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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Editors, Finishers, Colorists, DITs (and your assistants)...

Read our most recent Newsletter:

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

Curated by Patrick Inhofer, Colorist | Mentor



Issue CDXXVI: The new New Mac Pro 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, 15 December 2019 | Web Archives
Last week I mentioned a small kerfuffle broke out as Disney+ was accused of delivering 'Fake HDR' in the Start Wars serial 'The Mandalorian' as well as the newly remastered trio of Star Wars trilogies. I also shared with you the source material so you could decide for yourself if the accusations had merit?

The short take of my response is: Balderdash. If you don't understand HDR, dynamic range, and the creative choices that go into creating HDR cinematic content then maybe you could be forgiven for making the false accusation. But the folks at HDTVTest should know better.

For a longer response, you can listen to me, Robbie Carman, and Dan Moran chat about it in a podcast over on Mixing Light (we've put it in front of the paywall).

The Star Wars Triple Trilogy is coming to a conclusion!

I've got my seats selected and tickets booked. I saw Episode IV with my dad when I was 11. That movie, along with the Sinbad flicks (with the animated skeleton fight scenes), began my love of cinema. 42 years later, it closes a very long loop.

I've along ago stopped walking into these films with expectations. My favorites are the classic Episodes IV and V. But tied with those is Rogue One.

The Tao Treasurer and I have been watching the entire series on Disney+. I didn't hate Episodes 1-3 as much as I remembered (though Anakin is as hard to watch today as he was 20 years ago). I look forward to watching the remastered IV and V this weekend and the rest of the series this week. If you're like me, here's to hoping that the saga finishes strong!

The holidays are here.

Since the next two weekends are holiday weekends, this is the final Newsletter of 2019! I hope you finish it strong. May the force be with you.

I'll see you on the first Sunday of 2020. Happy Holidays and of course...

Happy Grading!

(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
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The DM240 SDR Mastering Monitor pairs perfectly with the XM311K HDR Mastering monitor.

They are an excellent visual match, allowing you to be certain that the differences you see between your HDR and SDR monitors are attributable to your grades rather than fundamental differences in display technology.
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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.
Or - if you want to build your own cinema grading suite!
A good refresher for the finishers out there.
In this post from the Netflix Tech Blog, they share the methodology for testing changes to their streaming codecs. Very interesting.
Do you work with DPs? Does footage you grade originate on modern cinema cameras? Then download this and use it as a reference when new jobs come in and you need to prep a workflow.
LumaForge + Resolve = Collaboration
We've spent the last 3 years designing a shared storage device for color, editorial and VFX workflows. We call it the Jellyfish. With an integrated database server, it's perfect for Resolve's groundbreaking Collaborative Workflow.

It can now be purchased on
Jellyfish Shared Storage Systems start at under $10,000.
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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 toolchest with new techniques and approaches.
This is a balanced look at the topic: "We break down some of the most common myths about shooting raw to find out if its really a workflow benefit or just a buzzword?"
"Learn all about what's new in Sapphire 2020 from Ben Brownlee, including S-FreeLens and S_LensFlare."
The reach of now extends to DIT carts.
(video) This article embeds a video show this plugin in action - which adds mask tracking to FCPx.
This is a remote collaboration tool using FCPx libraries that looks promising. It's of interest to my readers who take gigs color grading in FCPx and want to project share with clients.
Sponsor is the only good way to make end credits.
Want to see what we're all about?

TAO newsletter subscribers get to skip the waitlist.
Get your free ENDCRAWL demo project.
Pushing Photons
These stories are from's membership Library. It's a color grading website (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 a free Resolve 14 Course and color correction Practice Projects.
(podcast) The Team tackles a hot topic from the world of color grading this past week: Is there such as thing as FAKE HDR? Is that what Disney+ is giving us?
(podcast) We're once again joined by Mixing Light contributor Joey D'Anna who gives us the skinny on supplemental IMF packages for delivery to broadcasters and OTT providers.
(video) What is an IMF package? How do you use DaVinci Resolve to create supplemental IMFs for delivering fixes and alternate versions?
The Gear
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.
Things get even better for early adopters of the new New Mac Pro. The SDK will be released shortly and will start showing up in apps in the coming weeks and months.
If you're like me and have largely abandoned social media then you may be wondering what the Twitterverse had to say about the new New Mac Pro? Here's a wrap up, organized by theme.
Like the headline says.
"We asked Apple how you keep a consumer supercomputer from melting." It's an interesting discussion of how keep fan noise from being bothersome, while not sacrificing performance.
Are you configuring your order and thinking about how to expand it? "Learn about the Apple MPX Modules and some of the third-party PCIe cards you can install in your Mac Pro."
Are you wondering about the configurability of the new New Mac pro? This step by step guide with video from Apple covers how to install more storage or another GPU with an MPX module on the Mac Pro.
"The main benchmark download includes all the files necessary to run the "Standard" preset (including the 59.94FPS H.264, ProRes 422, and RED media)." You can download additional media for more extensive testing.
Like the headline says, for those of you who put your workstations in a separate location from your suite.
Apparently, these moves reflect the glut of LCD panels mostly coming from Chinese manufacturers that have driven prices down.
A pretty definitive conclusion here if you're wondering if the upgrade to the 16" display (and higher end GPUs) is worth it, or not?
Sapphire OFX Plugins for DaVinci Resolve
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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) My friend and founding partner at Mixing Light, Dan Moran, just wrapped the color grade on this fan film. Given the final film of the final trilogy is just days away, I thought I'd share it here. It will whet your pallet as it answers the burning question, how did Star Wars begin?
(video) How does the night sky change as you move further away from sources of light pollution? This is pretty cool.
It turns out, the key elements of music is the same across cultures and regions. Fascinating. (via Ken Cooper)
Th- th- th- that's all folks! See you in 2020.
Have a great holiday!