The No CGI Here Edition – The Color Grading Sunday Newsletter

December 10, 2023

News, tutorials, and gear from the interwebs related to the art, craft, and business of professional color grading. 10 December 2023 edition.


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 DLXXIII: The No CGI Here 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.
Sunday, 10 December 2023    |   Web Archives
Curated & Published
Patrick Inhofer
From The Publisher
Due to a heavy workload, it looks like the Newsletter's December schedule is moving to every other Sunday.

I'll see you next in two weeks!

Happy Grading!


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.
Click through for the full list of nominees and winners for Color Grading, VFX, editing, and more, "Christopher Nolan's epic won trophies for editing and color grading, as the team behind Las Vegas' Sphere accepted the Judges Award for Creativity and Innovation." (via Marc Wielage)
(video) "This season stars industry luminaries, 12-time Academy Award Winning color scientist, Joshua Pines, and Maxine Gervais, the trailblazing Senior Colorist who made history as the first woman to win an HPA Award for Color."
A great rant about the desire of studios to minimize the efforts and achievements of VFX teams.
(video) The previous rant was partially inspired by this: "Did you see yet another "on THIS film we filmed everything practically" behind-the-scenes video this week? Do you love that studios are finally using no CGI for epic action scenes? You might be in for a surprise.
VFX supervisor Jonas Ussing dives into what it means when studios and directors say "no CGI"."
"Thanks to the arrival of HDR-VMAF, we were able to optimize our HDR encodes. Fixed-ladder HDR encodes have been fully replaced by optimized ones, reducing storage footprint and Internet data usage — and most importantly, improving the video quality for our members. Improvements have been seen across all device categories ranging from TVs to mobiles and tablets." The whole article is interesting.
"The world’s largest database of images, Flim has just reached the milestone of one million images, celebrated with a campaign ‘It’s Time’, spotlighting 100 talents handpicked from the platform."
Flanders Scientific XMP550 Professional HDR Reference Display
The new Flanders Scientific XMP550 is a 55" QD-OLED monitor specifically designed for professional HDR grading applications.
Available now at
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. 
There are a few important bug fixes for anyone running Resolve 18.6.x.
Solid step-by-step from colorist Cullen Kelly, "First, we’ll go through the settings that will not change per project. These pieces will be constant across everything you grade. After that, we’re going to look at the one setting that will change based on the particular project being graded."
(video) Colorist Daren Mostyn, "I'm going to show you WHERE to put Noise Reduction in your DaVinci Resolve Node Tree PLUS 2 Tips on How I dial in the CORRECT amount." He has some good tips for using your scopes to help you dial in your noise reduction settings. Since Resolve 18 I've found Resolve's NR to be a little too aggressive and have really dialed back my settings – matching what Daren is using.
(video) What's interesting in this Cullen Kelly video is his use of the 'Luminosity' composite mode when making Primary adjustments. You'll only need to watch the first few minutes to grok what he's doing here – and try it out yourself.

PugetBench for Creators is designed to test professional workloads in the most popular video editing, photography, VFX, and motion graphics applications.

Brilliant. They've solved the one major annoyance if you have multiple clients on multiple LucidLink filespaces, "Users can now connect to multiple Filespaces simultaneously within the newly redesigned LucidLink Desktop application."

(video) Mr. Alex Tech, "ChatGPT for Creators, Audiio Linkmatch ai, Generative Fill and of course, Davinci Resolve Neural Engine Stuff like Magic Masks, Auto Subtitles and Transcriptions! To name but a few…

Here's what how I've been using ai within my workflow to make my life easier, fix my mistakes, and speed things up!"

"Pomfort’s new video playback application Reeltime Pro is now available to download as a free beta trial. Reeltime Pro is a software application for professional on-set video playback in film productions."

"A few questions and answers about H.264, HEVC, AV1, and ProRes."

"Regardless of whether you think AI is good or bad, here are five areas where AI processes are already impacting current post production."

"The company is offering eight new classes, for free, for varying experience levels and purposes. In addition, AI Ready aims to offer a new generative AI course to more than 50,000 high school and university students. The company has also formed a new partnership with to teach students about generative AI."

Sponsor is the only good way to make end credits.
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Pushing Photons
These stories are from'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) "Mixing Light Contributors discuss bias lighting and the topics associated with LEDs and perception with Jason Rosenfeld of MediaLight."
(video) "Colorist Cullen Kelly teaches you to create a subtractive color balance tool for more pleasing color washes & looks in DaVinci Resolve."
(video) "Season 1 of The Color Timer Podcast wraps: We chat with Paul Harrison, a colorist renowned for his award-winning short-form work and films."
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.

"Flanders Scientific has announced its new XMP650, 65″ UHD HDR and SDR reference mastering monitor built around its new QD-OLED panel. It features a peak brightness of 2,000nits peak luminance, a 4,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and a very wide color gamut."

"The new AMD Threadripper 7000 series CPUs are here, offering significant perforamnce gains in DaVinci Resolve. But, is it enough for AMD to take the lead over Intel Xeon W?"

A review.

"David evaluates the pros and cons of both feature and commercial work by giving us an in-depth look into his different setups, and sheds some light on his unique ability to create networks on set."

"Express 1M2 boasts real-world speeds up to 3151MB/s and gives you the DIY and BYOD (Bring Your Own Drive) flexibility of an enclosure that is built to last." Click through for an explanation of USB 4.

"Earlier this year Sony opened a new Virtual Production Lab at its Digital Media Production Center (DMPC) in Los Angeles, California. This training and education facility offers … customers a unique opportunity to test drive Sony’s line of professional cinema equipment, including the flagship VENICE 2 Cinema Camera, used in films such as Top Gun Maverick. This model serves as an interesting example of how much smaller LED stages are now being successfully deployed, by deploying newer LED panels."

"AJA’s ColorBox, a color management and color conversion solution, has been certified as compatible with Red’s lineup of cinema cameras. This designation required rigorous testing across the Red family of products to ensure compatibility."

"HDR Image Analyzer 12G v3.0 is a feature release that introduces multi-channel signal analysis, NDI connectivity, SDI embedded Dolby Vision Metadata inspection and analysis, native ARRI LogC4 support, additional 8K format support, and more. "

"Relying solely on the cloud for data storage can have disastrous consequences. Google recently lost up to six months' worth of data for some Drive users." Click through for more details and suggestions on backing up your cloud data.

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.

Very much fun: "This stamp release marks the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, described by its owners as the World’s Greatest Role-playing Game, that has become a cultural phenomenon." (via Seth Pulaski)

"Major retailers like Best Buy and Amazon have been sold of the top-end Oppenheimer discs, leading to a frenzy in after-market sales. Copies of the “Steelcase” special edition have been fetching as much as $200 a copy, according to various online reports."

Th- th- th- that's all folks! I'll see you in two Sundays.

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