Photochemical Grading – Part Two

Photochemical Grading – Part Two

December 11, 2014

In part two of this series Dan dives into Resolve and tries out the methods first hand. Enjoying the restrictions and relief of grading.

Day 11: 25 Insights in 25 Days Holiday Marathon

Photochemical Grading – Part Two

In part one of this insight we looked at the work of color timers and in this insight, it’s time to get our hands dirty and try it for ourselves. This is the first time I’ve tried this route personally so you’ll see my mistakes and struggles as I run into them.

One thing I found was it was very relaxing knowing that I could only adjust things on a broader scale. I found myself trying to get the best out of the existing image instead of trying to twist it into what i wanted to do.

I wish I could keep that feeling in a bottle and crack it out when I’m in a difficult client session!

I use the Printer Light Hotkeys in this insight which will make your life a lot easier, Aaron Williams has a great shortcut list here!

I hope you find it as interesting as I have and would love to discuss how you got on in the comments!

– Dan

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Homepage Forums Photochemical Grading – Part Two

  • As a young colorist, I’ve only had the chance to work with film a few times, and its disappointing. I’m absolutely loving this series, and I’m not sure exactly what to ask for but more depth. Ways around limitations, classic scenarios encountered in color timing not common w digital color work, different LUTs or good methods to obtain a starting point (more insight into creating your own filmic curve, Dan style!), etc? Many thanks.

  • John Sackey

    NIce insight Dan,

    I’ve been using printer lights since Apple Colour after Kevin Shaw introduced me to them on the Film Master system. I’ve found that if the DP’s nailed it on set there’s usually not much more the director and I want to touch after that, usually no more than a second pass as you’ve described to add the odd window or do some selective colour adjustments.

    Out of interest the ‘photochem’ first pass followed by a second pass for more D.I. type grading tweaks is pretty much how Breaking Bad was done.

  • Dan Moran

    Hey John!

    Its a great way to work isn’t it. I love a session where I get to work with the DOP and we keep the picture looking nice and natural with some refinement. Unfortunately I do find that I don’t get to work with DOPs as much as I’d like and without them around clients tend to make much bigger grade changes than I’d like to.

    I guess thats the fun of grading. Each grade is totally different to the last one 🙂


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