Behind The Curtain

Inside the Color Grade Of A Furniture Brand – Series Overview

November 14, 2017

In a new series Dan shares a look behind the curtain at a real world grading project. From quoting to delivery he dives deep on his process.

Part 1: Introduction and Overview of the series

A Look Inside A Real Project From Quoting To Delivery

I’ve had many many requests from members to do an insight series that covers everything behind the curtain in real-world detail.

I’ve always worried that hours and hours of insights on one topic might be mind-numbing for people to watch but after enough arm twisting, I’ve decided to give it a go.

In this insight, I’ll do an overview of what this real-world project involved from step one. I’ll also be doing longer insights in this series to ensure I cover each section in great detail.

Member feedback is incredibly important when developing new series ideas so please do let me know how I’m getting on in the comments.

The Project

The project is 10×10 second commercials for a large Swedish furniture brand.

Shot on a Canon 1D with the Dragonframe software which is used for shooting stop motion projects.

It gives us cr2 files that are raw and have a huge latitude.

It initially was just a conform, grade and renders but the project grew larger as more factors were added in.

Some basic VFX, cleanup, laying the final audio, a whole lot of titling and final delivery of 60 versions.

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Homepage Forums Inside the Color Grade Of A Furniture Brand – Series Overview

  • Bernd Gareis

    Dan this is really really interesting, in fact I want to see it all, the whole 11 hour show, if you ask me. That would be a dream come true. Not a single point thats not interesting, even different color space matching or conforming, a bore at first sight, but then again, you might need it pretty soo. So go for it and expect an ongoing applause.
    Roto in Resolve is interesting, too.

  • Aaron H

    I think the outline you proposed sounds good. I’ve been grading some food oriented stop motion spots here in RVA. Always a challenge and it’s great to see how others find solutions of their own. Looking forward to it.

  • Mark Kipling

    I’m a vote for showing everything you can with this project. Personally, the more info you can provide the better, both on techniques and the business side.

    There seemed to be a lot of unique challeneges here and it sounds like the best way to cover them is to go video by video. Things like freezing portions of the frame as a fix hadn’t even occured to me for some reason.. Or how to work with/conforming stop motion and rotoscoping.

    Really looking forward to how this series progresses.

  • Dan, please go for it. Full deep down. Dont get so obsessed as i see sometimes on ML with sticking to short insights.
    I bet if you ask ask around its a non issue for us. If it can be explained in 10-15 mins fine. If not , do a long one.
    Don’t cut it up forcefully in smaller pieces. That is the only thing ever i dont like so much on ML. You are getting into a great insight and just when it gets excited: See you next time . Duhhhhhh.
    It was like watching IT 2017 and realising just before the end it was only covering part 1. I wanted to blow up the cinema 😉
    (ps i still prefer the original , but that is OT)

    So looking forward to them and for the long once i get some extra food and drinks from the fridge.

  • I’m sure I speak for all the self taught colourists out there, who learnt their skills outside of traditional post houses, when I say that I would love to see someone else grade a project from start to finish. It’s just not something you have access to, as a working colourist. It’s strange to me that I’ve never seen someone else do my job! So count this as another vote for wanting to see the full thing. With clients in the room, would be even better (though thats probably unlikely).

  • Hey Dan, along with everyone else, I’d love to see some longer episodes in this series. Seems to be a resounding… “The MORE detail the better..!” reaction so far. Can’t wait..!

  • Hey Dan,
    thanks for this, really interesting.
    I’d like you to discuss also the politics behind a project like this.

    If you have been called to grade the project and quote for it how have you been talked into doing fx, rotoing, clean up, online and mastering?

    This happen to me as well many times, usually it comes from very indie production that don’t really know how it works, if it’s small tasks I do it to help out, if things become to demanding when they asks I usually just say “this is an online task (or fx, or whatever) it’s not to be done in colour”.

    I guess it’s easy to fall, and again i do it many time, when they ask if you can do it anyway and step by step it becomes i giant thing like this one.
    How are you planning to deal with a situation like this one next time it happens?

    Anyway, I’m all for big and deep insights!
    thanks again!

  • Jay Smith

    Definitely agree, these could be ridiculously long and I think viewers would eat it up. I’ve grown accustomed to listening to 4 hour podcasts, so having an hour long insight is still easy to digest.

  • Jay Smith

    Quoted 10 hour and ended up onlining 10 commercial spots!! As a studio operator that really hits home, and this is probably the most important part of the business for freelancers. Good learning experience for everyone so maybe its for the best that you took one for the team. Stop motion jobs in particular seem to have tonnes of small cleanup work needed, and its interesting to see that these can be done more and more in resolve. I think I still see a huge time saver in taking these raw plates to AE and cleaning things up there.

  • Awesome idea! Thanks! Like everyone else I also want to see as much from this project as possible. Personally I don’t really care if you split it up in 10, 20, 30 minute segments or so or just do a really big 2 hour long insight. I’m thankful for everything I can get from this job. I think it’s a huge opportunity to learn new stuff 🙂

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