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Grading software recommendation


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#1 Magnus Over-Rein

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:26 AM

I am currently using Premiere Pro for my cutting on PC. I would like to buy a color grading software and would like to know what options I have. Please give me some recommendations as well. I have used color on mac and liked it, are there any similar software for PC?
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#2 Jad Beyrouthy

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:14 AM

try lustre from autodesk it is a bit more advanced than color you might need some training or you can find online tutorials (basic) on autodesk's website. you will certainly nees powerfull graphic cards.
If you want to keep things simple try color finesse as a plugin in after effects or as a standalone software this will ease your workflow if you are editing in premiere pro.
If you're switching to mac, color is user friendly and syncs beautifully with final cut pro and you can also try davinci resolve which i also more advanced than color.

anyways make sure you get a good graphic card an check its compatibility with the softwares you are going to use.

Good luck
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:59 AM

Davinci Resolve is coming out with "lite" for free. Depending on what you need it may be the right ticket. It limits you to HD resolutions though.

Might be nice to start working on something in that then hand off a "rough" to the post house doing the final color. Not out yet (they said july) but for a free download might as well check it out.
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#4 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:47 PM

There are several software solutions that run on PC but they are in the $20k and up range (Scratch, Lustre, Film Master) and now with the demise of Apple Color there is only one low cost grading solution and that is DaVinci Resolve in either the "lite" free version or the full featured $995.00 version and they both only run on Mac.

-Rob-
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:34 PM

Bremson/Kodak ACCUDATA ;-) 1983 and still pluggin' baby!
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#6 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 05:31 AM

Speaking from the side of a postproduction house, I see many low-budget productions coming in for 'final color correction'; since most of these customers don't have any kind of calibration software/setup, it usually means undoing/redoing a lot of corrections they made. In almost every case it would have been cheaper and quicker if they hadn't done anything and if I could just start from scratch from the untouched images. When you buy a software tool, it doesn't yet come with 20-30-40 years of experience.
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#7 Magnus Over-Rein

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:26 AM

Thank you for the replies. Since DaVinci Lite will be for free, I will try it out and see how it runs on my 15" MacBook Pro I5. If that doesnt work out, it seems my only option will be Color Finess for PC. Any $20K products are out of my range. How is the Color Finess After Effect plug in vs the standalone software? Are they equally powerfull?

Edited by Magnus Over-Rein, 14 July 2011 - 06:27 AM.

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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 07:28 AM

Dirk, just put your comment in brackets. DSLR and an uncalibrated laptop, they will learn the hard way.


You are absolutely right; it took me YEARS to get to my somewhat proficient point at color printing (I'll never be one of the greats). With 8-bit images, other digital compromises, yikes, good luck! Know what you mean about having to undo "corrections." Then again, we have to do it all the time with poorly exposed, improperly exposed film too.


I still don't understand how ANYONE could willingly use an LCD monitor on a laptop for critical color correction. LCDs have advanced by leaps and bounds, but I still chooose CRT every time, beecause the colors sook the same from EVERY ANGLE.
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#9 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:40 AM

Karl,

Unfortunately CRTs are no longer an option for HD and above; I currently use a new JVC D-ILA RS50 since a week. It took me about 4 days to set it up properly using the Truelight probe and software.
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#10 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 07:29 PM

I hear the Dolby is nice....

I have a Panasonic 11UK Plasma with Light-Space which is good but not perfect, a LED DLP Projector might be a great alternative. Sad to say the D24 and D32 are now going to be in the past.

-Rob-
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#11 K Borowski

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 10:46 PM

I didn't say anyting about HD (why do you need HD res. to balance a fleshtone?) but my understanding is that there are/were HD CRTs. They are huge, but probably still floating around out there.

I think several of the computer CRTs I have go over 480i as well.


Problem with ALL CRTs is they have a two-four year lifespan before they get objectionable burn in. So the supply, now that they're basically all out of production, is dwindling ;-/


I think you can still get them for under $100 on eBay (whatever the special was, the cost of shipping was more than the monitor). I am going to put off converting to LCD as long as possible, and, at least in my area, I'm not alone. I know of two still labs that are the same way.
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#12 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:16 PM

I didn't say anyting about HD (why do you need HD res. to balance a fleshtone?) but my understanding is that there are/were HD CRTs.



The Sony D24 and D32 are grade-1 CRT monitors which are still (mostly) the preferred set for top tiered HD grading, they have just recently been adequately replaced by the Dolby 4200 ( http://www.dolby.com...or-prm4200.html ) and not much else.

Many big facilities have been relying on Plasma panels because of their ability to have proper black, wide viewing angles and for their dynamic range, but they do drift and there can be noise issues. Most LCD panels are poor in terms of contrast ratio and black level reproduction and make bad grading monitors due to poor off axis response they are stable, though.

Supposedly the Dolby solves all of these issues but I have not yet seen it, I believe the price tag is $60K + which is a bit more than a new Sony D32 when they were making them. The Dolby is lighter, so is a SUV the D32 is quite a chunk of glass.

-Rob-
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#13 K Borowski

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 12:17 AM

Thanks for that info Rob.


As an aside, once they pry my last CRT out of my cold, dead, hands, what, if anything would you recommend on a shoestring budget? ANy off-the-shelf monitors that are very good?

I remember LaCie used to be a higher end prosumer manufacturer back in the day.




Dolby is throwing 35mm under the bus like it's their job, were busy talking about how Dolby 7.1 would NOT be supported on their legacy film systems, would frankly rather not buy a thing from them. They seem to have a lot of their money into DCI and plastic sunglasses instead of sound and color improvement and calibration.



Are D24s and 32s scarce, or available cheaply now? I use a Sony, couldn't tell you the model number, an older SD version, have a couple of them actually. Of course, I do an embarassing amount of personal work at home on probably the WORST LCD monitor ever made, in terms of color shift. The 2003 Apple iMac stalk LCD monitor :-/
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#14 Kahleem Poole

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 11:19 AM

Adding my own $.02, you COULD just use the grading tools in Premiere as they are. Especially w/ CS5/5.5
Most of the time you'd be using the Three Color Wheel or RGB Curves anyhow. Beyond that, it's all micro managing tidbits of curves for highs and lows. You don't really NEED a 3rd party software unless it's for specific monitoring capabilities. For that, you could use the dynamic link in the timeline for After Effects' own Color Finesse.
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