Learning the craft of colour correction is just as any other aspect of filmmaking. The more effort and practice you put in, the more experienced and confidence in your skill set you become. With the broad accessibility to such great inexpensive acquisition tools like Blackmagic Design Cinema Cameras (coming with a full free copy DaVinci Resolve) and the plethora of other affordable equipment on the market you have no excuse not to be getting your feet wet into colour correction straight away.
There is so much helpful information one can get just by watching those great colour correction breakdowns along with the useful tips and tricks that many colourists around the world tend to share and give for free. Sitting in a colour grading suite next to an experienced professional is an excellent opportunity for every who wants to learn more and grow as a colourist, however examining these breakdowns thoroughly can also be extremely beneficial process providing a ton of useful knowledge and know-how.
First, let’s start off with some examples by the Montreal-based colorist Charles-Etienne Pascal.
Color Grading Steps for Bellevue Avenue from Charles-Etienne Pascal on Vimeo.
Color Grading Steps For Marked for Murder from Charles-Etienne Pascal on Vimeo.
Creative Color Grading with Keyers from Charles-Etienne Pascal on Vimeo.
Undoubtedly, there are many years of hard work, patience and dedication behind these beautifully finished shots. The good news is that today everyone can download a couple of Raw clips, throw them into Resolve’s timeline and start adding nodes and tweaking colours following the countless tips from many other professional colourists such as Charles-Etienne Pascal.
The different steps of the process in these breakdowns seems to be logical and straightforward. However, we shouldn’t underestimate the efforts and time all these guys invest in learning the craft and building their skill set throughout the years.
Applying some S-Curve adjustments or/and LUT to the footage, balancing mid tones, highlights and shadows along with the additional tweaks here and there are some of the initial steps that gradually will help you to get the mood and to feel that you are aiming at.
Here are some other great tips from the Twitter colorist community.
No matter if you are using Baselight, Mistika, Scratch, Nucoda, Pablo Rio, DaVinci Resolve, or any other colour grading platform, the ability to add texture, balance and richness to the images, creating a certain mood to the final grade is something that can be learned and crafted when you really have passion, talent and you’re fully dedicated to the process.
Make sure that you also check out the work of the colourists Mateo Dimarano, Aaron Williams, Alexis Van Hurkman, Benoit Cote. These guys provide a ton of valuable colour grading tips and tricks on their blogs as well.