[TaoColorist] The 'Rhino Selfies?' Edition Sunday Newsletter

Published: Sun, 07/26/15

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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 CCXLIX                                                                          A TaoOfColor.com Publication

       Publisher: Pat Inhofer                                                            Managing Editor: Jim Wicks

From the Publisher

Thank you everyone who wrote and tweeted us congratulations on hitting Year 5 of this Newsletter! But time does not stand still and we're looking forward . . .

. . . to DaVinci Resolve 12 Public Beta.

I've had the pleasure of being a private beta tester on Resolve 12

It's an impressive release—but the new User Interface (again) takes some getting used to (again). The new perspective tracker has already saved me from having to keyframe a few Power Window tracks whose shape changes over time. The new mass of Color Page keyboard shortcuts is a boon to productivity.

The new Curves interface is a big improvement—the more I use it the less resistance I have to its new design. It also makes me wonder how the heck Avid has decided not revisit the Symphony curves in over a decade? Is there an app that hasn't completely revisited their approach to color correction? Avid is long overdue.

Blackmagic has implemented a name change

DaVinci Resolve is now the free version and the paid version will be named DaVinci Resolve Studio. It actually makes sense, since 'Studio' almost completely encompasses the extra features of the paid version. 

Now, with almost 200 new features (and many more tweaks) it'll take a little while for all of us to fully digest this update. But here's what Blackmagic emailed some of its beta testers on Friday:

"We are getting close to releasing the first public beta and so this private beta testing phase is now almost over!"

At NAB, Blackmagic promised a July 2015 ship date for the Version 12 Public Beta. This is the last week of July. The release looks to happen shortly. Just remember:

Resolve 12 Public Beta should be approached as beta software

Here are three quick tips I've been following that have kept me from getting backed into a corner:

  • Be prepared to downgrade to Resolve 11

  • Create backups of databases before opening them in Resolve 12—or better yet...

  • Create brand new, fresh databases and import your Resolve 11 projects into those newly minted databases
​That last tip has been super-useful to me and I suggest you follow it.

We'll see you again next week. Until then...

Happy Grading!
The Craft
  • Inside The Manipulative World Of Film Color Correction - Best line, ‘regardless of how colorists make their decisions, their choices work — we feel and think what they want us to.’

    Frankly, the examples cited in this article are as much a result of strong production design and great cinematography. Also: Read the comments; much hand-wringing over color correction vs color grading. I'm half-tempted to chime in and link to my Lynda.com article on the subject. (fastcodesign.com)

  • Color Science, Explained (Part 1) - Jim: I remember the first time I tried to explain color science to my 86 year old mother. ‘That’s nice, dear’ was her response. Lars Borg, Adobe’s resident color expert, tries to tackle the same deep subject. (provideocoalition.com)
  • Common Color Temperatures - check out this handy color guide listing the correlated color temperatures of light sources. Download to have it handy as a reference, if you need it. (twitter.com)
  • What Are the Origins of Post-Production's 'Gamma Wars' - While reading a BBC White Paper on HDR, I got distracted by the origins of the gamma differences between computers and video and why we use 2.4 gamma in the first place. I re-learned what I had forgotten and decided to share. (taoofcolor.com)

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The Tools
  • [forum] Nucoda Operational Questions Thread - colorist Paul Provost: "wanted to start a place to ask basic and not so basic specific questions regarding Nucoda specific tools and procedures." (liftgammagain.com)
  • A Deeper Dive into Lumetri Color - editor Oliver Peters dives deeper into Adobe’s Lumetri Color. Includes a great explanation of what's changed with the Premiere Pro and SpeedGrade integration. (digitalfilms.wordpress.com)
  • [videos] Skin Retouching in DaVinci Resolve - to paraphrase the title of a Woody Allen film, this is ‘everything you could ever want to know about skin retouching, but were afraid to ask.’ And we mean everything. Toolfarm’s Michele Yamazaki kicks off the roundup with her own tutorial. But there’s lots of quality video tutorials covering the subject from different angles. Page load is slow due to all the video embeds. (toolfarm.com)
  • [video] Tangent Element with Baselight Editions - filmmaker Rob Tinworth demonstrates how he uses Tangent Hub v1.18 to control Baselight Editions for Avid by remapping keystrokes. Than Hub Mapper is confusing to use and he does a nice job 'splaining it. (vimeo.com)
  • Getting Started with Natron - the open-source compositor is a node-based program based on the same principles as Blackmagic Design’s Fusion. Natron isn’t a name you might be recognize. But it offers color grading tools. (opensource.com)
  • A Colorist Reviews a Camera - what a novel concept. Montreal-based Colorist Mathieu Marano spends hands on time with the AJA CION. A week’s worth of time, actually. What did he learn that can help you? Plus, he created 3 FREE LUTs to help you quickly adjust AJA CION footage. Merci, mon ami! (ilovehue.net via Mathieu Marano)
  • [video] Boris Continuum Complete: Creating A Dream-Like Scene - for DaVinci Resolve. (studiodaily.com)
  • [video] Pablo Rio v2.1 rev 4: OpenFX Plugin Support - like the headline says. (youtube.com)
  • [video] Pomfort LiveGrade With The VariCam, Part 2 - "In the video above I show how to set up LiveGrade and the Varicam 35 for remote color grading." (blog.abelcine.com)
  • [video] Baselight For Avid: New Features - they've also reset the Trial period. If you've previously installed the Trial, go ahead and give it another spin. (vimeo.com via @robbiecarman)
The Business
  • Color My World with ChromaGen glasses - 1 in 12 men, and 1 in 200 women have some degree of color blindness. ChromaGen glasses is a new product that claims to help colorblind people see more colors. Read about one Florida man who tried them on for the first time and the difference he saw. (tampabay.com)
  • The FIFA Movie: How Bad Is It? - Gérard Depardieu, Sam Neill and Tim Roth can’t save this movie about the history of the FIFA World Cup in ‘United Passions.’ The movie is bad. How bad could it be? "The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the film made $140 in its opening weekend at Cinema Village" Ouch. (fivethirtyeight.com)
  • Quantel Survey Sees A Slow Transition To 4K, IP Video - "Of more than 1,000 respondents, only 34 percent described 4K as "relevant now." Click through to read what respondents said about the future of High Dynamic Range Video. (studiodaily.com)
  • Technicolor: HDR Adoption For 4K UHD Needs To Be Open - "We don’t believe our content-owning customers are best served by creating proprietary HDR grades that only work within certain closed ecosystems." (hdguru.com)
  • HEVC Patent Pool Issues Its Bill - the next generation codec, h.265, has a mess of patent holders. A group of manufacturers have pooled their patents together to help adoption. But patent trolls who make their living off patent income? They want a better deal and have issued their terms in a second patent pool. Click through for the rest of the story. (hdguru.com)
Friends and Family

The stories featured in this section are from MixingLight.com, a companion color correction membership website to TaoOfColor.com and paid sponsor of this Newsletter. Want to read a story listed here but not a member? Sign up for a free 24-hour Test Drive.​

  • [video] The EyeHeight Broadcast Legalizer Plug-In - We let you know last week that this plug-in is free for August and half-priced for September. Colorist Robbie Carman gives us an overview. (mixinglight.com)
  • [video] Baselight For Avid: Mastering Shapes - Colorist Dan Moran takes a closer look at how Baselight handles masks, shapes and shape logic. (mixinglight.com)
  • [video] DaVinci Resolve: Do Exposure Sliders For Raw Camera Controls Properly Simulate Real-Life? - I explore how closely Camera Raw exposure sliders mimic in-camera iris changes. (mixinglight.com)
  • [video] Look Review & Approval With Frame.io - "In this Insight, I want to share how I’ve been using Frame.io for review and approval of looks and final grades. To be clear, Frame.io can be used in WAY MORE ways then I’m using but hopefully this Insight will wet your whistle and try out this great service in your own workflows." (mixinglight.com)
Secondary Thoughts
  • Assistant Editing Lessons From The Trenches - editors and assistant editors do it all on the PBS series, ‘Frontline.’ Including color correction and grading. 5 Lessons with a lot of crossover for the full time colorist. (aotg.com)
  • 11 of the Most Interesting Lenses in the History of Photography - you’d need a bank loan to own any one of these lenses.  (petapixel.com  via @Robbie Carman
  • [video] Ridley Scott And The Art of Storyboarding - Jim: I think one of the most fascinating things about our craft is the opportunities it affords us work with, and learn from, great filmmakers. Ridley Scott is a case in point. I love Ridley’s description about facing a blank storyboard to plan his next movie. (youtube.com)
  • [video] Be Bold - if you're feeling unmotivated today, watch this video. And as you do, keep in mind that the person you are watching overcame one BIG life-changing challenge. So, watch. And be inspired. Be bold. (youtube.com)
Edumacate Yer'self
  • 2nd Annual IBC Colorist Mixer: Initial Announcement - the Mixer will be held Saturday, September 12. Here's the location. More details and registration coming soon. Follow @coloristmixer to stay up-to-date. (@coloristmixer)
  • Register for IBC 2015 - exhibit hall is open Sept. 11 - 15. After 19 August the price rises to €70.00. If you have the slightest inkling of attending, don't put off registering. (ibc.org)
Current Colorist Control Surface Drivers
JL Cooper Eclipse: Software v3.2 | Updated March 5, 2015
Tangent Design: HUB v1.1.8 | Wave Firmware v1.12 | Updated Feb.'ish, 2015
Avid Artist Color: Mac v3.2.2 | Win v3.2.2 | Updated March 31, 2015
Sunday Morning Funnies
  • [software] Realmac's Deep Dreamer Public Beta for Mac - "Google’s neural imaging network has an uncanny ability of taking ordinary images and turning them into something you’d normally only see if you were sleeping (or under the influence of banned substances). Now, creating your own fun and trippy images is simple." (9to5mac.com)
  • Selling A Bag Of Williamsburg, NYC for $20K - "What could be cooler than owning a sample of air from the trendiest zip code on the planet? So on Monday night, I listed a sampling of Williamsburg’s finest oxygen on eBay." Click through to find out what happened. (neatorama.com)
  • 9 Optical Illusions That Prove You Can’t Always Trust Your Brain - always a good time. (sobadsogood.com)
  • [video] Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Comic Con 2015 Reel - until now, I've had minimal expectations for this next installment of Star Wars. This video managed to raise my expectations a touch. (youtube.com)
  • Dance Of Thrones: 80’s Dance off - if your brain freezes the way mine did while watching this, blame the Tao Treasurer; she put it in here. It's also an example of a ridiculously pointless use of UHD. If you manage to make it to the end, you will laugh. (youtube.com)
Gear Heads
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HDMI 2.0a In 2015 Audio Video Recievers - To trick out your grading suite: "The inclusion of object-based surround sound capabilities and updated inputs supporting HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, mark some the latest advances in a spate of recent AVR unveilings. Targeting retail deliveries this month and into the fall are new models from: Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer and Yamaha." (hdguru.com)
  • [video] SpectraCal: How To Create LUTs and Use A LUT Box - "Create a color calibration to load into an inline 3D LUT box. Provides instructions on connecting to a 3D LUT box, such as a Fujifilm IS-Mini or AJA Video Lut-box, as well as how to select the proper calibration settings prior to creating the 3D LUT."  (wolfcrow.com)
  • Apple Retina Laptop Shootout - "here is a Storage, CPU, and GPU shootout between the fastest MacBook 12" Retina, fastest MacBook Pro 13" Retina, and fastest MacBook Pro 15" Retina." I've been told that Resolve 12 is able to run on non-Retina and smaller-than-15" laptops; so this shootout is relevant to mobile Resolve users and students. (barefeats.com)
Tweet of the Week

You plan on jumping into the Resolve 12 Public Beta? Prepare => RT @j_salvo: DaVinci Resolve 12 mac min requirements:
​OS 10.10.3. 8GB RAM

Are you looking for a steady diet of pro-level color correction education?

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The Next Step Is A Doozy
  • [videos] Controlling Drone Cameras with Oculus Rift - I'm shaking in anticipation. (premiumbeat.com)
  • Rhinos Get Camera Implants In Their Horns - to fight against poachers. Kind'a like Periscope. How long before they start streaming to YouTube? (petapixel.com)
A Step Too Far?
  • Study: Watching Cats On The Internet Is Good For You - "Prof. Myrick's study provides empirical data on the various benefits to consumption of Internet cat content, although it may yet be some time before the FDA approve Henri Le Chat Noir for use as an anxiolytic."

    Apparently they got paid for this study. And then someone else got paid to write about. And the next-level irony is not lost on me, either. (arstechnica.com)

Th- Th- That's ALL Folks! See you next week. 
Happy Grading!
8,350+ 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. Tao of Color, Inc. is part owner of MixingLight.com—which is a sponsor. BlackMagic Design is sometimes a 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