This is the first industry newsletter that I actually rush to my email on Sunday to check for. I have so much junk mail that never informs me of anything, but the Tao has seriously ignited my already burning crave to be a colorist.

Shawn P.
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The Tao of Color Grading Newsletter

A weekly newsletter about the craft and business of Digital Color Grading.
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Editors, Finishers, Colorists, DITs (and your assistants)...

Scroll down to read our most recent Newsletter:

(emailed on Sunday at 3:05 am, New York time)

Curated by Patrick Inhofer, Colorist | Mentor

Issue CDXCII: The Colour Awards Deadline Edition

The Tao of Color Grading Newsletter

Curated links of news, reviews, thoughts, career advice, and humor for professional Video / Film Colorists & Finishers. Delivered Sundays.
Sunday, 12 September 2021 | Web Archives | [email protected] Team Page
From The Publisher
Wow. My 'publish a Newsletter every other week' August holiday plan went up in smoke! Instead, my body needed a more traditional August hiatus, returning today - the Sunday after Labor Day.

I apologize for the lack of notice - but sometimes you have to set the brain aside and let the heart lead the way. So I took a full month off.

Pulling stories I noticed that the color grading corner of the internet was busy for the past 5 weeks. Let's jump into it!

Happy Grading!

I'll see you next Sunday.
(and remember - if you have a story that's a fit for this Newsletter, hit reply or email it to '[email protected]'! Include a quick reason for the suggested link.)

- Patrick Inhofer
Colorist | Publisher | Coach

Join the 'Color Cartel' Protein Folding Team - [email protected] allows you to donate the spare CPU cycles of your rig to the scientific fight against coronaviruses and cancers! The Tao Newsletter's Color Cartel is a Top 5% team and climbing. Join [email protected], set up an account, start 'folding', and connect to The Color Cartel team.
The Craft
Featuring the work of creative craftsmen, the theory of color, and industry news. Learn practical workflows, useful theories, and actionable insights from existing (and emerging) leaders and teachers in our industry.

Did you just have a project drop that you'd like to enter in the new FilmLight Colour Awards? This is your lucky month. The entry deadline has been extended to all projects released by 30 September 2021. Click through for entry requirements and news on the judges. This contest is for all Colorists, not just those grading on Baselight.

(video) Moderated by colorist Jason Druss, this is a panel discussion with two powerhouse colorists recorded at the start of this year.

(podcast) Host Vincent Taylor, who works as a Senior Colorist and is based in Los Angeles chats with Simon Astbury, "Simon has worked in a wide range of genres, from Oscar-winning films to iconic ad campaigns and pop promos. We chat about everything color and also about the fast-approaching Filmlight Colorist awards because it's cool but also because Simon is one of the judges!"

(Livestream) This upcoming livestream hosted by FilmConvert should be interesting. Early in my color grading career I graded many episodes of Oxygen's 'Real Weddings' (in Final Cut Pro 3!). You learn how to control your white point very precisely, given the many subtle shades of white in those episodes. The lessons learned from this niche of filmmaking can be broadly applied to the entire craft. Thursday, 16 September, 4:30p ET.

This is a new monthly event, "A relaxed color related chat with a different subject every month. This month we discuss Show LUTs. Why you need them and how to make them." The first of these events: 25 September, 10 PM Eastern

A creative talent built out an initial database of still images from advertisements that they love. To be used for inspiration or for hashing out ideas with other creatives. This is a resource to bookmark for later use. (via Hector Berrebi) 
Get it done, Faster, Better and Cheaper with the OWC Flex 8
OWC's New Award-Winning ThunderBay Flex 8 Powerhouse Solution Is Now Shipping

This Industry-first Thunderbolt™ 3 storage, docking, and PCIe expansion solution (with 85w charging) is dollar for dollar, the best way for serious media professionals to handle their storage, connectivity, and PCIe expansion needs.

All eight bays can utilize SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-inch SSDs or 3.5-inch HDDs. To take advantage of 40Gb/s PCIe technology, the top four bays are NVMe U.2 SSD ready.

The OWC ThunderBay Flex 8 is a recipient of the 2020 Future Best of Show Award, presented by Video Edge. Video Edge awarded the ThunderBay Flex 8 their Special Edition Best of Show Award in the store, charge, and connect category.
Learn more at
The Tools
Our craft keeps changing. And growing. Learn about updates to your favorite software. Discover new tools to help you work faster or more creatively. Build your tool chestl with new techniques and approaches. 

"ARRI have introduced a new Rec 709 LUT that seems to have gone unnoticed by some colorists because it’s not available inside of DaVinci Resolve. It gives a better representation of reality, and features several improvements over the classic ARRI K1S1 LUT that most colorists are familiar with."

Colorist Cullen Kelly discusses the foundation of our craft and why learning about the technical underpinnings of our predecessors makes us better in the here and now. It's a really good discussion. And yes, if you need the magic keyword to pique your interest: LUTs.

(video) Early in my grading career, working in Apple Color, I colored two projects and purposely didn't use any tool other than 'printer lights'. I wanted to know why it was in the toolkit and how to use it. It's one of the most profound professional exercises of my career and I recommend this restriction for everyone, especially if you've never tried it. It's also the topic of this discussion by colorist Cullen Kelly.

From a Berlin-based colorist: "I wanted an intuitive blanking option where you can change the aspect ratio fast using sliders for the edit page, so I created my own “Blanking Generator”. Free for download." (via Hector Berrebi)

This article teaches about Resolve's terrific, must-understand, multi-level caching system, "Creating great Fusion or Color effects comes at a cost. Even the best high-end workstation will not process everything in real-time. This is why DaVinci Resolve offers multiple levels of disk caching. Intermediate results are rendered to disk and accessed quickly for further processing."

A trimmed-down version of the bigger, this review covers how the film emulation and color grading tool works.

(video) A free playlist from Lowepost and hosted by Kevin P. McAuliffe for getting started with Fusion.

"The library sync feature uses the connection of the desktop application Silverstack XT or Lab to the cloud project in ShotHub to share the respective clip library across multiple devices."
Sponsor is the only good way to make end credits.
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Pushing Photons
These stories are from's membership Library of color grading articles, tutorials, and podcasts (Tao Of Color is co-Owner). Do you want to read a story listed here but not a member? Sign up for a free 7-Day Test Drive.​​​ There's also color correction Practice Projects for purchase. 

(podcast) "Team Mixing Light discusses Patrick & Dan's newest HDR projects & the challenges they faced."

(video) Your Tao Newsletter Publisher shares a solution to a problem I wanted to solve in project-level color management: "Learn how to tag a single clip with multiple 'input color spaces' in DaVinci Resolve when executing a 'flat file'/preconformed workflow."

(video) "Colorist Joey D'Anna shows you the 3 different toolsets inside the DaVinci Resolve 'Key' Panel, and how it changes for different nodes."

From colorist Josh Petok, "Coloring Reality TV can be a huge undertaking. However, if you organize and prepare, you'll deliver a high-quality show on time."

Flanders Scientific XM312K Professional HDR Grading Display
The XM312U has a peak luminance of 5,000cd/m2 making it one of the brightest HDR mastering monitors on the market.

It supports both PQ and HLG EOTFs making it suitable for practically any HDR workflow.
Gear Heads
Stay updated on the latest hardware that's shipping - because the craft of color grading isn't just about software. Plus, keep an eye on future equipment trends and hardware odds-and-ends.
(PDF) FSI recently dropped this white paper on their Technical Resources page (this is a direct link to the PDF). It details all the considerations for setting up a proper room for reference-level image viewing. You should also bookmark their Resources page (which includes their awesome Spectrally Flat Paint Formulas).

"Winners include Autodesk for its work on OpenColorIO v.2, which is now an open-source color project of the Academy Software Foundation, supporting ACES (Academy Color Encoding System)." Click through for the list of Honorees. (via Marc Wielage)

Good news if you've been looking for an excuse to get an M1 Mac.

This problem drove me NUTS when I upgraded a MacMini assist station to Big Sur! The Decklink Mini stopped being seen by the computer. This is the best fix I've seen for this problem. (via Mike Woodworth via Robbie Carman)

An embedded video walkthrough is at the link: "We added more live information for your Jellyfish for deeper analytics, a cloud backup integration that works seamlessly with Backblaze, AWS, and Wasabi, and new or enhanced workflow integrations with Postlab,, and Iconik."

This is a good extended overview of the current hardware landscape if you're in the market for a new workstation or are ready to upgrade your gear.


A very interesting article on the technical underpinnings of Thunderbolt: "When Gigabyte boards Thunderbolt security is set 'just right' it can prevent daisy-chaining or audio transmission. This article will explain the different security protocols as well as how to fix if you've encountered issues with Daisy Chaining or audio transmission."

Sunday Fun(nies)
Random thoughts, tidbits, and fun stuff that caught my attention this week. Maybe it's color grading related. Maybe not. Ya got'ta read to the end of the Newsletter to find out.

(video) Another great Baumgartner Restoration of a painting where the focus has become its cracks and seams, rather than the visual illusion the artist was creating.

"Researchers from Google’s Brain Team have recently published an article titled “High Fidelity Image Generation Using Diffusion Models” on their Google AI Blog. With it, they claim to upscale images 4 to 8 times using image noise as a foundation to train neural networks. Let’s take a look at what the age of the geek has in store for us!" It's a fun read.

Th- th- th- that's all folks! I'll see you next week.