The (finally) Shipped Edition – The Color Grading Sunday Newsletter

November 19, 2023

The latest news, tutorials, and gear from around the interwebs as it relates to the art, craft, and business of professional color grading.


Series

Editor’s Note: On 1 January 2024 this Newsletter becomes subscriber-supported. Streaming+ and Premium members will have access. Or, you’ll be able to subscribe to it individually. Until then, enjoy the Newsletter in front of the paywall, brought to you by Flanders Scientific and EndCrawl!

– Pat

Issue DLXXI: The (finally) Shipped Edition

The Color Grading Newsletter

News, reviews, thoughts, career advice, and humor for professional Video / Film Colorists & Finishers. Delivered Sundays. Curated by a professional color grader.
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Sunday, 19 November 2023    |   Web Archives
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Curated & Published
by
Patrick Inhofer
 
From The Publisher

This Newsletter didn't ship last week.

It was researched and curated. I added my commentary. But on final export – nothing. The service I use for saving, organizing, and exporting this content for email delivery… failed. Thus, the work was accomplished, but the end product was not delivered.

Until today. You're getting last week's Newsletter today. This works out for me since…

On Mixing Light, I've got a ton of work to do this weekend.

Next week, Mixing Light is launching a new read-only membership tier at a much-reduced price. To get to that price, a bunch of features are stripped away, including the ability to read (or write) comments on Insights or access the forums and live events.

Mixing Light is also adding a new Steals & Deals page only available to mid- and upper-tier members. It's a discount page for tools and services related to post production. Think Discounts on file transfer services, plugins and DCTLs, calibration software, Stream Deck button profiles… you get the idea. We're launching with a few Deals and some amazing Steals next week, with more to come.

Here's a discount code you'll can use next week once the new membership tiers and pricing is revealed:

Cyber25

It'll work on any Premium Mixing Light membership. Those memberships will be priced at $195/year, and that code will save you $25 off the first term of the annual membership.

If that code isn't working for you, try again later. It just means we haven't updated the pricing yet.

OK – I have to run and finish up the new pricing and Steals & Deals pages. Enjoy last week's Newsletter today.

Happy Grading!

I'll see you next Sunday (I normally take holiday weekends off – but not this year).

Sincerely,

Pat Inhofer
Colorist & Publisher

The Craft
Featuring the work of creative craftsmen, the theory of color, and industry news. Learn practical workflows, useful theories, and actionable insights from existing (and emerging) leaders and teachers in our industry.

"The survey covers everyone in our industry, from executives, facility owners and hollywood's top colorists, to content creators and PAs. This is for colorists, vfx artists, editors, sound designers and audio mixers, producers, post supervisors, assistants, trainees, interns, technicians and workflow supervisors, DITs and dailies operators, and everyone else working professionally across America."

I filled out this anonymous survey yesterday. If you're reading this and work in the U.S., you should too! Sharing this information is how we keep our wages from devolving down to the lowest common denominator as newcomers are clueless about reasonable wages.

(Podcast) "We discuss artists’ rights and how several key lawsuits in the US around generative AI may be resolved. We discuss the various key US initiatives as well as the EU’s upcoming AI Act."

(PDF) Frequent Newsletter Contributor Marc Weilage shares the link to a thesis: "We propose methods and metrics to improve the uniform presentation of HDR content across various viewing environments.

First, we propose two brightness quantification metrics that are specifically designed for the HDR technology as the current metrics that are used during content delivery are designed for SDR and thus have limited accuracy …

In our second contribution, we assess the viewers’ tolerance to HDR high luminance values in dim cinema environments. 

Our third contribution addresses the perceived color inconsistencies between the two upcoming cinema HDR projection technologies, the RGB laser and Laser Phosphor."

A great summary of terms we should all get familiar with: "AI and Machine Learning have a large number of technical terms that can be confusing to those new to this space. This glossary features easy to understand definitions for a variety of terms related to AI and machine learning."

"Metamerism is a phenomenon where two objects with different spectral power distributions appear matched in color under one light source, but when illuminated by a different light source, mismatches become visible."

Click through for an excellent primer on this important concept for all professional colorists and finishers.

"We learned from talking to video creatives who make trailers and social media videos that being able to find needles was key, and a big pain point. The solution we described has been fruitful, works well in practice, and is relatively simple to maintain."

Simple is a relative term. I can't say I understand the details – but overall I got the gist and it's interesting.

A provocative headline on an important concept. But I'm linking to this for the short discussion at the end of the blog post concerning female researchers that pioneered color theory – but have been forgotten.

"To continue enjoying 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and the ability to stream on 3 devices concurrently, users in the US must upgrade to the Max Ultimate tier, which costs $20 per month or $200 per year." Thus ensuring the highest-quality content on all those amazing consumer displays is mostly unseen by the masses. But then, most of my neighbors still keep their displays at factory defaults – so I'm mostly singing inside a tornado.

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The Tools
Our craft keeps changing. And growing. Learn about updates to your favorite software. Discover new tools to help you work faster or more creatively. Build your toolchest with new techniques and approaches. 

Cullen Kelly offers a good primer here on Resolve's color match feature – specifically for using it in color-managed workflows. Personally, I've never had good luck with that feature since Resolve can 'see' spikes in the spectral distribution anomalies of LED lights; and tends to over-correct for them which creates artifacts.

This new add-on will be released on November 20, "The primary controls allow you to adjust the sensitivity, strength, hue, and softness of the halation on your image. There are also more advanced settings to further tailor the halation."

Big bonus points from me because Boris avoids the 'AI' cliches and calls a spade what it is, 'Machine Learning. New features in this roto and tracking tool, "A new UpRes ML node makes resizing images a cinch, Denoiser ML and Stable Diffusion XL model updates, and faster Mocha tracking workflows."

(video) "A new plugin for DaVinci Resolve that adds Align and Distribute controls to Fusion – similar to what you might find in Photoshop." (via Rich Roddman)

(video) From Luke Ross, "Learn to use multiple power windows and parallel nodes (along with the cloud and point tracker) to relight a landscape shot."

(video) A simple technique: "Learn how to paint out blemishes in Blackmagic Fusion with Frequency Separation and the Channel Booleans tool."

Oliver Peters writes, "Not only was Final Cut Pro not showcased in either video, but it’s also implied that the in-house Apple team cut this using Premiere Pro. Needless to say, this has Final Cut Pro fans scratching their heads."

"Alteon is helping to bridge the gap between the iPad and macOS versions of Final Cut Pro by automatically generating proxies that sync with raw footage in the cloud. Here is more information shared by the company about the new solution…"

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Pushing Photons
These stories are from MixingLight.com's membership Library of color grading articles, tutorials, and podcasts (Tao Of Color is co-Owner). Do you want to read a story listed here but not a member? Sign up for a 7-Day Test Drive.​​​ There's also color correction Practice Projects for purchase. 
(video) "Learn how to set up and share project media with collaborators in DaVinci Resolve with Blackmagic Cloud Storage and the BMD Camera App."
(video) "Enhance your color grading toolkit in Part 2 of this series. Learn to affect color density with greater consistency using Hue vs Lum curves."
(video) "Light Illusion founder Steve Shaw talks about his journey through our industry and how he became a color workflow specialist." Free, in front of the paywall.
(video) "Join Mixing Light contributor Katie Hinsen as she walks through the Annual Post Production Salary Survey – helping us understand fair wages." Free, in front of the paywall.
Gear Heads
Stay updated on the latest hardware that's shipping – because the craft of color grading isn't just about software. Plus, keep an eye on future equipment trends and hardware odds-and-ends.

"The projectors were scrutinized side-by-side on criteria like color accuracy, contrast, motion resolution, processing and sharpness using static test patterns, clips and full movies and TV shows. Judges gave each projector scores in the categories and picked their top three favorites."

Scott Simmons writes, "I had some post-production tests at the ready so it was time to give them a run on the new M3 MacBook Pro with the M3 Max chip." He uses DaVinci Resolve.

Click through for details on this NAS.

(video) Philip Bloom, "This video is about Crucial's tiny SSDs, in particular the X9 Pro and X10 Pro SSDs."

(video) "Following on from my video last year about Accsoon's Seemo device for turning your iPhone or iPad into a fully featured monitor, here is the superb follow-up on the Pro version, which is made out of metal, adds SDI in and Out. This is a sponsored video, so it cannot be called a review, but it is in all but name!"

Sunday Fun(nies)
Random thoughts, tidbits, and fun stuff catching my attention this week. Maybe it's color grading related. Maybe not. Ya gotta read to the end of the Newsletter to find out.

(video) A pink pond. A Maui pink pond. Watch the embedded news story and scroll down the page for some great photos.

Looking for ideas for client gifts this holiday season? CMY Cubes is always fun, and with Black Friday approaching you may find some deals.

Th- th- th- that's all folks! I'll see you next week.

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