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Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One

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Elliot M. Smith
Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on Apr 28, 2015 at 5:50:00 am

I need a website that showcases different color looks and techniques and has users share their work with feedback. Does anyone know of something like this? Oh please Great Creative Cow Hive Mind, bestow upon me your knowledge!

Back when I was learning photography it was very useful for the class to share what they'd shot and to ask questions and make suggestions between the different students and of course the teacher as well. There are websites now that offer a similar experience for photography. I'm searching for a website that offers this with color correcting.

Right now I'm digging into Resolve pretty deeply, about to really focus on look creation, and I'd like to find a website or two or three that has a similar experience where work is shown, even if its just like still shots from a project that are shared. Something to inspire and make me think. I can make the image look nice, use scopes and control surfaces and all that, but I want to guide the emotional tone of the viewer's experience, and their eyes, really, really well. Rather than 10 years of trial and error, why not stand on the shoulders of giants and experiment with established conventions or build upon experiments with a new approach?

I'm pretty technically inclined, so although I'm sure I'll have tech questions I pretty much already know where to go for that. Plus I get distracted by tech because I want to read it as it's useful. But when it comes to growing myself artistically in this specific area I need to see what other people are doing with looks, why they're doing it, and to read from people who know how they could improve or what they'd have done differently, where there's not necessarily a right or wrong approach.

I've been looking at Mixing Light and I'll probably subscribe sooner or later, how is that for people? Any YouTube Channels that you love? Any forums that skew creative? Thanks in advance!


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Sascha Haber
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on Apr 28, 2015 at 10:26:09 am

http://www.taoofcolor.com/learn-color-correction/

Resolve 11.2 - Smoke 2015 EXT1SP2 - Sapphire 8
Colorist / VFX Guru / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber
https://dk.linkedin.com/in/saschahaber


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Marc Wielage
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on Apr 30, 2015 at 2:42:29 am

Patrick is a sharp guy and they have good people at MixingLight. I think he's putting together all-new training for v12, so watch for that.

I think the best of all (but far more expensive) is to hire a pro trainer for one-on-one classes, which is what the International Colorist Association does. The guys over there like Warren Eagles are first class, really sharp. In some cases, you can learn more in a single day from an experienced colorist than you could learn in years on your own.

In truth, I think a large part of the job is just learning to placate the client, solving their problems, and coming up with a fast solution. The color correction itself might only be 50% of the job.

I find Alexis Van Hurkman's stuff (including his Color Correction Handbook), the 900-page Resolve 11 manual, and his Ripple Training videos to be very helpful. Warren Eagles' FXPHD training is also good though it has a completely different approach. There are many, many ways to cover this material, but knowing the basics is critical.

I have trained a lot of colorists in my time and the first step is to understand what a good picture is. The second is knowing the shortest route to get there. Unfortunately, it's not easy when you're handed substandard material -- inconsistent lighting, overexposure, underexposure, focus problems, and so on. It's sobering to consider that the world-class movies you see in theaters often look fantastic right out of the box, because the DPs get everything right in front of the lens first. Everything that comes after that is relatively easy.


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Marc Wielage
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on May 3, 2015 at 2:16:47 am

I should mention there is a section on the LiftGammaGain.com website where members can post images and video links from their projects and invite tips and criticism.

To me, it's hard to provide criticism because you never know how awful the material was that was shot. If somebody takes absolute crap exposures and makes it merely mediocre after days of hard work, that's actually more difficult than taking brilliant cinematography and making it better.


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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on May 3, 2015 at 3:41:23 pm

I agree with Marc.

Plus, the only criticism I'm really interested in is my clients.

They might want a washed out, faded,look, and someone else thinks it should have a vibrant contrasty look, I'm probably going with the guy who is paying the bills.

Glenn


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Elliot M. Smith
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on May 3, 2015 at 7:10:36 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Marc! When I say criticism I mean the constructive kind for sure. I don't doubt that befores and afters or disclaimers on tough footage should be part of the process. I've been putting together demos where I pull shots out of the stringout I have because the sky is so blown out that a new sky needs to be composited in for the shot to remotely work, for example.

However I'm sure that it's more often than not where you have to take what you're given and do your best rather than being able to say that late in the game that you need another shot.


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Sascha Haber
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on May 4, 2015 at 11:36:10 am

Well, i do not really see the need of a critique site.
Most of the time the outcome of a grading is in the hand of the producers, not the colorist.
He/She might be able to talk about it later, but it looks the way it looks because someone who paid for it wanted it that way.
And the need to change a sky is a product of poor choices and planning ;)
But of course a skilled comper is able to tackle that...I would just switch to Smoke/Nuke/Fusion for the task.
No wait, no Fusion...yet

Resolve 11.2 - Smoke 2015 EXT1SP2 - Sapphire 8
Colorist / VFX Guru / Aerial footage nerd
http://vimeo.com/saschahaber
https://dk.linkedin.com/in/saschahaber


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Elliot M. Smith
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on May 4, 2015 at 7:50:28 pm

Certainly, but the idea is to get better in front of your peers before you're in with a paying client so you can build up your, I guess you'd say "Mental Artistic Toolbox" or something like that. To have an idea what Color Genius A would do, or what Color Enthusiast C thinks is cool, or to be influenced by Creative Novice D who's idea might not fully work but inspires you to try something else.

I want to get good at the established looks and start coming up with new ones so I can give them what they want to get in the door, and then present them with something they didn't know they wanted but can't live without either concurrently or afterwards.


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Joseph Owens
Re: Color Grading Critique Website - Searching For One
on May 11, 2015 at 4:50:20 pm

[Elliot M. Smith] "so I can give them what they want to get in the door, and then present them with something they didn't know they wanted but can't live without either concurrently or afterwards."

There is only one way to do that.

A very long time ago a question came from the back row "How do you know when its right?'

A.: "When he (producer) says it is."

Its a collaboration, but everyone needs to understand that.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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