[TaoColorist] Sunday Morning Reading (Rear View Mirror Edition)

Published: Sun, 03/11/12

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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 LXXXIII                                                           Brought to you by: Tao of Color.com

Editor's Note: On behalf of my email service provider I profusely apologize for last week's 'broken' newsletter. Their servers went down not long after the email was sent out - breaking all the links in the newsletter. If you went back to it about 14 hours later, you'd have found the links were (and are) working again.

Editor's Note II: This is the Most Popular Stories from the 2nd Half of 2011 edition! I've got to say - you all continue to show good taste in the links you click. You can find the Most Popular Stories from the 1st half of 2011 here. But: The Sunday Morning Fun(nies) and NAB 2012 sections are current.

Editor's Note III: I was pleased to see that last year's offer to get a sneak peek of two complete Lessons from my Resolve 8 Masterclass saw lots of traffic. Therefore, it makes this Newsletter (near the end) and I'm reactivating those download links... but those links will expire in a week! If you're interested grab them while they're 'hot'.

NAB 2012

  • Full Day Color Grading Training: 36 Days Until Show Time - On Monday April 16 your Tao Newsletter editor, colorist Robbie Carman and colorist Alexis Van Hurkman will be hosting a full-day of training on color grading as part of NAB's Post | Production World training series. You can buy a One Day Pass - which will give you access to all the classes available that day. If you buy before NAB begins it'll save you $100. Pricing details are here. Registration is here. The program outlining our color grading training is here.
  • Important Show Transportation Tip - On getting a pass for the monorail and why you should buy it before you get to Las Vegas. (UberMediaHD.com via @donaldberube)
  • Media Motion Ball - Tickets are now on sale. This is probably one of the longest-running events at NAB. I'm also now declaring it an Official Tao Of Color Meet-up! It features a sit down dinner, door prizes, etc. I'll be there and I'd love to meet you! I'll be the guy wearing the limited edition 'Tao of Color Grading' embroidered shirt. Monday, April 16 - 7pm - 9:30pm. (MediaMotionBall2012.EventBrite.com
  • Las Vegas SuperMeet - Tickets are now on sale. The last few years they completely sold out. If you want to go, sign up now. I'll be there as well - my first Las Vegas Supermeet. (Supermeet.com)

The Most Popular Stories of 2011, Part 2

The Craft: Part 1

  • [Podcast] Interview: Colorist Steven Scott - An interview with classically training painter and feature film colorist (recent films: "Cowboys & Aliens", "Captain America"). (FXGuide.com)
  • The Soap Opera Look (and how to avoid it) - Ever had a client complain that their final product looked 'video-y'? Here's one possible problem they might be having (and how to fix it). (imNotBruce.com)
  • Rescuing Dark Footage - Using composite modes to build up underexposed images while (hopefully) minimizing noise. (ImNotBruce.blogspot.com)
  • Color Grading Noel Gallagher's "The Death of You and Me" Music Video - This is a terrific color grading breakdown by Milton Adamou on a music video he recently graded. He shares his thoughts on his decision making and reveals some of the techniques he used to achieve his final results. His blog has several other breakdowns that are well worth your time. Well done, Milton. (MiltonAdamou.com via @Quantel)
  • Luma Processing - The power of isolating your effects to just the Luma or Chroma channels of your image. Some great examples in here. If this concept is new to you it's a must read! (ProVideoCoalition.com)
  • Noir Shadows and Highlights - Colorist Josh Petok has a nice tutorial showing how to create moody shadows and highlights in DaVinci Resolve using an external matte to create patterns. Well done. (vimeo.com)
  • Color Grading HBO's 'Game of Thrones' - A decent article on the post workflow and color grading process on this popular HBO series. Spoliers: Graded on FilmMaster, finished on DS, shot on Alexa, going tapeless for Season 2. (CreativeCow.net via @endlesspicnic)
  • Color Palettes: The Academic Ébauche Part I - Not color grading per-se, but a look at how French-trained painters were taught in the 19th century to build up their color palette and more quickly accomplish their work. (UnderPaintings.com)
  • Surrealistic Skin Tones - A Scratch tutorial to get those hyper-real skin tones popular in fashion photography. Also an example of why I'm personally excited to have 'Composite Modes' directly inside Resolve's nodes when version 8.1 ships.  (Vimeo.com)
  • DIY Color Grading - I'm sure I've linked to this. But it was recently pointed out to me again, so why not? After all, this article starts from where so few indie filmmakers begin... thinking about color in pre-production and through production then into post. (MikeJones.tv)
  • Bart Simpson and the Blockbuster Look - A link to an terrific color wheel of cartoon character flesh tones. And an observation on the link between Bart Simpson's flesh tone to one particularly well-known Hollywood Blockbuster palette. (CMieritz.blogspot.com)
  • [Video] DaVinic Resolve: Shape Mask vs Shape Matte - What's the diff? I tend to call the Shape Mask a 'Hold Back Mask'. Warren Eagles gives a simple but effective demonstration of the difference. (Vimeo.com)



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The Craft: Part 2

  • Seeing Green - Different approaches to creating color meaning in your work. And how the color wheel can be used to create different meanings for different projects. (VanHurkman.com)
  • 22 Professional Photoshop Image Enhancing Techniques - I've often said that Photoshop techniques are a great source of new ideas for the work we do on moving images. I guarantee you can find at least a few (more than 2) techniques that absolutely can be adapted to our craft. (SixRevisions.com via @Getcolormanaged)
  • What Adobe Should Do With IRIDIAS SpeedGrade - Stu Mashwitz shares his thoughts on this Adobe acquisition. I can't say I fully agree with everything he says. But he did get my noggin' contemplating... and that alone gets the blog post a mention in this Newsletter. (Prolost.com)
  • Understanding Log Grading - A great post on curves and grading with Log images... leading up to the point of the article - the purpose of LUTs. (MikeMost.com)
  • Budgeting Time - How much time do you spend on a shot? Unfortunately, no one really follows up on this question on the TIG mailing list - but Steve Hullfish offers up some hard numbers on much time some colorists take to do their job. (tig.colorist.org)
  • ColorWiki - Neat. Collection of links concerning many things related to color management. (ColorWiki.com via @Company3)
  • [Video] Communicating Emotion Through Color - Good concept. Too bad he has to suffer the After Effects interface while color grading. Jump to the end for a nice demo of using a solid color with a blending / composite mode for a colored vignette. It's tutorial number 001. (Lynda.com via @eactipis)
  • "Courageous": The Online - This is the second article by editor Steve Hullfish describing the conform process of a feature film he helped edit. Graded and onlined on a Quantel system, shot and finished with RED files. Some discussion of problems mixing 5D MkII footage with the main RED cameras. (ProVideoCoalition.com)
  • Grading a Music Video Shot with Epic - Colorist Warren Eagles walks us through a recent RED Epic project from dailies 'Best Light' to Avid DNxHD through final grade. (iColorist.com)
  • Color Grading RED Epic Underwater Footage - A GREAT 101 tutorial on color grading and why we do it. Followed by a great explanation of the unique challenges of grading underwater footage. Followed by a demo of the frame size difference between HD and 5K. Followed by an excellent explanation of using After Effects' awkward Selective Color filter (in case you absolutely positively have no choice but to grade in AE). (The UnderwaterRealm.com)
  • 3 Color Photography - Aimed at the Photoshop artist. Inspiration for the colorist. (VignetteMagazine.com)

The Tools

  • DaVinci Resolve 8.1.1: Lite No More - My thoughts on the latest 'incremental' update to Resolve. And why there's nothing incremental about it. (TaoOfColor.com)
  • [Video] Introduction to Iridas Adobe SpeedGrade - Earlier this year Adobe acquired SpeedGrade for inclusion in the Creative Suite family of apps. Essentially, Adobe is picking up (adding a dedicate color grading app to it's Suite of apps) where Apple left off (which killed the Studio concept and Apple Color along with it). If you haven't seen SpeedGrade, Adobe.tv has a nice 20 minute introduction to Speed Grade. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it. (Adobe.tv via Steve Hullfish)
  • Photoshop Blending Modes: A Visual Guide - Blending Modes, Composite Modes, Layer Modes are all terms used by different software packages to describe the same thing: Using math operations to combine two images together. Common modes include: Subtract, Multiply, Difference, Hard Screen, Soft Scree, Color Burn, etc. This post is a visual guide to how those operations actually look - giving you an idea of what will happen with your images when you execute those modes. Nifty cheat sheet. (FudgeGraphics.com via Steve Hullfish)
  • Primary Color Correction with Premiere Pro - A quickstart for grading in Premiere. (ProVideoCoalition.com)
  • Cross-Platform, Multi-NLE, Tapeless Transcoding Workflows - How to manage complex multi-format, multi-frame rate, multi-codec projects... and be efficient. Lots of good ideas in here. (MikeJones.tv)
  • The Ultimate Home (Grading) Theater - Colorist, Author Alexis Van Hurkman shares his lastest room setup. Wipe the drool off your chin. (VanHurkman.com)
  • How Close Do You Need To Sit To See Full 1080p? Written back in December 2010, this is a nice primer on resolution, screen size, and how to maximize your investment in a 1080p monitor. (ProVideoCoalition.com)
  • Element: A New Colorist Control Surface - August, 2011: Looking to fill the space between the Tangent Wave and their much higher-priced CP-200 series control surfaces, Tangent Devices will unveil new interlocking panels next month priced at the $3500 US range. Alexis Van Hurkman visited their headquarters last month and got to spin some rings and push some buttons. He shares his visit with us. (VanHurkman.com)
  • LUT Translator - I happened on this by mistake this week. On the Mac App Store. At $299.99 you're going to really need it if you want to check it out. (itunes.apple.com)
  • The CRT Replacement is here, FINALLY - A review of Sony's line of OLED monitors. (ProVideoCoalition.com)
  • 5D-to-RGB Batch - This amazingly useful app (which can also be controlled via command-line) is now available for purchase and download in the Mac App store. And it supports many more HDSLRs than the Canon line. A free Lite version is still available. (itunes.apple.com via NotesOnVideo.blogspot.com)
  • 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)
  • How 'Hugo's' Looks Was Set in DI During Production - The most interesting bit from this article was why they decided to set the Look of the dailies before they were released to the editorial team... Hugo was graded on Baslight. (StudioDaily.com)

The Business

  • What Is the Future of the Big Color Grading Systems? (BTLNews.com)
  • The post-FCP World - If you think Apple has 'splintered the [NLE] market in a way the competition never could' then you'll want to read this blog post by Oliver Peters. He comments on the latest FCPx update, why it wasn't driven by user requests, and offers a 5-point roadmap for transitioning to your new NLE toolset. (DigitalFilms.wordpress.com)

Outside 'The Box'

  • First Look: Plasma Lighting - Abel Cine has an interview with Hive Lighting about their forthcoming Plasma lights. Twice as efficient as HMI, flicker free. Just like lighting with the sun (without the nuclear reaction). Watch to the end to see the tiny size of the lighting element. Ridiculous how much light it throws off. (blog.abelcine.com)


Current Colorist Control Surface Drivers
 JL Cooper Eclipse Avid Artist Color Tangent

Software: v2.6b4

Mac: v2.6.2

Software: v3.8

HUB v1.0

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

Nov 21

Updated: October 20 Updated: Feb. 7(ish)

Sunday Morning Fun(nies)

  • [Video] TED Talk 2023 - Ridley Scott creates a fictional TED Talk to promo his upcoming movie. TED posts it on their website. (Blog.TED.com)

  • [Video] Snow Drawing - After North America has it's warmest summer on record, I thought it'd be fun to share a little memory from the Winter That Never Was. Shot from a Quadcopter. (Vimeo.com)

  • [Parody] This Article Generating Thousands of Dollars in Ad Revenue Simply by Mentioning New iPad - Classic Onion. (theOnion.com)

  • [Video] The Hobbit: Production Video Blog #6 - Behind the Scenes of their location shoots. Some amazing locations in that there New Zealand. Must be nice to have a budget. (YouTube.com)

Behind the Tao of Color Curtain

As regular readers know - I'm deep into creating training for DaVinci Resolve 8. This week - I've decided to invite you in!
Below are two complete Lessons from the Tao of Color DaVinci Resolve 8 MasterClass. The first Lesson is the one I just uploaded about an hour ago. I've also decided to also give you second Lesson.
Why these Lessons?
Because these two Lessons cover some of the most confusing aspects of DaVinci Resolve and (like the entire Masterclass series) are applicable to both the Paid and Lite versions of DaVinci Resolve.
The video download links will only be active for one week. If you share the links, please link to the Lesson page (which sets the stage for the Lessons) and not directly to the videos. Thanks!
  • DaVinci Resolve 8: Specialty Nodes - This 35 minute Lesson looks beyond the work-a-day Serial Node and explains the three nodes you may not use very often... but are essential tools in the Resolve arsenal: the Parallel Node, the Layer Mixer Node, the Key Mixer Node. (TaoOfColor.com)

  • DaVinci Resolve 8: Versions, Sessions, and the Media Pool - This 32 minute Lesson ties three discrete DaVinci Resolve concepts and demonstrates how the Whole is greater than the Sum of its Parts. Specifically, this lesson shows how these concepts 'magically' work together to allow us to automatically inherit grades for the same shot in one timeline into another timeline. And, when necessary, how to disable that feature. (TaoOfColor.com)

Your Career

  • How Much Should I Charge For My Freelance Services? - We've covered this before in the newsletter but it's always a good topic to revisit. (LifeHacker.com)     

Learn A Skill               Get More Gigs         Early Bird Special Ends Soon

Color Grading MasterClass: DaVinci Resolve

Workflow + Technique + Interface Training

DaVinci Resolve, DaVinci Resolve Lite : Mac & Windows!
Also available: Colorista II | Apple Color | FCP 7


Tweet Of The Week Latter Half of 2011

"My Father-In-Law's problem-solving flow chart: http://pic.twitter.com/eenUpo35"     (via@ericstm)


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