5 Books on Colour Grading And Colour Science
These days if you’re an editor you are expected to have a decent handle on colour grading and colour science. Being able to steward your project from the shoot to the screen whilst maintaining the highest possible quality and artistic opportunities.
Or if you’re an apprentice colourist looking to deepen your understanding of the art, craft and science of colour grading then these four books will provide you with an excellent place to start.
One of them is even totally free!
Alexis Van Hurkman – Colour Correction Handbook, 2nd Edition
Having purchased Alexis Van Hurkman’s comprehensive first edition of his Color Correction Handbook, this updated edition is well worth the update. Originally published in 2010, a lot can happen in four years in this industry. The latest edition is revised and expanded with an extra 120 pages to a beefy 672 pages.
Not only that, but the book now also comes with a download code for a ton of Pro Res 422 HQ media so you can follow along in your preferred grading system. In the first edition this was available on an in-sleeve DVD, although there are plenty of new clips too. Publisher Peachpit Press also allows you to download a sample chapter on Primary Color Adjustments, if you like to ‘try before you buy’.
Author and colorist Alexis Van Hurkman details on his website just how much as gone into the second edition:
adds about 200 pages of brand new content alongside many updates to existing topics; this includes a new chapter on grading workflow, a completely updated and expanded chapter on displays, calibration, and room setup, new sections on log-encoded grading, a new section examining the intersection of fine art portraiture and color grading, additional skin-grading techniques, and many, many new and updated techniques spread throughout nearly every chapter.
Another excellent aspect to the book is that it was reviewed by technical expert Charles Poynton and Company 3 senior colorist Dave Hussey (500 Days of Summer, Constantine) keeping Alexis ‘honest’ as he puts it.
If you’re looking for a one-stop comprehensive education on all things involved in color grading from setting up your suite to understanding your color management workflow as well as the technically creative aspects of bringing a film to life, you really can’t do better than Alexis Van Hurkman’s Color Correction Handbook. The main challenge you’ll face is simply taking it all in!