Learning about the King of Fast, Accurate Colorimeter Probes for Display Calibration with Luhr Jensen

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In this show I talk with Luhr Jensen, the CEO, owner  and creator of the Klein K10-A colorimeter, heralded as the fastest and most accurate colorimeter on the market. You see this probe in nearly every product shot for display calibration software packages.  You hear home theater calibrators talking about the Klein Instruments’ probe speed, and video production studios with reference monitors using the probe for critical calibration tasks.

It’s built like a tank to take tough punishment from those of us hauling around probes for calibration of displays in studios and theaters.

So what makes this particular colorimeter better than others?  Many thanks to Luhr for being willing to have a personal and technical discussion of how this probe has come to be so popular and what he thinks is next in the evolution of display technology and calibration needs. Listen in for more!

I ask Luhr:

– Luhr, let’s start with some basics here to set the stage. Your company builds the most accurate colorimeter and is the popular choice to calibrate TVs in manufacturing, home theaters projection systems, and critical reference monitors in studios. How did you get to this point?

– What is the difference between using a colorimeter and a spectroradiometer?

– What is it about the Klein K10-A that’s so different? Let’s get down to some specifics. How is this colorimeter different from ones in the market that cost less?

– Talk about how these instruments are made and tested!

– Tell us about the trends you’re seeing in the industry. You’ve been at this a while and you’ve seen the industry move from CRT-based systems to a wide range of display technologies. Do you think this will continue?

– Does the Klein K10-A come with software, or is it best to use it with a third-party software company, say like SpectraCal’s CalMAN package?

– Where do you think display technology is going, especially with home theater and mobile devices? Do you work with many of the display manufacturers?

 And while you are listening to my interview with Luhr, remember to check back to this blog. Luhr talks about the internals of the Klein K10-A probe, so here is a close-up of the inside of the probe that we discuss in detail. We start this part of the interview at 10:07.  You can learn more about the Klein K10-A at www.Kleininstruments.com

Are you interested in learning more about color correction and color grading in Austin, Texas? Come to the TaoOfColor training with Patrick Inhofer at Precision Camera, June 24-26. I’ll be there!


James Wicks on Color Restoring Classic 35mm Spanish-language Movies

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–Senior Colorist James Wicks works with a highly talented team at Olympusat, color restoring classic 35mm Spanish-language movies, and I am delighted to post this interview. Why? Well, watch and you will see. We cover a variety of topics relating to color grading. So let’s get on with this.
Jim, as he is known to his friends and colleagues, discusses his passion for being a Colorist, and gives details of some of his amazing experiences as he color restores these classic movies. He carefully color restores each film to its original look and luster – despite the fact that each film has been in storage for anywhere from 50 to 70 years. Because the films are actually reframed for 16×9 HD viewing, they look even better than they did originally. Spoiler alert: If you jump to 33:20 you can hear and see us talking about some specific clips in two movies Jim has color restored.

Jim talks about the team effort that goes into repairing each film, such as the careful cleaning, optical scanning, restoration, the color restoration process, audio, and finishing. Jim covers two examples: one from a 1951 black-and-white film, the other from a 1956 color film that looks to be nearly as grand in scale as Gone with the Wind.

Join in the conversation and let us know if you have questions. Or, you can contact Jim directly at jimwicks.com.

Special thanks to Tom Mohler, President and CEO of Olympusat Holdings Inc., for his bold vision which has made it possible to restore and color these classic 35mm Hispanic films for a whole new generation of movie fans.

Here is the mix of questions I asked Jim:

  • I know you’ve been a Colorist for 7 years. What spurred your interest to make that change? How has it been for you, and how did you get involved with color restoring classic films?
  • Give us a brief overview: describe your “pipeline” for us. How do the films go from old to new again?
  • How long does it take to color restore a film?
  • What are some of the issues that come up in the restoration process?
  • How would you describe what you do? Are you color grading, or do you color restore the films?
  • What are the tools in Resolve that actually make this go quickly for you?
  • Have you ever had a chance to talk with or meet the original directors or producers of these movies?


Interview with James Wicks on Color Restoring Classic 35mm Spanish Language Movies from Tom Parish on Vimeo.


Resolve Training – Grade a Short Film in Class – Austin TX, June 24-26

Resolve Training - Grade a Short Film in Class

Resolve Training - Grade a Short Film in Class


Patrick Inhofer from the TaoOfColor.com has scheduled a training in Austin to teach color correction and color grading a short film. Here is even better news: The classes are being held at Precision Camera.  There are at least a dozen excellent restaurants within walking distance of the location, and it’s easy to get to in North Central Austin.  There are plenty of hotels within 5-10 minutes of this location. At the end of this blog I list four hotels; there are more.  I just cannot think of a better place to attend Colorist Flight School LIVE!, or a more experienced colorist to learn DaVinci Resolve from.

All the details for this two- or three-day training for Resolve are here. (Those who opt to attend for 3 days get a second short film to download and work on, and a bunch of other bonuses.) You bring your laptop with a copy of Resolve Lite on it. Patrick provides a USB drive with the short film source files and all the training materials.  You keep everything after the class, which I think is a good thing. Lately, I’ve been to classes where you have to work on classroom machines and you cannot save or take home the media and files you worked on.  Not anymore.

Given the excitement and complexity of learning a new tool, what I find helpful about Patrick’s training is his approach in providing a practical short film project that he actually delivers himself.  Working with Patrick during these three days of training is like sitting next to him in his studio as an assistant. I took an early version of this course without Patrick around, and I wish I could have had him in the room with me for three days. Now he’s coming to Austin, so I’ll be there assisting Patrick and learning too! Always learning.

Who should consider participating in Colorist Flight School LIVE!?

  • Assistant Editors and Assistant Colorists – If you want to properly prep a job for your editor or colorist, you can’t do that if you don’t understand their workflow and concerns. This class is a great way to get up to speed fast—on both the craft and the software.
  • Editors – Are you looking to expand your skill set or perhaps offer your clients a sub-specialty? This class is a low-pressure way of getting introduced to the world of professional color correction. And you’ll learn a great piece of software while doing so.
  • Colorists – Are you looking for more material for your demo reel? Or maybe you want a more interactive learning experience than a book or online video training or online forums can provide? This is a great opportunity to see how another colorist works, ask questions, and pick up a few valuable tidbits that you can ‘take with you’ to make a difference in your job.
  • Beginning to Intermediate Resolve Users – Patrick starts with the fundamentals. Even if you’ve never worked on DaVinci Resolve, you’ll feel comfortable. If you’re experienced on Resolve, he’ll systematically delve into details that may have escaped you before.

The film that participants will be color correcting in class is a cut-down (PG-rated) version of the short film Death Scenes. Produced by a team of filmmakers practicing their craft in London – by creating 13 short horror films as an anthology series – the producers have graciously licensed their film to TaoOfColor.com (since they did the original color grade) for use as color correction teaching and practice material. A portion of the proceeds from this event goes back to BloodyCuts.co.uk, which they’ll plow back into their next short film.

Hope to see you here in Austin at Colorist Flight School LIVE!, June 24-26.

2438 West Anderson Lane
Suite B-4
Austin 78757

If you’re traveling from out of town, here are some hotels about 10 minutes’ drive time to Precision Camera:

Holiday Inn  – Austin NW-Arboretum Area
8901 Business Park Dr., Austin 78759
(512) 343-0888

Renaissance Austin
9721 Arboretum Blvd, Austin 78759
(512) 343-2626 

Embassy Suites Austin
9505 Stonelake Boulevard, Austin 78759

Hyatt Place Austin/Arboretum
3612 Tudor Boulevard, Austin 78759
512 231 8491


Austin – local contact
Feel free to reach out to me for any questions.
Tom Parish, 512-782-4814,  Central Austin 78704



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

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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?

ProVideoCoalition.com  – article by Art Adams on the DSC Color Card

ArtAdamsDp.com  – 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.

Experimental Color Grading


Experimental – Take Two Stock Clips and Doing Something Creative from Tom Parish on Vimeo.

This is just one of those little projects you do because you can. Well actually it was a dare. Take two random stock video clips and create something interesting or at least different. So I did. In fact this was an opportunity for me to use Adobe Premier and Audition more. The color grading was done in Resolve with quite a bit of key framing to cycle the color changes.

I had fun.



Rob Bessette’s Experience as Demomeister on Resolve 10 at NAB 2013

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Are you interested in learning more about color correction and color grading in Austin Texas? Come to the TaoOfColor training with Patrick Inhofer at Precision Camera June24-26. I’ll be there! You get to keep the film you grade and use it for your own purposes!

While attending NAB 2013, I met Rob Bessette, a colorist from Boston demonstrating the new features for Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 10.  Like most other Resolve users, I was excited to hear about all the new goodies coming, but very curious what Rob would have to say after returning home to Resolve 9. What was that like after a week of using Resolve 10?

Background on Rob Bessette:

Rob has been the lead colorist at www.Finishboston.com for the last three years, beginning as a colorist 8 years ago.  He worked with a senior colorist for 5 years, learning the tools of the trade. Rob mainly works on commercials but does indie features and is starting to do some dailies work as well with all the footage being shot in Boston. Rob says he really enjoys the mix of creative work as well as the technical aspects – a ‘real interesting blend’.  I can relate to that.

During this interview, I’m mostly interested in Rob’s experience using Resolve 10 and the reactions he received during the week from the NAB crowd.  For those of you wanting all the nitty-gritty details, you can see this feature list, and an excellent 20-minute video of Rob demonstrating Resolve 10 is also available.

Here are the questions I asked Rob:

How in the world did you get picked to demo Resolve 10 for NAB?

Tell us what kind of support BMD gave you in advance to prepare? What was that like?

Can you retell the story you told me about the BMD developers asking you to beat the heck out of the demo system?

I want to hear about your experience with using Resolve 10 and the insights and impressions you picked up from demonstrating during NAB. To begin with, what features really stand out the most for you that would impact your productivity and creativity?

Was there any common thread of responses from people while demonstrating Resolve 10?

Let’s chat some about other features you think are cool. We’ll list a few and and then you can explain your reasoning behind your thinking. For example, do you think it might be possible to actually edit a short directly in Resolve? The editing features looked so promising –  I’m wondering what’s ‘not’ there versus what is there.

You mentioned you were worried about missing Resolve 10 when you got back to your color suite. Has that been the case?

Thanks for listening,


Coming soon – interviews on industry trends around the UHD standard (4k and 8k), new developments at SpectraCal.com for color corrections in the studio and a few other surprises! Stay tuned.

5 Alarm Music at NAB2013 and Interview with Sarah Scarlata, Drummer

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Mary Lorraine Stewart and I talk about some surprises at the 5 Alarm Music booth at NAB 2013, and we have a spirited interview with Sarah Scarlata. Sarah is a Music Director for 5 Alarm Music, and is a also a Producer / Creative Writing Manager / Digital Content Coordinator. Besides that, I hear she is a killer drummer – we have a lot in common. Listen in and learn how the super-fun and friendly 5 Alarm Music staff work with clients to help them find just the right tracks for their productions. We also talk about trends in production music for 2013. Sarah gets into her rock roots at the end of the show – don’t miss it!


Interview with Technicolor about Color Assist for Indie Film Productions


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In this interview, I’m talking with Markus Loeffler, the developer of Technicolor Color Assist, and Asif Ahmed, Technicolor product specialist and filmmaker who is also an experienced film director.  March 22, 2013.

I recently visited Technicolor in Los Angeles. As ironic as it might sound, I recorded only an audio interview with them about their first software product called Color Assist.  The software was released in November of 2012 and according to Technicolor has been well received by their intended market focus, the prosumer. I can see why,  given the professional feel of the software and the flexibiliy and power they built into this tool to simplify the process of experimenting and using color in video productions.

Let’s all be real here: Learning to use a professional color-grading tool takes quite a significiant investment of your time. They all do — Baselight, DaVinci Resolve, Nucoda, SCRATCH, Lustre, or even SpeedGrade in the Adobe suite — all of them assume you have some background in color theory and color physiology and have spent hours learning how to use and apply color correction and color grading across hundreds of clips.

Along comes Color Assist, which is dead simple to learn and a pleasure to use. It can take a bit of the mystery and difficulty out of learning how to apply color into your narratives, and at $99 you cannot beat the price.  I have found Color Assist to be fun to use and experiment with color, and super easy to apply results back into an NLE.

Let me emphasize: Color Assist is not meant to take the place of a more fully featured color-grading system, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use Color Assist for short or even long narratives, and web videos in particular.

Let’s assume for now that you think the color balance for all of your clips is good enough for telling your story, but you want to test some ideas around adding a color grade to specific scenes — flashbacks or cut to the future — you get the idea. You just point Color Assist to the directory where all those clips live and start testing ideas immediately with no rendering. This process does not directly change your files, so it’s safe.  Once you are done you save the results as a kind of template, and they show up in your NLE.  Technicolor provides a Color Assist plugin for Adobe 5.5 and above, and for FCP7.   The plugin takes the ‘look’ you have creatively applied and experimented with in the Color Assist program and allows you to apply that look in your NLE.

Note: If you want to change that look, you have to revisit that cycle. The entire Color Assist program is not ‘built into’ the NLE; just the use of the looks or end result of your testing. Then you apply that look directly into your final edit.  Or at least that’s how I see it being used.  There is an option to output directly from Color Assist if you feel confident about the results and you just want the file with the new look on it.

Here is a quick summary taken from their website:

  • Instant color correction & grading with render-free playback
  • 25 CineStyle Looks designed by Technicolor Colorists for quick grading
  • Ability to save up to 9 Color Compositions per video clip
  • Non-destructive color correction & grading via MetaColor file
  • User-friendly interface
  • 3-Way Color Corrector, Key Selector & Curves Adjustments for advanced control
  • Support for popular video codecs in SD, HD & 2K resolutions
  • Scopes to easily monitor color information
  • Plugin support for Apple Final Cut Pro 7 & Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 & CS6
  • Expandable library with additional premium CineStyle Looks packagess
  • Secondary monitor support for full screen playback
  • Technology based on Technicolor’s award-winning DP Lights™ System

What caught my eye was the 3-Way Color Corrector, Key Selector & Curves Adjustments for advanced control. They look great and work well. Wonderful too for learning quickly about color and how it impacts your vision for your story.

BTW, before the interview we tested Color Assist’s ability to export a LUT into DaVinci Resolve 9. That worked great; however, on Apple OS it requires you to change the extension from .TXT to .DAT, and move the LUT file to the Application Support folder in the System Library (not the User Library).   This may be a handy option to exercise if you have a client who has been testing various ‘looks’ on the dailies during a shoot. Once the client has a rough feel for what he or she is going for, you can take that LUT and use it as a starting point for grading the entire LUT in DaVinci Resolve, for example.   I think it’s nice to have options.

Let me know if you have any questions.



PS. You can ‘see’ Asif Ahmed from Technicolor talking about Color Assist here, and he will be at NAB 2013 in Las Vegas.


How Colorists Will Thrive in 2013 – Google Hangout Interview with Patrick Inhofer

Are you interested in learning more about color correction and color grading in Austin Texas? Come to the TaoOfColor training with Patrick Inhofer at Precision Camera June24-26. I’ll be there! You get to keep the film you grade and use it for your own purposes!


Patrick is a seasoned senior colorist and editor with more than 20 years’ experience in broadcast, cable, and (more recently) indie post-production.  He publishes an amazing newsletter every Sunday morning for fellow colorists. It’s the first thing I read on Sunday with my first cup of  coffee.

Patrick has been a mentor for me the last few years as I’ve worked through his trainings at the Tao of Color to refine my craft and tackle significantly more complex color grading jobs. You can read my review of his recently released grade-along tutorial that includes ProRes 4444 HD Arri Alexa files for a horror movie.

We talk about how the craft of color grading is becoming a body of knowledge editors, cinematographers, directors and producers who would use color grading more if they just knew more about it. One idea is to urge colorists to teach and mentor storytellers and filmmakers to use digital color from the creative stage of their storytelling through post-production. This can help a colorist be more valuable. Color grading is no longer this big, expensive step at the end of a project. It’s something you can begin experimenting with in production or post with tools like Color Assist from Technicolor, then output a LUT to Resolve or whatever color grader you’re using. I’ll talk more about this approach on my next Google Plus interview.

For now enjoy the conversation with Patrick!