Color Grading: Introduction with a Pro Colorist | Fred Trevino | Skillshare

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Fred Trevino, Colorist

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14 Lessons (1h 34m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:56
    • 2. Color Correction vs Grading: Yes, there is a difference!

      0:46
    • 3. Grading Vocab Part 1: Painting a Picture with Words

      9:29
    • 4. Grading Vocab Part 2: More Building Blocks in Painting a Picture

      13:34
    • 5. Training Your Eyes: See Images Like a Colorist

      16:36
    • 6. Picking a Look: Color Grading is a Team Effort

      1:42
    • 7. Color Grading Environment: Why it Matters

      2:54
    • 8. Da Vinci Resolve Basics

      8:31
    • 9. Reading a Waveform: It’s Pretty Simple

      8:37
    • 10. Order of Operations Part 1: Primaries

      17:18
    • 11. Order of Operations Part 2: Secondaries

      9:31
    • 12. Pro Tip: Walking Away to Prevent Over-Grading

      1:29
    • 13. Pro Tip: Set Dressing & Lighting Matters

      1:23
    • 14. Final Thoughts & Thank You.

      0:27
142 students are watching this class

About This Class

This beginner class is about learning to look at images like a professional colorist, break them down, and get you started in creating a grade for yourself or a client.

It's for anyone getting started in color grading or anyone wanting to improve their skills in manipulating an image and articulating on a technical level what was done. (an essential skill in the real world)

Students will learn:

  • The difference between color correction & grading.
  • The right vocabulary to use when communicating with a client or colorist.
  • How to pick a look for your film.
  • Why the proper color grading environment matters.
  • The proper order of operations in color correction and grading.
  • How to read a waveform monitor.
  • Da Vinci Resolve basics.

Students will get a deeper understanding of the field of color grading and develop the confidence to start grading their own or other projects on a professional level.

About Your Teacher

Fred Trevino is a colorist with over 10 years experience.  He's graded over 40 feature films and hundreds of projects for high end clients such as HBO, Versace, ESPN, Under Armour and more. His narrative color work has screened at well known film festivals like Sundance, Cannes, and Slamdance. His goal is to use the experience and skills he's developed over his career to accelerate your learning in the field of color.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: A film is a sequence of images that together form a story. When we think of some of our favorite films, what tends to come to mind is what the image looks like, the story behind it, the emotion behind it, the characters. Color grading is the art of manipulating an image to enhance the story. I've worked on over 40 feature films, plus documentaries, short films, music videos, and corporate videos for high-end clients. Hi, I'm Fred Trevino. I'm a full-time colorist. This course is about color grading. The reason I created this course is because I've seen a ton of videos where they simply show you how to use software, what buttons to push to do what, but they don't ever go into how a colorist looks at an image, how they analyze an image, how they manipulate images, and how they go from point A to point B and make their images look that much more polished, that much more professional, and increase the production value in projects. This course is for anyone wanting to go pass simply, "How do I use to DaVinci Resolve or Premiere Pro to color correct my images?" They want to go deeper into how a colorist looks at an image, how they analyze an image, break it down, create a gray, create a look, and how they make their images look that much better. In this course, we will cover color correction versus grading, vocabulary of color, training your eyes and learning to see, picking the right look, grading environment, DaVinci Resolve basics, order of operations, and set dressing and lighting. Let's get started. 2. Color Correction vs Grading: Yes, there is a difference! : Okay before we get started let's define the difference between color correction versus color gradient. These are two terms that actually get thrown around interchangeably, but they actually mean different things. Color correction is basically fixing an image. It's taking shots that were underexposed, overexposed, unbalanced, have a little bit of a color tint, and taking them, and balancing them, and matching shots, and making them look good. Color grading is the part of the workflow where you start to apply a look. That's when an image in a film start to look like a film. It starts to look cinematic, and it starts to look like what you see up on the screen. 3. Grading Vocab Part 1: Painting a Picture with Words: Before we get started, I think it's important to talk about vocabulary of color. This means things like shadows, mid-tones, highlights, contrast, tint, color temperature, all terms that you've probably heard but it's good to get a clear explanation of what these actually mean. Color is a very subjective thing. If I were to tell you for example, to think of the color green and I asked ten other people to think of the color green, they would probably all think of different shades of green. Same thing goes for when you're describing something. If I were to tell you that I want my shop to look contrasty, gritty, poppie and in a little bit cinematic, you might think you know what I mean. But if I were to tell you something a little bit more like, I want to have a low key, high-contrast, slightly desaturated, cooler in the mid-tones look, you might have a better idea of what I'm talking about. This lesson is just so that we all get on the same page on what these terms actually mean. Okay. Let's get started. What we're going to go over in this lesson is just very basic terms for color correction and color grading, and terms for what makes up an image. We're going to go over Lift, Gamma, and Gain, as well as other terms such as saturation, contrast, color temperature, tint, shadows and highlights. This will help you hopefully get to a place where you can look at an image and be able to explain or analyze and break down what needs to happen. Because when you are color grading, honestly before anything, the first step is looking at an image and knowing exactly what needs to happen. For example, when I look at this image, I immediately know that this was shot with a high contrast ratio, a lot of shadows on the left side of his face, and then it's bright or highlights on the right side of his face and I know that's going to control what this image looks like. It also lets me know what the intention of the cinematographer was because the way this is lit looks intentional, and it's going to also help dictate what I can do with the image and also, or what I cannot do with the image based on what I'm trying to do or what the client tells me they want as a look for this specific shot. Let's get started. First thing is lift. Lift, otherwise known as shadows, is the darker areas of an image. It doesn't necessarily literally mean the shadows, though most of the time it is the actual literal shadows in an image, it usually means the darker parts of an image. In this case it would be his hair for sure, this left side of his face. Basically, this whole left side of his body. His color, this whole area here, his hair, this part here, this would be considered the shadows. Then the Gain, or otherwise known as highlights would be of course, the right side of his face, his shoulder, these little specs here and his collar, and then little speck here on the top right corner of the image. Then Gamma is everything in between. They would probably be this back wall here. Really the entire wall, bits and pieces of this phase, probably specifically going to the forehead. Maybe the errors that are between the darker darks and the brightest brights, that is generally the Gamma. A very quick thing I will say about Lift, Gamma, and Gain is, do not think of them as completely separate items. For example, don't think of things as black, gray, and white. Which is what tends to make up an image. All three of these are interconnected, they're tied together. For example, if I raise the Gain and an image, I'm not only raising the Gain, I'm raising mostly the Gain, but I'm most likely raising the brighter parts of the camera. Then if I raise the Gamma, I'm not only raising the Gamma, I'm raising also parts of the Lift and also parts of the gain. They're all kind of tied together and that's the best way to think of these. Think of it as three links of the chain. Just to show you the effect of these three have, I'm going to raise the Gain and I'm going to exaggerate it. You can see the areas that I talked about, like the right side of his face go up. That's gain and then shadows or Lift. You see his hair, all the darker areas are getting washed out. Then Gamma or mid-tones. This seems to create the more natural brightening of the image because it's connected to both Lift and Gamma. I will reset this. Next on the list is now saturation. Saturation is probably the most common term in regards to color. Honestly, one of the things that most people use to describe what they like about an image or if they're describing what they want me to do in an image during a color grading session, they will say make it more saturated or less saturated. Again, you're going to start noticing that all of these things that I'm talking about are connected. Saturation is not a just relative thing where you just increase the saturation. I'll reset it. Or drop the saturation. It's not just a for lack of a better term, a black and white thing, so to speak. You can also tell a colorist or when you're color grading your own footage, lower the saturation and just the highlights, lower the saturation and just the mid-tones, lower the saturation and just the shadows. That's something that's I can get a little bit ahead of myself. This tool here called color boost works in that direction. For example, if I were to increase saturation. This saturation here will just uniformly increase saturation across the board. You do that for some situations, but in situations where you don't want people getting very orange skin tones like this, you may not want to crank up the saturation and make the entire image uniformly more saturated or less saturated. If you wanted to do something like color boost, for example. The way this works is that it takes only the least saturated or darker or more shadowy parts of an image and it only boost those. You could call this something like it's a smart saturation tool. Again, different software have different names for this kind of behavior in software, but in the image resolve it's called color boost and watch it. If I increase the color boost, you can see that I increased it quite a bit. It's a little more natural of an increase because I'm not uniformly increasing the entire saturation. I'm just increasing the saturation in parts of the Lift and parts of the Gamma and probably very little parts of the Gain. That's based off of the specific image that I'm working on. If I do it to this shot, a little bit darker shot over all, so I'm going to increase the color boost. You see his face here. You can tell that that popped in saturation a little bit more than the rest of the image. I'll reset it. There we go. Then I'll go back to the regular saturation and crank this up. You can see that the saturation is a little bit more uniform. You can see it in the background, it's greener the right side of his face, his shirt. Then if I go back here again and just crank this up a little bit. You can see, you can think of color boost and saturation as two different types of saturations. This is uniform and then color boost is a little bit more subtle. That was primaries for you. In the next lesson, we will continue the vocabulary and talk about secondaries. See you then. 4. Grading Vocab Part 2: More Building Blocks in Painting a Picture: Now, to move on, we're going to talk about contrast. Contrast, which is here, the adjustment is here, is basically adjusting the darkest part of the image and the brighter parts of the image, and stretching them out in a way to where you're raising the brightest parts and darkening the darker parts. Also, again, because everything is connected, you are doing the same thing to the Gamma. Actually, I'll do it here. If I were to increase the contrast here, that's what's happening to this image, before, after. Let's talk a little bit about what we adjusted here. Again, all that was adjusted was only the contrast, but as you can see going from here to here, the image looks more saturated. It looks more vibrant, it looks sharper and a little bit more crisp. But all that we had just said, we did not touch a single tool for color. We only lowered the shadowy areas of the image, raised the highlights, and with that, also, it adjusts the mid tones. Those adjustments alone can make an image look more vibrant, more saturated, more crisp, and more sharp. That's what contrast does to an image. If we go here and do the same thing, you can see this side is getting darker, this is getting darker, and this is getting a little brighter. If I toggle before and after, this image was already shot with a bit more contrast, again, because of the highlights here and the darker, darker here on the original image. The difference is not as dramatic as it was here, but I think you get the idea that we're lowering the shadows and increasing the highlights, and also doing the same thing to the mid tones or Gamma. If I were to reset this and reset this here, I could do the same thing by simply lowering the shadows, lowering the Gamma, raising the highlights, and then it's really a push and pull. This is fine tuning things a little bit until they're at a place where we like them. I just adjusted the contrast to this image. You could call this doing it manually. Let me go before, after, before, after. I adjusted the contrast, but I did not do it with this simpler tool that just does all of those things on its own. I did the same thing as what this tool for contrast does. I shifted the shadows or Lift, I shifted the Gamma, and I shifted the highlights or game. We get a very similar result, but I'm not saying one is better than the other, really, it comes down to the specific image and what specifically you're doing to the shot, but those things do the same. Contrast and the Lift, Gamma, and Gain. If I wanted to adjust the contrast here, and then fine tune this a little bit pivot, adjust where in the image exactly, I'm adjusting the mid tone. You don't have to know exactly what that means because I could easily pull out charts and graphs with shadows and highlights and a grayscale and all those kinds of things, but that would be getting too deep and detailed into it. Just know that, when you adjust the pivot, again, I'm going to be really crush this, and it looks a little bit much. All the pivot is doing is picking and choosing how much of the Gamma is adjusted when you're shifting the contrast. Now, let's reset this and moving on to color temperature. Also, a thing to remember is probably the most complicated parts of the image for color correction, ironically, is not the color part of the image, it's more controlling the black and white and the gray or the shadow's mid tones and highlight and the contrast, because all of those things are the foundation of an image. Further down in the course, you'll see that part of the order of operations will be the first steps you take or adjusting the Lift, Gamma and Gain before you make any color adjustments. If you're diving right into color adjustments right away, you're probably not doing something the right way, unless the shot is perfectly shot and all that needs to tweak of color. Next on the list is color temperature. This one's pretty easy. If we look at the color well, notice how the colors are separated. We have yellows and orange and reds. These are considered the warm parts of an image. Then over here, we have the blue, which is considered the cool parts of an image. Temperature controls that. It's all it does. If I go to the right, I'm making this a little bit more warm. I'll do that again. If I go the other way, I'm making this a little bit cooler or bluer. That's what color temperature does. Why is there an adjustment specifically for temperature? It's because really that's what white balance is. Whenever you turn on your camera or anything is shot, one of the first things you should adjust is white balance, it's called white balance because you're basically making things that are white look white. There's slight exceptions to that, but just remember that as a rule, white balance is making something that's supposed to be white look white. Again, what's connected with that is the fact that daylight is 5,600 degrees Kelvin, and tungsten light, which we've talked about already, is 3,200 degrees kelvin, or in that range 27-3,200. Daylight is not exactly 5,600, it's in a range, and it really depends on the camera setting specifically. But generally speaking, when someone is talking about daylight balanced light, we're talking about 5,600K, and when someone's talking about tungsten, they're talking about 3,200 Kelvin degrees. Because in the real world we're dealing with daylight, lamps, light bulbs, that kind of thing, that's what this adjustment can correct. If you were to shoot something and not set the white balance correctly on the camera, or something went wrong, and a lot of times someone will shoot something and it'll come back looking like this. As a part of the color correction or balancing the shot, you would use this as one of the tools to balance the shot. Now, I'll check out the color wheel again. Now, we're going to jump into tint. Notice that the other side of the color wheel, we have the magenta side and the green side. That's what tint will adjust. Same thing as the color temperature, you have cameras, it's all based on your camera settings and the lighting or something was shot in. You might shoot certain lights that, for example, register in the green areas, like some fluorescence for example, different kinds of lights. If something comes in and it's too green, based on your camera settings and a lighting in which the scene was shot, you would then use tint to balance that out. A lot of times, most of the time you'll use color temperature. Sometimes you'll use tint, sometimes they use both together. Everything is a case-by-case basis when you're making a lot of color correction and color grading choices. Next, we're going to talk about here coming towards the end is the shadows and the highlights. Really, the best way I can explain this is that shadows, let me reset that, whenever you make adjustments with the Lift, this is a more broad, more aggressive adjustment, and I don't mean aggressive in a bad way, it's just a broader adjustment of the darker portions of the shot. Shadows is a more precise adjustment. If you were to break down the image, which you are actually, into three portions, which is Lift, Gamma, and Gain, and let's say that 33 percent of the image was in the Lift, 33 percent of the image is in the Gamma, and 33 percent was in the Gain, shadows would be say, 10-20 percent of the darkest portions of the lift. Again, those numbers, I'm just throwing them out there. That's not by any means factual, they're broken down that evenly. Again, if I adjust in the Lift here or the Lift might make the adjustments of this woman, this woman, the background, the hair, specifically the shadows and resolve would only adjust things like the hair, this hair, this little corner back here. Only the darker parts of an image. Here we go. I'm going back and forth. You can see exactly what that is adjusting. Again, shadows is just adjusting the very lower bits of an image like this, because sometimes you want to make just a smallest adjustment to make a shot look perfect, and using the Lift is a bit too aggressive. It changes too much, and shadows is part of making those tiny little adjustments, or if you want to brighten just a little bit of an image. For example, let me reset this, if I were to say lower this, the Lift, and it went a little too far, let's say that's a little too far, and I wanted to raise just these darkest darks, like their hair and the eyes to show a little bit more of that information, you see how shadows are raising just a small little window of the darkest darks, there we go. That looks great. Again, all of these tools, Lift is a broader adjustment, shadows is a more precise adjustment, and it's the same when it comes to Gain and highlights. Gain is a broader adjustment, and highlights, for example, I'm going to erase this up. Her dress is getting a little too bright. Now, I'm going to drop the highlights and see how it's mainly lowering just the brightest brights, and dropping really just the dress and the highlights in her skin. Again, just because I say that this gain is a broader, more aggressive adjustment, this is what's used, I'd say 95 percent of the time, and then highlights and shadows is really what's used once you polishing the image right at the very end, to make little tiny adjustments to make things look perfect. Again, that was Lift, Gamma, Gain, saturation, contrast, color, temperature, tint, shadows, and highlights. Hopefully, that helps get us all on the same page in terms of vocabulary of color. In the next lesson, we will cover looking at images and talking about what's happening in those images. Now that we have the same vocabulary, we'll all be on the same page. 5. Training Your Eyes: See Images Like a Colorist: Now that you have the color vocabulary down, you should be a little bit closer to being able to just look at an image, know what's going on there, and recreate it, or describe what's going on there, or at the very least, know how you might describe the shadows midtones highlights, whether it's a high key, low key, warm, cool, neutral shot, and recreate that image. In this lesson, we'll take a look at a handful of images and talk about what's happening in those images. How someone might describe that image and how we might get there. In this first image, first of all, just explain that all of these shots are already color corrected to a point except for this image here which shot flat or in other terms, a log. A log is basically shooting an image so that you have the most color latitude and the most dynamic range, or added dynamic range, so that you can adjust the color. If you were to shoot an image like this, which a lot of times is called things like video mode, or Rec 709, or it isn't called anything in particular, it's just the default camera settings. If you shoot something like this, you're basically baking in that look. Then when your color grading, you're having to fight the image to remove that look if you're wanting to do something different. If you shoot your image flat like this, then you have a lot of room to go in there and make adjustments. However, you might want to make them and really create anything you want out of it for the most part. This is shot flat and all these other images are already pregraded from other films. We're just going to describe what's happening in all of these. This first shot here, I would describe the shot. If you're looking at this shot, you would describe this as a high-contrast shot, both in terms of how the image was shot and in terms of how it was graded, how it was adjusted. Its very important to be able to separate something when you're looking at it in terms of how was this shot and how was this graded, or how do I need to grade this? Similar to the last lesson or where we were looking at the image of the wedding, or even this image here. Some images are shot very flat. See you can tell in this image, it's an overcast day for example. Then other images are shot very contrasty, such as this. This was shot very contrasty. Highlights on the right side, very shadowy on the left side. You can tell this probably a horror film or more suspenseful film. Then this is a wedding and then this is another thing that's a softer, prettier or more romantic look. From there, we always look at how is something shot and then we move into what can we do to make color adjustments. This here, was created in a very contrasty way to go with how it was shot. This specific project, is a horror film and the director said that they wanted a sickly green contrast hit gritty image. What was done on production when it was shot, the DP did a great job of having very good contrast ratios. There's that word again, contrast ratios. So that this character looks shadowy and creepy the way it was lit and also you can see that the set dressing, there's not much going on, just white background. It was lit to have a little bit of green tint to it. Basically adjusting the contrast magnifies what was shot. Then also the saturation level on this image I would describe as desaturated. This image, would be a high contrast, desaturated look with a slightly green tint in I would say the highlights to midtones. But you can see that the shadows, there, isn't a large amount of green in them. By that, I mean, we don't have anything like that going on. Next image here, I would also describe this as a very bright high key image. This specific shot, was filmed on a digital SLR, was not shot in a flat log look. Which means that a lot of the look was sort of baked in, the highlights were very bright, and the shadows were pretty dark as it is. You could say, that this is a contrasty to the image just because it's such harsh lighting. You can see that she's squinting in the sun, her skin really reflects the light but then again, there's a lot of dark shadow, so it's contrasty in that way, but then the background here, they light, so it's pretty evenly lit, pretty flat. But over all, it's a high key contrasty to a degree, if you want to get specific, she's contrasty, her face is contrasty, but the background is a little bit more evenly lit and it is pretty vibrant. Again, we can analyze, break this down a little bit, her jacket is very saturated. The reds were boosted in just her jacket, her skin tone is pretty desaturated, pretty muted. Some of that has to do with just the brightness of how it was shot, that high key look that they were going for. Then the background is pretty neutral. It's not really high contrast, it's not really low contrast, it's not really very saturated, is not really very desaturated. That went with the story. This girl in the story, was in a darker place, so they didn't necessarily want very vibrant, warm skin tones and that's why she's just sitting in this harsh lighting. I don't know if you can tell, but she has headphones on as well, listening to music, darker moody music. That's how I would describe this image here. Here is the next image. This image, I would definitely describe as low contrast. If you look at the shadows in this image, you can see how raised they are. Again, I don't want to jump ahead of myself too much, but looking at this wave form, I'm not going to go into exactly how to read one of these. However, one thing I will say is this lower region represents where the shadows, or blacks, or lift is. Then this higher area here, is the gain or the brighter areas. I point this one out because it's so drastic and so dramatic how there's just like a clear line across the bottom. If this here is pure black, a lot of images for example, if I jump here, you can see that this area here, the shadowy area in her hair, there's something sitting down here in this area that represents true black. If I go to this shot we've looked at as well, you can see something down low. If I go to this shot as well, you can see again, something is down here in this region here that represents true black. If we look at this, you can see that the distinct line, which not only tells us that this image has very raised blacks, but that tends to also create this low contrast what some people might call a creamy shadows, which is very similar to what 35 millimeter might create. Here, darker darks. Here, darker darks or shadows. Here you can see they're raised and therefore this image would be considered low contrast, skin tones are very desaturated and muted. These flowers here are obviously boosted in saturation. You can start seeing that whenever we look at an image, it's not in all across the board. You don't necessarily ever just say, this image is saturated. This image is contrasting, you can say that. But when you're getting specific and breaking down an image and what you're seeing. You need to start looking at the shadows and saying, the shadows in her hair are very raised. Also tend to be raised here because of its milky look, the image has her skin tones are very desaturated, but the reds in her clothes, her lips are a little bit more saturated. The flowers definitely pop in the yellow, so those definitely boosted. You can see that the colorist, who was me isolated different regions of the image and modified them all to create this look. Again, this is a low contrast, desaturated but with some color boost in there. This is almost, you can see the difference between these two. This in comparison is a contrast image, but it's, you could call this a contrast image. But it was lit obviously with softer lighting. You can light something with softer lighting but then, in post make it look a little bit more contrasty. Or you can do the opposite and something very dramatically and impose to make it look less contrast, less dramatic. This has a nice soft light going on. But there is a highlight here in the background. You can see that, this is the director who wanted sunset warm end of the day look outside. Which is why you can tell that there's some warmth, some yellows and orange added here in the highlights in the skin tones just to frame her face. You can also tell that the greens were boosted here, and overall this image would, you would say it's contrasty. It's definitely has a vibrancy to it. But it's not overly saturated. But it's definitely not something that you might consider. Desaturated like this guy, or decentered like her skin tones. That's something that through experience, you start establishing your baselines for what you and most people would consider saturated, such as this could be considered saturated and what people might consider desaturated such as this. This would be considered desaturated overall. But obviously the colors, red, the blues, the yellows, those were boost a little bit. Then on top of that, you start to notice things. For example, in this image, as a whole does not have much color. We have this washed out, cloudy, gray, white. We have gray. We have white. We have her skin tone, we have his skin tone, we have white. The only real color that you could see in here is the red shirt, the blue, and then yellow. Maybe this, but this is almost so close to a skin tone, color that you could lump that into their skin tones. With that being said, because you know that this image has very few colors, that if you want this image to have somewhat of a vibrant look to it at all, you would have to isolate the shirt and the jacket and magnify those. For this image, again, the director wanted a low key. Let's talk about what low key versus high key means. Low key is basically something that is generally darker, moodier. A lot of times when someone says they want something to be cinematic, cinema, a lot of dramatic films, even if you're outside on a bright sunny day, tend to have a slightly darker, moodier highlight or gain to them. This is a cloudy day, but even then, naturally speaking, if you knew this was just they were outside in the daytime and it was a little bit overcast. They still generally wouldn't be this dark. Something that might look a little more natural would be something more like this. But the director and the DP wanted this to be a low key image. Again, slightly desaturated highlights and skin tones, but with a little bit of a boost here. If I compare this to say high key, lower key. If I want to make this look a little bit closer to this, I can go here, and maybe drop the highlights to make this a little bit low key. Also I'll point out typically, I do work with a control panel, but with a control panel, you really can't see the mouse moving and the clicking in what is being adjusted. Typically with a control panel, I would make two or three or four or five adjustments very quickly. Things are a little bit slower with a mouse, but when you're teaching, that's probably a little bit helpful. Again, I just did something very simple, and you can see it start to look a little bit closer. Right now my issue though is her face still looks a little too bright. If you remember from the previous lessons, I don't want to take a more aggressive dropping of the gain. Maybe I'll try the highlights, see and that seems to be touching a little bit of what I want. Now I'm going to drop this a little bit more and you can see things are starting to get there. This is where we started and this is what we did to make it look a little bit more low key to have a similar look to this shot. Hopefully that helps you in being able to see an image and articulate a little bit about what's going on there. Break down what's happening in an image. Even have a little bit more detail to the way you analyze an image. 6. Picking a Look: Color Grading is a Team Effort: A question I get asked regularly is how do you pick a look for your film? Honestly this is something that just goes with communicating with the director of photography or any of the creative people behind a project. I like to get stills or a look book, anything that I can see as inspiration for the project and I asked for these so that we can all get on the same page. If you were to tell me, for example, that I wanted to have a gritty crime movie, look to the film. I might think I know what you're talking about, but when we're both looking at the same image together, it's easier to know, what you mean by a gritty crime drama or a romantic comedy, or even a blue cool contrast they look. Everyone has a different definition for blue. With a look book or stills or client can send you these, and you can say, okay, if we're all looking at the same image and a look book and then we can all know, this is what we're talking about when we mean happy, vibrant, romantic, whatever the look might be for you. Because as I said in a previous lesson, if you tell people to think of the color blue or a blue look, they're all going to think of a slightly different shade of blue and a slightly different look for your project. That's my advice to you, is just communicate with the creative people, ask for images so that you know what they mean when they say magenta, blue, green, purple, whatever that might be. 7. Color Grading Environment: Why it Matters: Now that we talked a little bit about picking a look, Let's talk about grading environments. What do I mean by grading environment? Basically, in any professional color grading suite. The basic idea is that the room you're in, the surroundings you're in, really effect how you would grade something, in all professional grading studios. The basic idea is to have the least amount of visual distraction that may bias how you see an image. Let's say that you are grading something on your laptop and you're in a bright coffee shop, and your back is facing the window and you have bright sunlight hitting your monitor screen. Well. Let's also say that you're grading a dark scene and a film. The decisions you make will be completely different than if you were in, say, a dark grading studio with a 50 inch calibrated screen with a bias light behind you and 18 percent gray walls behind that monitor. How does this affect what you're doing? Basically what you want in a grading environment is a completely unbiased space that's surrounding your display. What you would want to have is a calibrated reference monitor with a bias light, 65 K lighting, which is a fancy word for white light, not yellow light, not blue light. When you buy a bulb at the store, for example, it's most likely that, that light bulb will be 2700 Kelvin, which is very warm light, or it might be another very cool light. That will affect the decisions you make. But if you have pure white light and you want a scene in your film to have say, a yellow hue, because that light is white when you're adjusting something on your monitor that's supposed to look yellow. It will look yellow. Let's say you were in a room with red walls and a 27 kelvin warm yellow orange light in the room. If you had a scene that you wanted to be again, yellow and warm, then you would probably push the warmth in your image. It would still not look right. You would push it even more, and you would keep pushing it until the warmth and the yellow orange look on your display looked warm enough compared to the surroundings. Then when you went out into the real world and viewed this image, it would look really, really warm. It would look too warm. That's how the surroundings that you're in affect, what you're doing. 8. Da Vinci Resolve Basics: In this lesson we're going to just have a quick five to ten minute crash course on DaVinci Resolve just in case you've never used it. This will be just a very quick overview of the program. DaVinci Resolve is broken up into these different rooms down here. We have the Media room, which is where you import and organize your footage, you have the Cut room, it is an editing room but it's more designed for just quick turnarounds. If you're doing a rough assembly, it's built for speed. The Edit room is what you would think of as a typical editing program like Premiere or any other program. You have your Clips, obviously your Timeline where you mark your in and out points and bring your clips in. Then your classic inspector window where you adjust the size and position or any other opacity, for example, of a shot. Then you have your Fusion tab, this is built for visual effects. So one thing to remember about Resolve, even though it's known as a editing program and a color grading program more than anything, it's actually built to be a full blown post-production suite so that you can organize footage, you can do quick rough assemblies, edit full feature films and visual effects, this is Hollywood caliber effects and compositing, color grading, Fair Light is a full-blown post-production software built into DaVinci Resolve. Then of course you have the deliver page so that when you're done with everything, this is where you would export your clips, your projects, your timelines in all kinds of formats from YouTube to digital cinema packages. So in this lesson, we will spend most of our time in the color tab. Of course, just going to do a quick overview of this tab just to help you get started. So here we go. So the way this is laid out is we have our color controls down here, which we've gone over a little bit. Lift, Gamma, Gain. We have additional controls here in the middle such as Curves, and then here we have our Waveform monitors, which we can click on the tab and your Parades, Vectroscopes, Histograms for example. Also in Resolve, we have different tabs here in this little band that show you a little bit more information. We have the Camera Raw tab where we make adjustments to raw files. This happens to be a raw clip. So we could go in here, for example, adjust the ISO in either in camera adjustments to raw files. This is not just black magic raw adjustments, it's for red footage, airy raw, any sort of raw clip that you've shot, you can make adjustments here. Here if you've shot a chip chart, and for those of you that don't know what a chip chart is, it's basically a chart that you can purchase that looks like this, that helps you balance an image or makes balancing image easier. Not color balance your image, it'll just help get it closer. There is a misconception that this will completely white balance your shot. It really won't work that easily, but it can help get you a little bit closer. So here is obviously where we spent a lot of our time, the Lift, Gamma, Gain adjustments, Offset, and then here in the center area we have additional adjustments from Curves to keying an image, different windows for isolating parts of the image, stabilization in tracker. This actually can be used for a lot of things. But to sharpen, soften blur, it can be used in conjunction with the key or to do a lot of skin softening, for example, it is a useful tab. This, again one that can get a little technical, it's basically the key input, key output. So for example, if you, let's say we just really added some adjustment to this here, you can actually, in the key output, as one example, decide how much of this node you want to see. So that's the thing you can do in here. It's not used every single day but it is very useful when you need to use it. This here is for sizing. It's as simple as if you need to zoom in, re-frame a shot, that's what you would do in this room, the sizing room, and then if you were ever grading 3D movies, which as you can see, I can't even select this at the moment, that's where you would do that, which is probably pretty rare. Then up here is one of the most important areas of color grading. This is the node window. DaVinci Resolve is a node-based color corrector. So what does that mean? It's basically the comparison that's always made, is layers in Photoshop. You would make an adjustment to this first node, and then, for example, let's say we just did a quick adjustment like that, then we might go into the second node and warm the shot up a little bit or cool it down. It's basically a sequential system of nodes. If you add a serial node, however, there are different types of nodes. If I go into the color tab nodes, you can see that we have Serial Node, Parallel Layer, and outside Splitter Combiner. So it's a great system to make very complicated grades by being able to make primary adjustments, secondary adjustments. Let's say I go into this third one and for example, key the sky, that kind of thing. It's a very useful way to make adjustments to an image, keep things organized and make more powerful adjustments to an image. This is something that you definitely want to get to know very well, what the different nodes do because it will definitely make your color grading skills much more effective. It'll make you be able to make adjustments that look much more natural, much more organic and even in some situations, adjustments that borderline visual effects. Then last is the gallery window. Really, this got a lot of good uses to it. If I want to, for example, send this to someone to check out, I can right-click, select Grab Still, and then it'll take a screen shot of that one frame and then I can then export it here and export it as a JPEG, TIFF, different formats just to e-mail to someone if I want to for them to check out the grade. Also, this is a way to save grades. For example, if I want to make the adjustments which I made on this shot to, let's say this shot, I can simply right-click and hit Apply Grade, and it'll copy those adjustments over. Another cool thing which you notice is if I have a shot selected just by hovering over, it will show me what this shot will look like with that grade. So this is a very fast overview of DaVinci Resolve. Hopefully it was helpful, and I will see you guys in the next lesson. 9. Reading a Waveform: It’s Pretty Simple: In this lesson we're going to cover how to use a waveform. Dimension resolved does have other scopes, but we're going to stick with waveform now typically one of the first scopes to use when you're learning about scopes. It's pretty easy to look at. Let's get started. Basically, what you want to remember about the waveform is that this lower area down here where the zero is, that's where your darker regions, your shadows, you're true blacks lift whatever you want to call it, middle area, mid tones. Then this upper range here highlights or the brighter areas. If you were to lay this chart here and the scope immediate like completely over this image, then you would notice that this left portion here is dark, and if you look at the scopes, all of the data is down here toward this lower region, which is where the shadows and the darker portions live. There's this highlight here in the background on the painting, and you can see that this is a higher area in the scope. Then this area here is in-between the two, so you can see that this has raised a little bit more than the left side and it's in-between these highlights here. It also gives you some color information. If you look at this guy's face, he's a little bit red. We can see that there's a little extra red here popping up towards the top. She's got this warm highlight on the back of her head here, and we can see that a little bit of warm red colors pop up here as well. For the most part that's basically how you would read this waveform. Again, shadows, mid tones, highlights, and if you laid over the image it basically tells you exactly what's going on in that image. If we jump may be something like this. This image if you look at it, it was a darker slightly contrast image, heavy shadows with a little bit of a pop and highlights and that's what this tells you. If we go to something that's a little bit more balance, it's not really super contrasting in the way the image is lit, and you can tell that the waveform reflects that information. If we see there's some shadowing areas across here the hair, there's little bits of shadow, and if we look here we can see that these blacks and shadows in the image are hitting the bottom which zero here reflects something that's a true black. If we go to something, for example like this, this is by the way shot log. We won't get into that right now but you can see that even though we know that his hair is a shadow region, we can see how elevated that is. If we go back here we can see that their hair, or the shadow here and the color, or this portion here is black and we can see how crushed those shadows are. Crushed is just a word that means bringing down blacks past the point of, you can say a true black. If you were to lay the shadows of an image right perfectly on that line, you could say that to true black, but if you start crushing the blacks or the shadows, it means you're starting to lose data in those shadows. If I were to exaggerate this and really crush the shadows. Keep your eye here on the waveform, and you can see that, whenever you see anything like this on a waveform that means that you are crushing the shadows and losing data. Depending on who you ask that can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you want a very contrast the gritty look, it's not a bad thing at all. People crush shadows all the time. A lot of probably the more popular looks that you know, have crushed shadows. Let's say I exaggerate the gritty look in this. I'm going to definitely crush the shadows and you can see how the image reflects that. Then we have this little highlight on the drum, that's what this little hump here is and you can see it's green, which is the same thing as the drum. Dark image, I think you're probably catching on by now, very dark image and you can see that all the data in this image is laying a little bit below the 512 here. As you can also see,even though this is a dark image, you can see that the shadows are not touching the line where the zero is here. They're elevated just a little bit and knowing that you can look at this image and see that, you know what this actually is not a true, true black. If you look at this guy here you can see the blacks are raised just a tiny bit, especially compared to say this black, and it's raised just a little bit. Then the little highlights in the background, that's what these peaks are. This definitely has a very teal color tone to it and you can see that reflected in the waveforms. Now we'll take a look at one last image. This one you can see has a very definite, it's almost like the image is split in half. The upper half is the sky, the lower half is the ground, kind of dusty, and then the girl here and we can see that here reflected. This little dip and then all the information here is her. Then all of this information you can see is the sky. Then the very dusty look down here. So you can see how that reflects how the information is distributed from this shot to, this shot, to this shot, and then this shot here. That is a very basic introduction to waveform monitors. In the next lesson, we will go over the order of operations and you will start to see how this is actually used when you're doing a color correction or a color grade. The best way I can explain how helpful this is. It's the objective unbiased eye. Because a lot of times when we had been looking at images to long, believe it or not we might look at something like this and not notice that it's green or teal or blue or whatever the color might be. If we've been looking at 30 minutes of footage in this film that is all blue after a while we start losing our bearings, and waveforms in the scopes are very useful so that we can look at it, see little pops of green and say, "Oh, yeah, there is little green I need to balance it," or a lot of people you would be surprised how they might look at this image and never even noticed how dusty and orange this is. But then by looking at waveform you might see that there's elevated red or that maybe this guy is actually green instead of blue and that'll let you make slightly different adjustments down here to start making things look a little bit more how you want them to look. That was a very quick overview of how the waveform monitor works. Hopefully that was helpful and we'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Order of Operations Part 1: Primaries: Here we are, the lesson on order of operations. This lesson is going to basically take you through a grade. I'm going to grade these three clips here together, match them. Honestly, it is going to be a lesson. It's just that you can see how I would create something and I'm going to talk through what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. Let's get started. Here we go. The first thing I'm going to do, give you a little information about this clip here. This was shot on the arri, alexa, one of the arri cameras. It was shot in 3K I believe. Basically the most important thing though, is that it was shot in progress for two to HQ and it was shot in log. Let me go over what log is. I've gone over this a little bit over in a previous course. In a nutshell, log is what you want to be shooting everything in. For the most part, unless you have a 12 hour turnaround or a super fast turnaround on a project. You will not have time to do any color correction or color grading on a project. That's the only time I would say to not shoot on log. But basically what log does is that rather than a camera shooting an image like this, where you're shooting in a pre-decided color profile. Like, you just turn on the Canon 5D or GH5 whatever camera you are working with. If you are shooting and just the default camera profile, then you're most likely not shooting in a log format, which strips away that profile and gives you the most latitude for that clip. What do I mean by latitude? What I mean by latitude is that this clip, will have much more dynamic range to make adjustments. Than if I were to shoot something like this, because that means that this shot basically half baked in information. I would have to work against this look if I want to create a different look, so you're painting yourself into a corner by shooting something outside is not a log image. First order of operations. Here we go. The first thing that I typically do is I look at the image and then I look at the waveform over here. Because this was shot and log, that's why everything is floating right around the middle here. If I were to get an image that looks like this, I know that by looking down here at the bottom. That everything is, all the shadows and blacks are crushed. If I were to see a shot, for example, where the highlights look like this and I saw that they were just coming out over the top here, which this is the purest whites, then that would tell me that something is clipped. You never want to get any shots where you have clipped footage or crushed footage. You also rarely want to get a shot that's exposed to this level which would be underexposed. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, you do want to get logged footage where you can see the wave form. All of the data for this image is there and nothing is clipped and nothing is crushed. With that being said and again, I will say this before moving forward, you could do what I'm doing in a million different ways. For example, I might make different decisions if I know I'm going to apply green at the very end of my color correction or color green I might make a different decision if I know this is going to visual effects. But I say that just to keep in mind to not necessarily think that this is the only way to do a color correction in a color grade. Okay? With that being said, the first thing I would probably do here is I look at his hair and I'm using that as my cue, as to where the darkest part of an image might be. I'm going to maybe do his hair because that's the darkest part of the image and I can tell this actor has very fair skin. We have light here and then we have this background that looks a little bit of a mint green color to it. I'm going to bring down the lift. See this here I know is the actor's head. Another, this little area here is his hair because it's the darkest part in this region. I really want his hair to maybe just barely touch that zero line. This being the zero line represents shadows. I'm just going to start there for now. I don't want to crush anything because it's too early to start doing that thing. I just want to bring this out of log. Now another thing about this shot. I know that this was shot during the day and I know that they're outside. I know that this just happens to be a porch to a house. A lot of times when you're color correcting and color grading, you just have to use your common sense. If I were to grade this shot, for example, I would know this was shot in a dark room and a dark environment at night time. Which means that how I want this waveform to look is much different than how I want it to look here, or here, or here, or even here. I say that because there are times when I [inaudible] into people and they think that every waveform should intercept, should look like this. Why they think that? I'm not sure. I think there's just a lot of misconceptions out there about things. But I know that this shot is daytime, porch and I also know that this the look that's wanted for this project is a low-key traumatic look. I'm not going to do anything like raising the gain. I won't do something like this where I'm raising the game all the way to the top, okay? I want us to have a darker moodier look. I'm going to start here. I rather this be a little darker and moodier than brighter and too happy. If this were a comedy or maybe a corporate video that was shot on a bright beach. I might go up this high, but this is for a more dramatic film. I'm going to go with highlights here. Specifically I'm looking at this region again, specifically here because I know that represents the actors face. That's my first two steps, my shadows and highlights. Which generally speaking, those are the first two things you will want to do with, I honestly would say 95 percent of any clip, shadows first, then highlights. I'm just going to see because again, this is like molding clay. You want to try different things. You want to push and pull the gain gamma, the lift to see what happens. With a little bit of experimentation, I want to pull down the gain and part of that reason is because I know that this actor has very fair skin. I want to see a little bit more information in the skin. It's working. You can see more detail coming into a skin. I'm going to really push it until I think it's too much. Again, I'm aiming towards a look that I want. What color correction is it? I'm going Partially creative choices, partially technical choices and sometimes some do override the others. I'm going to feel good there. Now I'm going to increase the contrast. My eyes are kind of bouncing back and forth between his hair, his eyebrows, his eyes, his color, the darker areas, and this right here. The reason they're bouncing back and forth is because it's important to know what it looks like, at the same time, I don't want to crush any of the shadows so much that on different monitors, it won't look good. You won't see any detail in his hair, you won't see any detail on his eyes, and basically that's why. I'm basically looking here because I know that I don't want to crush too much of the shadows because I want it to look good across different monitors. If I go only visual, and this looks good on my monitor, and I go strictly based off the visual, and I crush this too much on the technical side of things then I know that this image won't look good on multiple monitors across the globe. That's why you want to bounce back and forth between what you're seeing and what this objective eye of the waveform monitor is telling you. Right here we're good. It's touching the base. I might be crushing a tiny bit of it, but that's fine. Again, it's also a stylistic choice. I now I'm going to push the contrast a little bit more. This is kind of looking pretty good. Right now my only issues is hair is looking maybe a little too dark. Now I'm going to adjust the pivot. Just remember that contrast is the range between your highlights and your lift. The pivot point represents at what point do you decide where does the lift transition into the gamma, or the gamma transition to the gain. It's actually a fairly technical thing, but just understand that, as I adjust this pivot point, what you're going to see here in his face is you're going to see the shadows shift a little bit. You're going to see them getting brighter. So right now because I think that his eyebrows and his hair is a little too dark. I'm going to play with the pivot to customize my contrast point. At what point the highlights and the shadows start separating. It's just a small tweaks. I'd say that works for me. Let me toggle. This is where we started. This is where we are now. I'm going to stick with this for now. Actually, I might just maybe see what a little saturation does. Because of this film, I'm going to keep this saturation level right now because I definitely want a more muted, desaturated look, if anything, maybe I'll bring it down even more to make him look a little sickly. We'll start there. Here we go. I know that this was shot. I know, but a lot of times, again, you want to make assumptions, because this looks like the same location and it is the same location. I'm going to assume this was shot around the same time as this. I'm just going to right-click, apply grade. It's obviously not working, but I guarantee you I'm part of the way there. A lot of times really depending how off, sometimes I do this and this shot will match this shot beautifully. Right now it's not doing it that well. I'm going to reset this and start new. Again, similar situation here, similar composition. I'm going with his hair and maybe the acts. I can tell that this here, these little strips are probably this part of his hair. I'm going to move a little quicker here, as I explain these things. I'm going to drop that there. Same thing with the gain. I'm just going to maybe hit about here. I'm bouncing back to see where he's at. I think I'll leave that. It's about there. Again, just a creative choice. He is not as fair-skinned as this kid was, so I'm going to drop the gamma, but I think it's not going [inaudible] as much. Maybe just about that much. But I think he got two dark and I'm just going to bump that up attach more here. Then I'm going to go with contrast. That's pretty good. You give a little more, I'm going to just see what the pivot does. Not like that, but then you got too bright. Now I'm just going to drop the gain. Now it's caught between these two. I think I want him, with a bit more contrast. He's a little yellow to me. I'm going to go to "Temperature" and go to the left, which is cooling things off. Just a touch. Just a touch. Let's play that back. Maybe I'll drop some touch more like this. Again, I will also bring up the point that typically when I'm grading, [inaudible] I'm doing this with a control panel. Right now I can't do that with a control panel because I want you to see what I'm clicking on and what I'm shifting. When you have a control panel, you don't see any of the mouse flying around and clicking on things, because I just do this on the control panel and it will just adjust the settings here. Also I am usually not necessarily grading looking at this, I'm grading on a separate reference monitor that is completely separated from my computer. As in it's not a computer monitor, it's a video reference monitor. That's what I'm actually looking at. I might look at this just if I want to see what it looks like on a whatever computer I'm on, iMac or MacBook, that kind of thing. But I'm usually looking at the reference monitor. You can also go on full-screen obviously to see things a little bit better. That keyboard shortcut by-the-way was Command F. Cool. Now I'm jumping here. I'm going to try that right-clicking and applying gray thing. See that one. Worked well enough just for let me see what happens with this one. Right-click up. That's too dark. Cool. Actually I think this guy is too bright. I'm going to go back to the this and drop this down, attach. Now I'm going to put this in full screen. You can see these guys are matched. I can get into the nitty gritty right now, for example, his face is too bright compared to this, so let's jump into secondaries. 11. Order of Operations Part 2: Secondaries: Okay, so let's jump into secondaries here. What I did initially, this would be known as primaries. That's just your initial or primary adjustment to color balance, take something out of log, which is what we did here, match a couple shots. Secondaries are known as, more fine tuned adjustments, such as what I'm about to do now, which is create a window for his face, so that his face here matches this face here. For that, I'm going to hit the keyboard shortcut of option "S", if there's one keyboard shortcut that you want to remember, its option "S" which is to add a Serial Node, otherwise, you can go up here, "Nodes", you can see this another way you could add a Serial Node. It also shows all the different types of nodes that there are, as well as their keyboard shortcuts and other good one to know is option "C" is actually another thing I might have been in the situation, which is a combination of adding a Serial Node and a window. But for now I'm going to end the Serial Node. Now I'm going to create a window, and we are going to just apply this window here, so another keyboard shortcut I use is shift "H" which is to isolate the window so that I can see only what I am going to be adjusting. I'm going to shrink this window down, there we go and I will say this about windows, a lot of times beginning colorist, will do similar to a Photoshop thing and draw a matte that's perfectly going around his ear and head, and all the way around making a perfect shape and the problem with that is then you have to track it and it's a 100 times more work than just doing a simple window like this. Because this feathered, it's going to have a similar effect and if anything, a lot of times when you do add a matte or a window that's perfectly outlining its head, that's when a grade tends to start to look a little bit too much, a little fake, a little forced and things start to look a little two-color graded and distracting. I tend to just create a window, make sure they're softening, and then I can make my adjustments, so for this one, I'm just going to bring down the Gamma and bounce over here and we get a touch-up gain, a little more, Gamma rays to gain a little bit more, and there we go. I'm actually going to take this shot here and cool it off a little bit more again and this is more of a creative choice because I wanted to have a cool greenish tone as also here and I'm going to cool him off even more. But basically we could sit here and make all these little tweaks far but I think you get the idea, this is what a secondary adjustment would create. Now these look a little bit closer, and now full screen, I'll play back, and there we go. That is what a secondary adjustment can do for us, I could keep going with secondary adjustments again secondary adjustments are more fine tuning, I could possibly add, say something to just an example, maybe I'll go to this guy, option "S", then I'm going to go and key maybe the green wall shift "H" again, it's actually a good key. Now what I want to do is blur the key just so it again, it looks a little more natural, it's a little bit more blended and I'm just going to do a little bit like that. I grabbed his eyes, which actually will be okay in this situation. I'm going to maybe increase saturation of that wall a little bit. I might do it a little extra, so you can actually see what's happening here. Again, because this is a similar space, I can just take this command 'C" or copy this clip here, this Node, then I can hit again option "S" or go to node at serial node you can see how much slower this is, then I'm going to command "V" to paste it or again, a slower way would be doing this and you can see that I pasted that look to the background, again, shift "H", here we go, shows you what you were keying, or you can click up here. Again, quickly option "S" command "B" and again, shift "H". There we go and just to show you where we started with this one, this is where started, this is where we are now, so here we go again, let me play through this. That's a quick grading, just looking at this waveform to wrap things up, these look pretty even, this waveform here, this waveform and this is something that you really will only learn from experience, you start learning what waveforms look for certain kind of styles. For example, this was a somewhat low key grade, which means the highlights and his skin tone is about here and for the wide shot, this makes sense to have their heads, which represents this region here. If I were to make this a higher key shot, for example, if I wanted to grade this to look more like say a comedy or something more upbeat, I'm just going to do that really quick, just to show you, I probably would've put the highlights more like here and again, I'm just going to do this quickly and we're going to erase these here just to show you a slightly different style. That's just really raising the gain and so you start learning after a while through experience what to expect from a waveform for different styles and different looks. For example, this shot here, I would expect this to look like this, I would never expect a dark scene in a dramatic film to look like this, to have very elevated highlights and that thing and I say that again because a lot of times there are misconceptions that a waveform or histogram or whatever it might be, should look similar to this but really it just comes down to the style, the piece, what you are doing, what the look is supposed to be and see this is, looks pretty bright. I'm just going to take this and hit "delete", "delete", "delete", and "delete". This is where we ended. Okay, so that is order of operations and just doing a quick basic color grade, we covered basically the primaries and secondaries and I hope that was helpful. 12. Pro Tip: Walking Away to Prevent Over-Grading: Now, I just want to give you a few tips for when your color correcting or color grading. The first one is to remember to walk away from the image. What can happen a lot of times, especially when you're getting started in color correction and grading, is that you spend way too much time on a shot. What happens is if you, for example, are making a shot cooler or whatever color you're going for, you add that color, you keep adding, and then before you know it, you walk away, you come back tomorrow and that shot is way darker, way bluer, way brighter than you originally remembered. Remember to grade something. I typically like to say, don't spend more than 30 seconds on a shot. One minute at the most because your eyes are constantly adjusting to these shots. If you want to make something look dark and you keep adding darkness to it and you keep making it a little bit less bright, before you know it, that shot is going to be super dark. Also, another tip is that's what the wave form is for. If you're noticing that this shot keeps looking too bright for you and you keep making it a little darker, remember to check out the wave form. After a while, you'll realize that my highlights are way too dark in the wave form. I hope that's helpful. 13. Pro Tip: Set Dressing & Lighting Matters: Another thing I wanted to talk about is set dressing and lighting. Basically, what I wanted to say with this is to remember that the look of the film start in pre-production. If you have a great wardrobe person, if you have a great art department overall, and if you have a DP who has a look in mind with a director, all of these things come together. By the time you get the film in its picture lock state, really the look should be embedded in the film already. It should be through wardrobe, it should be through make up, it should be through set dressing and lighting. The reason I tell you this is because something that you will be asked every now and then is, what can I do in pre-production? What can I do to get the film ready for you? Most people, most colorist skip answers like, make sure you shoot it in log or make sure you do shoot it with this color profile or that color profile. Something that I always like to remind people is to have the look embedded into the footage, have the look embedded in the wardrobe, in the set dressing, in the makeup, and in the lighting. What you'll notice is that once you get to the color grading stage, everything will be much easier and your film will look that much better. 14. Final Thoughts & Thank You.: That is the end of the course. Thank you so much for taking it. I hope that you pick up a lot of new skills along the way. We did cover a lot of stuff from primaries, to secondaries,, to resolve basics, looking at an image and breaking down an image. Hopefully you picked up a lot of new skills to take out into the real-world, use on your projects and make them that much more polished. Thanks again and hopefully I'll see you next time.