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 CDXC: The 1,000 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, 25 July 2021 | Web Archives | [email protected] Team Page
From The Publisher
Last week I congratulated Tao Newsletter sponsor Flanders Scientific for announcing their upcoming XM 312U 5,000 nit color grading reference display.

This week I have two more shout-outs. First, as of July this year, the Tao Newsletter is 11 years old! The very first email went out on July 18, 2010. Stunning.

11 Years of the Tao Newsletter

I'm not the most stick-to-it guy - at least, not on the small things in life. But I guess there's something about this weekly ritual that puts it in the 'big thing' bucket for me. And so we are here, 490 Sundays later!

I want to thank all of you, my readers, for your support - not just by reading but by letting my Sponsors know that you appreciate their support of this Newsletter. As long-time readers are aware, there was a time when I almost put my Editor hat in the drawer and walked away. The Newsletter was too consuming - with no take-home benefit.

Bringing on board Sponsors - that's one of the things that saved this publication. On hot summer days like today, I have many choices of what to do with my Saturday. Because of my Sponsors, I'm sitting here now, typing these words. They commit to me so I commit to them. We all win, including you, the reader.

Today is our 490th win 😉

Besides a shout-out to Newsletter Sponsors generally, my alter-ego deserves a shout-out as well.

1,000 Color Grading Tutorials (and counting) 

Yesterday, Mixing Light released its 1,000th tutorial into its membership library of color grading awesomeness. We launched that website in April 2013. 8 years later it's going stronger than ever.

Mixing Light also announced that they're reducing pricing, to celebrate the milestone. The price reduction was made possible by membership growth - and when the team made the decision to do the price reduction, it was a great feeling.

Finally, August starts next week - and so does my reduced publishing schedule.

Another ritual of mine that started a few Augusts ago is to put the Newsletter on hiatus from August to Memorial Day. I now think that's too long a pause.

Instead, I'll publish every other week for that duration. I might miss two Sundays in a row since I plan on taking a two-week vacation sometime next month. Just an FYI.

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.
(video) From Filmmaker U's channel: "Go behind the relationships between a Colorist with Directors and a Colorist with Cinematographers; as well as dive into a career that has led to interesting experimentations with tremendous results."

A regular Newsletter contributor writes in: "I just caught this Red camera story on the look of the new Suicide Squad movie, and since it mentions Stefan Sonnenfeld and has some discussion of the look, I thought it might be good for the newsletter." Agreed. (via Marc Wielage)

This article is really about the documentary, but at the end it gets to a brief discussion of the color choices: "Unger notes that her preference is for “hyper-realistic color” in documentaries, but in this case... " Click through to read what they went for.

I have to admit, I rarely check out YouTube for color grading techniques and most of these names are not familiar to me. Let me know if you think I should be following any of these YTers for inclusion in this Newsletter?

(live stream) This recording of a recent SMPTE Hollywood meeting features, "a panel of experts discussing the critical importance of standards in the motion picture and television industry."

Sponsor is the only good way to make end credits.
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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 tool chest with new techniques and approaches. 

Personally, I feel strongly that 3D engines like Unreal will be a future opportunity for the readers of this Newsletter. This article is a very basic birds-eye view of what it takes to get started with Unreal and a few common problems.

The latest versions of Unreal Engine are adding tools for filmmakers. Epic Games brought in a team: "The goal was simple: to put each of the new tools through their paces, in a “real world” situation. To that end they created a short test piece to mimic a production workflow. The three-minute production test they created was shot on an LED stage over just four days." Interesting.

(video) Luke Ross shows a simple technique for reducing overall brightness that isn't using Lift/Gamma/Gain and offers up different results than an Offset adjustment.

(video) This looks like a good idea for my on-set readers: "This presentation shows how the HS Scope uses the camera's electronic chroma signal as a guide for calibrating LED lights to get accurate colour reproduction on the different cameras you use. "

Precisely as the headline says.

Jeff Greenberg, a friend of the Newsletter, shares a very interesting workflow if you need to deliver to the YouTube with timestamps, "At this point, neither Adobe nor anyone else lets us go directly from the timeline to YouTube. This solution is a free workaround – using Google Sheets and google’s version of Regex to make this a copy/paste. Three steps."

Flanders Scientific XM312K Professional HDR Grading Display
The XM312U has a peak luminance of 5,000cd/m2 making it one of the brightest HDR mastering monitors on the market.

It supports both PQ and HLG EOTFs making it suitable for practically any HDR workflow.
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.

(video) "In part four of his ongoing series on creating DCTLs, Cullen Kelly builds upon work done to create a static DCTL by adding user-adjustable controls."

"1,000 Insights are now in our Insights Library! In this article Team Mixing Light has new announcements and a look back at our favorites."

(video) "In his latest Custom Workshop, Colorist Joey D'Anna gives you 3 useful custom Fusion templates for use on DaVinci Resolve's edit page."

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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.

Lots of charts and number crunching in this write-up: "many users may opt to pay the extra $300 to go straight up to the RTX 3090 which has twice the VRAM (24GB vs 12GB) and a more powerful cooler."

"The RX 6900 XT was priced 36 percent higher than the RX 6800 XT." But does the performance differential match the price differential? Lots of bar charts at the link, including Resolve 17.

DP Ben Allan: "As part of her prep, Clara marked up the script with her preference for ALEXA or URSA for each scene, based on her plan for the visual style of each point in the story." It's an interesting and detailed read about camera selection and shooting with a small crew during the Covid lockdowns.

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.
Personally, I'm more partial to the Winter Olympics but there's a few fun events I like watching during the Summer games. This page shows you what's currently happening.

It looks like Dolby Vision / ATMOS is available only through select cable companies, here in the US.

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