NEW! The Color Correction Home Study : Is it for you?

Mother Died Home Study

The Mother Died Color Correction Home Study features DaVinci Resolve 10

Wouldn’t you love to stop struggling color correcting video?

I struggled with it for many years. I was a straight-to-broadcast online editor who was taught at the very start of his career what good images look like. And concepts like broadcast legality? They were burned into my soul.

But when I transitioned to non-linear editing, bona-fide color correction tools were placed at my fingertips (Avid Symphony, Autodesk Smoke, Final Cut Pro’s 3-Way Color Corrector). At that point, my ability to make nuanced changes to discreet areas of the image went up exponentially!

Unfortunately, none of my video editor mentors were any more well versed in this ‘color correction voodoo’ than I was. Back then, film colorists were a much rarer breed – and extremely secretive. The result is that I had to struggle to learn it on my own.

For many years I struggled in the craft of Color Correction . . .

I usually managed to produce good-looking images (far better than most of my peers, due my focused attention on developing that skill set). And clients noticed. I’d often win jobs as an editor, in part, because of my ability to ‘bring the job home’ at the end of the process—not just telling the story editorially but visually, too. And for my clients, the additional Production Value that my efforts created? I made my clients look good to their clients.

Over time, through focused practice, I got better at balancing images, matching shots and creating distinct Looks, mood and emotion.

Eventually I became confident enough to start teaching others what I had discovered.

Live version of the Home Study

Atlanta, Georgia – Graduates from the small group Live Training… color grading the short film, “Death Scenes”.

How teaching color correction made me a better colorist

In 2006 I started teaching color grading in front of local Final Cut Pro User Groups. And I started a whole new learning curve! I was asked questions I had never considered. And finding those answers often involved research and paying much more attention to myself, as I was color grading.

In fact, the biggest benefit I had teaching others how to color correct—it forced me to focus on… my eyes and hands!

  • Where are my eyes looking, specifically?
  • What are my hands doing?
  • Why am I making the decisions I’m making?
  • And do my answers to the above questions change – based on how early or late in the color grading process I’m working?

As I started answering these questions for others, at these User Group meetings – I found I became more proficient as a colorist. My learning curve became much less steep – as I explored the fundamentals of the craft, to better explain it to others.

Why my early struggles are your ‘windfall’

All of this is to say . . . I’ve been in your position, struggling!

I remember not understanding why color work that looked great in the morning didn’t look the same after lunch.

I remember struggling with reading an RGB Parade scope… knowing what it was telling me but not knowing how to turn it into actionable information.

I remember asking myself: Is my work any good?

These were questions I never had to ask myself as an editor. After all, I was trained at a busy New York City post-production facility where 90% of my work went straight to air. All those questions were answered by the Editors in front of me. THEY trained me. I didn’t realize until a few years ago that the value of their guidance were the years it took off my learning curve, struggling to not make mistakes they all had already made.

Working under experienced, senior editors accelerated my career by YEARS.

But in this new world of software-based color correction? The opportunity for that kind of growth, learning color correction, is still extremely hard to find.

The Color Correction Home Study: Shortening Your Learning Curve

The Colorist Heads-Up Display

In the Home Study I slice and dice all the various interface elements so you know what I’m looking at – and what I’m ignoring.

The Home Study is based on my insights in my own struggles migrating from professional editor to professional colorist. Those struggles have helped inform me how I want to create my own training, here at the

The Color Correction Home Study : Mother Died Edition is the latest iteration in almost 4 years on online mentoring in the craft of color grading.

The Home Study is designed to do three things:

  1. Get you functional on your color correction software, quickly—so you can move on to doing real work, confidently.
  2. Drill the interface training into your muscles by giving you a real-life, meaty project that replicates a real-world color grading job as closely as I can.
  3. Answer the question: Am I doing this correctly?

Is this Home Study for you?

If you’re serious about learning color grading – would you turn down an opportunity to sit next to a professional colorist for a few days? Especially if he was offering you to take home the same film he was working on for you to explore on your own?

That’s what this Home Study offers you.

The Home Study is distillation of almost 15 years of color grading – from someone who had to struggle to get proficient in it.

If you head over to the product page you’ll get a full run-down of all the details of the ‘Mother Died Home Study’.

And since you’ve read this far, here’s $30 Discount Code for you – just for reading this blog post:


The code expires May 31, 2014. And the price of the MasterClass will keep raising over the next week or two during this Launch window. So don’t tarry. If you’re interested, check it out today! And you can read more on this blog about this latest iteration of our Home Study here and here.

Resolve 10 Mother Died Training Banner

Click to read about and purchase the Home Study

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Interview: Ben Franklin & Anthony Melton – Bloody Cuts

Part 1: “Practicing Your Craft”

The ‘Tao of Color’ podcast lurches back to life this week!

Join me as I talk with the two raving lunatics behind the Horror Anthology website, BloodyCuts! Yes, we all make it out of the podcast alive – but not after discussing what drives these up-and-coming filmmakers.

At the start of this podcast I also drop an announcement about a joint venture between Tao of Color and BloodyCuts – to bring you some cutting edge training. If you have the stomach for it, scroll down to listen to the podcast!

Read More…

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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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DaVinci Resolve 8 Training – My Roadmap

Announcing DaVinci Resolve 8 Training

DaVinci Resolve 8 for Mac was released just a two short weeks ago. And Tao Of Color is deep into development on our MasterClass training! At the end of this post I’ve included the Course Outline for you to check out and comment upon.

If you’re not familiar with my MasterClass training… a reading of the Outline should show how Tao’s training is different than any other training you’ve taken! It’s not quite training… much more like a Mentorship (details to follow as we get closer to launching).

About DaVinci Resolve 8


DaVinci Resolve 8 - The Color Tab

DaVinci Resolve 8 - The Color Tab (click to enlarge)

Here’s a quick overview of the new features in Resolve 8 (with the Apple Color’ist in mind):

  • Multi- video track support… with keying operations and external mattes (yes, we’re talking in-context grading of composited elements)
  • Support for Transfer modes
  • FCP Legacy round-trip support
  • More advanced versions of Apple Color’s Hue Curves
  • Stabilization
  • New color science
  • Plus quite a few productivity enhancements for Resolve 7 users
  • And I’m not even including the new Stereoscopic features of this full-featured grading tool. Or the additional 2 pages of new features documented in Resolve’s “What’s New” section of the manual.

What about Apple Color?

As if those new features weren’t enough – Apple has helped push many desktop colorists in the direction of Resolve 8 now that Color has been End Of Life’d.

I’m not suggesting you abandon Color. It still has it’s place:

  • Color is 100% viable for the next few years (which is why I’ll continue to offer the MasterClass training on Final Cut Studio Legacy).
  • Anyone serious about freelancing as a Colorist will want to be conversant on Color – since it’s included with a large chunk of those 2 million copies of Final Cut Studio Legacy installs.
  • Color is also a GREAT gateway into Resolve 8. Especially since all the major features of Apple Color are now in Resolve (minus the Advanced Tab). Everything you learn while working in Color can be transported when you begin to learn Resolve 8.

MasterClass Series: DaVinci Resolve 8

Training & Tutorials

Below is a JPEG pulled from my MindMap of the training. The thing to keep in mind about this training:

  • I’m not reading aloud from the manual – but I go way deeper into the Interface than I did on Color, FCP or Colorista II, since there isn’t (at the time of this posting) any other training out there that teaches you the buttons. And also because the interface is very intimidating and we need to get you un-intimidated.
  • The training is designed as a 6-week course. Why? When talking to students in my Final Cut Studio training – many of them felt overwhelmed since they had total and complete access to everything the moment they joined up – as if an entire 5-course meal was presented to them before they even had their first cocktail.I’m going to reduce the overwhelm factor by breaking this out over 6 weeks. But… for the impatient among you, my weeks are 5 days long… once all the training has been recorded, those 6 weeks get released to you in 30 days.
  • I don’t just teach interface. I share: Best practices, client management, interacting with the Director, balancing images, matching shots, finding emotion, giving your clients choices, taking notes during client review sessions, online delivery, and more!In other words: Weeks 4, 5, and 6 have almost nothing to do with interface and everything to do with… color grading!
  • Take a look at the Jpeg. Click on it to see it full size. Leave comments below.

Are you concerned I’m missing something? Is there something in particular you’d like to see? Now’s the time to tell me! I’ve started recording this past weekend and will continue for the next few weeks. If I think it fits within the scope of this training, I WILL incorporate your suggestions.


JPEG of Resolve 8 Training Mind Map

On the left are individual classes (Orientation, Quick Start, Grade Prep, etc)... moving right are the topics covered in each class. On the far right are the Weeks each class will be released. (Click for Full Size, Leave Comments & Requests Below)


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FTC Disclosure
Tao of Color has not received compensation, goods, or services from anything 3rd Party mentioned in this post. We hope, one day, this might change. Affiliate links are used throughout this website, sometimes resulting in a commission on sales (which helps support but without raising the price you pay by one cent.

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