Colourist Comparison Part 2: Comparing Workflows and Techniques

June 4, 2024

Colorists Kali Bateman CSI and Luke Ross reveal gritty details of their node trees - grading identical footage to the same creative brief.


Compare & contrast of node trees, techniques, OFX and tips

In Part 1 of this series, Kali Bateman and I color-graded the same project to the same Director’s notes (given to us by Patrick Inhofer). One of the challenges was the lack of camera recording details – as the footage was shot a decade ago – and we couldn’t rely on colour-managed workflows.

For this project, Kali and I went old-school, using display-referred workflows.

“I’m a bit of a fan of; If it looks good it is good.”

Kali Bateman

In the second (and final) Insight of this Colourist Comparison, Kali and I share the intimate details of our DaVinci Resolve Node Graphs. We expose how we work under time constraints and generate a really interesting conversation. Topics in Part 2 include:

  • How did we execute the Creative Brief? Including shot matching and time of day.
  • I share my image processing and node tree pipeline, how I created directional lighting for shot-matching purposes, and how I handled the flashback look.
  • I also point out a mistake I made with my node tree
  • Kali shares her image processing, following a less structured approach than me; how she likes to adjust the exposure with gamma set to ‘Linear’; and she introduces the notion systematically of ‘pushing farther’.
  • Patrick digs deeper into Kali’s approach to Linear gamma, especially when grading in Resolve YRGB
  • Kali describes her Look DCTL order of operations in the Node Graph
  • The differences between Kaur’s and PixelTool’s Subtractive Saturation DCTLs
  • A discussion on Hero Shots and how to not trap yourself in a color-grading corner
  • ‘Color Grading in passes’ – How experience changes your approach and has you working in fewer passes with fewer nodes.

We also dig into DCTLs and ResolveFX, including:

>> Mixing LIght Members:
Both PixelTools and KaurH offer special discounts for their DCTLs on the Steals & Deals page. <<

Publishers note: Both Patrick and Kali were ‘on the road’ when we recorded this Insight. As a result, Kali’s video was very glitchy, and Patrick’s was very compressed. We hope you’ll still enjoy the content!

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