The past few months have been spent performing color grading (among other things) on Cease Fire, and the process has been made easier with Colorista II. If you haven’t heard about it, you should check it out on the Red Giant website: Magic Bullet Colorista II.
As a software plugin, it has really taken off, and earned some well-deserved notoriety lately, through work done by Stargate Studios, on shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead, and ABC’s PanAm (read the Red Giant article about it here: http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/news/stories/20/).
The software itself has an ease of use that really makes it worth learning, it puts major studio production tools into the hands of the consumer, and it’s multi-platform, working in the timeline in two of the major Non-Linear Editing programs, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere / After-Effects. What’s so awesome about that is that when I work on the grading on my macbook pro, I don’t have to worry about my editor picking up right where I left off without issue on his PC laptop – the workflow carries over, and makes it easier to use both Windows and OSX without compatibility issues.
One thing that I actually have begun to love about Colorista is the slew of tools that it comes with, and how you see the results right away:
“Skin overlay” shows you if your skin tones are within the acceptable broadcast range of quality – use it, and keep your people looking real, and right.
“Pop” feature – this one is key…in this film, the characters need to look, well, worn out, and a little aged. Pop, in the negative, would actually make some people appear more youthful by softening their appearance, but in this case, when used in the positive, it adds years to a person’s features; “Hulser”, played by Kevin Deming, needs to look a little bit older, and “Pop” does the trick.
Working in the timeline is huge – FCP’s Color is a standalone program, and while you get access to some of its tools, there is a functionality to Colorista II that really is just more helpful in general, primarily by giving you access to almost everything it does within the timeline, thus making workflow more continuous and efficient.
And the secondary key is absolutely one of the best versions of this tool that I’ve ever seen…
These are just a few of the features that I’m really digging into, but there’s a ton more – absolutely worth giving a shot, and it’s on sale right now, if you’ve got a few bucks to put toward a worthwhile tool of the trade.
Stu Maschwitz also has a gret tutorial on Colorista II on the Red Giant Vimeo channel, which can be found here: http://vimeo.com/13271908.
Once the film is finished, I’ll be posting before/afters – could be a little while, but worth it.