Award, presented by Video Edge. Video Edge awarded the ThunderBay Flex 8 their Special Edition Best of Show Award in the store, charge, and connect category.
Learn more at MacSales.com
Gear Heads
Stay updated on the latest hardware that's shipping - because the craft of color grading isn't just about software. Plus, keep an eye on future equipment trends and hardware odds-and-ends.
Three items of note: Resolve Studio is now included with all DaVinci Resolve control surfaces. The Mini panel gets a $1000 price cut, bringing it in range of many more colorists, finishers, and, frankly, enthusiasts.
I really like the Editor Keyboard but at the original price of $995 I never saw myself buying it. They just dropped the price to $595 - a much more compelling price (but still too big a footprint for my current desktop).
Finally, the Speed Editor Bundle was a steal at $295 since it also included a license of Resolve Studio ($295 value). They've increased the Speed Editor to $395 - valuing the hardware at $100 since it still includes Resolve Studio. If I hadn't already bought it, I'd still buy the Speed Editor at the new price. It's not the steal it was - now, it's merely a good value.
FSI recently sent out an email that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone: "Semiconductor component supply and global shipping are seeing truly unprecedented constraints. This is leading to higher component costs, much longer freight and small package transit times, and increased landed costs on practically all finished goods." What does this mean to you? The answer is a click away.
"These modes can be used to adjust the display for different types of media so that professionals can see how the content will look on other displays and color profiles." Plus, custom chromaticity coordinates if you're measuring its white point with a calibration device.

"What separates the M1 Max from the M1 Pro isn’t CPU cores, it’s the rest: GPU cores and memory bandwidth, media encoding and decoding, and total overall memory. Let’s take them in turn."

A variety of benchmark tests show that the new Apple Silicon chip for the MacBook Pro should be amazing when they release the next iteration for the MacPro workstation in the next 18 months.

Part 2 of their speed tests focus on specific creative apps, as opposed to benchmarking software.

It's fun reading about the challenges of being a DIT on a job where everyone is in water all the time. Plus, lots of great detail on the DIT cart setup and workflow. Pomfort, again, does a great job highlighting their products while offering a compelling read for anyone interested in on-set data management.

"Just remember that Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 are both the same 40Gb/s standard. The primary difference has been that these speeds only recently came to the PC with Thunderbolt 4 in 2020. Mac users have been sort of spoiled since they’ve had these speeds with Thunderbolt 3 going all the way back to 2016." For more details on these specifications, click through.

Sunday Fun(nies)
Random thoughts, tidbits, and fun stuff that caught my attention this week. Maybe it's color grading related. Maybe not. Ya got'ta read to the end of the Newsletter to find out.

(video) "Look inside a clear gasoline engine block at the exact moment of combustion ... inside a running Honda XR75 4-Stroke OHC motorcycle engine with the World's First CLEAR Acrylic Engine block! Slow Motion footage shot with a Phantom." (via Joey D'Anna)

(podcast) "Linus and Go Creative Show host, Ben Consoli, discuss finding the spirit of James Bond and using hand-held IMAX cameras to blend classic 007 storytelling with new filmmaking technologies."

"There seems to be one small benefit to Facebook trying to hide behind a new name, which is that some time in the relatively near future you may not need a personal Facebook account to use an Oculus Quest." I'm looking forward to this fun moment. It's the one thing keeping me from picking up an Oculus (well, that and the Tao Treasurer has a some input on the decision, too).
Th- th- th- that's all folks! I'll see you in two weeks.