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
TaoOfColor.com

Issue CDLXXIVII: The Lua 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.
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Sunday, 28 March 2021 | Web Archives | [email protected] Team Page
From The Publisher
My multi-week marathon of projects is winding down to its normal pace this week. But over the past few weeks, I got to dig back into the color grading workflow for an animated Fusion-composited short film.

It was the second short I did for this team. 2 years ago, a year after Fusion was integrated into DaVinci Resolve, we finished a 3-minute animated short. It was touch-and-go but worked out in the end. We just had to be patient as the workflow was pushing Fusion pretty hard.

This go-around the short is 9 minutes. I had to re-learn my tricks that keep Fusion singing while working on the Color Page. Stability is much improved, as are render times.

But 2 years later I hoped the two pages in Resolve Studio were more tightly integrated than they are.

For instance, as we moved between PC and Mac, drive mapping became our first road-block (although in this Newsletter I link to a Lua tool I found that solved this problem in a terrific fashion). As an example: Saving out simple alpha channels for use on the Color Page is a bit tedious and EXR is frequently overkill for the task at hand.

Historically, the Resolve team comes up with good solutions to these types of problems. It just feels like after the initial integration they've been in maintenance mode with Resolve Fusion. While the stability and speed improvements over the past two release cycles have been noticeable - Resolve Fusion screams for more developer love and some deep thinking on how the two pages can better serve each other.

For me, working intensely in Fusion for a few weeks has re-ignited my desire to really step up my compositing skills to better serve my color grading clients. But really, there's way more clicking than necessary if you want to leverage the Color Page with your Fusion comps. Or at least, that's my experience with it after a fully formed Fusion project was handed off for final grading.

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

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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.

"6 sessions on grading in 2021, 2 quizzes, prizes & networking. Come along, hear the latest and win something!" Saturday, April 17

"Warren Eagles explains the end-to-end process of grading a sci-fi thriller indie film, working with the director to deliver his vision for his self-funded film."

If you like this newsletter but want more... fellow post production curator Jonny has a new subscription-based daily launching. Check it out.

This is a good write-up about an interesting new learning service by the founder of EditStock.

"While aperture and shutter speed are included in our working definition of exposure, ISO is not. Why, then, might it have taken such a prominent place in Peterson’s and our collective understanding of exposure for so long?" It's a good, technical read.

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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. 

Whoops. I missed this story in this beta cycle. I guess that's what I get for not visiting forums that much anymore. But then, if I regularly visited forums I wouldn't have time for this Newsletter...

(video) How can you replicate the effect of one color grading tool compared to another, to help you understand how the tools are similar (or not)? This video has a good approach, demo'ing in Photoshop but that can be replicated for the tools we use. Just ignore the click-bait'y headline (which I rewrote here)... the ideas are much better than their text suggests.

They've added compatibility for Resolve 17.1 on MacOS as well as fixed a bug.

I've linked to their What's New page for details on this update. I use their icons to help quickly set up folders of Stream Deck actions. Check it out.

"Change Strings can batch change or rename most strings . . . These strings are Tool/Node names, expressions, and filepaths." This is a brilliant, immensely useful Lua script I've been using on a Fusion-heavy animation project I've been color grading. The project originated on PC and I'm using it to rewrite the hard drive file paths on Mac for all Loaders and Savers in each Fusion comp. If nothing else, bookmark this for the day where you might find it useful on a project.

Lots of good technical detail: "This article illustrates how you can use an ASC CDL color grade to modify an image’s exposure and white balance. The result will be an approximation only – but in fact, a pretty good one."

(video) "In Final Cut Pro, I walk you through how to set your RAW to Log conversion and apply a LUT if you choose to do so, and then demonstrate the difference between these ProRes RAW clips and XAVC clips when it comes to grading, banding, and noise."

"We recommend not upgrading to FCP 10.5.2 for the time being to avoid disruption to your projects. In the meantime, there is a workaround you can use to open your projects graded with the FilmConvert Nitrate plugin." I couldn't find this description on their website, so I'm linking to their email archive from my Inbox which includes the Terminal command for the workaround.

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Pushing Photons
These stories are from MixingLight.com'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.

Also,
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.

(video) "Learn how to get projects to ColourLab AI and how to build a match across a scene using this powerful tool."

(video) "In this installment of Good Grades we sit down with Sr. Managing Colorist at NFL Films, Chris Pepperman."
(video) "Learn how to use DCTLs (and texture references) in DaVinci Resolve Fusion to debayer Perseverance rover raw images, yourself." This one is free, in front of the membership wall.
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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.

The benchmarks are impressive but click through for the details on power considerations: "The professional grade RTX A6000 has a cooler designed to work in tandem with multiple cards, but their power draw is high enough that special attention needs to be payed when using four at the same time."

"The display works by generating 45 to 100 views of a three-dimensional scene and projecting those perspectives simultaneously into the real world. Unlike earlier 3D displays, multiple users can gather around a Looking Glass Portrait to see multiple perspectives of a three-dimensional scene without 3D glasses." Check out the Fun(nies) section for a YouTube video of one of the displays mentioned.

The specs are impressive. But is it too much, too late? If you read the article, cinema is not their target market.

Just in case you find an M1 Mac in-house...

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) It's fun. It makes you laugh. Plus, it's a glimpse into the future of mega displays. (via DisplayDaily)

Definitely fun: "Just three websites get 152 billion visits monthly, outpacing the rest of the internet. Here, we rank the most visited websites worldwide." (via Robbie Carman)

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