Color Grading 101
I am a newbie to color grading....but as a DP I'm very familiar with colour, contrast and tone.
So I decided that as camera technology was advancing faster than I can keep up, I would jump into Resolve 9 when it was released and learn the power of colour grading as an extension of my skill as a DP and content producer. With many cameras now shooting a log type of image, I figured that now is a good time to take my color grading beyond simply applying a look with Magic Bullet (great software but it applies the look to everything like a color wash and so there is no real finesse).
As a beta tester of the new Black Magic Cinema Camera I'm looking forward to shooting log on ProRes and also the RAW 2.5k Cinema DNG files. The DNG files are 12 bit raw and the ProRes is 10 bit (finally we can end all the arguments online about cameras only being 8 bit).
As we have reported before, the Sony FS100 and FS700 are 8 bit formats that grade extremely well in Resolve (see earlier posts from Director and colorist James Tonkin) and so it's not that you cannot grade in 8 bit codec's, it is just easier with a 10 bit codec and even more so in a 12 bit codec. Simply because there is more data to work with.
Free Grading Tutorials
I've created a FREE 4 part video series called Color Grading 101. Since Black Magic Design released DaVinci Resolve 9 Lite, powerful color grading is now accessible to all. However if you are moving from layer based 'looks' like Magic Bullet, then there are some key differences when using Resolve.
I'm a DP first and so wanted to share my journey into color grading.
The panel I'm using is from Tangent Devices http://www.tangentdevices.co.uk/products_element.asp I first discovered this control surface back at NAB 2012 and blogged about it then
I've created a beginners 4 part video series which will hopefully help you navigate the basics:
Part 1- Getting started
Part 2- Basic Primary correction
Part 3 - Secondary correction and keying
Part 4 - Using Power windows
N.B. You don't have to use a control surface such as the one I'm using from Tangent Devices, all of the manipulation can be carried out using the mouse. However if you plan to do a lot of color grading then the control surface is a must have to speed up your workflow - once you've graded with a panel , you'll never want to go back to a mouse again:)