Sjors Krebbeks

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About Sjors Krebbeks

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  1. Sjors Krebbeks

    Fusion Essential Training

    We are proud to introduce The Fusion Essentials Training with instructor Kevin P McAuliffe! With more than 140 minutes of in-depth fundamentals, you will get up to speed with the powerful BlackMagic Design Fusion inside of DaVinci Resolve and gain the knowledge you need to start creating your own effects. About the instructor Kevin is an award winning editor and visual effects creator based in Toronto with over 15 years of teaching and training experience. Over the past years Kevin has delivered world-class work for clients such as Warner Bros, Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Fox, Universal and Elevation Pictures. Who is this course designed for? Editors, Colorists, Finishing Artists, DITs Some of the topics Understanding the Resolve/Fusion workflow Working with the Fusion Interface How do nodes work? Working with the inspector Animating with Keyframes Understanding masks Adding additional footage to animations Working with the merge tool Creating basic effects Mastering the transform node Differences between the built-in version and the standalone version Software required A free version of DaVinci Resolve or the free standalone version of Fusion Enjoy the training, new lessons will be posted every week!
  2. Sjors Krebbeks

    30sec Commercial Reel

    Great job!
  3. Sjors Krebbeks

    Base Grade and the evolution of grading tools

    The color-grading specialist Filmlight caused a bit of stir in the colorist community at NAB 2016. They introduced Base Grade, a new grading operator for Baselight. Base Grade is intended to replace classic tools such as 'Lift', 'Gamma' and 'Gain'. That sounds like a small revolution. Filmlight promises more consistent results compared to existing tools and a more natural working style. This is reason enough to take an in-depth look at it - not only for Baselight colorists. For the evaluation of Base Grade, a rough understanding of the evolution of color correction helps. The origins of color grading, as we know it today, date back to the beginnings of television and cinema. For television, video signals originating from TV cameras or film scanners always had to be adjusted or corrected. The profession of the colorist emerged in the telecine, where film footage was transferred into a pleasing video signal. VideoGrade The technicians provided the colorist with four basic technical parameters to shape the video signal: 'Lift', 'Gamma', 'Gain' and 'Saturation'.These are still among the most popular grading tools. In Baselight, one can find them in the VideoGrade operator. The colorist adjusts the black level of the video signal with 'Lift' (sometimes referred to as 'Pedestal') and the white level with gain. For those who are experienced in Photoshop, it makes sense to visualize the resulting gradation curve: 'Lift' sets the starting point (bottom-left) and 'Gain' the end point (top-right). When working with VideoGrade, these are the most important points of reference for the colorist. 'Gamma' is technically a power function whose only parameter is the exponent. The gamma function determines the curvature of the gradation curve between the two endpoints. These three parameters can be adjusted not only for the brightness, but for all three color channels of the video signal (RGB). However, individual controllers for red, green and blue are usually not presented to the user. The user has one controller for the brightness signal and a two dimensional controller for the color component. This results in the basic layout of all grading control surfaces: Three trackballs that adjust the color two-dimensionally and around them a rotating ring for the luma adjustment. 'Lift' is on the left, 'Gain' on the right and 'Gamma' in the middle. These three parameters are often colloquially referred to as shadows, midtones and highlights. With the help of an RGB waveform monitor, these adjustment possibilities have proven to be very efficient to forge a video signal within the given technical specs. A very popular and proven working method of video-style colorists is to first adjust the black and white point of an image. All three channels are balanced both in the blacks and in the whites just before clipping. The brightest point in the image is then pure white, thus without color cast and with maximum brightness. The darkest point is pure black. People often speak of "clean" blacks and whites in this case. Next, the 'Gamma' parameter is set. It adjusts a combination of brightness and contrast. If one wants to put a color tone on the picture, this is often done with the 'Gamma', since then black and white remain “clean”. Baselight provides two modes for VideoGrade. The default mode is RGB. In the Y'CbCr mode, the luma channel is processed separately. Brightness or contrast changes will then not affect the color and saturation of the image. Over time, VideoGrade has proven to be the most important tool of telecine-style colorists. They convert high dynamic range images (e.g. log encoded) manually to the desired output color space utilizing the available grading toolset instead of a technical color space conversion (e.g. a LUT). This means that nowadays VideoGrade is not only used, as originally intended, on images in a video color space, but also for images in log color spaces. The 'Lift', 'Gamma' and 'Gain' trio is probably the most commonly used grading operator in the current video world. However, it dates from a time when handling features such as specular highlights was not that important. Burned out windows or skies were tolerated as long as the faces looked nice. A soft-clip, a gentle transition into the over-exposure, is not realizable with VideoGrade alone. Over time, video colorists developed different techniques to meet this aesthetic demand. Gradation curves, luma keys, blend modes and specialized soft-clip operators are among the techniques that have been used for this purpose. A further disadvantage becomes obvious in VFX workflows. Contemporary compositing works the most realistically in a scene-referred linear color space. Then pixel values are proportional to light photons on the set. VFX pre-grading might still make sense to adjust the general brightness and white-balance and to match shots in a sequence. Unfortunately, 'Lift' as well as 'Gamma' and 'Gain' destroy the scene-linearity of a shot and make VideoGrade impractical for this type of VFX pre-grading workflow. FilmGrade Long before the telecine colorist, the profession of the film color-timer emerged. They determined the look of a film by adjusting the intensity of printer lights and chemical processes in the film lab. This profession required a lot of experience and intuition. Contrary to the telecine with its sometimes saturated or harshly clipped colors, the analogue lab process has film-stock as an aesthetic foundation. With the introduction of the Digital Intermediate process (DI) around the year 2000, the new profession of the DI-colorist arose. DI-colorists correct images digitally before they are recorded onto intermediate-film and printed. The footage usually originated from film as well and was scanned to Cineon log color space. The DI gradually replaced the analogue intermediate process and thus the creative part of the color-timing in the lab. Film is a key component of the DI process, since one is restricted to the colors that can be reproduced in the film print. The lab processes generating the film print and the projection are therefore simulated live during the grading with a film print emulation look-up table. The so-called 'Film LUT' is applied in the preview output and causes the images to react differently to input from the colorist compared to telecine or video mode. The manufacturers developed new grading tools for the DI process based on lab color-timing. In Baselight, the tool is called 'FilmGrade'. Some film-style colorists have previously worked as color-timers and thus got an easy entry into digital color correction. FilmGrade is designed for images in Cineon-Log color space. After the color correction, the image is converted into a display color space (e.g. DCI P3) utilizing a LUT or the more recently available GPU-shaders of Truelight Colour Spaces dating from Baselight 4.4. FilmGrade consists of six tools divided onto two tabs. The main page consists of 'Exposure', 'Contrast' and 'Saturation'. The second page consists of 'Shadows', 'Midtones' and 'Highlights'. All tools offer a trackball and a rotatable ring. The most important tool is 'Exposure', which can be adjusted in RGB printer light steps via the Blackboard control surface. 'Exposure', which is also referred to as 'Offset' in other grading software, controls the general brightness and color of the image. Film style purists try to work as much as possible with 'Exposure', because then the image remains very natural. The contrast in all color channels and the scene-linearity are basically retained during 'Exposure' changes. Color Timing - The 'Exposure' tool in FilmGrade not only simulates the work with printer lights, but also translates the correction to printer points. 'Contrast' and 'Saturation' seem self-explanatory. However, the trackball color-setting controls deserve an in-depth look. With the 'Saturation' trackball, the colorist controls the saturation of opposing colors in the color circle. For example, when you move the trackball towards the warm tones (yellow, red), these become more saturated. At the same time, the cold tones (blue, cyan) are desaturated. The 'Contrast' trackball, on the other hand, is used to tint the highlights and shadows in complementary colors. The corresponding pivot point is important when working with 'Contrast'. It defines the center of the curve and thus the strength of the effect on the highlights and shadows. 'Shadows', 'Midtones' and 'Highlights' in FilmGrade are not identical to 'Lift', 'Gamma' and 'Gain' because the luma working ranges are limited via pivot points. When you raise the 'Shadows' level, for example, the curve is warped only until a defined point. With 'Lift', on the other hand, the entire image is changed, but the shadows are affected the most. It is difficult to determine maximum black and white with film because the transfer curves are very flat and non-linear in these regions. That is why the LAD grey patch, roughly in the middle of the curve, is the anchor point for both the calibration and the colorist. (The laboratory aim density patch was invented by Kodak and is a bit darker than 18% middle grey. You can find it on the Kodak website. A film style colorist does not care much about whether he hits 100% black or white. A soft clip is automatically active in this system because of the film print emulation. Scopes are less important and the visual impression is mostly guiding decisions. Thus, FilmGrade is a more natural grading concept than VideoGrade. Today, FilmGrade is used not only on Cineon log data, but on any kind of log encoding such as LogC from Arri. More modern approaches like ACES are also used in the output path in addition to film print emulations. There are fundamental problems with this concept as well. The 'Exposure' tool adjusts brightness quite naturally, but it is not exactly like changing the lens aperture or the ISO value. The reason for this lies in the underlying log encodings which, for example, do not define the black value to zero. The detailed explanation is beyond the scope of this article. Another problem is the future proofness. Log encodings can store only a limited amount of dynamic range. The Cineon curve, for example, was not sufficient for the high dynamic range of the Alexa camera. Therefore, Arri developed the LogC curve. Future cameras and HDR displays will require additional tweaks that might be compromising. This also applies to the VideoGrade Operator, which was designed with standard dynamic range video signals in mind. Base Grade: Under the Hood The time has come for a next generation color grading operator. Filmlight uses neither a video signal nor film stock as a foundation, but algorithms modeled on human perception. The dynamic range of Base Grade is not limited by a technical format like Rec.709 or the Cineon coding. It is ready for the HDR future. Base Grade works the same way in every working color space. Therefore, it always feels the same for the colorist regardless of the camera used. This requires not only precise color setup in the scene settings but also correct tagging of the footage. Usually this happens automatically, but for transcoded footage it might require manual adjustments. Base Grade converts the image autonomously into a linear color space in which, as in the case of linear compositing, the original brightness ratios of the scene are restored. The user does not have to care about the internal color space conversions because Base Grade hands the image over to the next operator in the defined working color space. Internally, Base Grade uses an Lab-based color model consisting of a pure luminance component L and two color components a and b. The color plane spanned by a and b was distorted by the developers in regards to color grading. This gives color and saturation changes the same visual effect in all color regions and makes the work feel more intuitive. All exposure values and pivot points are specified in aperture stops. This is a well known unit that mimics human perception and is easy for photographers and DPs to understand. The colorist can give instantly meaningful feedback to the DP. For example: "I made the whole picture half a stop brighter”, or “I lowered the Highlights one stop". If a Dailies colorist uses Base Grade, such feedback — comparable to the camera report from the lab in the past — could conceivably help the DP working on the set. It will definitely make communication between the DP and the colorist easier, especially when the DP is not physically present. Four parameters affect the whole image: 'Flare', 'Balance', 'Contrast' and 'Saturation'. Beside these global parameters, Base Grade partitions the image into brightness zones. This is reminiscent of the legendary zone system by Ansel Adams, which according to the developers served as a source of inspiration. The reference point of Base Grade is medium gray, as found on 18% grey cards. The luminance zones are defined from there in stops. A correction of three stops up or down is the maximum in the standard mode. This is generally sufficient. In extreme cases, up to six stops can be corrected in extended mode. At first glance, there are few parallels to existing tools in Baselight or comparable grading software like DaVinci Resolve. The RAW development experience in Adobe Lightroom comes closest to that in Base Grade. However, Base Grade offers not only luminance controls per zone, but also color and saturation. In addition, each zone's region can be fine tuned via 'Pivot' and 'Falloff', which makes it much more powerful. 'Balance': Adjusts the exposure and the color balance of the entire image. Brightness changes behave exactly like the change in aperture or ISO value. The trackball corresponds to the white balance. 'Balance' can therefore replace settings in a RAW decoder. The scene-linearity remains intact while working with 'Balance'. 'Flare': Influences the lower part of the curve by defining the zero point. A correctly set 'Flare' value is crucial for proper functioning of Base Grade. Otherwise, the real brightness ratios from the set can not be restored. The zero point is usually the darkest point of the image. 'Contrast': Adjusts the image's global contrast. In contrast to other implementations, crushing the shadows is prevented by the 'Flare' parameter. 'Contrast' works achromatically, which means it does not affect the saturation of the image. The colorist controls the intensity of the effect on the shadows and highlights using the 'Contrast' pivot- as with FilmGrade. 'Saturation': This is self-explanatory: the color intensity of the image. The crucial difference from conventional implementations is the visual uniformity, which works in a more natural way 'Pivot': The user adjustable starting point of the zone. It is defined in stops in reference to medium grey. For example “-1” means one stop below 18% grey. The 'Dark' and 'Dim' zones range from pivot to black, the 'Light' and 'Bright' zones from pivot to white. 'Falloff': Describes the transition until a zone has full effect. 'Falloff' is not measured in stops because it changes adaptively relative to the set 'Balance' to avoid negative slopes. Therefore, it is an abstract value ranging between 0 and 1. User interface The user interface follows VideoGrade and FilmGrade. It consists of three main parameters mapped to the three trackball-ring combos on the Blackboard control panel. Below lies a visualization of the current grade as a tone curve, framed by further parameters such as pivot points. The developers have distributed Base Grade onto two tabs. The first page is 'Dim' / 'Balance' / 'Light' and the second 'Dark' / 'Balance' / 'Bright'. The most important parameter, 'Balance', is permanently visible and mapped to the middle trackball-ring combo on the Blackboard. 'Flare', 'Contrast' and 'Saturation' are also visible on both pages and can be adjusted via encoders. Look and Feel - The Base Grade user interface. As usual, users can create custom layouts on new pages. The grade visualization display contains a special goodie. A luma waveform of the current image is superimposed over the curve. Thanks to this, the colorist constantly sees which parts of the image he is currently editing and how he should adjust the pivot points. It would be even more useful if the display superimposed a luma histogram. Test-drive It takes some time to get used to the new toolset. However, curiosity and the excitement of playing around with a new toy fuel one’s motivation to dig deeper. I tested the promise of the exact stop scale. Indeed, a 'Balance' boost of 1.0 shows the same result as doubling the ISO value in the RAW developer. And this applies for all tested cameras by Arri, Red and Sony. The clever part there is that you don't need RAW material for that. If you work with a mixed ProRes and ArriRAW Timeline, for example and all RAW shots have been pushed by one stop, you can now apply the exact same correction to all shots. And it is no longer necessary to switch to the DeBayer settings, because adjusting the exposure with Base Grade does not compromise image quality in that case. Unity – Below is pushed one stop in the RAW settings and top with Base Grade. The results are identical. White-Balance should be adjusted with the 'Balance' trackball. It will not yield the same results as the RAW developer because of the ab color plane that was specifically optimized for color grading. In my opinion, the results are a bit more pleasing than adjusting the Kelvin value in the RAW settings. Matching shot to shot seems to be another ideal task for the tool. Many colorists divide their grade into a basic correction per shot and the creative look. Used as the first layer in the stack, Base Grade makes it easier to compensate for exposure differences due to the scene-linear working style. Shots with diffuse lens flares are a common problem while matching. They cause raised black levels in the frame. Even quite clean lenses such as the Master Primes show this effect, especially when there are bright backgrounds. When you try to minimize the flare with VideoGrade’s 'Lift', for example, you mess up the whole picture and the grade does not fit properly anymore. The 'Flare' parameter helps in these cases because it corresponds to optical flare in the lens. If the exposure is basically correct, the differences in the black level caused by lens flare can be corrected quite well. With the help of the 'Flare' parameter, the colorist matches scenes that contain a lot of lens flare. When copying corrections from shot to shot, the colorist should also pay attention to the 'Flare' value and adjust it if necessary. For example, if you copy from a scene with lots of diffuse flare, the black will probably be crushed in the target shot. With none of Base Grades other controls except 'Flare', you can get it back to a decent level. If 'Flare' is set correctly, the black can practically never be fully crushed. Base Grade pushes the shadows into a pleasant-looking compression instead of a hard-clipping. The 'Saturation' control yields pleasant results too. It is astonishing that a tool as widespread as color saturation could be improved further. Base Grade gives more visually pleasing results than existing implementations in a direct comparison. With classic saturation tools, primary colors such as red quickly become overweighted in the frame as you increase saturation. With Base Grade, the strength of the effect is more evenly distributed over the color circle. And the great thing about this is that it works similarly while desaturating pictures. Evolution - next generation of color saturation. Top: A scene containing strong neon colors reduced by 30% with a classic saturation implementation. Bottom: Same reduction with Base Grade. Not only the colors, but also the brightness seems more natural. Base Grade reveals the full extent of its strengths with the zone model. The gradation of an image can now be modeled very precisely utilizing only one operator. With previous software, the colorist was forced into detailed and sometimes fiddly tweaking in CurveGrade or keying. Now there is a more intuitive alternative. For example, optimizing sky definition usually requires luma keying the highlights. With Base Grade, I got amazingly far without any secondary correction. On one shot for example, I initially lowered 'Light'. Next I lifted 'Bright' to tickle out the last details just before clipping. By initially adjusting the correction quite aggressively, I could easily find the right pivot points. Then I reduced to a more pleasing level. If the colorist opts for extremely strong corrections, there is a risk of unsightly effects, a preliminary stage of solarization. Base Grade prevents true solarization - negative slopes of the gradation curve - but the colorist can flatten the curve so much that the definition is ruined in certain brightness zones. In these cases, a larger 'Falloff', the transition of the zone, provides some relief. However, it also reduces the effect. Top: Uncorrected. A difficult shot, as the tonal values are compressed in the shadows as well as in the highlights. Bottom: Avoiding any keys or shapes, just modeling the gradation with Base Grade one obtains a picture with clearly more definition in the crucial areas. Base Grade also performs strongly with Cross-Process Toning, a common case in color correction. The highlights and the shadows are given different hues. Complementary hues are often chosen for this. The shadows, for example, are tinted in cold teal and the highlights in warm orange. Colorists often use HLS keys for this technique to have more control over the effect. With Base Grade and its zone model, one can precisely control the strength and hue of the effect and probably save some keys in the timeline. About VFX pregrading: Flare is an artifact that arises in camera lenses and distorts the scene-linearity. With the aid of Base Grade, the correct brightness ratios on the set can be reconstructed by setting the correct 'Flare' value. Something true black or the darkest shadows in the frame should usually be set to zero. After that, 'Balance' works completely scene-linear. Because of the flare correction, Base Grade is therefore better suited for scene-linear pregrading than 'Exposure' / 'Printer Lights' in FilmGrade. Conclusion Base Grade is very powerful, but it is also complex. Thoughtful setup of the project is essential for proper functioning. If the color space settings are a mess, it will not work properly. My advice is to slowly familiarize yourself with the tool and then integrate it into the daily working style, bit by bit. A good start would be, for example, to perform saturation corrections with Base Grade. The next step would be to make the basic correction from shot to shot, and so on. The new grading concept could also be a good starting point for Adobe Lightroom experienced photographers and DPs to color correct moving images because of the intuitive and stop based approach. The first days with Base Grade were very promising. The tool has potential for both more natural and maybe even completely new looks. In addition, it provides relief from some tweaking and keying in a colorist's daily work. Andy Minuth Most of the software testing for this article was done with an early beta version (5.0.8907). Some things will probably change until the final release. The comment field is open for questions and discussions.
  4. Sjors Krebbeks

    Create custom ARRI Look Files with Baselight

    F or one of my latest projects my DoP asked me to create a custom LUT for him. We had a few camera tests prior to the shoot, and wanted to bring our custom look (as an LUT) to the set to see if his lighting, set colors, etc held up. While we were preparing the camera tests I read about the ARRI Look Library, a collection of 87 in-camera looks. The library was first released as part of the software package for the ARRI Amira Premium and Alexa Mini. For the Alexa SXT it is available as an optional license feature for 280 Euro. There is also an free IOS app which gives you an overview of all the looks. Download ARRI Look Library on Itunes or at the ARRI site. The library covers a lot, but if you need to customize one of the looks for different light setups etc, you have to create your own versions. The looks in the library are saved as ___.AML files, so in order to get your own custom look into the Alexa camera you have to create an ___.AML file. There was almost no documentation or known workflow about how to do that, so we ordered an ALEXA SXT (luckily Futureworks has its own camera rental department) to find our own workflow via trial and error. Maybe there is a more elegant way, but the following one worked for us. 1. Baselight setup: I usually work in ACES with a mix of various RRTs. Sadly, the ACES scene setup didn’t work out in combination with the ARRI Look File. It actually makes sense as the ARRI expects a straight REC709 setup. So your scene setup should be as below. 2. The grade: You can use almost everything in your grade layers, even LUTs in a Truelight operator, but you can not use keys or masks to generate your look. The camera viewer is most likely a REC709 or SRGB viewer, so you will get better results if your cursor output is REC709 instead of P3. 3. Export: After your grade is set, go to “Shots“, click right and choose “Export LUTs“. Note: The ARRI Color Tool, which we will need next, needs the AMIRA CUBE format. 4. ARRI color Tool To create the AML file you need the ARRI Color Tool. Strangely, the ARRI Color Tool doesn’t support ARRI RAW files. So either you export a DPX file or work with the dummy file “Isabella”. Now load your Amira Cube file (down left under Look Library) Then “Save Look As” and create the .AML File. Now you have created the Amira Cube file from Baselight and the AML file. That’s pretty much it. Download ARRI Color Tool here.. 5. Check your File As I said before, the ARRI Color Tool didn’t support ARRI Raw files (or maybe we just couldn’t figure it out) so we had to use the ARRI Raw Converter to test the look. Download ARRI Raw Converter here. You can now load your .ARRI file and the .AML look file. In the settings on the right side just choose “From Library”. 6. Setups For most cases, for every scene setup a high-key and a low-key version of your created look should be good enough. The Alexa SXT has four video outputs, but in most cases the DoP wants the director to see a straight REC709 image. The advantage of the Look File is that you can see the look in the camera viewer for quick checks. Andreas Brueckl Senior Colorist, Futureworks
  5. Sjors Krebbeks

    Day-for-night scene, Breakdown

    I n this screen-capture, which runs at 4x speed, you can see me working on a scene of a feature film. The scene was shot in the morning, and I also graded it for morning. Later the clients decided that it would be better if this scene was set at night. So I had a little more than a day to transfer the scene of about 5 min into night. It goes like this: A woman leaves a club and walks into a man with whom she starts a fight. When approaching such a task, it makes sense to imagine how it would have looked if it was really shot at night and how the DoP would have helped with lights, if he had known already on set. Night is usually very dark and grading everything low level might be a realistic choice, but in terms of an artistic, photographic approach it can be nicer to create a night filled with a bunch of light sources. I decided to have a big moon as my main light source and a bunch of tungsten practicals to make it more believable. In natural darkness the cones of our eyes are less sensitive, which means that our chromatic vision is limited when light is rare. According to that you can desaturate the image quite heavily. A bit of a bluish tint may be appropriate as well. Strong highlights, typical for daylight, can be attacked with keyers and shapes. The first task is to make it a lot darker without crushing anything. When your eyes are adapted to the dark you can see a lot of details in the shadows. Because this scene was shot in daylight we have tons of information. We just have to keep it. The second task is to darken all the sky and the reflections of sky in the scene. Here, the great dynamic range of the Alexa helps. That involves a mixture of keying and tracking shapes. The next step is to look for areas which might be affected by the moonlight and isolate those to apply a special moonlight bounce to them. In one shot, I decided to make the hair of the guy a bit warmer as he stands not far away from a real tungsten light source. On other shots, I created tungsten light sources, which were not actually in the scene, but make a lot of sense, as the DoP would have created something similar to this. The tungsten lights and the bluish moonlight create a nice complementary color contrast. This is a kind of extreme example of a task but the technique used can also be applied for more subtle changes in normal grading scenarios. Tobias Wiedmer Lead Colorist, Cine Chromatix KB
  6. Sjors Krebbeks

    What does it take to become a colorist?

    W hile I was at Columbia College Chicago, I got an internship at Whitehouse Post here in Chicago. Towards the end of the internship, I spoke with one of the producers there asking about the next steps to getting into the industry. I had spent quite a bit of time shadowing the senior colorist at The Mill and knew I had a passion for color grading. She said that the senior colorist over at Company 3 Chicago had interned there awhile back and that I could use her as reference. I messaged him on LinkedIn, asking if he would be willing to answer some questions I had about what he does, the industry, and Company 3. After our conversation, he invited me in to the office to talk more. We hit it off, and it turned out they were looking at bringing on another assistant colorist. A couple months later, I was working there part time as a freelance assistant colorist for 3 months. I had to learn quickly. The other assistant was going on vacation the following week so I needed to at least have a good working knowledge of their workflow. I would shadow the senior colorist and the other assistant and re-prep projects to get enough hands-on experience before doing it on my own. The day after I graduated college, I was brought on full-time. It was definitely one of those "right place at the right time" situations. Assistant colorist's responsibilites An assistant colorist’s primary job is to make the senior colorist’s job easier. The senior colorist should be grading with clients in the suite as much as possible. For that to happen, the assistant handles a variety of tasks including preparing projects fully for the session, contacting editorial and handling any conform/workflow issues that arise, communicating with the producer to ensure jobs are completed on time, and finalizing projects and rendering in whichever format the client needs. As you gain the trust of the senior colorist, an assistant may start to be trusted with match grading. A lot of the times, the senior colorist is in session so if another client comes back with revisions on a pending job or there are pick-up shots, it will fall on the assistant to make those revs or match grade the pick-ups. As you continue to build that trust, those responsibilities increase. In my situation, for example, in addition to client revs and match grading pick-ups, I may match long form versions of commercials, short films, and features. For some features, the senior colorist sets looks on key shots and scenes throughout and then it's my job to match the remaining shots of the film to have it ready for the senior colorist to review before they screen it with the client. Technical knowledge, experience and a good personality Some color grading software is not as accessible as others, but with programs like Resolve having a free version to learn from, a general understanding of the tools within a program like Resolve is definitely helpful. The color tools are a great place to start but equally important are the project setup, conform and render portions of the software. An assistant will be given the media, EDLs/XMLs and reference pictures to conform the project. It’s then their job to handle the various media formats provided and use the EDL and/or XML to conform the project. It’s also important to work well under pressure. There’s a constantly changing list of tasks throughout the day that must be handled in a way that ensures everything is completed on time and nothing is missed. While having technical knowledge and experience is great, I feel like the most important skill necessary for working as an assistant colorist is having a good personality. You’re going to be working closely with the senior colorist and producers so it’s important that you’re easy to work with and can be a trusted partner in getting jobs done efficiently and correctly. The relationship with the team The assistant colorist has a very close relationship with the senior colorist and producers. In order to provide the best possible client experience, everyone must trust each other and have excellent communication. If there are issues with prep or anything that may affect the senior colorist’s ability to grade a job with clients, it must be brought to everyone’s attention, specifically the producers, so that it can get sorted out before the session. It’s also important that when the time comes to QC and render a job, that the assistant communicates with the producers to make sure the project can be delivered in the format the client needs and on time. Issues come up all the time so being able to trust your team members is extremely important. In general, the relationship the assistant colorist has with all team members including other assistants, client services, editorial, VFX, etc. is just as important. Whether it’s helping other assistants with issues or completing a job on time, communicating with editorial to figure out conform issues, or maintaining a clean VFX pipeline, an assistant needs to be able to effectively communicate with all team members to do their job well. At the end of the day, everyone is working towards the same goal, providing the client with exceptional service and product that exceeds their expectations. My own client base As the senior assist, in addition to the time I spend match grading, I am also given the opportunity to build my own client base. There are times where the senior colorist is too busy to take on another job given the deadline, so they will recommend the client work with me. It's my job to continue that relationship the company has with that client and provide my own style and expertise that ideally exceeds their expectations. While that is a small part of my client base, I also build relationships with clients on my own and will collaborate on commercials, social spots, music videos, short films, and features. It’s a really great experience to essentially do a micro version of what the senior colorist does. I’m building a growing list of clients, doing my own sales, and continuing to improve my color grading skills. The next step In my experience, there is not necessarily a situation where “once you hit this amount of billings, you become a colorist.” Yes, you must be able to bill enough to justify running a color suite, but reputation is also important. You must have a good reputation in the industry for clients to trust you’re the right person for the job and can increase the value of their work. That starts with maintaining a good relationship with the clients you have because often times, they will be the ones that get you the next job. I’m still working at this and figuring it out as I go, but I have been lucky enough to work for one of the top companies in the industry and work with an exceptional senior colorist and see how it’s done successfully at the highest level. My advice I would recommend reaching out to a colorist or post-house you admire and show your interest in their company and the craft. Be persistent but not annoying; It’s great to show your enthusiasm but people get busy and it’s important to recognize that. Try and get in any way you can. Often times, that may mean starting in client services but work hard at any task you’re given and it will show. Once you work your way up to assistant, work your ass off and build a good relationship with the senior colorist. They will notice your hard work and will want to mentor you and learning from someone with that type of experience is a key part to becoming a colorist. Parker Jarvie Senior Assistant Colorist, Company 3 All images and clips copyright © Company 3 are colored by Parker Jarvie
  7. Sjors Krebbeks

    PC vs. Mac for color grading

    As an IT professional I can tell you that the choice usually boils down to taste and what fits your requirements. I do however recommend looking into compatibility if you wish to switch from one platform to another (You might have to rebuy licenses, which can increase the costs). That said, Windows based PC's are highly customizable and cheaper to upgrade in the future. - In my eyes the Windows route would be a more secure investment for the long term.
  8. Sjors Krebbeks

    Happy Festive season Folks

    Have a great Christmas everyone
  9. Sjors Krebbeks

    Colorist reel - Margus Voll - TV commercials

    Great job as always Margus!
  10. Sjors Krebbeks

    The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction (2nd)

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  11. With the shift from film to digital, today’s filmmakers are empowered by an arsenal of powerful, creative options with which to tell their story. Modern Post examines and demystifies these tools and workflows and demonstrates how these decisions can empower your storytelling.
  12. Sjors Krebbeks

    Taking care of our eyes

    Great advice!
  13. Sjors Krebbeks

    Announcing ACEScentral.com

    Congratulations on Launching the site! Great job
  14. Sjors Krebbeks

    GENTLEMEN & GANGSTERS

    I was introduced to work with Gentlemen and Gangsters before they started to shoot the film and I was a part of the tests to check the lenses and exposure. The film was shot on 35mm anamorphic and with spherical lenses. Some parts were B/W negative and some of it was shot on color stock. The film has a low exposure and the 35mm color film gives more grain in low exposed areas of an image. This is something the photographer used as a style to get a certain structure of grain, which was one of the visions. A good balance Gentlemen and Gangsters was color corrected using Nucoda Film Master on a 2K Christie projector, and the stocks was scanned on an Arri scanner to 10-bit Log DPX. I started with my LUT which makes the image Linear from the Log Arri scanned negative. I have several LUT's that I try and test before I start to grade a new film I balanced the film in the direction of our look and used no keys or windows before I had a good control over the film. It is important for me to get as far as possible with a good balance in the direction of the look I want to achieve. Making many keys and windows first round is like locking the picture in detail too early. It takes time to get into a movie, and it is a process to improve day by day. I work my way gradually into the movie and add layers step by step. That said, I know colleagues and friends in the industry who work different and it is up to everyone to work the way that suits them best. The director chose to tell some parts of the film in black and white because of dramaturgical and emotional reasons. Then it was about to get a nice contrast as one wishes to see the picture. It is not obvious how a black and white image will look just because there is no color. I tried to find the mood of the scene and follow the photographer's intention. Since the director, the photographer and I have worked on previous films together, we all knew pretty much which way we should go. The "old look" The director, the photographer and I got more into the details of the film, day by day, when we graded, and the look was coming along. A lot of the look is made on set and was already at the negative so to speak. The interaction of scenography, costumes, make up, and good photography is what gives us the final look in grade. And in terms of Gentlemen and Gangsters, it is very well done in every way. I did follow the photographer's intention from the set and ensured that the colors were be in line with what we thought looked good to the different epochs in the film. Gentlemen and Gangsters is unique in its own way, I believe, and the film takes place from the 40s up to the 80s. I got inspiration from archive material and my own experience with films I've graded before, where the film is set in the 70s. "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Call Girl" are two examples. I also made film restoration of many old original negatives from the 60s and up to the 90s, both color, and black and white. An "old look" is individual and, in the end, it's your own taste that decides what you think is a nice look and what doesn't look so new and modern. The film has a very nice atmosphere and sometimes a pictorial sense built out of grains. The biggest challenge was the subtle levels to get the grain show all the subtle shades and nuances in the blackness. I did some grain reduction in some shots, and some regrain in others with Sapphire and the DVO tools, but in general, the 35mm negative of this film had no other special treatment. Mats Holmgren All images and clips copyright © B-reel