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Review Class on Demand: Basic Training for Apple Color

May 31st, 2010 · 2 Comments

colorI’ve only opened up Color once and that was when it came packed with Final Cut 6. Thanks to Class on Demand for doing a training DVD on Color. Before I watched this DVD I had no experience with Color and after training with the DVD I feel comfortable working with footage in Color. As the title says it is Basic Training and be glad. Color is an intimidating application when you first open it up. It doesn’t have the refreshing feeling of an Apple user interface. As the trainers say it is designed like a Unix interface and it takes some time getting used to. Once you get over your fears the trainers, Steve Hullfish and Bob Sliga, go through all the tabs and interfaces so we are now calm and ready to learn Color. I was psyched, I’ve done color correction on FCP’s color corrector and color corrector 3-way filter with good results, now to take that next step.

The Trainers
Steve Hullfish has written or co-written four books on editing and color correction, including “The Art and Technique of Color Correction” and “Color Correction for Video, 2nd Edition”. His editing credits span more than 20 years, including editing the Oprah Winfrey Show for which he won a Daytime Emmy. Other broadcast credits include “Investigative Reports” and “Cold Cases” with Bill Kurtis on A&E and numerous PBS documentaries. He runs his own production company – Verascope Pictures – and his clients include Universal Studios, NBC Television, Turner Broadcasting, HIT Entertainment, Jim Henson Entertainment and VeggieTales. He also writes a color correction and editing blog called CUT.N.COLOR at www.provideocoalition.com.

Bob Sliga, a professional colorist for 30 years, teaches color correction at Columbia College and DePaul University. Bob’s career spans both commecial and film projects, and he was the Director of Training for Silicon Color’s FinalTouch software. After Apple purchased Silicon Color, Bob was hired to be the lead QA for Apple’s Color application where he was instrumental in helping design the application and created all of the Color FX Room signature looks. Bob recently created Scone Looks™ (a collection of presets) for Apple Color.

As you can see the trainers have years of experience of working on Color Correction in the professional world and bring their expertise to us. Their expertise is top notch and sometimes a little to high brow that a few things fly over my head but luckily this is on a DVD-ROM so I can scroll back and listen to figure out what I missed. Here are the lessons that you will get out of the training.

LESSONS::

1. Introduction to Color

    1.1 Introduction
    1.2 Training Overview
    1.3 The Interface

2. Primary Color Correction

    2.1 The Primary Room: Part 1
    2.2 The Primary Room: Part 2
    2.3 Software Scopes Overview
    2.4 Tektronix Waveform Monitors and Rasterizers

3. Secondary Color Correction

    3.1 Secondary Room Overview
    3.2 Vignettes
    3.3 HSL Qualification
    3.4 Using Multiple Secondaries

4. The Other Color Rooms

    4.1 The ColorFX Room
    4.2 The Geometry Room
    4.3 The Primary Out Room
    4.4 Still Store
    4.5 The Setup Room
    4.6 Rendering

5. Interfacing with Final Cut Pro

6. The Color Suite: Beyond the Software

    6.1 Tangent Wave Panel
    6.2 Color Hardware Considerations
    6.3 Room Setup and External Equipment
    6.4 Datacolor Spyder Monitor Calibration
    6.5 Cine-tal Monitor Setup and Calibration
    6.6 Advanced Color Training

Color is an amazing application and this training DVD is the easiest way to learn Color. The trainers work with media and project files that come with the DVD-ROM so you can follow along…great idea, poor execution. I say poor execution because the training video never explains how to open the files that come with the DVD-ROM or explain that there are extra effects that you can add to your Color library. You have to find a .rtf located in the project media folder on the DVD-ROM. Another thing that is difficult for me and I’m sure a good percentage of editors is the fact that we are coloring with our mouses and do not have a professional device for it. They show off the Tangent Wave a sweet interface to color with greater efficiency and also color like a pro. Well, I do not have another $1,500 so I can color faster and I’m sure most Final Cut Pro editors are in the same boat.

Let me contradict myself and say that I’m glad that they introduced the Tangent Wave to me, but not happy that they trained with the Tangent Wave device. When you use a mouse in a training DVD you can see where the trainers are clicking and what parameters they are using. When they use the Tangent Wave device the parameters are not highlighted and you cannot tell how they are changing the color. It is really difficult to follow along that way but the trainers do their best explaining what they are doing while they are doing it. So you have to playback a few times to understand it.

Once you understand how to open the files to follow along everything is absolutely amazing. Color is a wow factor application, using layers you can safely experiment with your color grading without damaging a layer of corrected footage. The tips are great and subtle so pay attention and you will be color grading like the pros.

If you do not have a Tangent Wave, waveform monitors or have an additional video card like an AJA Kona Card the last lesson, The Color Suite: Beyond the Software is pretty useless. But they do an awesome job explaining why you would need and how to configure the hardware to get the most out of the application.

There are some flaws with this training DVD but all in all I learned how to use Color and I will be going back to this DVD for reference and inspiration. Yes, inspiration. Watching these pros work is a treat in it’s own and you can see how they think about color correcting and that is the most valuable asset that you can take from this DVD. So if you have the hardware or if you don’t, you should pick up this great training DVD and begin to unlock how much more color control you have over your Color Corrector filter in Final Cut Pro.

Class on Demand: Advanced Training for Apple Color is priced right at $69. Class on Demand: Advanced Training for Apple Color will unlock more tricks and get deeper into using the application. That review is coming up shortly.

Now go and learn!

Tags: Apple · Profession · Reviews · Software

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve Hullfish // Jun 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Hi. My name is Steve Hullfish. I am one of the trainers on this DVD. Thanks for this review. I think it is a fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the product and an intelligent and well-thought-out criticism. You definitely need to check out the Readme file to figure out how to download the project files. I understand that is a little complicated. It was hard to figure out during the shooting how those files would be accessed, so we created the readme file when the DVD was closer to completion. As for the Tangent, we tried to walk a line between showing how “real” colorists would do it and showing “typical” editors how to use it with a mouse. Please check out the Advanced training DVD when you’re ready. I think you’ll be blown away.

  • 2 Review: Class on Demand – Advanced Training for Apple Color | Final Cut Producer // Aug 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    […] the bat. I had a difficult time understanding Color when I first opened it up and even began with Class on Demand – Basic Training for Apple Color. After watching a few lessons over and over again and getting used to the rooms in Color, […]

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