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Easy to use color grading software?


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#1 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 09:18 AM

Does anyone make an easy to use color grading software for adjusting contrast, increase blacks and color corrects red faded film?
 
Thanks


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#2 Bob Speziale

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 09:44 AM

Premiere Pro does everything you could want. There's lots of youtube videos that explain every function you might want to use.


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#3 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 12:03 PM

I was looking for something I could buy, below $75. 


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#4 David Hessel

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 12:20 PM

If you don't need 4K why not Blackmagic Resolve, its professional grading software with a full editor, audio editor and even compositing. They have a free version, even for commercial use, and the only restrictions are HD output and noise reduction features are disabled if I recall correctly.


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 12:29 PM

the only restrictions are HD output and noise reduction features are disabled if I recall correctly.


Actually free resolve will do UHD no problem. The only other limitations are NR and Blur tools.

But I get the problem... it's not easy to use for the recently initiated. It also requires one heck of a GPU to work well.
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#6 David Hessel

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 12:39 PM

It has a learning curve for sure but its not that much if you just want to do a quick edit and color correction. I don't work with 4K only HD, I have a GeForce 680 gtx and never had any issues at all, $130 card now days.

 

Thanks for the correction about UHD in free Resolve, I was not aware of that.


Edited by David Hessel, 05 October 2018 - 12:40 PM.

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#7 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 08:07 PM

DAVINCI RESOLVE LITE


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#8 David Hessel

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Posted 05 October 2018 - 08:09 PM

Seconded but it is no longer called light, just Davinci Resolve, the paid version is now call Davinci Resolve Studio.
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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 02:27 AM

It has a learning curve for sure but its not that much if you just want to do a quick edit and color correction. I don't work with 4K only HD, I have a GeForce 680 gtx and never had any issues at all, $130 card now days.
 
Thanks for the correction about UHD in free Resolve, I was not aware of that.


I had a GTX680 first with 2gb of video memory and it would run out of memory on UHD projects, with 1080p it only glitched on occasion.

The big problem are computers that don't allow GPU upgrades, basically anything mac made since 2012 and any laptop from any company. So many people use laptops these days, it's difficult to make them work with resolve.

FYI, my GTX980 4gb BARELY scrapes by with UHD work.
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#10 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 09:37 AM

If you don't need 4K why not Blackmagic Resolve, its professional grading software with a full editor, audio editor and even compositing. They have a free version, even for commercial use, and the only restrictions are HD output and noise reduction features are disabled if I recall correctly.

 

Most I'd be doing is 2K...unless lotto cooperates.

 

Never heard of Davinci Resolve Light, did hear about Davinci Resolve. Someone had a pirated version on ebay for $299. (don't know if really pirated on not, but possible.)

 

Will look into both recommendations.

 

Thanks


Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr., 06 October 2018 - 09:42 AM.

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#11 David Hessel

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Posted 06 October 2018 - 09:09 PM

There used to be Davinci Resolve and Davinci Resolve lite where lite was the free version. Now it's Davinci Resolve Studio which is the paid version and Davinci Resolve which is free. You can just download it directly from their website and use it legitimately for whatever.
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#12 Will Montgomery

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 10:28 AM

Resolve has a fairly high learning curve but it is completely worth the time investment. Plenty of free online tutorials available. Once you've mastered Resolve, or at least understand it's basics you'll be able to do some amazing things with an industry standard software package.

 

Not too long ago you'd be looking at $30k+ to get Resolve. Free is better.

 

Color correction is really an art unto itself and while it would be nice to be able to press one button to make things better you really need to understand the whole process and reasons behind it to take your work to the next level.


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#13 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:48 PM

Could someone spell out for me, in just a few lines, what would be a great computer set up to buy that would have the most power and fewest hassles for home editing and colouring digital footage to a completely professional and efficient standard. How much gb of video memory, etc? I'd be using it for film scanned up to 4K. I've done a lot of reading and searching online about what to get but still haven't tracked down a simple up-to-date answer, so believe me I've put in the hard yards (maybe I'm not much good at researching such topics, or don't understand what I'm reading). I did read recently that post-production is moving over to PC, from Mac, so I think PC might be the way to go (and sure, not a notebook). I intend to use Davinci Resolve. Any help most appreciated. Thank you.


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#14 Bob Speziale

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 09:15 PM

I edit 4K video with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition for sound. I have an HP PC with an intel i7 processor running at 3.1 GHz,  16GB RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, and an ATI graphics card with 2GB of RAM on the card. My OS is Win10 64bit pro. I use a 20 inch (diagonal) led backlit lcd monitor (screen size is 11" x 17") with 1680x1050 resolution. I have a 500GB usb pocket drive for backup. I tried DaVinci but just couldn't figure out how to use it. I found the learning curve on Premiere Pro to be much more intuitive for me, plus youtube provided how to videos for every aspect of Premiere Pro that I couldn't figure out on my own.

 

I find this system to be very adequate for 4k editing. When it comes to the exporting though, plan to disable your screen saver and let it run on it's own for hours. My videos are generally 4 to 5 minutes long and I'm bringing in footage from two cameras with 5 or 6 soundtracks. Premiere lets you edit the audio with Audition within the Premiere timeline. Once you learn what the editor can do and how long it takes you may decide to export shorter segments including preliminary effects and color grading and audio and then put those together in a new timeline rather than get bogged down with too many files and effects at one time.

Could someone spell out for me, in just a few lines, what would be a great computer set up to buy that would have the most power and fewest hassles for home editing and colouring digital footage to a completely professional and efficient standard. How much gb of video memory, etc? I'd be using it for film scanned up to 4K. I've done a lot of reading and searching online about what to get but still haven't tracked down a simple up-to-date answer, so believe me I've put in the hard yards (maybe I'm not much good at researching such topics, or don't understand what I'm reading). I did read recently that post-production is moving over to PC, from Mac, so I think PC might be the way to go (and sure, not a notebook). I intend to use Davinci Resolve. Any help most appreciated. Thank you.


Edited by Bob Speziale, 24 October 2018 - 09:24 PM.

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#15 Bob Speziale

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 09:44 PM

P.S. Jon O'Brien. Full disclosure I'm not a professional and have been doing this for several years as a retirement hobby and posting my videos on youtube. When you said editing to a professional standard, (possibly for theater viewing?) you may want to visit a professional production company and see what equipment they are using for their editing. Other members who do this for a living would have more to add.


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#16 David Hessel

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 09:45 PM

Could someone spell out for me, in just a few lines, what would be a great computer set up to buy that would have the most power and fewest hassles for home editing and colouring digital footage to a completely professional and efficient standard. How much gb of video memory, etc? I'd be using it for film scanned up to 4K. I've done a lot of reading and searching online about what to get but still haven't tracked down a simple up-to-date answer, so believe me I've put in the hard yards (maybe I'm not much good at researching such topics, or don't understand what I'm reading). I did read recently that post-production is moving over to PC, from Mac, so I think PC might be the way to go (and sure, not a notebook). I intend to use Davinci Resolve. Any help most appreciated. Thank you.

I am not in the market for a PC so I am not up to speed on the latest but what I would recommend is a large SSD 200GB or more for running the OS. The top of the line or runner up Nvidia graphics card from last year, not current as it will be half the price. 16GB of ram is probably enough but I would go with 32GB just in case. An I7 processor and a raid of 7200 rp disc drives, at least 4. These can be added internally using a software raid.

Generally what I do is build a custom PC that would have been top of the line a year or two ago. Normally spending around $1500 or so.

Edited by David Hessel, 24 October 2018 - 09:50 PM.

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#17 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 12:24 AM

Thanks Bob and David! Would these set ups render a result that could be handed over to a professional posthouse for putting it all onto a DCP? Or can even this be done effectively 'from home' now? Thanks Bob for your comment that you're not a professional and so that makes two of us. I have some ambitions in this direction but don't know yet whether this ambition will bear much fruit. I'm involved in other creative areas and film so far is a sideline thing for me but am thinking of what I could do with it.


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#18 Bob Speziale

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 01:57 PM

Yes you can do DCP from home. Here's a great 27 minute video on doing it with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects and free Open DCP software. It looks straightforward in the video. He created a short test video and brought the 6 required DCP files to a local theater on a USB hard drive and they loaded the files on their DCP server, set the aspect ratio and some other details on their server and played it for him in the theater on their DCP projector. The video gives a lot of info on formats required and a step by step tutorial on creating the files. 

 

Free DCP with Adoobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects.

 

 

 

Thanks Bob and David! Would these set ups render a result that could be handed over to a professional posthouse for putting it all onto a DCP? Or can even this be done effectively 'from home' now? Thanks Bob for your comment that you're not a professional and so that makes two of us. I have some ambitions in this direction but don't know yet whether this ambition will bear much fruit. I'm involved in other creative areas and film so far is a sideline thing for me but am thinking of what I could do with it.


Edited by Bob Speziale, 25 October 2018 - 02:00 PM.

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#19 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 06:52 PM

Could someone spell out for me, in just a few lines, what would be a great computer set up to buy that would have the most power and fewest hassles for home editing and colouring digital footage to a completely professional and efficient standard. How much gb of video memory, etc? I'd be using it for film scanned up to 4K. I've done a lot of reading and searching online about what to get but still haven't tracked down a simple up-to-date answer, so believe me I've put in the hard yards (maybe I'm not much good at researching such topics, or don't understand what I'm reading). I did read recently that post-production is moving over to PC, from Mac, so I think PC might be the way to go (and sure, not a notebook). I intend to use Davinci Resolve. Any help most appreciated. Thank you.

 

Last time I made a post like this it got into a heated Mac vs. PC debate... So with that said, I AM biased toward PC's going into this --- so just know that.

 

Basically, performance to price, a PC will be a much better option than a MAC. Yes, there are some used Mac Pro's out there that are still good -- but Apples lack of really powerful hardware and their instance to 'build everything into the motherboard' means that whatever NEW apple you get, that is all you are ever going to get --- there is no upgrade path other than buying a new system.

Resolve relies heavily on GPU, so don't skimp on that portion. As nice as a big old powerful CPU is, I find that resolve never uses more than about 50% of my Threadripper CPU.

Basically, if you are looking for a good, descent-priced PC capable of editing and grading 4K RAW Cinema DNG type files and such, just see my specs:

 

CPU: AMD Threadripper 2970x

 

GPU: Dual GTX 1080ti (resolve makes use of dual graphics cards, and LOVES video ram -- so the 11GB of vram offered on the 1080ti is a major bonus)

 

Memory: 64 GB DDR4

 

Hard Drives: 500GB m.2 drive for OS/Files/Programs. 1TB SSD drive for storage of stock assets (my preference). An array of discs for media storage (camera files and such - don't skimp here, as you need SPEED as well as SPACE for 4K files. RAID is the best price to performance option, but if you have cash to blow, look into some large capacity SSDs). I also have a 2TB 7200rpm hard drive for rendering projects out, as I have found a rendering speed increase when the original media is being pulled off a seperate drive than it is rendering out to --- probably a limitation is drive speed)

 

Required Hardware: Decklink Mini Monitor 4K (you need this for Resolve to show you ANY display of the material other than the tiny window in the GUI - and this is vital when grading, since the GUI display is ever only 8-bits in Resolve)

 

Word of warning though: If you want to grade to professional results, you'll need a properly calibrating display separate from your monitors. You connect it through a Blackmagic Mini Monitor 4K or similar card (they have all kinds that work, depending on your needs). Blackmagic then sends a live feed out to the monitor...

I use a BenQ PV270 monitor, which was around $900 new. You also need to buy the probe, which was around $300 for calibration. This is really the cheapest monitoring configuration I'd go with for color grading --- your next step up is something like a Flanders monitor.

With my BenQ I have tested the calibration to be correct at 100% REC 709. So you then need to grade in REC 709, and then you can apply a LUT for other export formats like DCP color spaces and such. While the BenQ PV270 claims to display 93% of DCI P3 color space, I wouldn't trust that, and 93% isn't 100%.
 


Edited by Landon D. Parks, 25 October 2018 - 06:56 PM.

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#20 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 06:21 AM

That is comprehensive information and very helpful indeed. Thank you Landon, much appreciated! Is it possible to teach yourself how to color grade or is attending a course the best way to go? I'd rather just learn on the job and put my money into equipment, but whatever works best.


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