Pablo Thiermann

Tools for mathematical, scientific work with color

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Hey everyone,

I've been grading my own films and projects for some years now and I have become quite proficient in shaping my footage so it looks quite alright and stands out to people that aren't in the field. I'm by no means an expert of course.

More and more, I've become really interested in the mathematical and scientific part of color grading and color science. People like Steve Yedlin, and the stuff he writes in his blogposts are intriguing me. 

I've searched through several forums and looked it up online extensively, but couldn't find any real information or resources on how to learn more about that direction of becoming a color scientist. What I wonder most of all is this: What software tools do the real hardcore color scientists use? Do they exclusively write them themselves?

I'd love to hear from you guys. 

Thanks, Pablo

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Do you work in Resolve? If so you might try getting into DCTLs to develop mathematical functions and custom tools to affect footage to your liking.

Also look up Cullen Kelly on YouTube,  he goes in depth into color management & color science in his videos and livestreams.

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Some books you can check out in order to learn more about color science:

VES: "Cinematic Color" (free 52-page white paper)

"Color & Mastering for Digital Cinema"

by Glenn Kennel


"Digital Cinematography: Fundamentals, Techniques, & Workflows"

by David Stump


"Color Reproduction in Electronic Imaging Systems"

by Michael Tooms


"Digital Video and HD: Algorithms and Interfaces"

by Charles Poynton


"The Reproduction of Colour"

by Dr. R.W.G. Hunt


"Color Mania: The Material of Color in Photography and Film"

by Barbara Flückiger


"Colour Cinematograph"

by Adrian Cornwell-Clyne

Chapman & Hall


The best book on Film Lab color-correction I've ever read is this one:


"Film Technology in Post Production"

by Dominic Case


The latter explains how film was color graded in the laboratory prior to television and digital. Some of the basic principles still apply today.

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13 hours ago, Marc Wielage said:

"Digital Cinematography: Fundamentals, Techniques, & Workflows"

by David Stump



Looks like a new edition of this GREAT book will be released soon...

Edited by Ivan Oliveira
Sorry, pressed ok before write my lines
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