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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 CDLXXXI: The Colorist Notebook 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, 2 May 2021 | Web Archives | [email protected] Team Page
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.

I really like this product! It's designed by a colorist to help him (and you) manage your grading sessions. Everything from organizing your deliverables, budget, and time to keeping track and categorizing client feedback. If you like keeping notes then this is a terrific upgrade to an off-the-shelf notebook. I like it and I wish Davide Greco success as he launches his first product for our niche.

This article profiles the lead colorists at two companies and their remote collaboration workflows.

One of the most ' look-driven series I've seen in recent years is WandaVision. Get a look at the thinking and execution of its challenges.

Colorist Cullen Kelley opines on the OWC blog: "The current playbook for capturing and mastering compelling images is going to become increasingly irrelevant, leaving those of us who are up to the task to write a new one. Here are some of the key questions we’ll need to address..."

"For each short video Ume spends15 to 20 hours working to perfect the shot and sell the illusion. While anyone can download the software, the final clip is anything but a one-button-press solution."

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. 
With new PQ HDR calibration options and new fully customizable Calibration Reports, Colour Space is winding down its initial launch - and with it, their discounted pricing. Click through for details on this latest release.
A few weeks ago I mentioned I was surprised that Resolve 17 didn't roll out any new remote collaboration features. If you click through and scroll down, Blackmagic is listed as an official Partner for this virtualization solution:

"Rapidly onboard and collaborate with artists globally and create content faster with access to virtual workstations, high-speed storage, and scalable rendering across AWS’s global infrastructure." (via Robbie Carman)

(video) From colorist Cullen Kelly: "In this final installment of the series, we're building on everything we've learned and diving into the key principles and tools for effective grading in ACES."

(video) "In this tutorial we're going over the different types of clip metadata that SCRATCH can read out - incl. frame-based metadata - and how you can use that metadata for burn-ins, reports and export file naming."

Now you can run calibration apps on an M1 Mac.

"Having to transcode media prior to importing it adds an extra and time-consuming stage to the workflow . . . In its initial incarnation, the Color Finale Transcoder add-on is intended to quickly import the unsupported camera media into Final Cut Pro, with plans for more media to be compatible in the future."

This article covers the fundamentals of roto and a few best practices: "The roto splines can make the compositing script "heavy" so some prefer to use rendered mattes. Rendered mattes can be tweaked with a little paint touch-up or a patch shape if needed. The entire purpose of roto is to assist compositing so make sure you are providing the kind of assistance that is needed."

"One by one, we will look at the main components of a computer (CPU, GPU, RAM) and evaluate their respective roles within the copy process. Thus, we’ll reach a comprehensive overview – just like we did in a previous article that examined which processing power you should boost to improve transcoding speed. "

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.

(video) "Watch over the shoulder of senior colorist Cullen Kelly as he works through his first pass on a feature film and shares his approach."

(video) "Learn to measure audio/video sync issues with a smartphone, and compensate in DaVinci Resolve using Fairlight's B-Chain."

(video) "Learn to use DaVinci Resolve's Fusion page to build custom, reusable transitions to work inside a node-based ACES pipeline."

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.

"We tested the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT against the three best 2019 Mac Pro GPUs." The results are impressive.

Interesting: "The M1-based Mac mini with 10 Gigabit Ethernet also supports Apple’s Lights Out Management settings that enable remote start, restart, and shut down for Macs enrolled in an MDM solution."

"The new 'Color Balance' calibration feature, which uses an iPhone to measure the TV display . . . It works in SDR and HDR10, but not Dolby Vision." All my Apple devices updated today so I got a chance to try the new calibration feature. Except I'm set up for Dolby Vision. But as the article says, it doesn't work with Dolby Vision. 

For the 'laugh out loud' reason why DV doesn't need calibrating, click through to this article to read the screenshot with Apple's reasoning (but given that Apple still can't join the rest of the world when it comes to their standard gamma settings and that BMD had to add a non-standard Rec-709a setting in DaVinci Resolve to mollify confused Apple users, this Dolby Vision 'Color Balance' behavior is probably the preferred approach to this new feature).
(video) Why would you want to spend several thousand dollars for a hardware waveform (compared to software scopes on a Mac Mini)? Watch this video for my two-word analysis: Touch screen.
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.
I just found out about this recently. It belongs in every colorist's suite! 100% fun.

It's fun for the whole family!

Are we at peak streaming? 15,000 shows and you can't find anything to watch... maybe this isn't so fun(ny)?


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

Patrick Inhofer, Editor-In-Chief