How to Use a DSC OneShot Color Reference Card – Raise the Quality of Your Video Productions

Click to play or right click to download.

Art Adams says, “Shoot a reference that the colorist can quickly dial in so he/she can spend more time finessing your look and less time trying to do damage control.”

If you want better-looking video and a smoother ride for your colorist, seriously consider listening to this podcast and getting one of the OneShot Color reference cards from DSC or SMPTE. The creator of this unique card (Art Adams) talks about how to use it in your production and post workflow to improve the quality of your productions.

The use of color and properly balanced color are what separate you from the pack of others out there shooting and competing for the same jobs. Let’s face it, when you’re shooting, sometimes things just go wrong in regard to lighting and settings on cameras. Happens to everyone. It’s true you can fix many problems in post, but do you want your colorist fixing problems or spending time doing the more refined quality color work on your project?  We all have more competitive pressures and dwindling budgets these days. Developing a relationship with a colorist to talk about ways to incorporate more color in your storytelling and ways to reduce lighting and camera mistakes can make a difference in the quality of your work. Let’s work together!


–  Art before we get into the details let’s take a step back. I’m very curious why you created this card. Seems like there are lots of color reference cards around.  What was the point where you said ‘geeeesh I really need to just do this myself and do it right’.

–  But why THIS particular card Art?  What is specifically different about this one versus other ones on the market?

– How was it you were able to design this card (with DSC?) and why did you ask for those particular colors on the card?

–  What is the best way to place and light the card?

–  Does it make any difference in using the big card versus the small card?

–  Reasons for using the card in production and post?

Special thanks to Gray Marshall for the idea and the personal introduction to Art Adams.  Thank you, Art, for your time and effort to pull this show together around the particular topic of speaking to smaller shops and indie film producers.  Using a color reference card specifically targeted toward video versus film is a tool everyone can use today to improve the quality of their work.

Want to know more?  – article by Art Adams on the DSC Color Card  – Art’s personal website

More about the DSC OneShot – video – helpful

How to buy the front box OneShot (the bigger one) ~$287

How to buy a DSC OneShot Color Chart from SMPTE  (the smaller one) – $99

TechTips on using DSC Color Charts


Here is where you can purchase the DSC OneShot

The DSC chart was designed with input from DP Art Adams. His articles about the chart explain how it is intended to be used:
Rough Guide to Color Grading with DSCLabs OneShot

A New Chart for Film Style Product with the DSCLabs OneShot

TechTips from Art Adams in using the DSCLabs OneShot

Also see this article by Art for an explanation of native color balance in digital sensors


NOTE that using a color card does’t guarantee perfection. It’s frustrating at times. It can take some time and often the best you can do is get close enough. Part of the issue is if you hold the card just slightly the wrong way it can give you a slightly different reading from one camera to the next.  Where it does pay off is color balancing multiple cameras.

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