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Color Correction - My thoughts

I’ve been asked this question many times and I thought I’ld spell it all our here.  When it comes to color correction or color grading there are two main schools of thought. Either you are using purpose built applications that work outside your edit system or you are using a plug in that works inside your editor.

My preference is easy… ANYTHING that works INSIDE my edit system. Here is my thinking.

EVERYTHING I do is on extreme time constraints. The process of sending your timeline out to a standalone color grading application processing your images, no matter how fast it is because of the tools and then sending it back to your edit for final output, that takes too much time for me.  I will FREELY admit that I am not a full time colorist, and I don’t know all the tricks of the trade and maybe if I DID I would be faster.

So what is the alternative? Working in my editor, ON my timeline, using plugins.  I find that this method of work saves me a LOT of time. Can I get the exact same results… probably not.  Can I AFFORD the exact same results? NOPE. I can’t. I work in the real world where money is ALWAYS tight. Often times the “color work” that I do on a project is not even be requested of the client and it is details that I am doing for myself to satisfy my OWN desires. That being said, I can’t turn over my shoulder and say, “uh yea, thats gonna take a while cuz I have to reconform our timeline down to one track and export an XML and then import that into another app and do all the color work before I… Huh??  Whats that? Your client called and wants to change something?  What?  They don’t know what “Picture Lock” means?  What kind of people ARE we working for anyway? Huh? Oh… yea… I guess “people with money to spend” makes a pretty good client after all, NEVERMIND.”

So, thats my take on stand alone apps verses plug in based color correction/color grading.

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Reader Comments (2)

Totally agree! While it would be nice to send everything to a "proper" color program, they're generally isn't any funds for it. Plus, most of those programs take a lot of expertise to work with. Something most of us "small shops" don't have the time for. I've watched a real colorist do their thing and they make it look so easy but for now I have to stick with the basics and then go for Magic Bullet Looks to tweak it a bit.

May 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRick Jones

Chris, the direction of color graing/correction implemetation into the NLE has already taken it's course.
It goes even further as development shows. The whole process of editing, compositing, mastering/finishing into one single application is already there.
Something that Apple clearly missed, or to be frank, the don't even thought about it.
They just started a decade ago to f''k with the all the pioneers of NLE creation and pee on their legs. Distorting the market and destroying companies. Apple ego is bigger than anything and I'm sure it will eat em up in the near future.
However. The race is not over.

May 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

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