Thinking Like A Colorist: Breaking Down the Western Scene

December 14, 2016

Download the footage and follow along as professional Colorist Dan Moran, CSI color corrects a classic shot in the style of a Hollywood Western Look.

Footage Link

You can download the Red clip here to try grading yourself before watching my video insight below.

Before you watch my video please have a go at the clip yourself!

The one I’m using is the Epic Dragon Anamorphic clip from the above link.

Where can we take this western scene?

For me as soon as I opened up this footage I knew exactly where I wanted to take it.

I describe my thoughts behind the look in the video below as I create the look but watching this muse video below for Knights Of Cydonia is a great start.

I ended up not going as far down this road as I thought I would but it was a great starting point and reference.

Muse “Knights of Cydonia” from Joseph Kahn on Vimeo.

Looking back after I have finished creating the look it feels like I focused mostly on trying to take the life out of the image but also not being too noticeable.

Reducing the reds and saturation first and then following up with the sky desaturation.

Jump to the video below to find out more and please do post your grades in the comments below!

If you’ve got any questions, be sure to leave a comment!


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24 thoughts on “Thinking Like A Colorist: Breaking Down the Western Scene”

      1. Thanks Robbie. With all the desaturated looks these days, I feel many grades lack boldness and courage. Some might call it “subtle” grades. With less saturation, tiny hue-shifts disappear. Errors won’t show, it’s playing safe. Still, the mood above is only for rich and lively movies.

        1. thanks! to be honest: first thing i do, if i wanna achieve a natural kind of look, is looking at the sun/shadow casting. therefore i would say the scene could take place in the morning or evening (looking at the rather long shadows)…
          the rest seems simple: take a look at the contrast (its not midday, so dont exaggerate the contrast), add temperature in general, add a little magenta to the sky, boost sat to your personal taste and voila!

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