Behind The Curtain – Commercial 2: From Base Grade to Final Look

February 26, 2018

In this Insight, Dan covers another of his behind the curtain commercials. This time we look at a bright morning kitchen scene. In this real-world assessment and grade, Dan focuses on getting a bright airy feel without losing on the filmic sense.


Part 5: Color Grading Commercial #2

In this Insight we are going to take a look at the grade on commercial two out of 10. It’s probably the one shot the best and required the least amount of work.

The Grade

In the video below I show my real-time approach to grading the commercial.

These are a great chance to experiment with how the behind the curtain series progresses and grows.

The footage is good enough to give it a nice look, it has a couple of minor issues that I fix and it’s also not too long so I can do it all in real time.

A breakdown of the ideas and processes I cover in the video below :

  • Establishing the time of day based on the title of the edit
  • Going for a cooler white to keep it fresh
  • Managing highlights
  • Going bright but keeping the filmic feel
  • Dropping saturation to keep it expensive feeling
  • Gentle defocus to lead the eye

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Homepage Forums Behind The Curtain – Commercial 2: From Base Grade to Final Look


    Loved the touch of Offset there. That’s my ‘nature’, try the offset to match across channels first, then gains for tops. But many look at me like I’m … weird … 😉

  • I really like that you use your control panel and just explain what you’re doing rather than explaining and showing every little step with your mouse. It’s good to see you not grading the hell out of a commercial which is shot very well! But I don’t think it is necessary to see five more “simple” commercials when you could do a more detailed insight on a complex commercial instead. And I really like this series btw!

  • Bernd Gareis

    I really like an insight of what to look or, even on an “easy” job. If this si all you do … interesting.

  • Dan Moran

    I’m always offset first. It’s my favourite control either via the offset wheel or using my Stream Deck for Printer lights. Simple but works so well!

  • Dan Moran

    I agree. I’ll grab one of the tricker ones next!

  • Axel Rothe

    Cool Insight! I’d be interested in seeing more complex grades. Especially how you build a grade over several shots.

  • Francois

    Thanks Dan! When you talk about offset controls on your panel, what panel are you talking about? I use Tangent Element and there doesn’t seem to be a way to use the wheels for offset like you talk about. Only knobs.

    Edit: on the first commercial yo mention you’re using a Mini, so I guess I have my answer. And one more reason to get a Mini! Great feature to have offset of tint and colour balance on the big wheels.

  • Luke Ross

    It’s good to see your approach for a simpler grade – I’d love to see a few more of these.

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