Thread: Where Can I Learn Color Correcting?

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  1. #1 Where Can I Learn Color Correcting? 
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    Sorry if this is in the wrong section...

    I'm interested in learning color grading, however, I can't find any courses in NYC. There are plenty of courses for other software but none for Davinci or Scratch.

    How do people get started in color grading typically? What type of professional / film background do they have? Editors?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Tehben Dean's Avatar
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    I'm not really a "colorist" but I taught myself to use Apple Color with tutorials and I do a lot of Stills Grading. I just jumped in and messed around. When I got Davinci I could find my way around but I found this great video course http://www.fxphd.com/news/fxphd-fast...-fundamentals/ which really help understanding how to use the program.

    As for courses to learn the "Art of Color Grading" I'm not sure.
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  3. #3  
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    Three suggestions:

    1) you could start with Alexis Van Hurkman's book Color Correction Handbook: Professional Techniques for Video and Cinema. Lots of very useful information in there.

    2) the International Colorist Academy does have classes in major cities around the world on various platforms, including Resolve, Baselight, Scratch, and Nucoda. But this is only a class that goes three or four days.

    3) FXPHD has some online tutorials that go through the basics.

    Color-correction is an art that takes thousands of hours to learn. I've done it for decades, and I still learn new things in every session, particularly from the directors and DPs I work with. It's not something you can get overnight, and it's a long process -- not unlike sound mixing, visual effects, or cinematography. You may eventually realize it's better, faster, and cheaper to hire an expert than do it yourself.

    Even Robert Rodriguez, who famously writes, produces, directs, edits, lights, operates the camera, supervises visual effects, and writes music for many of his own films, chooses not to color-correct his films. He supervises them, but doesn't do the work himself.
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    Three suggestions:

    1) you could start with Alexis Van Hurkman's book Color Correction Handbook: Professional Techniques for Video and Cinema. Lots of very useful information in there.

    2) the International Colorist Academy does have classes in major cities around the world on various platforms, including Resolve, Baselight, Scratch, and Nucoda. But this is only a class that goes three or four days.

    3) FXPHD has some online tutorials that go through the basics.

    Color-correction is an art that takes thousands of hours to learn. I've done it for decades, and I still learn new things in every session, particularly from the directors and DPs I work with. It's not something you can get overnight, and it's a long process -- not unlike sound mixing, visual effects, or cinematography. You may eventually realize it's better, faster, and cheaper to hire an expert than do it yourself.

    Even Robert Rodriguez, who famously writes, produces, directs, edits, lights, operates the camera, supervises visual effects, and writes music for many of his own films, chooses not to color-correct his films. He supervises them, but doesn't do the work himself.

    Thanks for your input.

    Yes, I understand that color grading cannot be learned over night, but I have to start somewhere. I'm trying to become a real DIT, not just an overly glorified data wrangler! LOL

    Basically, I'm interested in becoming one of those experts... but I also feel like the DIT skill set is transferable to many different facets of film making whether it be post production editing, on set camera work, and of course color grading, media mgmt, dailies, etc...

    I have no illusions about the epic journey I'm about to begin. However, in all honesty, most DITs that I work with on set no very little about color correction. They're mostly just data wranglers and camera techs. I see so many Local 600 DITs who show up with nothing more than a 17" MBP. But then again, I do mostly commercials so I'm sure that is any influencing factor...


    I just found out about the ICA and will be registering for their course in Davinci this month in NYC. I also plan on taking the Scratch course next month as well. What do you think, good idea?

    I'll be sure to check out Hurkman's book too. I've heard great things about it.

    Thanks again for your response and let me know if you have more advice or experience you could share.
    Last edited by Desmond Ford; 01-04-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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  5. #5  
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    If you're interested in learning Resolve, Patrick Inhofer's Resolve Masterclass is very good: http://masterclass.taoofcolor.com/

    JM
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desmond Ford View Post
    Thanks again for your response and let me know if you have more advice or experience you could share.
    I don't know where you're located, but spending time in a post facility with an experienced colorist is the best way to learn the craft. Self education can only take you so far. Without either feedback or mentoring from someone with experience you're filtering everything you hear through your own perspective. In many, if not most cases, that's a sure way to develop bad habits and less than optimal approaches. The Internet is a very good learning tool, but it's not a substitute for direct interaction with a professional or an observation of a working colorist. Think of the Internet as an operator's manual. Think of sitting behind a working colorist, observing, and asking questions as an education.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Most View Post
    I don't know where you're located, but spending time in a post facility with an experienced colorist is the best way to learn the craft. Self education can only take you so far. Without either feedback or mentoring from someone with experience you're filtering everything you hear through your own perspective. In many, if not most cases, that's a sure way to develop bad habits and less than optimal approaches. The Internet is a very good learning tool, but it's not a substitute for direct interaction with a professional or an observation of a working colorist. Think of the Internet as an operator's manual. Think of sitting behind a working colorist, observing, and asking questions as an education.
    Is this something that you offer personally mike, or are you talking more about a more long term apprenticeship at a large post facility?
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Most View Post
    I don't know where you're located, but spending time in a post facility with an experienced colorist is the best way to learn the craft. Self education can only take you so far. Without either feedback or mentoring from someone with experience you're filtering everything you hear through your own perspective. In many, if not most cases, that's a sure way to develop bad habits and less than optimal approaches. The Internet is a very good learning tool, but it's not a substitute for direct interaction with a professional or an observation of a working colorist. Think of the Internet as an operator's manual. Think of sitting behind a working colorist, observing, and asking questions as an education.

    Exactly! I couldn't agree more. I learn much better by doing than by reading about doing.

    This is the EXACT reason that I am investing in software courses, because getting an internship at a post-production house is extremely difficult. I mean, these courses that I'm going to take are NOT cheap. I'm putting them on my credit card and will pay it off over time. I want to take the internship route, but my options are limited due to fierce competition. That's not to say I'm hopeless, I'm just realistic... gotta have a back up plan.

    I applied for a 4 month DIT/Colorist/Red Tech internship at a Red camera rental company here in NYC called Off Hollywood. They rent exclusively Red cameras and they're a major post-production color grading studio too... everyone there was just my type of people too. Unfortunately, competition in NYC is really strong even for internships! They only accept 4 interns per cycle out of 50 applicants. So I applied and I'm supposed to be hearing back form them soon... fingers crossed.

    If I don't get accepted, I'll apply at other places, but I imagine it will be the same story. I really want to intern at OH because they specialize in Red cameras which I adore and you walk out their doors a Red Tech / DIT. Most the skills necessary to be a successful DIT can be learned there.

    In the end, I think it's best to have a backup plan which is to pay for software courses in Resolve, Scratch and Avid. It's going to run me about $6k... Ouch! Of course, I'm reading up as much as possible, but that will only take me so far and I really do need hands on experience.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts M Most... very well said.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Myres View Post
    If you're interested in learning Resolve, Patrick Inhofer's Resolve Masterclass is very good: http://masterclass.taoofcolor.com/

    JM
    I second that - and he goes into some general color theory as well.
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  10. #10  
    If you're willing to move to Los Angeles, I can recommend a few places you could apply to around here.
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