[TaoColorist] Sunday Morning Reading (All-Hallows-Even Edition)

Published: Sun, 10/30/11

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The Tao Colorist

Curated links of news, reviews, thoughts, career advice, and humor 
for professional Video / Film Colorists & Finishers. Delivered Sunday.
Issue LXVIII                                                            Brought to you by: Tao of Color.com

Editors Note: Thanks for all those shout-outs last week! Greatly appreciated. Enjoy your Tricks and Treats!

The Craft

  • Color Correcting for Horror - Because you gotta see the blood. Using Magic Bullet Looks 2. (RedGiantSoftware.com)
  • A Collection of the Best Premiere Pro Color Grading Tutorials - Interface training, creating looks and more. It's a regular link-o-rama. (blogs.adobe.com)
  • [Video] Communicating Emotion Through Color - Good concept. Too bad he has to suffer the After Effects interface while color grading. But then, he can add grain. Jump to the end for a nice demo of using a solid color with a blending / composite mode for a colored vignette. (Lynda.com via @eactipis)

The Tools

  • Automatic Duck: All Plug-Ins Are Now FREE - Essentially, they've end-of-lifed their current plug-ins and are offereing them As-Is. No support. I can't express how important The Duck was to my business in the early 2000's. The Tao of Color wishes Wes and his dad the best of luck as they move into this new phase of their careers! What are you waiting for? Download those plug-ins! (AutomaticDuck.com)
  • [TIG] An OLED Story - Are you tempted by the much more affordable Sony PVM-series OLED? Read this. (tig.colorist.org
  • [Review] Sony PVM-1741 OLED - They ended up returning the OLED after deciding the panel isn't appropriate for field and client monitoring. (NegativeSpaces.com)
  • [Review] Tiffen Dfx Digital Filter Suite - This filter package has now entered v3. Oliver Peters gives an overview of the different versions they sell and how it worked for him. He calls it a must-have for Avid editors. (DigitalFilms.wordpress.com)
  • [App] KataData: Storage and Runtime Calculator - For over 100 cameras and recording formats. Results can be emailed or stored. $5 in the iTunes store. (blog.AbelCine.com)
  • Adobe Production Suite: Sharing Assets - Overview of how assets are shared between PremierePro, After Effects, Photoshop, Audition, and Encore. Big emphasis on Dynamic Linking. (ProVideoCoalition.com)
  • ACES: Is It Ready for Prime Time? - A roundtable at the recent SMPTE Symposium discusses the need for much wider adoption of ACES if it's going to achieve its stated purpose. (SMPTEConnect.blogspot.com)
  • [Video] Remapping F-Keys on the Tangent Wave for DaVinci Resolve - I just ran across this again this week. I'm sure I've shared it before - but it's worth the reprise. Oh - and it's recorded by the colorist who I feature down below under 'Giving'. (Vimeo.com)
  • Avid Mistakenly Posts Details of Media Composer 6 - Or was it a mistake? The original posting was deleted from the CreativeCow forums. As always, reading the reactions are fun if you have time to kill. Or you can just skip to the next item and get it straight from the source. (movies.groups.yahoo.com via @AllCreativeNY)
  • [Video] Avid Media Composer 6: IBC 2011 Technology Preview - Includes a demo of the Avid Artist Color control surface working with the Media Composer. (YouTube.com via @ilovehue)
  • Creating An Easy DSLR Workflow - Easy? Maybe. Simple? No. (DV.com)
  • GPUs: An ADO In Your Pocket - An interesting article to anyone trying to understand the power of the GPU and what it means to digital artists. It's written from a broadcast perspective. (BroadcastEngineering.com)



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The Business

  • UltraViolet's Next Problem: EBay - UltraViolet is a new 'digital locker' concept from Hollywood. It seems this unpopular solution is about to have another problem... people auctioning off their 'digital keys' for overseas buyers at prices far less than the studios are asking. Yikes! (Gigaom.com)
  • Thailand Flood May Impact Hard Drive Prices - Two Western Digital factories are temporarily down. (DefinitionMagazine.com)
  • Avid Posts 3Q2011 $8 Million Net Loss - Announcement includes a 10% staff reduction. Going forward they expect Operating Margins in the 1.5% - 3% range. My first thought: Those are great margins... for a grocery store. (blog.devoncroft.com)

Edumacate Yer'self

  • [Training] Getting Started With DaVinci Resolve Lite (Free) - Class On Demand is offering 1 year (mostly) free access to this training course by colorist Bob Sliga. Requires registration (including address and home phone number). (ClassOnDemand.com)
  • [Webinar] Watch the THX Color Management 101 Webinar - I watched this streaming live. Good seminar. They never did send us the link to watch it again later (caught this link off their Twitter stream). It's now available online. Mostly free. (THX.com)
  • [Live Training] Take a Smoke 101 Class, Get A 3-Month Evaluation License - These are 3-day training classes by several different training companies. (usa.autodesk.com via @DPBuZZ)

Deal Breakers

  • 2 Days Left: 50% Off Adobe Production Premium for Switchers - This big offer ends on October 31. You've been warned. (NoFilmSchool.com)
  • Edius Half-Price FCP Cross Grade - It's a Windows-only NLE. But if you're looking to run Resolve on Windows - this might be a good solution. (TvbEurope.com via @clayasbury)


  • Christmas Idea: Convert Your Client's Movies to a MovieBarcode and Frame It - A while back 'Moviebarcode' made a splash by crunching all the colors of a film into a barcode - creating a post-techno work of art.

    This inspired an opensource python script 'VideoColorBars' that replicates the effect but requires some decent programming skillz to execute.

    This in turn inspired a good friend of the Tao of Color, colorist Josh Petok, to create an AppleScript version that the rest of us can use. Initially it was pretty buggy. But he's now got it working well (caveat: after exporting your Quicktime, it'll take a few minutes to crunch the images and the app looks like it's hanging... just stick with it...).

    I think I'll be framing a couple of these MovieBarCodes for my clients for Christmas this year. Something like this. Thanks Josh for this app. It rocks! (TheCurrentCut.com)

Outside 'The Box'

  • Reusable Templates with Photoshop 'Smart Objects' - Shows how to create a template for a DVD case and disc to teach Smart Objects. (TipSquirrel.com)
  • Adobe After Effects: iExpressions - Hide the math. Do cool stuff using AE's Expressions. (MamoWorld.com via @clayasbury)
Current Colorist Control Surface Drivers
 JL Cooper Eclipse Avid Artist Color Tangent Wave

Software: v2.1.6

Mac: v2.6.2

Software: v3.8

Color Plug-in: v 1.0.5
PC: v2.6.2
Firmware: v1.9

March 7

Updated: October 20 Updated: Jan. 28(ish)

Sunday Morning Fun(nies)

  • Smashing Pumpkins at 1,000 Frames Per Second - No. Not the band. Pumpkins. Real ones. Warning: It's a freaking massacre! (YouTube.com via FilmmakerIQ.com)
  • [Flow Chart] How To Make A Horror Movie - Just in time for a quick turnaround production. (Feremback.com)
  • The Conjuring Arts Research Center - I hope you enjoy this 3 minute Behind-the-Scenes as much as I did. It's with the curator of this secretly hidden NYC library. (FilmmakerIQ.com)
  • Are You Prepared for a Zombie Attack? - It's a new graphic novella brought to you by... wait for it... the Center for Disease Control. Yes, the CDC. Taxpayer dollars at work. (Blog.MacSales.com)
  • Sony Digital 4K Theater Locator - I had trouble with this on iOS. Works great on a standard OS. (pro.sony.com via @4KTV)
  • [Video] Final Cut X... You're Hardly A Pro - A video poem. What do you think, is this piling on? (Vimeo.com via @PeterWiggins)
  • Translation Algorhythm Used to Crack Centuries Old Code - Researchers used language translation software and applied it to a 250 year old secret message revealing the rituals of a 1800's German secret society. (ArsTechnica.com)

Gear Heads

  • [Rumors] No MacPros Until 2012? - More and more the MacPro feels like Apple Color... tons of potential but left hanging in the wind. (MacRumors.com) <- By the way, this isn't a rumor - just an observation based on supplier chain issues. Apple dropped 'Computer'. When will they drop 'Rumors'?
  • [At Your Risk] OS 10.7 Disable Laptop Display When External Display Is Connected - Requires a Terminal command. Read the comments. Then click through to the original Apple Support Forum posting so you know what's going on and how to prepare. (hints.macworld.com)
  • Take Control of iCloud - I'm a MobileMe user getting ready to migrate to iCloud. If you're in the same position, this eBook is worth the buy. The MobileMe -> iCloud migration is anything but simple. If I were pitching this as a film: 'Apple Meets Indigestion'. (TidBits.com)
  • Take Control of your 802.11n Airport Network - I picked this eBook up at the same time as the iCloud book. Did I learn anything? Lets just say I got very very peeved at Apple when I discovered the iPhone 4S only supports 802.11n in the 2.4GHz band. I mean, hello? What's the point? If you're not sure what I'm talking about but want to be 'in the know'... this eBook might be up your alley. (TakeControlBooks.com)

The One That Got Away

  • Dropbox: The Inside Story - A look at the company that refused to sell to Steve Jobs and Apple. (Forbes.com)

Link Bait

  • The Great Tech War of 2012 - It's an Apple, Facebook, Google & Amazon smackdown! Good article but pour a fresh cup (or, for my time-shifted Aussie readers, top off that pint) before you begin. (FastCompany.com via @jonrawlinson)

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Being A Better You

  • How I Changed My Life (in Four Lines) - If you don't like preambles, then scroll to the bottom of this article for some very good, pithy advice. (ZenHabits.net via @the99percent)
  • The LifeHacker Workout for Normal People - Equipment-free, 3 days a week. (LifeHacker.com)
  • Why Do Some People Learn Faster - The mistake of praising smarts rather than effort. (DailyGood.org)
  • 10 Things Every Creative Person (That's YOU) Must Learn - Being different, simple is good, real artists create, and more... (blog.chasejarvis.com)

Work Smarter

  • Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts - I can't tell you how much time these save me when putting together this Newsletter. (mail.google.com)
  • 10 Tricks for Dealing with Email Overload - Some good tricks. Of these, I'm about to start using Text Expander. (LifeHacker.com)

Siri, Sweet Siri

  • iPhone's Phonetic Name Field - For better voice commands. (ShawnBlanc.net)
  • Steve Jobs: Revelations from a Tech Giant - The full 60 minutes interview with biographer Walter Isaacson. (CBSNews.com via @rrwmin)

Tweet Of The Week

  • "It's hard to peel ourselves from our work, but remember 20-20-20: Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to rest your eyes." (@DisneyPixar)

A Step Too Far?

  • Mounts for the iPad - From mounting an iPad on your leg, a cup holder, the cockpit of your airplane, the car, and more... just keep scrolling down the page. (Ram-Mount.com)

Th- Th- That's ALL Folks! See you next week. Happy Grading!
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