[TaoColorist] Sunday Newsletter: The Not THAT Blue Dress Edition

Published: Sun, 03/01/15

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The Tao Colorist Newsletter

Curated links of news, reviews, thoughts, career advice, and humor 
for professional Video / Film Colorists & Finishers. Delivered Sunday.

         Issue CCXXXI                                                                          A TaoOfColor.com Publication

     Publisher: Pat Inhofer                                                            Managing Editor: Jim Wicks

From the Publisher

Planning for the 2015 NAB Colorist Mixer is in full swing! Soon we'll be: announcing our initial sponsors; detailing an already amazing raffle; and launching the Eventbrite registration page. If you want to be the first to know about and sign up for it (tickets will be limited), hit the website and get on the mailing list.

I've also officially bundled the Tao's 14-hour DaVinci Resolve 11 Deep Insights interface training title with the craft- and workflow-based Mother Died Grade-Along. Not only can you sit next to and grade-along with me, but you get my feedback on your efforts to grade the same short film (seriously!). Check it out—and don't miss the discount in the ad at the end of this Newsletter.

That's enough of the sales pitch. It's Sunday Morning. Let's get to the good stuff today including: a Blue Dress; smoothing skin; working with RED RMDs; a great deal on a professional OLED reference monitor; and an awesomely unusual Led Zeppelin cover 'band'.

Until next week...

Happy Grading!

The Craft

  • The Outer Darkness: An Interview with the Filmmakers - when I'm asked how can you build a career in this business, I point them to how my friends at BloodyCuts have done it... make short films. Lots of them. Often. And build an audience. Here's an interview with them. (writeshootcut.com)
  • The No-Look Look of Knight of Cups - director Terrence Malick’s long-time colorist Bryan McMahan talks about his grading workflow. Some good reading in here. (postperspective.com)
  • Coloring Birdman - the name of the Colorist and the company who provided the color for Birdman may have been absent from the Oscars’ acceptance speeches, but color played a significant role in the movie’s success. Read how they used add-edits and dissolves to move between grading setups across complex single-shot scenes. (blogs.indiewire.com)
  • [podcast] What Can A Colorist Learn From A Film Distributor? - as it turns out, plenty. Both are trying to help filmmakers be more successful. Colorist Tom Parish talks with Andie Grace from Devolver Digital Films. (tomparish.com)
  • Visualizing Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War - with a simple visual language. Feels like craftsmanship to me.  (hbr.org)

What Color Is This Dress? 

On Friday, Chris Tomberlin of Outpost emailed me about his take on a new internet meme, 'what color is this dress?' Huh, I thought, I have no idea what he's talking about.

The next morning on a conference call, all the colorists were talking about this meme. "What are they talking about?" I asked the Tao Treasurer. "It's been all over the web, even on the news." 

So, here it is, one article and one blog post—for your reading pleasure (in case you're wondering, the first time I saw it, I saw blue and black. Today? I'm seeing white and gold):

  • Why No One Agrees On The Color Of This Dress - a great write-up on what this meme is about and the science behind it. (wired.com)
  • Why you need a good Colorist - Chris Tomberlin of Outpost, in the last line of this blog post, offers up the one big takeaway of this optical delusion for industry professionals.  (outpostpictures.tv)

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The Tools

  • My Top 11 Favorite Features Of Resolve 11 - editor, author and colorist Steve Hullfish offers up his favorite new features. (provideocoalition.com)
  • [video] What is a LUT? The Interboobs Explain - are you confused about what a LUT is? How they work? Why you should care? These questions and more are answered in a creative video using... Cats. Cute promo for a new website offering FREE LUTS to download. (youtube.com)
  • Grading CinemaDNG RAW? - the inside scoop on the new debayering of those files inside the latest version of DaVinci Resolve 11. (vanhurkman.com)
  • Working with RED RMDs in Premiere Pro CC - for those of you who like to start your grades in REDCineX-Pro. (premiumbeat.com)
  • [video] How to Smooth Skin Tones - in DaVinci Resolve 11. From Ripple Training. (youtube.com)
  • CalibMate - Colorist Nikolai Waldman does it again, with another tool for Colorists. Check out his site for CalibMate, a test pattern and color generator that can work together with LightIllusion's LightSpace. €50 (niwa.nu)
  • 3 Obstacle to Color Management - this post is aimed primarily at those who work in the print media. But there is one overlap in particular worth being reminded out: monitor calibration. (dubsat.com)
  • [video, podcast] Broadcasting, Film Workflows and NAB 2015 - a podcast about the future of broadcasting, a video on Film Workflows in FCPx and the details on an off-site presentation suite featuring FCPx workflows.  (fcp.co)
  • HitFilm Pro Plugins: Now OpenFX - Hitfilm is a compositing / NLE app that ships with plug-ins for FCPx, After Effects, Premiere Pro. In this latest update, those plugins now work in DaVinci Resolve—and at no extra cost for current owners. (hitfilm.com via @cdel89)
  • [plug-in] Introducing Color Finale: Color Correction Layers in FCPx - the peeps at Color Grading Central are back with a new plug-in that gives you layer-based color correction, using traditional color wheels and curves, inside the X. Looks like a solid 1.0 release. (nofilmschool.com)
  • MXF Troubleshooting Tip - are you're running FCP 10.1.4 or later and your MXF clips look like they're all 30 seconds long? Here's a quick fix. (fcpworks.com)
  • You Can Do That? - color correcting video in Adobe Photoshop... in case you haven't been paying attention for a while. (premiumbeat.com)

The Business

  • Sony Keeps Tape Alive for 8 More Years - they've announced their long-term refurb plans for their 1/2" tape decks, which they won't sell after 2016. (redsharknews.com)
  • No Need For Color Correction? - that’s the claim in this post about a new ultra thin lens that captures perfect colors. (phys.org
  • [rumor] 4K 3D Movies Not Included In Ultra HD Blu-Ray Format - according to a leaked PowerPoint presentation. (hdtvtest.co.uk)
  • How Industry Titans Are Standardizing 4K Technology - all well and fine but I'm still not sure I believe it. (premiumbeat.com)
Friends and Family
The stories featured in this section are from MixingLight.com, a companion color correction membership website to TaoOfColor.com and this Newsletter. Want to read a story listed here but not a member? Sign up for a free 24-hour Test Drive.
  • Rediscover The Basics: Prepping - if the biggest color correction job of your career is around the corner, how do you prepare for it? All sorts of advice in here from a professional commercial and music video colorist. (mixinglight.com)
  • [Video] FREE Workflow Breakdown Part 1: Communicating Visually - get a taste of what the Tao Newsletter Publisher teaches in his premium Grade-Along training with this 20 minute breakdown of the Hero Shots workflow for a recent webisode he color graded. Learn how he uses Resolve 11's Group feature to help him efficiently communicate with a client a continent away. (mixinglight.com)
    Second(ary) Thoughts
    • Premiere Pro Editing Tips - as a colorist you (or an assistant) have to know your client’s editing apps. Click through to a list of tutorials for better editing in Adobe’s flagship editing app. (jonnyelwyn.co.uk)
    • The History of NAB - for those of us in the business, NAB has become the premiere North American convention of its kind. The best toys are on display. We bet you didn’t know what was the original purpose of NAB? (broadcastbeat.com)
      Current Colorist Control Surface Drivers
      JL Cooper Eclipse: Software v3.1 | Updated January 29, 2014
      Tangent Design: HUB v1.1.8 | Wave Firmware v1.12 | Updated Feb.'ish, 2015
      Avid Artist Color: Mac v3.2.1 | Win v3.2.1 | Updated Nov 14, 2014
      Edumacate Yer'self
      • How Can Color and Light Impact Your Creative Flow? Good friend of the Tao, Tom Parish will be moderating this panel at South-by-Southwest. Congrats Tom!  (tomparish.com)
      • EditStock: Footage To Practice Editing & Feedback On Your Practicing - it's a cool idea, yes? (nofilmschool.com)
      • How'd You Like to Watch Me Grade? - friend (and competitor) to the Tao, Alexis Van Hurkman blogs about his new Ripple Training title for DaVinci Resolve. (vanhurkman.com)
      • How About Footage, Practice and Feedback on That Grade? - for our new readers, the Publisher of this Newsletter started pioneering this type of training for color correction nearly 4 years ago. Click on the link to see the latest iteration—and the ad below for a discount code. (training.taoofcolor.com)
      Sunday Morning Funnies
      • [videos] Travel By Drone - can’t afford to get away to your favorite destination? Save your money and check out this site. The brainchild of a drone enthusiast for armchair travelers to see the world from a new perspective. (travelwithdrone.com)
      • [video] Resolve 11: The 'Gamora Look' - Why is a tutorial about creating the look of a character from Guardians of the Galaxy in the Funnies section? You MUST click through to see. Brilliant! (youtu.be via @cdel89)
      • [video] The Cover Of Led Zeppelin That Jimmy Page Tweeted - he got over 20,000 Likes on this share. If you watch it, you'll know why. (dailydot.com)

      Is it time to burn-in your color correction muscle memory?

      Remastering Mother Died:
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      —> Learn the Interface: with 130+ movies over 14 hours

      —> Grade A Short Film: 8 minutes, 80 shots, 4 scenes, 3 looks, RED

      —> Get Personal Video Feedback: learn if you're 'doing it right'
      from your instructor & personal Senior Colorist

      Training that burns your learning into your muscles!

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      Save $20 with the code: TaoReader20

      Gear Heads

      • [review] MacPro Tower + GTX980 + 5K Disply = ;-) kill your 5K iMac envy by getting the same results using your (not yet too old) MacPro tower. Although if anyone has a link showing how well that Dell 5k calibrates up as a reference display, please email us that link! (barefeats.com)
      • How LTO Can Be Accelerated to Nearline Speeds - "[the] LTFS [file format] makes tape look like a disk at the OS level, a key differentiator between tapes and disks is that tape is a sequential access medium. This means that for LTO and LTFS to become considered nearline storage some extra help is needed." (studiodaily.com)
      • LG 4K OLED TV First Impressions - this consumer OLED gets calibrated and tested by the UK review site. (hdtvtest.co.uk)
      • [User Review] Dual-Port 10GBase-T Thunderbolt™ 2 Adapter - "It's simple to install, using a single Thunderbolt cable that attaches to the new Mac Pro computer.  On the other end is a 10G Ethernet connection, which goes back to the shared storage server." (provideocoalition.com)
      • OLED CM250 B-Stock Offer - long time Tao Newsletter sponsor is back with this offer to get a reference OLED at a serious discount. (shopfsi.com)
      • The World’s Highest Density SSD, SSD-3000M - for media professionals. (studiodaily.com)

      Being a Better You

      • Improve Your Even Work When You’re Not Working - for those of you who are always working, even when you're not working... (provideocoalition.com)

      Th- Th- That's ALL Folks! See you next week. 
      Happy Grading!
      7,750+ Stories Now Shared
      The Book Shelf
      • Color Correction Handbook, Updated - Alexis Van Hurkman has updated his Color Correction Handbook, which has set the standard for learning all things color correction. (amazon.com)
      • Color Correction Look Book - This is the second part of the Color Correction Handbook, exploring the creative techniques for over 200 different visual looks. A sort-of recipe book for colorists. (amazon.com
      • The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction - Read how a dozen different colorists grade the same footage with the same gear, differently. A fantastic approach to learning the craft of color grading by Steve Hullfish. (amazon.com)
      • Autodesk Smoke Essentials - Walk through grading a short sci-fi film (with downloadable ProRes4444 source material) while learning the ultimate online finishing app...  Autodesk Smoke. (amazon.com)
      • Color Grading with Avid and Symphony - Written for version 6. Fully applicable to version 7. I was a contributor. (amazon.com)
      • Adobe Speedgrade CC: Classroom in a Book - A solid book for a solid grading app. (amazon.com)
      • Digital Cinematography: Fundamentals, Tools, Techniques and Workflows - Don't let the title fool you. I'm only a third way through this book and its explanations of how digital images are recorded, sampled and viewed is essential knowledge for anyone who's craft intersects with digital images. Not light reading. But not filled with math either. I highly recommend this book. (amazon.com)
        Have a book you think should be in this list? Reply to this email and let me know!

        FCC Disclaimer: Links in this email to Amazon.com, B&H Photo, or ToolFarm are Affiliate links that help support the TaoOfColor.com. FSI is a paid sponsor and BlackMagic Design is a current client. We thank you for your support.

        Patrick Inhofer
        Managing Editor:
        Jim Wicks, Colorist: jimwicks.com
        Patrick Inhofer
        Published by:
        Patrick Inhofer: Photon-Wrangler, Fini.tv | TaoOfColor.com | MixingLight.com