Sneak Peek – Advanced Colour Grading Training for Professionals
LowePost is continuing to cement it’s reputation for being an essential learning resource for editors and colorists looking to develop their abilities for using DaVinci Resolve for editing, colour grading, compositing and finishing, sound design and final online and delivery.
It’s about to launch a brand new course which will take that reputation up a gear with training aimed squarely at intermediate and professional colorists, created with the input of an impressive roster of some of the best colorists in the business.
Between them they’ve worked on hundreds of major feature films and TV series including credits on Dunkirk, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Kong: Skull Island, Avatar, Jurassic Park, Lord of The Rings, Independence Day: Resurgence, Romeo & Juliet and many, many more!
In this post I take a sneak peek at some of the lessons in this course, chat with the team behind LowePost and share a discount code you can use to save 10% on an annual subscription to LowePost, if you sign up before the new course launches in a few days!
So first, that early bird 10% discount is yours if you use the following code:
“eb2020” when you sign up here.
I’ve reviewed the growing library of training from LowePost in more depth and detail in this previous post on Learning High End Finishing Techniques in DaVinci Resolve Fusion.
Professional Colour Grading Techniques and Look Development – Sneak Peek
LowePost’s latest training course is titled Professional Color Grading Techniques and Look Development, and it covers detailed techniques on managing contrast within your image, through s-curve manipulation and luma compression techniques, as well as using the (more old school) printer light controls to balance your colour channels and create looks.
There’s a good deal of colour theory in the course as well to support your understanding of the techniques being demonstrated.
The trailer above gives you a good sense of the content of the course, which is taught by highly experienced post-production instructor Kevin P. McAuliffe.
The main concepts discussed in the course are advanced contrast management, balancing techniques and look development. The focus is primarily on higher end colour grading, colour theory and teaching techniques that took professional colorists years of experience to master.
Along with the 18 lessons in the course you also get the usual access to download the project and media files, plus pick up a free 35mm film grain sample thanks to Cinegrain.
You can get a full breakdown of the course here, but for a quick overview:
- S-curve manipulation
- Corrections in log space and gamma space
- Compressions techniques
- Low Luma compression techniques
- Printer Lights fundamentals
- Printer Lights workflow
- Balancing techniques
- Bouncing to create looks
- Understanding colour harmony
- Colour channel mixing to create unique looks
- Grit and texture
- Node colour mixing
- Piping a key downstream
- Local edge softening
- Creating volume in the whites
- Evening out skin tones
- Soft saturated looks
- Film emulations and grain techniques
Having had a sneak peek at a couple of the lessons ahead of the launch, the course looks as good as it sounds.
One of the things I noticed in the few lessons I watched was how the various techniques built on each other, so that foundational lessons are then taken to a further depth later on, but the essential principles are the same.
This means that the course is more accessible than I anticipated, for editors who grade or more junior colorists, while the kinds of techniques demonstrated will be of benefit to even highly experienced colorists.
You don’t even have to take my word for it, but rather the opinion of Florian ‘Utsi’ Martin, Senior Colorist at ARRI:
Great comprehensive grading course with in-depth grading techniques for ‘every’ colorist, no matter how experienced.
It’s probably also a testament to instructor Kevin P. McAuliffe’s teaching style but he manages to explain the key concepts at hand and add in essential colour theory, whilst keeping the pace up and the lessons concise.
The techniques in the lessons I watched touch on some of the subtle things that a colorist can do to add polish to their images.
It’s telling that a seemingly simple adjustment to the way in which the highlights roll off, or controlling the depth of shadows can have a dramatic cumulative effect on the overall feel of an image. And it is this kind of craftsmanship which takes years to learn and also makes a huge difference to the quality of the final grade.
To the untrained eye you might be able to tell a junior colorist’s work from a senior but it would be very challenging to then identify the specific differences in what they’ve done differently. Without knowing where to look it would be hard to say ‘Oh, it’s all in the roll off of the highlights’.
To sum up, this looks like an excellent course for experienced colorists to further hone their skills, whilst also not being out of reach from those who already know their way around Resolve and the fundamental principles of colour grading.
The early excitement and anticipation in the comments on LowePost is well-founded from what I’ve seen so far!
A Q&A with the Team behind LowePost.com
Who is the new course pitched at?
This is a colour grading course for colorists at all levels, but particularly for those who want to learn professional techniques and gain a better understanding of develop the look of an image.
How did all these amazing colorists contribute to the course?
In the last year we have been in Los Angeles filming a masterclass in colour grading that will be released later this year at lowepost.com.
This involved some long days in the colour suites of the big facilities, and we learned some great techniques and work methods that we are now passing along in this course.
They also contributed through a lot of emailing of ideas, chats about techniques, reading about colour theory, remote sessions, sending sketches back and forth etc.
We are a community based learning platform and we are working closely with the artists in everything we do, we feel that’s our strength.
Why do you think a course like this is so essential?
There are some good colour grading courses online, but we wanted to create something different and stay away from the topics that are covered over and over again in the certified courses.
The techniques and work methods taught in this course really are industry best practices and reflect the way professional colorists actually work.
As a result this is a very unique course.
What do you have planned for LowePost in 2020?
The next big thing for colorists will be the up-coming masterclass in colour grading, can’t wait to tell you more about it!
LowePost Contributing Professional Colorists
To me, one of the most interesting aspects of this training course is the high-end colorists who have contributed to the shape of the course and the specific techniques shared within it. I thought it was worth quickly highlighting exactly who has been involved and who you’ll be learning from.
The course itself is ably taught by veteran instructor, Kevin. P. McAuliffe and delivered to the usual LowePost standard.
If you click through the link on each colorist’s name you can see their full IMDB credit lists. If you click through on the right hand links you’ll land on their professional and personal profiles.
When you do this, you’ll see firsthand just how many major projects these colorists have worked on and the depth of experience they bring to bear.
It’s really exciting to be in a position to learn from such talented artists!
- Jim Passon – 481 (!) Color Timer credits including too many big films to list!
- Walter Volpatto – over 120 credits and Senior Colorist at EFILM
- Tyler Roth – Senior Colorist at Company 3
- Douglas Delaney – Senior Supervising Colorist at Technicolor LA
- Florian “Utsi” Martin – Senior Colorst at ARRI
- Paul Ensby – Senior Colorist at Company 3
- David Cole – Senior Colorist at Fotokem
- Alastor Arnold – Senior Colorist at Fotokem
- John Daro – Senior Colorist at Warner Bros. (also has a great blog!)
- Dylan Hopkin – Senior Colorist at Shortcut Oslo
- Nikola Stefanovic – Freelance Colorist in Shanghai
- Paul Dore – Creator of digital tools and LowePost contributor
- Henri Pulla – Freelance colorist in Estonia
- Julian Alary – Freelance colorist with more than 70 credits