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.
Delivered for your Sunday morning coffee.

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

Read our most recent Newsletter:

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

Curated by Patrick Inhofer, Colorist | Mentor

Issue #385: The Workflow Edition

The Tao of Color Grading Newsletter

Curated links of news, reviews, thoughts, career advice, and humor 
for professional Video / Film Colorists & Finishers. Delivered Sunday.
Sunday December 16, 2018 | Web Archives
2018 is on the way out.

The holiday season is often a time of reflection. You look back before looking forward. I find myself measuring our past in an unexpected way.

I graduated with a B.S in Film / Television Production at Hofstra University in 1988. That same year Quantel released its famous Digital Fact Book. For the next 15 years I grabbed an updated copy where ever I could find one.

Quantel's Digital Fact Book was golden.

If there was term I didn't understand; a new acronym I couldn't decipher; a new workflow that confounded me - the Digital Fact Book had me covered. Then, the Book faded away. I hadn't even noticed its absence until, after a short hiatus, with fanfare the Fact Book was updated again in 2015 and posted online.

As I write this, the server for times out. I'm not surprised. After all, how can one company hope to categorize all the terms, workflows, & acronyms that has accompanied our digital video revolution? Our industry moved too far, too fast, and isn't slowing down.

But the answer to that question is revealed this week: It's in the form of a curated blog.

This week, a new Digital Fact Book rises.

30 years from now, someone will write the intro to a Newsletter like this. To an audience much like you. They will talk about how the Workflow Guide was published in 2018, the year they graduated. How it was a handy companion for the first 15 years of their career.

That Publisher might marvel at whatever new sentient AI helper is helping a younger generation master the technology revolution that is coming.

I have no doubt they'll fondly remember this version of the Digital Fact Book - and thank all the creative men and women who shared their knowledge and wisdom. It allows others to follow in their footsteps, and keep from avoiding the same tripwires.

That's it for the Tao Colorist Newsletter in 2018!

We are on hiatus for the next two weeks. We'll see you on the other side of this year, on January 6, 2019, looking ahead to our collective future.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and as always: Happy Grading!

- Patrick Inhofer
  Colorist | Publisher | Mentor
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.
25 contributors have helped put together the modern version of Quantel's Fact Book. Besides a large database of facts, terminology, and workflow - there's a series of Flow Charts and a Codec Comparison section.
This article is a good overview of what it is, how to use it, and a quick chat with on how the idea started.
I included this item to help colorists, editors, and finishers understand the nuances of those color spaces, since they're the ones newcomers to our craft are most likely to know.
If you're new to the craft then bit depth can be a challenging concept to understand. This video is a good introduction... and features drones (keeping it relevant to the youngsters among us).
"its motion is subtle and captivating, while it is very easy for the eyes and slows down the pace in which we perceive information . . . is teaching us that time is valuable and we should enjoy every single moment." What color is this? Click to find out.

There were over 450 scripted series produced this year between streaming services, broadcast channels, and basic cable. The trend in distribution avenues for these series is strong (and accelerating).

Flanders Scientific XM310K True 4K HDR Reference Monitor
The 31” XM310K is a true 4K resolution HDR reference monitor that qualifies as a Dolby Vision mastering monitor. With a peak luminance of 3,000nits it is the brightest commercially available professional HDR monitor on the market.

LEARN MORE About the FSI XM310K 4K HDR Reference Monitor
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 big news for Windows users. I've been sitting on a ProRes rant for over a year. If mothership Apple is loosening its grip on their proprietary codec, let's hope Resolve isn't far behind!

It's a bug fixer, as they get the 15.2 release all sorted out. It's feeling more solid now.

[forum] There is some solid advice in here if you need to lock down (or improve) your Avid roundtrips with DaVinci Resolve.

Two words: Frequency separation.
[forum] If you want to chat about the Skin & Beauty item above, here's a thread dedicated to it.
How to place clips (and move them around) on the Edit Page.
A Mac Break Weekly on using Motion to create adjustment layers to apply color grades, and other useful tweaks.
A semi-rant against all the heavy breathing concerning Apple's warning that it won't support some codecs on its OS going forward. If you're wondering what the fuss is about? Click through.
LumaForge + Resolve = Collaboration
We've spent the last 3 years designing a killer little 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.

Jellyfish Shared Storage Systems start at under $10,000.
CLICK to LEARN MORE about the Jellyfish at
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 Course and color correction Practice Projects.
Dan shares the opening part to of his unfiltered look at how he graded a music video in a 16mm film style.

Dan shares his thoughts on trying to clean up his grades in 2019 and moving away from his favourite film emulation techniques.

The Mixing Light team answers a member question about how to handle periods of not feeling creative in the color suite.

Professional film emulation and film grain for all of your projects

Speed up your grading and camera-matching tasks with the power of FilmConvert: 19 film stocks, 6K grain scans and dedicated camera profiles for the leading cameras on the market.

For fast turnaround and quick, cinematic results in just a few clicks. Plugin or Standalone.
Click to Save 10% off FilmConvert with promo code 'TAO'. And up to 35% off the Holiday Bundle sale!
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 camera odds-and-ends.
Should this go under Gear or Tools? I'm not sure. But ScopeBox rocks. This update features, "the addition of Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 as a supported ScopeLink sources." And it fixes a Mac Mojave bug.
I like that this roundup includes Macs. And it rightly points out if you're planning on integrating Fusion into your workflow, the CPU's importance is now rising - when selecting your next rig.
Someone has to fill that stocking hanging by the fireplace with care. What not you?
An interesting guide to consumer displays and their support for the 5 different implementations of HDR video.
A good write up of a roundtable talking about keeping a team of creatives driving ahead, instead of looking for files.
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.
The video embedded on this page is a terrific story on the color blue. It's so common today it's hard to believe that once upon a time blue didn't have a word to describe it. Blue has a colorful history, told in a fun way.
It joins Voyager 1. And is still recording plasma currents. Estimated date to when it returns to Earth as rogue AI? NASA isn't saying.
A simple 3-ingredient drink with a festive twist. A final item to leave you with as we say goodbye to 2018. See you next year!!!
Th- th- th- that's all folks! See you in 2019!