Hollywood Colorist Walter (CSI) about his color grading process

Hollywood Colorist Walter (CSI) about his color grading process

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W alter Volpatto (CSI) is one of Hollywood's most successful colorist and some of his movies include Green Book, Dunkirk, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Hateful Eight. He primarily works in DaVinci Resolve and uses a fixed node structure that he has developed over the years. 

Lowepost visited Walter at Company 3 LA with our camera team to learn in detail about how he builds his grades.

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Thank you so much Walter for sharing your hard-earned wisdom and experience. This is incredibly valuable.

I think you usually work with a timeline set to Ari LogC so that the tools behave closely to how they behave with Cineon log film scans..?  Where do you do the color space transform for clips that are not in Ari LocC (other camera types, VFX shots etc)? In a pre-group node perhaps? And the final color space transform is on a timeline node probably?

Edited by François Dompierre
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Thank you so much for your insight Walter! That was very informative!! You said that you never have to key skin if you've done the balance and scene node right. Can you please expand a bit on this? 

I am learning color grading and I thought when pushing a look far it's often the habit to key skin.

Many thanks!

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44 minutes ago, Walter Volpatto said:

Either as DCTL on the media page (preferred) or  it depends.

if the shot is already in a LOG like i usually put it on the first node, a OFX color transform will act before the primaries in a node (order of operations) therefore your correction will still be in LogC.

if the shot needs some hard transform, i might put it in the second node, (repurposing) so i can color some in the original space and then transform it.

Ah that makes sense. Thanks Walter!

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