Color Grading (Tuts) in Final Cut Pro X, Da Vinci Resolve and Black Magic

November 29, 2013

by Denver Riddle, Color Grading Central

Denver Riddle is a right brain person. so he loves creativity, loves challenging himself with analytical problems and that’s probably why he loves color grading becasue it strikes a blance between technology and creativity. He’s a working colorist and we hope that you will gain valuable knowledge by watching his video tutorials about color grading in Final Cut Pro X, Da Vinci Resolve and Black Magic and more.

FCP X – What is Color Grading – An Introduction

Screen_Shot_2013-08-15_at_11.57.50_AMWhat is Color Grading? What is a Colorist? It’s the last step in the post process, the sexy part of filmmaking, the stuff of legend for those who have pioneered the path of Colorist. Please join me as I share with you how to utilize the tools in FCP X to color like the pros and bring new dimension and scope to your filmmaking!

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FCP X – Order of Workflow

Screen_Shot_2013-08-15_at_11.49.10_AMOkay this is the big one! In this color grading tutorial I share with you the same workflow that top colorists use. It’s important to have an ordered systematic approach to your grading so you don’t get lost and end up making your image look “muddy” because you’ve lost track where you’re at. This tutorial will serve as the primer for all all the correction tutorials.

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FCP X – The Color Board Interface

Screen_Shot_2013-08-15_at_3.16.15_PMWith the release of FCP X, Apple introduced the the new “Color Board.” In this color grading tutorial I will be explaining this new interface and its functions so that we can begin grading like pros!

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FCP X – Reading Scopes

Screen_Shot_2013-08-15_at_5.09.14_PMAhhh, you thought the scopes were impossible to understand. In this color grading tutorial I decipher the scopes so that you can read them as though you were reading the Matrix. They are a very valuable tool and will make you look like a sophisticated color grade

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Setting Exposure

ColorGrad1As the first crucial step in color grading, setting the focus exposure lays the foundation for the rest of the grade. In this color grading tutorial I share how the concept of setting the exposure based on the center focus of the shot, will give priority to what’s most important and will serve as a guide in making exposure decisions.

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Setting Dynamic Range and Color

ColorGrad2Once we’ve set our exposure then it’s on to dialing in our shadows and highlights and setting the desired amount of contrast. Sometimes all an image needs to give it that “pep” is contrast. In this color grading tutorial I go over what dynamic range is and how to set the proper amount in FCP X using the Color Board.

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Color Balancing

ColorGrad3Color balancing is what most people think of when they think of color correction. This is the process of correcting for color casts, ensuring the shot doesn’t exhibit a dominate colors, having clean blacks and clean whites. In this color grading tutorial I show you how easy it is with FCP X’s Color Board to make these fixes.

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Shot to Shot Matching

ColorGrad4A large part of what we do as colorists is perform shot-to-shot matching; ensuring the continuity from one to the shot so that there’s no visual break in the story. In this color grading tutorial I share with you some shot-to-shot matching techniques to make this process a breeze.

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ColorGrad5Filmmaking is storytelling. Creating emotion that resonates with the audience. In this color grading tutorial I share with you how to create different looks that will influence the mood visually thus complimenting the story.

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Suggesting Time of Day

ColorGrad6A powerful post technique is suggesting to the audience a time of day even though principal photography might have taken place at a different time. In this color grading tutorial I share with you how to suggest a golden hour look, dusk look or even a simple day-for-night look.

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Contextual (Location Based) Looks

ColorGrad7Looks can play a powerful role in suggesting to the audience where a scene is taking place. Is it a cool New York look? Or a warm sunny California look? In this color grading tutorial I share with you how create these different contextual looks to assist in the storytelling process.

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Popular Looks

ColorGrad8Popular looks is the stuff of legend. Looks that have been immortalized in Hollywood films like Saving Private Ryan, Slumdog Millionaire, Transformers, etc. In this color grading tutorial I share with how to create some of these popular looks using the tools and presets found in FCP X.

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Stylized Looks

ColorGrad9The fun sexy part of color grading is creating stylized looks. In this color grading tutorial I share with you my approach to creating fun stylized looks. I also share with you some of my grade presets from my Luster Grades Preset pack to give you some ideas.

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Clean Up

ColorGrad10In this color grading tutorial we cover using secondary/isolation tools to fix specific problems in the image that occurred either in camera or after a look was applied.

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How To Add Focus with Shapes

ColorGrad12In this video tutorial I cover how to bring focus to your subjects by using FCP X’s shape mask tool. This is a very powerful technique in helping to tell the story.

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Bonus Tips and Tricks

Screen_Shot_2013-10-15_at_3.28.09_PMWatch this Video for some more great tips and tricks on color correction.

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