Masterclass in Color Grading with John Daro



John Daro is a world-renowned senior colorist working at Warner Bros in Los Angeles, and in this masterclass you are invited into his color suite. John has color graded feature films and tv-series for all the major studios in Hollywood and will teach you techniques and strategies that will help you become a better colorist.

The course is about the art and craft of color grading and is not designed to teach the operations of a specific software.

All the footage used in this course except for the bonus lesson is available for download.

About the instructor

John Daro is a world-renowned colorist that started his career at FotoKem in Burbank, Los Angeles. At FotoKem he pioneered post production techniques and was one of the original colorist team members which led FotoKem to be one of the top post production houses in the world. Now John is working with color grading feature films and tv-series at Warner Bros in Hollywood.

Who is this course designed for?

  • Colorists




In this lesson John teaches how to balance and match images using printer light techniques. He explores ways to work with exposure, contrast and saturation to preserve the original intent of the photography. Strategies related to black- and white levels, gamma work and color biases are also discussed. All the shots John is working with are available for download.


John moves on to discuss story telling and the creative decisions behind a the color grade, and walk through the process of creating great looking images and creative looks.


In this bonus lesson John talks about different approaches to separate skin tones, and gives a solid approach to build an HSL key for isolating skin tones.


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Loved this class!

I was definitely interested in how to achieve a similar effect to what John does with Baselight's Texture Equalizer tool in Resolve, as John mentions it is possible (albeit with a large node tree). I have seen tutorials online about frequency separation with resolve, but all seem to essentially break the frequencies into low/high, whereas John's tool seems to have many different frequencies he can isolate.

Is there anyone with knowledge to share on how to build a tool like this in Resolve/Fusion?

Many thanks again for this great course!

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20 minutes ago, Daniel Rheaume said:

Is there anyone with knowledge to share on how to build a tool like this in Resolve/Fusion?

It's well explained in lesson 6 & 8 in the Beauty Retouching course. 


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10 hours ago, Amada Daro said:

It's well explained in lesson 6 & 8 in the Beauty Retouching course. 


Hey Amada! 

 Thanks for your reply and directing me to those Fusion lessons -

I had watched them before posting, but I still don't see how to recreate John's tool in Baselight.

He seems to have access to multiple frequencies that he can blur or sharpen locally. Following the lessons above, you either get the Resolve Beauty tool, which is a bit of a black box as far as what frequencies it's working on, etc...

The custom frequency separation tool he describes building in fusion also seems to basically only separate the frequencies into high and low, and then controls the re-combining of them. But I don't see any way to isolate frequency ranges as John's tool in Baselight does. Maybe I'm missing something?

Thanks again!

Edited by Daniel Rheaume
Premature submit, clarity
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