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Technicolor drop Colour Assist

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Michael Sanders
Technicolor drop Colour Assist
on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:10:01 am

Seems Technicolor have out done Apple in the annoying customer stakes by dropping Colour Assist less than six months after launch..

Annoyingly I never got round to claiming the refund after I realised it wasn't very good.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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Mark Dobson
Re: Technicolor drop Colour Assist
on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:34:40 am

I bought the Color Assist app when it was launched, had problems with it in relation to it not working with both FCP7 and FCPX. I asked for a refund and was persuaded to wait for the next update as this resolved that problem.

The customer support has been really good, personable and very responsive.

On hearing the news from them about Color Assist being EOL'd I've been offered a full refund so I really can't fault them.

They have been open and communicative and have obviously encountered either poor trading results or technical problems with the new version of FCPX being prepared at the moment.

I'm sorry this product is being discontinued, it had a lot of potential which I had hoped would have been developed as time went on.

For me some the fundamental downsides were that, like Magic Bullet Looks, it took you on a roundtrip outside of FCPX and that the monitor window inside of the app did not match the definition or color space of the FCX windows. However the inclusion of both color wheels together with the ability to create custom log curve adjustments offered a lot of potential for users like me who capture with Canon C Log.

So I wish good luck to the development team at Technicolor and look forward to seeing what they develop in the future.


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Craig Seeman
Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 29, 2013 at 4:08:58 pm

Theory posted elsewhere so I'm not the originator but one might speculate that Apple bought the technology to use in the FCPX update specific to the upcoming MacPro Tube update.

I've speculated that that update will include improved scopes supporting the two GPUs so it does cause me to wonder about the possibility.



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Michael Phillips
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 29, 2013 at 4:43:47 pm

I am curious as to what technology that might be? I can see purchase based on getting to market sooner, but from a technology standpoint - color presets are pretty well known. Unless I'm missing something.

Michael


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 29, 2013 at 4:59:28 pm

Maybe you're confusing Color Assist with their other utility CineStyle Profiles. Color Assist is a grading application maybe closest in some sense to Magic Bullet.



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Michael Phillips
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 29, 2013 at 6:00:54 pm

Not really - I am just saying that anything color wise is not some proprietary technology - especially this level and not something a company needs to buy from a technology perspective, but perhaps from a jump start into the market or get to market sooner than developing themselves. If it's cheaper to buy than to make - then that could be reason enough. I was just referring to any "technology" from such as an acquisition. For example, with v7 of Media with LUT and CDL support I can make looks all day as .cube and apply them in real time and change as needed. Very similar process and I am creating the looks in Resolve for free. I suspect people will make "looks" to give sway or package up as needed to take advantage of this. But the technology is not new or proprietary. How it's integrated may be though...

Michael


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 29, 2013 at 6:20:34 pm

[Michael Phillips] "but perhaps from a jump start into the market or get to market sooner than developing themselves"

Which might be the case here given the expected importance of color grading relative to the FCPX MacPro update.

... or it may be that Apple hired their programers from this project to work on FCPX grading. Employee skill sets rather than any specific code at all.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 29, 2013 at 7:31:42 pm

[Craig Seeman] "r it may be that Apple hired their programers from this project to work on FCPX grading"

Is there anything that supports these notions other than a discontinued app?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 29, 2013 at 7:48:55 pm

[Chris Harlan] "Is there anything that supports these notions other than a discontinued app?"

Nothing really. There are other reasons that app might have been discontinued.
Noting that the app supported both After Effects and FCPX it may have been a one two punch of CC (and the apparent smaller user base) plus changes they felt might be coming in FCPX, resulting in limited revenue potential vs development resources, for example.

Perhaps they hit an unresolvable patent issue.

They recently had a user server and perhaps user response and comments gave them information that continuing development wasn't as lucrative as the had originally thought.

Heck maybe the sales were disastrously lower than expected.

All speculative of course.

The only pieces we know are that despite some promotion at NAB and post that with some trade reviews, they decided to cease development, end support on Sept 30, offer refunds for anyone who purchased in the last 30 days.



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Oliver Peters
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 2:52:53 am

Perhaps it's the fact that Davinci Resolve Lite (for free) has killed the market for this type of product.

And what do you see wrong with FCP X's grading? I thinks it's rather good as built-in NLE tools go. Curves and color temp/tint additions would pretty much make it a complete package. Then, of course, a better grading workflow, like FCP 7 ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 4:11:30 am

[Oliver Peters] "Perhaps it's the fact that Davinci Resolve Lite (for free) has killed the market for this type of product."

So you think it was poor sales right out of the gate?
I was under the impression Color Assist was getting a lot of positive attention.
While it wasn't quite Magic Bullet, at $99 it was 1/4 the price (MB $399)
Do you think Resolve Lite has killed interest in "almost" in app color grading plugins?
Or maybe they were on the FCPX beta list and saw similar features being built in and didn't see an expanding market in the other Post programs it supported?

It certainly seems like it didn't live very long given its marketing boost at NAB.



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Mark Dobson
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 10:49:30 am

[Oliver Peters] "And what do you see wrong with FCP X's grading? I thinks it's rather good as built-in NLE tools go."

After 2 years of using it I've found FCPX's Color correction pretty useable. I film everything in Canon C log, so everything needs attention, and despite serious shortfalls in defining areas with the shape masks, I've found that through applying multiple corrections it's possible to achieve pretty sophisticated results without leaving the application.

I've even got used to the color board, which once you stop thinking about it and comparing it to color wheels, is very easy to use in a weird counterintuitive way.

What I liked about Color Assist was the inclusion of the curves tool and if FCPX were to include something similar to that it would be a great asset.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 3:12:49 pm

I agree that if you take the Color Board for what it is, the results can be very very good.

The only thing I really miss is being able to dial in skin tone on a color wheel very easily. The color board needs a lot more hunting and pecking.

Combined with SliceX/Mocha and Nattress Curves, it can be pretty great.

I have a large fcp7 job that's going to need a finish.

I plan on taking it to FCPX for a grade(!).

Wish me luck.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 4:04:41 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "The only thing I really miss is being able to dial in skin tone on a color wheel very easily. The color board needs a lot more hunting and pecking. "

To me this is part of the fundamental UI flaw of the Color Board.
Color wheels make complementary colors much more obvious. They mirror Vector Scopes.
While I suspect Apple thought the Color Board would be easier since one can think in terms of "I need less of this" without having to deal with "less of this means more of that" but by obscuring that, it obscures the a key concept which aids in creativity.
Additionally The Color Board sets up situations where one might have overlapping pucks, making it that much more difficult to to maneuver the interface by mouse.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 4:44:29 pm

[Craig Seeman] "[Jeremy Garchow] "To me this is part of the fundamental UI flaw of the Color Board.
Color wheels make complementary colors much more obvious. They mirror Vector Scopes.
While I suspect Apple thought the Color Board would be easier since one can think in terms of "I need less of this" without having to deal with "less of this means more of that" but by obscuring that, it obscures the a key concept which aids in creativity.
Additionally The Color Board sets up situations where one might have overlapping pucks, making it that much more difficult to to maneuver the interface by mouse.

"


It is certainly not a perfect replacement, I agree, but the quality and results do speak for themselves.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 6:16:39 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "It is certainly not a perfect replacement, I agree, but the quality and results do speak for themselves."

Absolutely!

[Jeremy Garchow] "Combined with SliceX/Mocha and Nattress Curves, it can be pretty great. "

But the missing features make it awkward. Hence, the market for plugins whether it be several within the NoiseIndustries family with Moods, Levels and Curves, Color Precision, to plugins that link to interfaces such as Magic Bullet or the now defunct Color Assist. Add SliceX/Mocha for tracking. All address some perceived weakness and present an alternative to sending to/from Resolve. All the above, except SliceX/Mocha for its function and Magic Bullet, where in the $49-$99 pice range.

FCPX internal color grading needs (IMHO)
Curves, tracking, multiple live scopes, split screen or "still store" style shot comparison.
Color Wheels would be nice but that's an alternative, not a necessity.

I'm not sure how Color Assist was at such a disadvantage that Technicolor felt the need to pull the plug. It seemed to combine the functionality of some of the above plugins with the advantage of a separate work space (as Magic Bullet does).



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Michael Phillips
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 6:33:19 pm

Could just be purely financial and didn't have enough of a value marketing wise for Technicolor. Adding up development costs, marketing, and other related costs to creating this - it probably didn't have a good ROI. Development costs don't go down because a product is cheaper. When doing that game, it is a volume play and probably didn't get what they expected.

Another strategy is as a marketing app (ala KataData app) to bring in additional services to Technicolor which I doubt it did.

Or it is the loss leader to other products such as RedCine X Pro for RED (really camera support) or DaVinci for Blackmagic - sells $1K dongles and related hardware which Technicolor did not have.

Most likely in the end, Technicolor didn't get any of these benefits and just cut their losses.


Michael


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Oliver Peters
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 10:53:26 pm

[Craig Seeman] "To me this is part of the fundamental UI flaw of the Color Board.
Color wheels make complementary colors much more obvious. "


Maybe you should look at this:

http://www.dalegrahncolor.com

No color wheels there. Also true in Lightroom. No color wheels.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jul 1, 2013 at 4:16:13 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Maybe you should look at this:

http://www.dalegrahncolor.com

No color wheels there. "


True, but that system is built around complimentary colors.

It's not minus red, it's adding cyan. Color wheels are just a different way to display and manipulate that information.

The Color Board, as you know, operates in a literal display of minus red (which in effect, adds cyan). You can also add cyan (minus red).


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Oliver Peters
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jul 1, 2013 at 4:23:54 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "It's not minus red, it's adding cyan. Color wheels are just a different way to display and manipulate that information."

Look again. The layout it plus in the RGB direction and minus in the CMY direction. The actual read-out shows minus RGB numerical values. That's identical in concept to the Color Board. That's all a color wheel is doing. It's push-pull in one direction or the other, depending on the math. Operationally it's the same thing, but the effect will vary depending on the exact color science used. That's why manipulating the same type of controls (color wheels) might get you radically different results in different applications.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jul 1, 2013 at 4:36:49 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Look again. The layout it plus in the RGB direction and minus in the CMY direction. The actual read-out shows minus RGB numerical values. That's identical in concept to the Color Board."

I know what you're saying, but why, then, under Red is it not Cyan on the Color Board as it is in the Dale G app?

And why can I add Cyan and minus Red?

The Color Board is not displaying Minus Red as Cyan as the Dale Grahn application does.

Pretend you know nothing of color theory, would you be able to surmise that adding cyan is minus red as you would from a color wheel, or the Dale G app?

RGB values are a common language.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jul 1, 2013 at 5:38:53 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know what you're saying, but why, then, under Red is it not Cyan on the Color Board as it is in the Dale G app?"

Simply a different way of saying the same thing. In X you are adding or taking away RGB intensity. Obviously the ProApps developers thought this made more sense to novices. You are adding or subtracting a certain color. I guess they felt that after a decade of color wheels, the accepted theory didn't make sense to new users.

In Grahn's app you are doing the same, but it is expressed as RGB (+ value) and CMY (- value) because you are shifting the result in the direction of more of one and less of the other. This is an outgrowth of printer lights, which BTW, can also be found in the dearly departed Color.

[Jeremy Garchow] "And why can I add Cyan and minus Red?"

Because that's how complementary colors work.

[Jeremy Garchow] "Pretend you know nothing of color theory, would you be able to surmise that adding cyan is minus red as you would from a color wheel, or the Dale G app?"

I have no idea what point you are making. Part of the idea behind Grahn's app is to help folks understand color theory. Remember this is an iPad app designed as a teaching tool.

The fact that he uses slightly different terminology than X, doesn't change the fact that both operate in more or less the same way.

And FWIW, there are a lot of high-end colorists who never use color wheels. It's my understanding the the folks at E-Film use a modified version of Lustre that's strictly driven by keyboard commands. The original DaVinci panel (later dubbed DaVinci Classic) only used soft keys and rotary knobs.

Also, if you look at the wheels in Moods, the control is totally different than any other approach to color wheels.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jul 1, 2013 at 6:04:12 pm

My point is that the Color Board is less of an expression of complimentary colors than the Dale G app.

A Color Wheel shows better complimentary color relationship, as does the Dale G app, than the Color Board.

I am struggling to find a third way of saying it. Maybe this,

If the Color board was trying to teach complimentary colors, as is the Dale G app, Cyan would be under Red, just like the Dale G app. IF Apple did this, essentially flattening a color wheel and adding the flat complimentary color underneath it as negative values, you would have the Dale G app.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 4:08:37 pm

[Mark Dobson] "What I liked about Color Assist was the inclusion of the curves tool and if FCPX were to include something similar to that it would be a great asset."

I wonder if Technicolor saw that coming in the FCPX update and decided that key advantages of their plugin where about to be integrated. Given that they support Adobe products as well, they might have seen this coming from both developers. Maybe that's the real reason they pulled the plug.



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Mark Dobson
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 8:13:18 pm

I think Technicolor came into the market from the DSLR end of things, fitting in with their Cinestyle profiles camera settings. I might be wrong but I think the DSLR filming market has probably peaked and is on the decline.

Almost every camera manufacturer has now produced a large sensor camcorder type camera. Having bought a C300 ( almost paid it off! ) there is nothing that would induce me to film with a DSLR again although in the right hands DSLRs will knock the spots off most video cameras.

So it could be that the product was already out of date by the time it was launched and development costs v/s sales of turning the Ap into a professional rather than prosumer product just didn't stack up.

And the 'looks' packages for FCPX are mostly a total waste of money, easily replicated in FCPX, and a hugely oversubscribed area of what must be a fairly small plugin market place.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Because it's being built into FCPX?
on Jun 30, 2013 at 8:29:36 pm

[Mark Dobson] "I might be wrong but I think the DSLR filming market has probably peaked and is on the decline."
[Mark Dobson] "Having bought a C300 ( almost paid it off! ) there is nothing that would induce me to film with a DSLR again"

Certainly their are better alternatives like the C300 but they do provide a low cost point of entry and the lenses one buys know can be used later. There's also times when the small size and inconspicuous appearance can work. Once you start having to rig it out though, you can now consider getting alternatives which don't cost much more, once you include the cost of the rig.

[Mark Dobson] "So it could be that the product was already out of date by the time it was launched and development costs v/s sales of turning the Ap into a professional rather than prosumer product just didn't stack up."

Although at $99 it was cost competitive with other plugins. Maybe their development costs were higher or their business model needed higher revenue.

That said I don't think these grading plugins are really specific to DSLRs but that might have been part of Technicolor's user base/business model.

[Mark Dobson] "And the 'looks' packages for FCPX are mostly a total waste of money, easily replicated in FCPX"

They can be a good education tool for the novice if they take them apart. On the other hand so many are so over the top they might actually be learning bad aesthetics.



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