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Update - the product called Virtual VideoForge was released since I published this podcast. See this link for more info.


The reality for the independent post-production house is we’re all Dropboxing (I guess it’s a verb now) files back and forth to create or finish out a project, and the problem is that everybody’s displays show slightly different colors. We’re all working on a different color interpretation of the files due to a variety of display technology issues. Talk about confusion for the colorist who has the final task of making it all play together!

Up next is a discovery of how SpectraCal is bringing order to the hodge-podge of displays which have such differences in color calibration – in our studios, in our digital creative community, and used by our clients. We need more than just a single reference monitor; we need all of our displays to be more closely aligned. Most of us don’t need perfection – just assurance we’re close – and if we’re way out then we need a way to get those displays adjusted.

The difficulty is figuring out quickly which displays need attention, and how to fix the problem so there is greater consistency or alignment of colors when working with graphics and videos.

To help us understand this better, I arranged a conversation with Derek Smith of SpectraCal, the leading developer of video calibration software.

This interview runs long; however, if you have an interest in this topic you will want to listen to everything Derek Smith says. I sure did.


– Derek, you are one of those rare people who have the creative and competitive drive to solve some very difficult problems dealing with display technologies and the challenge of color calibration. What was your inspiration for creating SpectraCal? And give us a brief summary of where CalMAN 5 is these days.

– What are your observations of changes in the display technology – consumer and professional – over the last 10 years?

– What kind of trends are you seeing in the video production industry these days – particularly the needs of smaller, independent digital creatives?

– What is SpectraCal doing to make it easier for video post-production groups to calibrate all of their displays?

– What changes do you think will occur in the next 12-24 months in display technology?

– What about the 4k trend? What sort of new challenges are there with the coming 4k displays?

– One of the new developments for DaVinci Resolve coming soon is the ability to add DCP renders for theatrical releases. This will mean a huge increase in indie films available in theaters. Though most colorists work with a color reference display, how does one calibrate a theater projector? This is more of a geek question.

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About The Author

Freelance colorist, Passionate about Color Grading and color calibration, dialog editing and the power of telling stories

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