🎨 Colorist Newsletter #502

Published: Sun, 12/05/21

Issue DII: The Re-Name Edition
The Color Grading Newsletter
News, reviews, thoughts, career advice, and humor for professional Video / Film Colorists & Finishers. Delivered Sundays. Curated by a professional color grader.
From The Publisher
We're back, after our Thanksgiving break. I hope everyone had a nice time with friends and family.

Today, I'm announcing a tweak to this Newsletter. Going forward the name is now "The Color Grading Newsletter", dropping the 'Tao of Color' reference. But no worries - nothing else is changing (for now). The Tao of Color website continues hosting this Newsletter, as well.

Why the (subtle) Newsletter name change?

Two days ago, on Mixing Light we announced that your humble Newsletter Publisher is holding the reigns of Mixing Light. I am now the sole owner/operator of that amazing resource. As a result, I find myself in a position to unify my various training and community-enhancing endeavors.

There's a new internal cheer at the thought of bringing these pursuits together, under one effort. It's an exciting opportunity to tie my career (30+ years in the making) into a self-reinforcing whole.

My expectation is that this Newsletter will eventually fall under the Mixing Light banner. The name change is the first small step in that direction. I have several other plans in the works based on the foundation of this Newsletter. You, gentle reader, will probably be pleased by those plans - and I'm itching to put it into action.

Until then... we keep trucking along. I'll share those updates as they happen!

Happy Grading! I'll see you next week.
- Patrick Inhofer
Tao Colorist | Publisher

(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.

Good read: "Most of Dune was shot digitally on ARRI Alexa LF (with some Super 16 film shots and some high-speed Phantom shots) and graded on Blackmagic’s Resolve. It was then output to film and scanned back in for the final color grade — an interesting process we will learn more about in a bit."

(livestream replay) Colorist Cullen Kelly: "The "rules" of color grading are based on sound principles, inspired by camera technology, color science, color psychology, and longstanding, reliable observation of how light/color respond to different manipulations experienced by professionals across decades of experience. " Learn how to break those rules in this 60-minute live stream.

Colorist Jason Druss: "A lot has been said about the tech behind HDR, but what is it really for? Let's break down the creative benefits of this storytelling tool."

What I like in this article is how Jason weaves in quality embedded videos explaining the topics he details.

(video) An interesting embedded video visualizing a new research paper on building high-quality images from low-resolution sources. What is the advancement over previous research in this new paper?
Yes, yes, YES: "It's gotten to the point where I find myself occasionally not being able to parse entire lines of dialogue when I see a movie in a theater, and when I watch things at home, I've defaulted to turning the subtitles on to make sure I don't miss anything crucial to the plot."

I wholeheartedly agree with the main thesis of this article. You should click through and read it because the challenges faced by our aural peers are very familiar: If the above-the-line talent doesn't value 'getting it right on set' then the final product always suffers. No matter how magical our tools become, there's no substitute for high-quality inputs.

The problem is, how do we say this to our clients without offending them? Especially when the advice seems so self-serving?
ENDCRAWL.com is the only good way to make end credits.
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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 toolchest with new techniques and approaches. 

Brilliant -> "DaVinci Resolve doesn’t come with a built-in way to play a chime when a render is complete, but you can make your own using this super simple Python script for macOS." Click through for the code you can copy/paste.

"DaVinci Resolve's powerful AI tools help you work fast and stay creative. But knowing how and when to use them is key."

(video) "Solve complex Keying scenarios by combining keyers, hard and soft key, despill, and integration. Build a reusable keying workflow."

(video) "In this video I will show you a new FREE tool that can replace TeamViewer and another that can be used to improve productivity."

Oliver Peters: "To date, 70 combinations of brands and models are supported, including iPhones. FilmConvert has created these profiles based on the color science of the sensor used in each of the specific cameras."

"Well, Continuum (no longer BCC) 2022 has just been released, and there’s even more to love about the best plug-in package for Media Composer editors.  Let’s check it out!"

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. 

"Mixing Light announces a change of ownership with Patrick Inhofer moving up as owner/CEO as Robbie Carman and Dan Moran step away. Get the full story."

(video) "New Mixing Light Contributor Luke Ross kicks off a 20-part series on learning Baselight Student, for newbies and experienced colorists alike."

"This series returns with stories on Netflix recommended displays; being a better colorist; color harmonies; and note-taking."

(video) "Colorist Cullen Kelly finishes off coding a split-toning Resolve DCTL plugin with a visual overlay showing how the RGB channels are modified."

Get it done, Faster, Better and Cheaper with the OWC Flex 8
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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.

"Mountain didn't just go for feature parity – to produce a keyboard as good as the best keyboards on the market. Instead they've seemingly gone one better, constructing one of the best built keyboards we have ever seen at AnandTech."

(video) Colorist Darren Mostyn shows how he sets up his Stream Deck for DaVinci Resolve. What's a Stream Deck you ask? Darren spends the first few minutes explaining it to newbies. I'm currently doing a complete re-work of my Stream Deck setup, which I'll be sharing on Mixing Light in the near future.

Lots of good links for products that support a minimalist mobile suite from Oliver Peters: "For sake of discussion, I’m talking about repurposing a spare bedroom, office, cave, etc into a permanent editing suite. However, this doesn’t mean a total rehab."

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.

(videos) Like the headline says.

(video) "Thurber and director of photography Markus Förderer decided to innovate by using a shooting method never yet seen before in a feature film – mounting a RED Komodo digital camera on top of a capable FPV drone and hiring top cinematic FPV pilot Johnny Schaer to fly it." (via Joey D'Anna)

(video) A wedding scene is restored from a drab overcast sepia and becomes the highlight of a young girl's life it was intended to depict.

"NFTs have grown to be a hot topic and frothy market, but what are they really? This graphic defines NFTs and explores the NFT ecosystem." Yes. I consider this fun. I haven't decided if it's funny (or not).

Th- th- th- that's all folks! I'll see you next week.