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.

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The Tao of Color Grading Newsletter

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

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Curated by Patrick Inhofer, Colorist | Mentor



Issue CDVII: The MicroLED Wall(s) 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 16 June 2019 | Web Archives
I was at InfoComm this week in Orlando. The good folks at BMD hired me to man the Resolve color grading station at their booth. Since it was my first time at an InfoComm show, I was amazed at the size of the event.

For two solid days the traffic through the booth was non-stop. Just as I finished giving a workflow demo to a few people, another group would walk up and we'd start all over again. I even had two Newsletter readers recognize me and say hello (highlights for me at any trade show).

Here are a few quick take-aways from that experience:

The Blackmagic Keyboard is actually worth the price IF you spend a good amount of time editing. Jason Druss is the master demo artist on that hardware and watching him work dropped my jaw a few times. BMD seems to be 'grokking' how to integrate this old-school analog device into modern workflows. The sum is definitely greater than the two parts. By the end of Day 2 I was comfortable showing a few tricks with that keyboard that had me nodding, saying, "Yes. I like this. Now they just have to enable it for the Edit Page, too!"

Much of my time was spent talking to cranky Premiere Pro users. They are particularly peeved about the new licensing restrictions and not happy with the software's stability-to-price ratio. I found that pitching the one-timeline-many-crafts aspect to DaVinci Resolve intrigued them (not to mention the pricing). Combine that with a demo of the new Object Removal plugin (which requires creating a mask + tracking) and it gave them a nice taste of what the Color Page brings to the table vs. grading in traditional NLEs.

The remainder of my time was answering questions about BMD's eGPU. In truth, I didn't know much about that bit of kit. But since my station was powered by a 4-year-old 13" MacBookPro with two eGPU Pros, half the questions were about that! By Day 2 I was well-schooled on it. I'm going to investigate it further in my grading suite, using it to accelerate the MacMini remote rendering ProRes machine.

On Day 3, I walked the show floor - and my eyes started to bleed. I started at the far end of the show, where everything was fog machines and stage lighting. But then I crossed a magical boundry with dozens of MicroLED vendors featuring hundreds of displays for retail, exterior, and uber-high end video enthusiasts (I'm looking at you Samsung's The Wall). Those displays don't use backlights. They just shoot photons directly into your eyeballs. They are also customizable to almost any shape or surface you desire. For the first 30 minutes I was amazed. Then my eyes slowly started to melt. The vendors were endless - and every display was turned up to Best Buy levels.

I can't help but wonder if MicroLEDs are our future? If so, it'll take a few years. I saw a Sony 100" Crystal LED display in a road case - that's about $250k to purchase. So yeah, prices gotta come down. Also, I couldn't get any straight answers on color gamuts and calibration for professional applications. Still early days, I suppose.

That's my week that was. Enjoy this Newsletter's insights into the intertubes week that was (as it relates the craft and business of color grading). Have a great week. I'll see you next Sunday!

Happy Grading!

(and remember - if you have a story that's a fit for this Newsletter, email it to '[email protected]'! Include a quick reason for the suggestion.)

- Patrick Inhofer
Colorist | Publisher | Coach
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.
Who doesn't want to see Star Trek's holodeck come to life? In fact, there's an industry coalition dedicated to that goal. Heads of those companies will be at SMPTE Hollywood on June 19. Click through for a summary of the topic and links to register for the meeting.
Adam Wilt pays tribute to the (mostly) shutdown analog signals for over-the-air video transmission. This tightly written piece drops a load of historical detail - complete with images from the last day of those transmissions.
YES. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Whether you're a freelancer or running a small creative shop - these three phrases should have you either raising your prices for or running away from the person uttering them.
Flanders Scientific Professional 4K HDR Reference Monitors
The 1,000nit XM311K and 3,000nit XM310K both qualify as Dolby Vision mastering monitors. The XM311K features innovative Light Modulating Cell Layer technology and now has a lower list price of $35,000.

Do you require a brighter display? Then the XM310K is one of the brightest commercially available professional HDR monitors on the market.
LEARN MORE about FSI's Professional 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.

(video) Like the title says: How to run scripts in Resolve.

(video) "SGO pre-releases Mistika Workflows, its first dedicated Media Management, Transcoding and Delivery software solution. The open beta phase is open to everyone who wants to test-drive it." Get full details on the click.
Solid tips that set up a tricky problem and several ways of solving it.
This a solid approach aimed at newer Resolve users.

The overhauled Media Composer UI is almost here. FYI.

LumaForge + Resolve = Collaboration
We've spent the last 3 years designing a 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.

It can now be purchased on
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.
(podcast) Mixing Light discusses Apple's new Apple Pro Display XDR. Is it really the Sony BVM-killer that Apple claims? This one is in front of the paywall.

(video) Learn how to set up and use Resolve Fusion's point- and planar- trackers. You'll deal with occlusions and see a powerful tracking technique.

(podcast) At WWDC 2019 Apple took the wraps off a brand new Mac Pro & a new HDR display. In this Mailbag, Team Mixing Light discusses the new Mac Pro.
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.
Results from bench-marking software are shown.
Five high-end televisions. 14 colorists, finishers, reviewers, and color scientists scored each in 4 different display setups. Who came out on top? For the 2nd year in a row, it wasn't an LG.
I saw this massive display at InfoComm in Orlando this past Friday. Big. Bright. Over-saturated. It was unclear to me (and a Sony dude standing next to me also evaluating this display) if the image was merely overly saturated during the grade or if it has a very limited color gamut and was clipping out? But it is impressive. Sony's competing 'Crystal LED' microLED display is more impressive, to my eye. Watch out when costs for micro LEDs drop.
Two interesting bits to me in this review: Brightness output is amazing but for HDR there are problems at the top end of the PQ curve; the most accurate picture mode is completely non-obvious to the average consumer.
Click through to see it and believe it. DITs? This is calling to you.
If you're building your own custom color grading rig for PC-land, then this motherboard is something to consider. Pricing not yet available but it'll be released next month.
The OnePlus 7 Pro smartphone set ten new records for color and image performance in DisplayMate's recent shootout. If you've done calibration then click through to check out its performance numbers. Stunning for any device, consumer or professional (now it just has to scale up to 65").
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) This proof-of-concept video shows how talking heads can have their words re-written by a text editor. Do you call it, 'Deep fakes for the rest of us' or 'The video editor's best friend'? Kind'a cuts both ways, I think.
Start at the very beginning - and maybe now you'll be able to help your kids with their math homework?
Th- th- th- that's all folks! See you next week!