Colour Grading in Resolve, Speedgrade & More
Here’s a quick round up of some of the latest free tutorials, tips and training on the craft of colour grading that should help both those who are new to the craft and those who have been around it for years.
Tips for Virgin and Veteran Colourists
Knowing the software is probably only 30% of what it means to be a colourist (or a creative using any form of software really) and the rest is made up with your instinctive creativity and your knowledge of the craft.
If you’re a young colourist in the making then this 6 tip post from Reel Life Television will give you a decent structure to think about what you need to be learning; ranging from what apps and hardware to be investing in to the importance of taking breaks.
An extremely important part of being a colourist is knowing what emotions look like and so being able to create looks that will support the emotions in your footage. What does joy look like? How about dread? New Blue FX has a great post with a few suggestions for creating emotionally resonant grades.
Dread: Use burning, dark reds, crushed shadows, and darker mid-tones. Reduce and darken your contrast so that your picture is not so crisp, so that it has more uncertainty.
icolorist has a brilliant post on the importance of staying ahead of the latest trends in the ‘colour grading scene’ so that you’re creating something appropriately unique and not based on that latest fashionable look.
Recognizable looks, regardless of whether they are inspired by a colorist, copying, or excessive use of plug-ins, often fail – not just because audiences are desensitized to them, but because a successful style in one project, does not always accomplish the same depth in another.
One of the best weekly resources for colourists of all calibres is Patrick Inhoffer’s free weekly newsletter from the Tao of Color. If you’re not signed up to it you’re really missing out.
Technical Tips for Colourists
Understanding the very basics of colour science is another vital facet to being an employable colourist. Rich Lackey on his blog D-Cinema Demystified has a good explanation of color bit depth, dynamic range and linear/logarithmic scales. If you don’t know what those words mean, then you should definitely read the post!
Organising your time and booking clients in a manageable and efficient way is crucial to remaining an employable colourist and a topic rarely discussed on any creative forums. This great article on the best way to book your clients, comes from the Mixing Light pre-launch freebies collection. Mixing Light will be a subscription site from colourists Patrick Inhoffer, Robbie Carmine and Dan Moran.
For a further taste of what to expect from the Mixing Light crew check out this great walk-through of Robbie’s colour grading suite, including a blow by blow account of all the gear he uses, monitors he rates and how his machine room interacts with his client side suite. If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of a professional colour grading suite looks like then this is the post you’ve been waiting for.
DaVinci Resolve Tips & Tutorials
If you’re new to DaVinci Resolve and you don’t know that you can get it for free from this website, then start downloading now! If you’re wondering what it is and why you might want to use it then these 5 Reason to Use Resolve from Clay Asbury writing on SpliceVine will surely persuade you.
Oliver Peter’s always excellent blog has a useful introduction to DaVinci Resolve and some of the fundamental workflows in which it can play a pivotal role, such as round tripping your edits and creating edit-ready dailies.
The Adobe Speedgrade blog regularly posts quick tips for learning how to colour grade in their emerging platform. If you’re picking up the program then check out these two tips on a ‘super-easy EDL workflow‘ and how to use preset looks that ship with Speedgrade.