Your Sunday Color Correction News [Tao Newsletter]

Published: Sun, 03/12/17


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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 CCCXVII                                                                  A Publication

       Publisher: Pat Inhofer                                                   Managing Editor: Jim Wicks

From The Publisher

The NAB 2017 Colorist Mixer Is A GO!

  • The Tao Of Color, in partnership with and the International Colorist Academy, is happy to announce that readers of this newsletter can immediately buy tickets for the 2017 NAB Colorist Mixer!
  • As a newsletter subscriber, you have a two-day 'pre-sale' window to ensure you can reserve your place for THE gathering of color lovers at NAB.

Click for full details 
Purchase your ticket for the NAB Colorist Mixer

  • If you're familiar with this yearly gathering, the venue has changed. We are moving on up... to the top. For real. We're meeting on Level 108 in the Stratosphere Tower, overlooking the Las Vegas strip!
  • With the support of our super generous Sponsors, we take over the Air Bar and half the Observation Deck, for amazing views and terrific conversations with all of our peers.
  • I'm not being flippant about the Sponsor thing. They've been generous! Renting out Level 108 isn't inexpensive. If we had to do it solely on ticket sales then we'd charge $85 a ticket! Instead, we're charging $15. You have our Sponsors to thank.

If you're new to the Colorist Mixer concept then here's what you need to know

  • We bring DPs, Editors, Colorists and their assistants together with the vendors that serve them (even VFX pioneer Douglas Trumball stopped by last year). There are no stage presentations (other than the Raffle and the Quiz) or product pitches. Just light food, drinks and lots of... mixing.
  • If you've been to a Colorist Mixer then you want to keep coming back each year. Which presents a problem...

Colorist Mixer tickets sell out. FAST.

  • We expanded capacity this year by 50%–that's room for an extra 100 people. But it won't be enough. We had to shut down the Waitlist the past two years when it hit 100 people (and we still had weeks before NAB).
  • As a subscriber to this Newsletter, if you're going to be at NAB then you have a short window to buy tickets before the Eventbrite page goes wide. On Tuesday it gets linked to in all of our Social Media and on the Colorist Mixer website.
  • It doesn't matter if you're a fresh student or a grizzled veteran. You can be a creative, vendor or support staff. It takes all of us to make this community work and we welcome everyone.

Purchase your ticket for the
5th Annual NAB Colorist Mixer

Free NAB Exhibits-Only Code, Courtesy FSI

  • If you want to walk the show floor, you need to register. This far out from NAB, you shouldn't have to pay a dime for your show floor pass... you just need an Exhibits-Only code.
  • Here's the code from Tao Colorist Newsletter sponsor, Flanders Scientific
  • Registration Packages can be selected at the NAB Show website. Enter that discount code to get the free Exhibits-Only pass. Just, do it now. While you're reading this. Before you forget.
Enjoy this week's Newsletter! We'll see you next week.

Happy Grading!
The Craft
  • Meet: Soichi Satake - “I don't think there are any projects that are easy to color in general. Plus each project has its distinctive story and tastes. The expectations from the cinematographers also vary - regardless of the budget. It’s always challenging to achieve their views.” (
  • How Daredevil Uses Color - "I have decided to rewatch Daredevil with special attention to its cinematography, tweeting around four stills that stand out to me each episode. I am currently five episodes in — while the lighting and composition are obviously important, the color patterns are truly fascinating" ( via cineticstudios)
  • Color Constancy: This Photo Has No Red Pixels - it's an optical delusion. The key, never mentioned in this article, is the white field surrounding the no-red strawberries informing our brains of the green'ness of the color of the key light. The brain subtracts out the green and the delusion presents itself. (​​​​​​​
  • Geoff Boyle: Why RAW Rules - i found this 2013 interview in one of our items this week. It's just as fresh today as it was four years ago. Listen to Geoff awesomely proclaim why RAW rocks. Hint: It's all about craftsmanship. (

S P O N S O R E D   M E S S A G E

Tao of Color's Official LCD Reference Monitors

Flanders Scientific DM250 OLED
and DM240 LCD Reference Monitors

The DM250 24.5” OLED and DM240 24” LCD color critical reference monitors feature FSI’s most advanced feature set
and highest level of color accuracy.

FSI DM250 OLED only $7,995 and DM240 only $3,995​​​​​​​

Learn More About the FSI DM Series Monitors

The Tools
  • [video] FSI DM-Series Displays: Advanced Real-Time Scopes - normally this would drop to Gear Heads but scopes are a primary tool of colorists and DITs. FSI just released a free firmware update for their DM-Series displays adding real-time, zero delay scopes overlays - including Nit scopes for HDR applications. The link is to a video overview. (
  • [video] Color Grading Concepts - a roundup of tutorials, mainly for the beginner, to show you the strategy involved in color grading and how grading fits into the larger post-production picture. Plus, the basic concepts involved in doing what we do as a colorist. (
  • How To Add LUTs In Premiere Pro - plus 35 free LUTs for you to wrestle with. (
  • The Ultimate Technical Guide For The Flash To HTML5 Transition - "if you haven’t thought about the effort of transitioning to HTML5 video yet, this should give you the background you need. But before we go into the details, let’s start at the beginning." Great history in here. (
  • [video] Avid Media Composer: Sapphire/Mocha Integration - "if you’re currently using Sapphire v10, and you have Mocha Pro, how do you integrate it’s masking capabilities into the S_Effect effect (or Builder Tool) inside of Media Composer?" (
  • [video] Color-Correction Masking with Mocha VR in Premiere Pro - "using mocha VR for tracking and masking to isolate specific areas for shadows and highlight correction in VR footage with Lumetri color grading tools." (
  • [video] Project Sharing in Apple Final Cut Pro X with Avid NEXIS | PRO - this video is embedded in the next story but deserves its own place, here in the Newsletter. Apparently the workflow is a bit buggy. Another workflow is offered in the next story. (
  • Collaborative Workflow With Final Cut Pro X: First Working Steps - "It is possible to automatically copy Events & Projects between FCPX users without having to manually merge Events, drag XML or load files into a third party tool." (
  • RAW 4 Pro - if you want a stand-alone tool to convert image sequences to standard codecs for editorial then this could be your tool. This tidbit is interesting: "[we] can output Cineform RAW - unlike Adobe CC or DaVinci, they output debayered Cineform at best." (
  • “That Color Was Different On My Screen!” - "there are multiple factors that can influence the color that is displayed. Let’s look at the three main reasons why it can go wrong: the screen as such, the operating system and the app used." This print-focused website nails it! (
  • The Simple Formula To Calculate Video Bitrates - "A codec’s bitrate can seriously affect your workflow, so as a video creator you must be able to understand and calculate video bitrates. This article explains in detail what a bitrate is and how to use it to calculate file sizes." Do you ever render? Then read this. (

S P O N S O R E D   M E S S A G E

Perfect end titles. Unlimited Renders. And a week of your life back.

Endcrawl is the world's only dedicated tool for making your end roller. Join the nearly 1,000 film productions that have used Endcrawl.

We're free to try.  $499 flat, per project, for unlimited 2k DPX renders. Yeah, that's unlimited DPX do-overs. (You know you're gonna need them.)​​​​​​​

Learn More at

The Business
  • New Quantum Dot 4K Ultra HDTV Flavors On The Way - "Most people will end up calling this a “filter” for expediency but it’s not really a filter, it’s an active conversion layer . . Filters are wasteful by design — they basically throw away light that you don’t want." But it's not all rainbows and butterflies going forward. (
  • The Evil Within is Out - 15 Years After Production began, ‘The Evil Within’ is finally in theaters. The director died two years ago - before editing was finished. The strange part, “unorthodoxly, [the director] insisted on coloring everything before the editing process.” The strangeness of this story doesn't end there... (
  • R-Rated Superhero Movies? - is the R-rated ‘Logan’ a sign of this genre clawing its way out of PG-13? “According to a new survey from online ticket seller Fandango, though, the audience is anxious for more hard-core superhero movies.” Or are they? (
  • Smartphones: OLEDS are a dream come true - "enabling manufacturers to raise prices by improving display performance, increasing display sizes and enabling innovative form factors like curved, flexible, foldable, rollable, etc." (​​​​​​​
Pushing Photons

The stories featured in this section are from, companion color correction membership website to 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.

  • Knowing When To Re-Start From Scratch - "I’d like to share one of these mildly bad [color grading sessions] that I turned around to make the best of. Hopefully you will, when faced with a similar situation, realise that sometimes it’s OK to throw in the towel and start from scratch" (
  • [podcast] Optimizing Your PC Workstation for Premiere & Resolve: Part 2 - the discussion with a PC workstation designer gets specific: i7 vs Dual Xeon, Cores vs Clock Speed, GeForce vs Quadro, and much more. All asked from the perspective of a Mac-based colorist making his (my) move to a PC color grading system. This podcast is free - in front of the paywall. (​​​​​​​
  • Streambox: The Technical Side Of Getting Setup For Remote Grading - "i have a 150mpbs up/down connection [and] I’ve yet to have a problem streaming high-quality content. On the client’s side, I’ve been recommending 50mpbs down as a good starting point. This gives plenty of overhead for the stream I usually output (typically 4-6mpbs) and other general network activity." Good stuff. (

S P O N S O R E D   M E S S A G E

Tao of Color's Official Shared Storage Optimized for 4K Workflow

LumaForge : Jellyfish Shared Storage​​​​​​​

We've spent the last 3 years designing a killer little shared storage device for color, editorial, and VFX workflows: we call it the Jellyfish.

Jellyfish Shared Storage Systems start at $7,500​​​​​​​

Learn About the Jellyfish

Edumacate Yer'self
  • Look Development with Prelight: Copenhagen & Helsinki - showing FilmLight's MacOS look development app plus new features in Baselight. Copenhagen: Tuesday 14 March, 2017 at Kameraudlejningen, several sessions ( Helsinki: Wednesday 29 March, 2017 at Post Control. 18:00 - 21:00. (
Current Colorist Control Surface Drivers
JL Cooper Eclipse: Software v3.7.2 | Updated Jan. 17, 2017
Tangent Design: HUB v1.3.1 | Wave Firmware v1.12 | Updated Jan. 2017
Avid Artist Color: Mac v3.5 | Win v3.5 | Updated Oct. 17, 2016
Sunday Morning Funnies
  • [video] 6 Easy Steps to make a Michael Bay Film - only 6? The missed Step 7: Bay’s famous Orange & Teal look. (
  • [video] A Higher Crawling - fun video for outdoors'y readers of the Tao, and for our readers with children. Even with the baby part, it's a pretty accurate description of the rock climbing scene. (
  • [video] BBC Interview Crawls To A Stop - this is a little short lesson on the dangers of beaming your BBC interviews from your home office. Tao HQ was in tears. The definition of ROFL. Definitely funny. Worth sitting through the pre-roll. (
  • [video] Samuel L. Jackson Acts Out His Film Career - in 10 minutes. With James Corden. Fun. (
Gear Heads
  • FSI: NAB B-Stock Sale - Every year Tao Colorist Newsletter sponsor Flanders Scientific goes to NAB, unpacks brand new equipment and displays them for four days. This like-new gear gets labelled as 'B-Stock'. And every year, FSI offers their B-Stock for sale at a large discount. The sale is on now... pre-order a B-Stock reference display and great a GREAT deal. This link lists the hardware they still have in stock. (
  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founder's Edition Review - "NVIDIA is aiming for what they’re calling their greatest performance jump yet for a modern Ti product – around 35% on average . . . NVIDIA has been surprisingly candid in admitting that unless compute customers need the last 1GB of VRAM offered by the Titan, they’re likely going to buy the GTX 1080 Ti instead." This review digs deep in the architecture from there... (
  • [forum] Projectors on a budget - if you're in the market for a good projector in the $5k - $20,000k range then what are your options? An interesting discussion on the state of prosumer projectors. (​​​​​​​
  • Does GPU Bandwidth Matter? - "inquiring minds want to know if the eGPUs lower PCIe bandwidth affects performance [with a laptop] compared to internal x16 PCIe slots in a Mac Pro tower?" My takeaway? Modern Mac laptops are getting to parity with 7- and 4-year old Mac towers. I keep feeling better and better about my impending PC workstation migration. (

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=> Download almost 300 iPad-ready movies + a documentary promo to grade

=> Learn the Hero Shots Workflow for communicating color efficiently

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Click to Start Feeling Talented | Read A Review

NAB Preppers
  • 5th Annual NAB Colorist Mixer - it started with 25 people who only knew each other on Twitter, meeting at a bar in the bowels of the Monte Carlo. Five years later, we're 300 strong at the top of the Las Vegas in the Stratosphere Tower. Join us and mingle with your peers. Newbie or veteran, creative or vendor - you are all welcome! (
  • The Official Toolfarm Guide to NAB - updated for 2017, lists most events and vendors of interest to readers of this Newsletter. (
  • 16th Annual Las Vegas SuperMeet - a classic staple of NAB attendees in the digital post-production space. Catch demos from vendors big and small and win in the mega-big raffle. Tuesday, April 25, 7pm. (​​​​​​​
  • 20th Annual Media Motion Ball - "Attendees will enjoy a fine multi-course sit down dinner & dessert, mingling with their industry friends & peers and also participate in the drawing for our huge prize pool." You're likely to find the Tao Newsletter staff here. (
The Next Step Is A Doozy
  • DNA could be the future of data storage - "The researchers wrote six files—a full computer operating system, a 1895 French film, an Amazon gift card, a computer virus, a Pioneer plaque, and a study by information theorist Claude Shannon . . . then used sequencing technology to retrieve the data, and software to translate the genetic code back into binary." Was it a total success? Or something from a Lovecraft novel? (
A Step Too Far?

[video] The Art, Craft, And Love of A Proposal - he designed and built a beautiful wooden puzzle for his fiancé—good for her. But putting it on YouTube? This seriously sets the bar way higher for fiancés everywhere. (


Th- Th- That's ALL Folks! We'll see you next week. 
Happy Grading!
11,650'ish Stories 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. (
  • 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. (
  • 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. (
  • Color Grading with Avid and Symphony - Written for version 6. Fully applicable to version 7. I was a contributor. (
  • 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. (
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, B&H Photo, or ToolFarm are Affiliate links that help support the FSI is a paid sponsor. Tao of Color, Inc. is part owner of—which is a sponsor. BlackMagic Design is sometimes a client.

We thank you for your support.

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Patrick Inhofer
Managing Editor:
Jim Wicks, CSI
Patrick Inhofer
Published by:
Patrick Inhofer, CSI
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