Master Hollywood feature film colourist Dale Grahn has shared his modus operandi for establishing time of day when grading. His pithy three-minute demo uses the recently-released Koji Advance color grading plug-in for Final Cut Pro X, but what he has to teach can be applied in any contemporary, full-featured NLE or color grading suite. I recommend it.
Now that color grading software, whether standalone or plug-in, is becoming far more affordable, or free, grading itself is now simply another aspect of the editor’s job and less the domain of specialists in the esoteric.
Colorists will always have an honored place in big productions with budgets to match, but the rest of us need to learn some reality-based methods for getting the best out of our grading.
As with other aspects of movie production, that will come out of reference to the world around us and the reality of our emotions and of our senses. That is what underlies this tutorial.
Mr Grahn’s example uses Koji Advance’s 2393 LUT, derived from KODAK VISION Premier Color Print Film 2393. It is an excellent choice for shady late afternoon or early evening scenes due to its clean rendering of the bluer end of the spectrum.
Manipulating Koji Advance’s density, lift, gamma and gain, Mr Grahn expertly extracts a convincing, time-appropriate look and feel from the tutorial’s flat Blackmagic camera footage and we gain some invaluable insights.
I hope this is the first of many of these short but substantial color grading tutorials. There is so much to learn about grading as such and if you are anything like me, you will never want to stop that learning process.
Longer courses in color grading are excellent – I recommend Patrick Inhofer’s Tao of Color and Alexis van Hurkman on DaVinci Resolve at Ripple Training – but following task-specific tutorials like this one keep our minds ever active and skills sharpened up. [bctt tweet=”A great 3-minute grading tutorial on establishing time of day, by one of the masters, Dale Grahn.”]
Dale Grahn on Establishing Time of Day
In this 3-minute tutorial, Dale demonstrates how to watch for cues that tell you about time of day, and why this is important when you are color correcting your shot.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)
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