Color that’s a joy to drive?

If you’ve never heard of Stu Maschwitz you’ve definitely heard of the products he helps design and sell, notably: Colorista and Magic Bullet Looks for Red Giant Software. Just before NAB 2015 he wrote a blog post about evaluating color correction software. Near the end he makes a comment that I’ve got a problem with:

How to Kick the Tires on a Color Corrector

If a color correction tool feels hard to use, it is. It’s not your fault for not learning how to use it. If a demo artist can’t make an image look great in less than a minute—in a way that matches how you expect to actually work, they are wasting their time and yours, and revealing something about their product and the culture that created it.

In the comments a good colleague of mine, Steve Hullfish, takes Stu to task on this notion that ‘if it looks hard it’s because the developers don’t give a damn about you’. Now—I completely respect Stu’s, ‘make it easy’ design philosophy but he seems to fail to recognize that even his products can be tough to use if you want to go beyond merely picking presets.

I LOVE Magic Bullet Looks but I’ve seen editors absolutely struggle over, “Is that effect I’m looking for a Subject, Matte, Lens, Camera or Post effect?” Looks takes a Cinematographer’s thought process and puts it in the hands of editors… who then struggle mastering it because it uses a paradigm they don’t understand.

I pride myself on being able to master (and teach) really complex software and I often get lost in the Colorista and Looks interfaces

Back when I launched my first Masterclass in DaVinci Resolve 8, I did a follow-up on color correcting in the Apple ecosystem with training on using Colorista. I found it such a powerful interface that I was always getting lost (a pro, getting lost 🙂 so I taught people to use that filter for one task at a time… otherwise you’ll never be able to come back 3 weeks later and deconstruct your grades. It’s an approach that’s become a mainstay for my NLE teachings.

Stu has some great thoughts on evaluating color software

And I encourage you to read his post on the subject. But I do think he goes a bit ‘off the rails’ at the end there… over-estimating the simplicity of the tools he helps design if you want to go beyond picking presets.

I’ll conclude by saying, I have plans to develop training on using his products… so let that knowledge inform your thoughts on my thoughts about his thoughts! But I’ve got to get my next Grade-Along out the door first…

Read: How to Kick the Tires on a Color Corrector at

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Resolve 8 Tutorial & Training: Now Available!

Tutorials & Training: Resolve 8, Colorista II, Color 1.5, Final Cut Pro

The Color Correction MasterClass Has Re-Opened!

It’s here!

I’ve re-opened the MasterClass training with new pricing, new packages, and new training! In addition to what I call the “Final Cut Studio Ecosystem” training (Colorista II / Apple Color / Final Cut Pro) – I’ve launched Resolve 8 training.

A New Approach

Over the past few weeks I’ve interviewed Members of the MasterClass, probing for areas where I could improve on future training. One of more common comments was that since all the content is made immediately available – it was a bit overwhelming. Almost intimidating.

In designing the Resolve 8 MasterClass I knew I’d have much more training than I had for Apple Color – simply because I’d have to spend way more time explaining the interface and digging deep into the ‘Resolve Way’ of doing things. The intimidation factor could be even worse.

This time around, the training will be released in Weeks. Every 5 days, counting down from the first day you Register, a new Week becomes available to you. And hopefully, you’ll find the concepts build upon each other.

Behind the Pay Wall

To help you get a sense of what I’m doing with the training, a behind-the-scenes of what the website looks like, and some of the things you’ll be doing in Week 1… here’s the 17-minute Resolve 8 MasterClass Orientation Video. Check it out! If you dig what you see – visit the full-blown MasterClass Sales Page where I explain who this training is for and what you’ll get with it (as well as pricing).


Resolve 8 – Orientation

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Straw Man Alert: Final Cut vs Color

There’s been a lot of talk on the Intertubes about color grading apps, no doubt much of it inspired by the impending DaVinci Resolve 7.0 release. With a newly affordable app almost (but not quite) on the market, there’s much chatter about the tools we use.

Some of that chit chat is formed as questions:

Look Ma - no head!

Don't be fooled by Straw Man setups

  • Should I use Final Cut… or Color?
  • Should I abandon Color for the new Resolve?
  • Isn’t Colorista II a waste if I use Apple’s Color?

Final Cut Pro vs. Apple Color vs. [Name Your App]: A False Choice

Those questions are Straw Men. False choices. These are not either / or questions. Using Apple’s Color doesn’t prevent you from working Colorista II into your workflow. If you’ve been working on Color for the past 2 years and buy Resolve, who says you couldn’t use both – on the same job!

Reading it now, it seems so painfully obvious I wonder why I’m writing this post. Yet the questions, they’re out there. So let’s work through this…

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