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 CDXLIX: The Chatty Colorists 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 July 2020 | Web Archives | [email protected] Team Page
Last week's holiday weekend is now a memory. Summer is upon us, yet what a strange summer it feels. Not so different than the spring just past.

The coming fall was to see the Tao Treasurer and me on a 25th Anniversary Alaska Inside Passage cruise. Alas, it was canceled last week.

It seems the autumn has more of spring and summer coming our way.

So Tao HQ hunkers down and plans for the long sameness. As a result, this Newsletter won't take its full August recess. Instead, I'll probably just sprinkle in some extra skipped Sundays from August through October to help break things up.

I'll see you next Sunday (I've been waiting a long time for Issue #450, just so I can type it out in roman numerals 😉 

Stay busy. Stay healthy. Stay tuned.

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

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 corona viruses 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! 
Flanders Scientific Professional SDR & HDR Paired Reference Monitors
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 between your HDR and SDR monitors are from your grade–rather than differences in display technology.
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.

(video) "Her projects range from Hollywood sci fi features like “Elysium” (2013) and “Chappie” (2015) to the small-budget horror films “Mandy” (2018) and “Ma” (2019) and the animated adaptation of “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet” (2014)." (via Twain Richardson)

(podcast) "[They talk about] what goes into digitally designing a look for a feature film, how their LUTs work, how they incorporate feedback from the DP, and how the color timing process works with their colorists." (via Marc Wielage)
(video) "In this color grading lesson from, senior colorist John Daro from Warner Brothers talk about skin tone corrections..." It's a short preview of an upcoming course with a solid approach to building an HSL key for isolating skin tones.
(video) A live discussion with colorist Ian Vertovec, who has colored major films “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “Ender’s Game” plus the recent streamer "Tales from the Loop". (via Dan Moran) 

A reader writes in, "his video/cinematography is very unique and interesting especially the nightclub interior crossfading of colors and the beautiful poolside exteriors" from Amazon's Emmy award-winning show, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." (via Rich Marino)
(PDF) A recommended reading item by colorist Aurora Gordon in her recent SMPTE HDR webinar.

"The journey of a Netflix Original title from the moment it first comes to us as a pitch, to that press of the play button is incredibly complex." This is the first in a series detailing how Netflix Original titles are created and delivered.

“Your retinal sensitivity and your colour vision are both gradually undermined . . . To try to stem or reverse this decline, we sought to reboot the retina’s aging cells with short bursts of longwave light.” Super interesting and relevant for more 'experienced' colorists. (via Jamie LeJeune)

OWC (Other World Computing) is excited to sponsor the Tao of Color
We built OWC  to empower editors,  colorists, and VFX artists all over the world.  Founded in 1988, OWC is dedicated to helping video professionals do more, faster. 

No matter your workflow, OWC creates and delivers the best storage, connectivity, software and expansion solutions  to enhance, accelerate and extend your capabilities

From the home office to the enterprise rack, from the studio to the editing bay and beyond, there should be no compromise, and that is why OWC is here for you.
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 toolchest with new techniques and approaches. 
(video) "The lack of automation and repetitive human intervention leading to errors are still one of the main bottlenecks in the post-production pipelines . . . with SGO’s brand new Mistika Workflows, you are now able to quickly and efficiently automate your multi-master deliveries in just five easy steps." 40-minute webinar.
This suite of tools is available for anyone on a subscription plan for Mistika. Tools include: Clarity (grain/noise reduction), Sharpen, Regrain RGB, Chroma (chromatic aberration repair), Pixel (automated dead pixel repair), and Brickwall (sharp frequency cutoff).
"The bottom line is that you can’t apply classic Final Cut Studio/ProRes thinking to Final Cut Pro X/ProRes RAW in today’s Apple. It’s simply a different world." I don't really buy into Oliver's analysis in this piece. But read through and decide for yourself if ProResRAW has played out just the way Apple wanted, or not?
An overview of their main plugins: Beauty Box Video, Samurai Sharpen, Flicker Free, and Light Wrap Fantastic.

"This article [collects] the most important articles about on-set data management that we compiled until now."

"H.265 did a very good job of compressing video streams without overly compromising quality, you could expect to use no more than 10GB of your data plan to stream 90 minutes of video at the highest resolution your device can manage.  The new codec will cut that in half, needing only 5GB of data to accomplish the same task."

Learning and developing your own keyboard shortcuts is essential to mastering any post-production software. If you work in FCPX you may find these ideas worthwhile.

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) In this installment of From The Mailbag we sit down to talk about tone mapping and how it's used in software and on consumer displays.

(video) In this webinar, learn an alternative approach to color grading ACES projects in DaVinci Resolve plus collaborating with others in ACES.

Learn what an online editor and colorist thinks after spending a year working with the Blackmagic editor keyboard, full-time. Plus, his tips.

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.
"The Quadro RTX 8000 matches many of the Titan RTX specifications. Perhaps the biggest delta is with memory, which gets boosted from 24GB to 48GB with ECC support. In an NVLINK configuration, we now have a massive amount of memory at 96GB total." Too bad DaVinci Resolve has never supported NVLINK.
I truly despise cable technology. This article has a terrific chart that lays out all the various TB and USB specs and what they support. Useful for someone like me who can't keep it all straight in my head.

If you're new to building a capable post-production rig then this is a good overview of the various considerations.

My favorite line: "The companies did not detail how to get IMAX content onto the TCL TV." Oh - and it's pricey.

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.
Whaa...? Gary Larson is back. But he's given up his clogged ink pen and is finding creative inspiration in a new (for him) digital canvas and toolset - with no deadlines. "Probe and release"? Definitely funny.
Th- th- th- that's all folks! See you next Sunday.