Rebooting Your Eyes : How To Step Back From Your Grade

Rebooting Your Eyes : How To Step Back From Your Grade

August 17, 2015

Rebooting Your eyes can be tricky after spending hours, days or even weeks on a project. Dan shares how to refresh your eyes for a grade.

Dealing With Client Changes – After Spending Hours On A Grade

This Insight is a follow up to my previous insight on a commercial grade. You can read it here.

In my previous insight I was speaking about a commercial I spent many hours on and in retrospect can admit that I got too close to the job.

What I mean by being too close is that I had spent too many hours grading it “my way” and that was essentially all I could see.

When I received the client feedback I had major issues wrapping my head around it and this insight is all about overcoming that!

The Issue – Cath Kidston Bags to School Case Study 

The good news is the commercial is out so I can share it with you guys!

As you can see the commercial is a nice warm happy spot that deals with the emotions of the kids first day in school.

As mentioned in my previous insight the client feedback was that the spot felt too autumnal and not summery enough.

I watched the commercial 5 times and could not wrap my head around why or what was making it feeling autumnal and not summery.

A few factors contributed to my eyes needing to be rebooted.

I was overly attached to the reference

I had given this grade 110%. Most of you will know that I favour low contrast looks these days and I made sure to give this job extra attention to try and make it as beautiful as possible and true to the references.

10 hours of grading time. After 10 hours of grading I had fixed everything and anything that I thought was an issue.

The changes needed were subtle. The final version is actually very close to my original grade but those slight changes made a world of difference. If I wasn’t careful I could have blown away a great grade by being emotional and quick tempered. By sticking with it and assessing the scenes.

Check out my video below where I show some before and afters from this job and also some tips on how I approach the issue


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Homepage Forums Rebooting Your Eyes : How To Step Back From Your Grade

  • awesome insight !! def will help w my less communicative clients . Thanks Dan

  • Marc Wielage

    There’s also a point where you’re in danger of OVER-correcting an image. I don’t know if my grade is any good until I can see it again after 2 weeks. If I don’t run screaming from the room, it’s OK and I can live with it. All I ever see are the mistakes.

  • They are both beautuful Dan but that original one is stunning 🙂 The texture coming from the grain really works brilliantly too! I think you did a great job of responding to the feedback though, it really fits well with their product imagery. Well done dude!

  • By the way – I LOVE these kinds of insights. It’s great to see how other artists approach problems in the real world. Thanks!

  • Toby Tomkins

    Cool. Have you ever tried using a layer mixer to fix an over zealous LUT? It can be quite neat to combine a LUT’d image with a more ‘normal/natural’ rec709 image, using soft secondary isolations to feed more ‘normal’ greens and blues and pinks into an image with film lut skin-tones and tone. Best use this sparingly for a film look though! Works best when you have a single product colour, because then that colour pops out against the film colours a little as well.

  • Great tutorial thanks a million! But i think your first grade is loads better! Where the clients in the room or were you sending for approval?

  • For those interested, I found the TalkTalk HD card test card Dan used in the insight. Has been fairly useful for testing, aside from greyscales and straight color bars. Credit:

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