Final Pass

Behind The Curtain – Refining and Enhancing ‘Bread’

March 24, 2018

In this insight, we take a look at the final pass on the bread short film. Dan looks at his matching with fresh eyes, checks his black and white levels and decides on the sharpening and grain levels of the film.


Part Three: Grading the Short Film ‘Bread’

In this Insight, we are going to take a look at the final pass of the grade on the bread short film that I recently graded for a friend.

The Final Pass

In this final pass through the film, we refine the matching even further.

Whenever possible I love to take a break between the main matching pass and the final two or three passes.

This gives our eyes a chance to forget the work already completed and be subjective again.

I also learned a lot from Walter Volpatto at Fotokem at the BMD Conference in LA this year.

He mentioned that we are trying to help achieve the director and dop’s vision. Since thinking about that I’ve stopped doing windows until the very final pass.

It’s obviously a lot easier on a feature film where it’s been carefully lit to not shape the image as much but I’ve been trying to follow suit and only window as necessary.

It’s actually quite difficult coming from a commercial background not to fiddle with every aspect of the image after spending years and years of grading 30 second spots.

In this Insight, we take a look at :

  • Revisiting The Matching Two Or Three More Times
  • Checking Black Levels
  • Checking White Levels
  • Tweaking Grain
  • Sharpening / Softening

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Homepage Forums Behind The Curtain – Refining and Enhancing ‘Bread’

  • Great series, Dan! I really enjoyed seeing your whole process, even the matching aspect. Hearing your thoughts spoken aloud as you grade was helpful in adding context to your decisions.

  • Thanks Dan for this series! Its super helpful for me as a young colorist. I love seeing how you work and hearing your thought process throughout. One question I have is about your node structure. I’ve watched this three part series, especially the first insight, a few times and one thing I’m trying to figure out is do you have dedicated operations for each node? Like your first 4 nodes, where your constantly shaping the image, balancing the image, etc; does node 1 have a dedicated task like exposure so if on any other shot where you need to adjust exposure you always go to node 1. And so forth for nodes 2 thru 4. Do you work in that systematic kind of way? Maybe labeling some of your nodes, for folks like me who are trying to wrap our heads around the purpose and task of each node, would be helpful? Thanks Dan!

  • Greg Knudson

    Would also like to know this! It seems that some nodes later on had different things added to an offset color balance push where it was previously only used for log shadows, etc

  • Dan Moran

    I think I should do an insight to cover this. I guess the short answer is I try to have a system but I’m a little scatter brained and accidentally forget to swap nodes sometimes… especially when matching! I’ll try and record an insight based on this ASAP!

  • Dan Moran

    I would call those things happy little accidents. I always try and keep my nodes in a regular structure but sometimes I forget to swap nodes when matching and all the rules go out the window!

  • Jack Li

    Really great and please do more this kind of breakdown as I found repetitive absorbing from the techniques are important for beginners like me.

  • Robert K

    Great series. Please do more of these!,,

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