How to Get Faster at Color Correction

How to Get Faster at Color Correction by Increasing Your Daily Shot Count

April 15, 2015

Do you want to color grade more shots in a single working day? Part 3 gives you solid tips for increasing your daily shot count.


Part 3: Solid Workflow Tips for Increasing Your Daily Shot Count

Imagine you have the opportunity to color correct a big job—and the deadline is really really tight. You’ve taken my advice and you know your Personal Shot Count. But the math doesn’t work. You literally can’t get the job done in the time allotted… at least not to the level of detail you put into your work.

Are there strategies for getting faster at color correction and increase your Personal Shot Count?

The answer is: Almost definitely. In this video Insight, I wrap up this presentation from NAB 2012 by showing solid strategies that will help you work more quickly, including:

• Moving off your mouse and onto a control surface

• Developing a color correction workflow

• Turning workflows into habits and muscle memory

• Experiment—but be ruthless with your time

Some of the strategies I talk about cost you nothing to implement… except the willingness to do so. Others will require a financial investment. But if you either want to be a full-time colorist or just have color correction as a serious specialty, the investment easily pays itself off.

I hope this series helped organize your thoughts about your color correction workflow

This presentation is one of my favorites. And for the past few years, it has languished on my hard drive. I’m psyched that it occurred to me to share it with you, here. These concepts helped me elevate my career. With diligence and intention on your part, I think they can do the same for you.

As always, comments and questions are very welcomed!

– pat

Member Content

Sorry... the rest of this content is for members only. You'll need to login or sign up to continue (we hope you do!).

Membership options
Member Login


9 thoughts on “How to Get Faster at Color Correction by Increasing Your Daily Shot Count”

      1. It seems to be working now…..both downloading and stream. Awesome conclusion, perfect timing for me as I mentioned. Might put a note on my panel, “follow your structure!!” like editors used to do on film cutters (or so Im told). Huge thanks, Pat! Great to see you at NAB

  1. You figure 1 minute per shot, and you should be able to do 500 shots in 8 hours. But god help you if you need multiple hand-roto’d tracking windows, or mixed lighting from hell, or one shot overexposed 3 stops and the next shot underexposed by 2 stops, or a long continuous shot with many multiple windows and keyframes. With time-sensitive projects, all you can do is do triage: fix the worst stuff and then let everything else go. I know many reality shows that have to go this route, because they have an 800-shot show that has to deliver in 6 hours. And yet there are also 2-hour $200M features done in six months by rotating crews of 3 or 4 people, supervised by multiple execs. I think having preset looks and learning the muscle memory needed for fast, repeatable operations is the key. But when you’re confronted with really bad lighting or bad cameras… good luck.

    1. Marc – We missed you at NAB.

      Given the lack of $200M features floating around for us to color grade, I’m not talking about those kinds of jobs 🙂

      And I can only approach the 500 shots in 8 hours throughput if I’m on the $30k DaVinci Resolve panels where I can minimize time on the mouse and navigating the UI. On the Elements it’s closer to 350 shots. The thing to keep in mind, in my experience not every shot gets windows and tracking. This means you’ll be able to do a quick tweak on a dozen shots and then spend 4 minutes on an important shot. My numbers are averaged out over time.

      Another example: Hero shots. Day 1 always goes slower than the rest of the days since we’re working on learning how our client sees. Once I’ve nailed the direction of the show, that’s when we can really start to fly and make up for lost time very very quickly.

Leave a Reply

Hundreds of Free Tutorials

Get full access to our entire library of 900+ color tutorials for an entire week!

Start Your Free Trial