Noam Kroll: Color Grading Rant: Why Protecting Your Dynamic Range Is Killing Your Aesthetic

http://noamkroll.com/color-grading-rant-why-protecting-your-dynamic-range-is-killing-your-aesthetic/

“As we all know, high dynamic range is one of the key ingredients needed to achieve a cinematic look.

This of course is because most of us really equate “cinematic” with “filmic” (whether we realize it or not), and images captured on film traditionally have had far more dynamic range than digital footage… With the exception being reversal film, but that’s for another article….”

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Alien Skin: Improve Your Color Grading Workflow with Jeremy Chan

https://www.alienskin.com/blog/2017/improve-your-color-grading-workflow-with-jeremy-chan/

“… As photographers, color grading is a crucial part of what we do. It’s everywhere in the process of creating images. It includes pivotal creative decisions such as the wardrobe selection, the scene background, and whether or not to incorporate lighting gels for more punch….

… In most cases, it’s hard to replace the color within the photographs, but we can definitely change the tints, tones or shades to create the mood or increase the story factor within the photograph. One thing to note is that the mixing of two colors will produce a slightly darker, less saturated new color. Because of that, you may also want to increase the exposure to compensate…. “

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Core Melt Reveals Beta Versions of Two Radical New Final Cut Pro X Plug-Ins, Chromatic and Scribeomatic

The Australian movie industry can lay claim to at least seven Australian-born production hardware and software success stories making oversized waves around the world – Atomos, Blackmagic Design, CoreMelt, Intelligent Assistance, LumaForge, Miller Tripods and Røde Microphones. CoreMelt makes some of the most innovative, most essential plug-ins for Final Cut Pro X including Lock&Load, SliceX, TrackX and DriveX, and more recently LUTx, the first five plug-ins I would install into any new FCPX installation. 

CoreMelt Chromatic Color Grading Beta Reveal at Faster Together Stage 25th April 2017, NAB Las Vegas

Scribeomatic: Beta Reveal at Faster Together Stage, 24th April 2017 at NAB Las Vegas 2017

CoreMelt’s Roger Bolton revealed two new FCPX plug-ins at NAB, Chromatic and Scribeomatic, and I strongly suspect that list of five most essential new-install plug-ins is about to grow to seven.

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Blackmagic Design Releases DaVinci Resolve 14, Most Massive Update Yet, Adds Fairlight Audio Page, Radically Drops Studio Price

The words “gamechanging” and “revolutionary” are well overused in the realm of digital media production and writers are always warned to avoid them. But what other words best describe Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 in its free and paid-for Studio versions?

The Fairlight audio page of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 non-linear editing, colour grading and audio production software suite.

Signs were Blackmagic was up to something radical when it bought pioneering computer musical and video instruments maker Fairlight and the fruits of that move are now here in Resolve 14’s Fairlight audio page.

The first beta of DaVinci Resolve 14 and DaVinci Resolve Studio 14 is now available to download in your choice of three computer platforms, macOS, Windows and two flavours of Linux, Red Hat and CentOS.

The latter option is particularly exciting, as Blackmagic Design’s press release says, “Customers running Red Hat or CentOS Linux can even build their own workstations using low cost motherboards, extremely fast processors, massive amounts of RAM and up to 8 GPUs for incredible real time performance.”

Looks like I will have a good use for the Mac Pro tower sitting next to my workstation when it finally gives up the ghost. Strip it, build a Linux workstation into the case and run DaVinci Resolve 14 in it along with other open source production software.

Blackmagic Design Press DaVinci Resolve 14 Images

From the Blackmagic Design press release for DaVinci Resolve 14 public beta:

The free version of DaVinci Resolve is also available with the same powerful new editing and audio post production features. The $299 DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio version adds the new collaborative multi user tools, over 20 new Resolve FX including the advanced face enhancement tools, 4K and 120fps project support, stereoscopic 3D, optical quality blur and mist effects, film grain, de-noise tools and much more. Best of all, DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio does not require a connection to the internet or a cloud subscription to work.

Free or Studio version?

That is your decision but it is made easier by looking at the features for each of the current five different versions of DaVinci Resolve 14 in the Compare page. If you have a dongle for a previous version of DaVinci Resolve Studio than you can download the version 14 beta. If you don’t then choose the appropriate free version of DaVinci Resolve.

For the most part each version has feature parity with the exception of the more sophisticated creative and production tools and effects. If you are a proud new owner of a Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 camera and will be working in 10-bit 4:2:2 high bitrate modes, or DCI 4K rather than UHD 4K, shoot video in 6K Photo mode using H.265 HEVC (though Divergent Media’s EditReady transcoder can help there), will be recording to HDR or value Camera LUTs in colour grading nodes, then you will need to consider purchasing a Studio license.

Screenshot from the Compare page, still missing from the linked pages line-up at Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 14 webpages. I am informed that HEVC decoding and High 10 Profile H.264 decoding are required to work with some types of footage from Panasonic’s Lumix DC-GH5 camera.

Given that DaVinci Resolve Studio 14’s price has dropped to less than a third of version 12.5’s, comparing it to the combined price of another brand non-linear editing software plus third party colour grading plug-ins plus an audio editing suite, whether paid-for on a monthly subscription or once-off basis, DaVinci Resolve Studio 14’s once-only USD299.00 is starting to look like a bargain.

Don’t forget that we are only seeing the first beta version. Blackmagic Design may make radical changes to each version’s feature set by the time the release versions appear some months hence.

The one thing that DaVinci Resolve 14 in all its versions is currently missing is motion graphics and VFX capabilities, but your needs may be taken care of with Blackmagic Design’s Fusion 8 or Fusion 8 Studio software.

I have not had the time to try DaVinci Resolve 14 out yet so the best thing I can do is link below to an overview of some of its most exciting new features and improvements, written by colourist Joey D’Anna for colour grading website and online training providers Mixing Light.

Consider Time in Pixels’s False Color Plug-in for use in DaVinci Resolve

Cinematographer/photographer Tomasz Huczek makes what is, to my knowledge, the only false colour plug-in for any editing or colour grading platform. False Color Plugin by Time in Pixels is available in two versions, the free evaluation version without time limit, and the full professional version.

Time in Pixels' False Color Plug-in includes industry standard presets and presets for skin tones, highlights and shadows.
Time in Pixels’ False Color Plug-in includes industry standard presets and presets for skin tones, highlights and shadows.

Both come in macOS or Windows versions, and both work in Adobe’s After Effects CC and Premiere Pro as well as OpenFX plug-in hosts such as DaVinci Resolve, Nuke, Sony Vegas Pro and more.

Time in Pixels' False Color Plugin appears in the Scopes section of DaVinci Resolve's Color page, at upper right.
Time in Pixels’ False Color Plugin appears in the Scopes section of DaVinci Resolve’s Color page, at upper right.

If you are familiar with false colour in monitors/recorders such as those made by Atomos, then using False Color Plugin within DaVinci Resolve, After Effects or Premiere Pro should be a doddle, as it were. A Final Cut Pro X version of False Colour Plugin is on its way, according to Tomasz Huczek who informed me that “I am planning to start working on the FCPX version once v3.0 of the plugin is out”.

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3D LUT Maker Rocket Rooster is Offering 30% Off Huge Film Looks 3D LUT Bundle

Specialist looks LUT specialist Rocket Rooster creates some impressive collections of analog film-inspired 3D LUTs for quickly and easily achieving cinematic colour grades in your preferred non-liner editing software (NLE) or colour grading suite.

Right now, the company is offering its largest film stock emulation LUT bundle, combining all previous Analog Cinema packs with the Cinema Colour II (Extended Edition) pack, comprising hundreds of top quality cinematic 3D LUTs.

Rocket Rooster’s 30%-off special offer extends until the end of this weekend, until the end of February 19, and then the Rocket Rooster Film Bundle reverts to its usual price.

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