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)...

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 CDLXXXV: The DV Leap Edition v002

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, 13 June 2021 | Web Archives | [email protected] Team Page
From The Publisher
Remember how last week I mentioned that this week I'd be grading my first Dolby Vision project?

I'm still grading it (and yes, this story is related to this week's Newsletter).

It's a remastering of a concert film that was delivered 5 years ago as 1080p. As I mentioned, it came back to get freshened up as a UHD Dolby Vision show (with a new ATMOS mix) for a streaming service. The concert will be 'Sunrised'  (streaming-speak for Premiering, apparently) at the end of this summer.

It's been an intense few weeks, getting back to the camera masters and recreating the work done on the first go-around - since editorial continued for a few weeks after I graded the full-length concert. Of course, this being my first personal experience with the HDR / Dolby Vision I underestimated my time requirement, by a few days. Much of that mis-estimation was me taking the time to get comfortable with the new tools and the new extended dynamic range and color gamut. And deciding if I wanted to go fully color-managed using Resolve 17's new color managed setup? (I did).

Plus - as expected in a 5-year-old concert shot with 17 cameras - some of those cameras were locked-off consumer'ish, recording straight to Rec. 709 (and somewhat underexposed). So I also had to figure out how to integrate those cameras with the Panasonic V-Log footage (which looks fantastic).

Why is this important to readers of this Newsletter?

Well, I have one day left with my Flanders Scientific XM-311K mastering reference display before my flight leaves back to Orlando. I just started the 100-nit trim pass a few hours ago and I want to keep working so I have time to also do the 600-nit trims, as required by the streaming service.

This means - no new Newsletter today.

Instead, you have last week's Newsletter with this updated introduction.

If you missed last week's Newsletter, then keep reading! If you read last week's Newsletter, click the Archives link in the masthead to read an earlier Newsletter you may have missed.

Or - just go out for a walk, ride your mountain bike, or (if it's the end of the day) take an Epson salt bath. I hereby bequeath this reading time for any self-care routine you find re-energizing.

Because I can tell you this: Working in HDR is definitely energizing me.

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.
If you've been looking for a reason to join SMPTE, the replay of this event may well be worth its price with a terrific lineup of panelists: "We discuss the impact of adding additional primaries on the color gamut: reduction in metamerism and the ability to provide expanded colors outside the current color gamuts. We can display what has never been seen on earth before now: the colors in between the colors.

During the SMPTE+ event you will hear from technologists, creatives and NASA experts on the importance of color and research in the area of multi-primary color and expansion of the color gamut beyond RGB."

"We interviewed working cinematographers to find out how they’re already using 12K as a tool, and we sat down with Blackmagic Design to hear their rationale for pushing capture resolutions even higher."

A good pithy primer: "Contrast means so much more than the separation of light and dark. Understanding the different types of contrast can train our photographic eyes and improve our Images."

This is an easy-to-read article that has a few interesting ideas if you find you need to change things up across a never-ending sea of Zoom calls and client reviews.

A roundup of commentary about the new films hitting the silver screen as the pandemic-inspired mandates are easing in the USA: "You’ve got that big screen that just takes up your whole field of vision. It’s so much more immersive. You’re in the dark. Your phone is not ringing, no one’s walking back and forth in front of you, going back to the kitchen or doing whatever, it’s that movie feeling."

The tools are new but the techniques stretch back decades: "Those of us that are old enough to remember hooking two VHS VCRs together and editing with the pause button because we didn’t have a flying erase head can probably appreciate a lot of what is going on in these apps."

Flanders Scientific XM310K Professional HDR Grading Display
The XM310K has a peak luminance of 3,000cd/m2 making it one of the brightest HDR mastering monitors on the market.

It supports both PQ and HLG EOTFs, multiple color gamut selections, and a contrast ratio in excess of 3,000,000:1. The XM310K is ideal for a wide variety of demanding HDR workflows.
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 chest with new techniques and approaches. 

This link takes you to the changelog on their forum.

(video) The tip is embedded on this page. Plus, if you're reading this on Sunday then you've still got time to take advantage of their 20% discount off Warren's fxPhd class.

(video) "DaVinci Resolve offers two methods to substitute your original media for enhanced performance. The traditional method has been to create optimized media. Since DaVinci Resolve 17 a new Proxy Media workflow is available as well."

(video) From an SGO email: "Introducing a dedicated Dolby Vision Color Interface, displayed in a more visually attractive way, facilitating HDR grading with Mistika’s professional color toolset – including an all-new interactive hexagon tool."

(video) "In this video, we're exploring some of the characteristics and concepts that often accompany the "video" look, and what we can do to improve them."

I'm happy to see this: "Divergent media has released ScopeBox 4.1, and it includes support for Apple Silicon, beta previews of new timecoded alerts and file-based QC workflows and more."

If you need high-quality, color-accurate reference stills of popular movies, tv shows, or commercials, this website is fast becoming the premier repository. It's also just put everything behind a paywall. Click through for pricing. (via Marc Wielage)

A well-detailed article for my production peeps out there: "The software I’m using now is essentially Assimilate’s DIT Pack that combines Live Looks for on-set live grading and Scratch Dailies for transcoding. I like that Assimilate software runs on both the Windows and macOS as it gives me flexibility in my work and in building my DIT cart for different projects."

An explanation of the workflows and tools that support it.

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
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.

Mixing Light continues running its 'Work From Home' permanent discounted pricing offer as our industry is still trying to find its footing after the year-long lockdowns.

"Dan shares some grading inspiration from the 2020 best colour grading nominees at the UK music video awards"

"Cullen Kelly kicks off a new exciting series about DCTL coding. Learn the vocabulary, syntax, and techniques to create DCTLs to aid your color grading."

(video) "In Part 2 of his series, Joey shows you how to take remote color sessions to the next level by adding macros & remote control to your ATEM switcher setup"

Sponsor is the only good way to make end credits.
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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.

"How fast does the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT run versus other GPUs connected to or installed inside the iMac Pro?"

(podcast) "Blackmagic has several solutions that make production and post-production life easier when teams are in different locations. We take a deep dive under the hood and talk about DaVinci Resolve 17 and Cut for next-gen editing, Fairlight, Crew in a Box, how to get better sound with Zoom interviews, the Pocket Cinema Camera 6Ks and ATEM Mini Pro switchers, and more!"

"Follow our step-by-step guide to get important stats on the viability of your Mac’s SSD using Terminal and smartmontools."

If you're in the market for a dedicated hardware scope: "This instrument is built from foundational technology developed over decades by the Tektronix Video team which is now part of Telestream. The instrument continues to push beyond earlier technological boundaries to include several tools useful to color grading."

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.

"Amazon's experimental wireless mesh networking turns users into guinea pigs." Not funny. (via Robbie Carman)

If you're like me then this is definitely fun - but you'll need to click through to find out what 'MoCA' stands for: "MoCA 2.0 gives up to a full gigabit worth of speed and should be more than adequate for my friends’ ~400Mbps internet plan." (via Robbie Carman)

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