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Review: Class on Demand – Advanced Training for Apple Color

August 9th, 2010 · No Comments

ColorOnce again Class on Demand does a top notch job with their training DVDs, this time with Advanced Training for Apple’s Color.

The Instructors
Bob Sliga and Steve Hullfish are once again your trainers with Apple’s Color application….but this time it’s Advanced Training (extreme trailer music playing).

This DVD will give you a great understanding of how to use Color as an advanced user. Not only using the tools and rooms in the application but it is very cerebral that makes you think like the professionals. I can’t express enough how cool it is to get access to minds like Bob and Steve.

The expertise of the trainers are outstanding and they openly give you tips and information to make you an advanced colorist right off 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, everything began to make sense. After you get an understanding of Color the Advanced training is the next logical step.

Not For Everyone
I have to warn new editors not to jump into Color until you have become very comfortable using Final Cut Pro as an editor. To think like an editor is so very important in using this application especially if you are aware of archiving, saving backups and creating presets or scones. There is only one Undo move in Color so be careful and listen to these instructors and save at every step.

The project media used in this training comes with the DVD, simply drag and drop from the DVD to your desktop. Everything is sorted in easy to find folders. One thing you need to do before you begin your training with this DVD is to download from RED RED FINAL CUT STUDIO 3 INSTALLER and REDCODE QUICKTIME CODEC (BETA). Otherwise you will be lost in the first lesson. After you do that you can open your projects in this training and follow along. When I opened the first lesson I couldn’t re-link the media in the project. I tried over and over, then just moved on in the lesson until they covered that media file and that is when I knew I needed to install RED on my computer. After the installation I could finally re-link the media…only problem was the media on my computer didn’t match what they were training with.

Here is the media I was supplied with…

Outlined in the red square is what the trainers worked with…

This is not a deal breaker by any means. Just followed along with the instructors and made the changes with them…it didn’t matter what footage I was using as long as I had media linked.

The Course
Primary Color Correction

    Day for night look
    Adding a highlight glow in secondaries
    Keyframing color corrections
    Using the RED tab

Advanced Grade Management

    Archiving Grades for future use
    Dragging grades between shots
    Applying the same grade to multiple “grouped” clips
    Sharing grades between users


    HSL Qualification – Improving Skin Tones
    Saving a secondary matte or key from an HSL qualification
    Using Key Blur to soften skin tones
    Combining Multiple HSL Qualifications
    Keyframing – moving, copying and pasting them, including auto / manual tracking plus custom shapes
    Using Secondaries without qualifying anything

Advanced Color FX Room

    Creating a Color FX preset
    Understanding the nodes – when to use them
    Dealing with Interlaced footage
    Keyframing in ColorFX Room

Nattress Plug-ins

    Understanding the nodes

Primary Out Room

    Using this in combination with other corrections

Geometry Room

    Adding keyframes in the Geometry room


    How to archive and restore archives of Color Projects
    Workaround to “Save As” with a Color Project

Interfacing with Final Cut Pro

    How to import color corrections from another Color Project or version
    How to reconform an FCP sequence after color correction has been done

Tangent Devices WAVE panel

    Customizing your panel
    Using your WAVE panel as a mouse
    Where the customized panel settings are saved for sharing/ moving settings

Spyder calibration

    Show setup and configuration
    Using the Spyder Cube to white balance in Color – three different methods

Tek scopes

    How to capture a reference still and use it in matching footage in Color
    Line select mode to isolate an element vertically in the picture
    Review of how to use presets
    Explanation of gamut displays
    Demonstration of proprietary LQV vectorscope display
    Explanation of customizing presets

Cine-Tal calibration

Time Saving Short Cuts
Listening to these experts is the best thing about this DVD. They give so many time saving short cuts. Even the smallest of things are important to grasp like; saving grades every time you finish a color project so you can use them later or copying those grades and putting them on another computer. Also grouping Secondaries and listing them by name so if you color for one clip and you have multiple clips in your project you can group them all together and drag and drop the Color Correction on the group.

They go through and show you how to color correct for skin tone with the HSL tool. H (Hue) S (Saturation) L (Luminance). Learn how to matte a color range and enhance it with the HSL parameters.

The one I can say is they are very aware of how easy it might be to ruin all the hard work it takes to do color correction. They show short cut and methods on how to backup your work without accidentally deleting your work. Color only has 1 undo, and you can’t set it either…so if you mess up make sure you are aware of it right away. So it is invaluable to pay attention and retain that information. Part of my blog is reference for the mistakes I’ve made and how I learned from it. It’s great to share these fixed mistakes with FCP users on the internet.

One of my favorite sections is the keyframing, tracking & user shapes. You will fall in love with the motion tracker, very easy to use and easier to clean up. You can choose from automatic or manual. Each is very easy to use. At the end of this lesson Bob gives his tip on how to keep a single color and make everything else black and white. He also shows you how to change the background from black and white to any other color scheme you can think up. Outstanding!

Another great section is when these great instructors introduce you to preset nodes in the Color FX room. If you are a Shake user you will feel very comfortable using these, if not it will take sometime getting used to. Watching Bob explain what each node does is great, you really get a good understanding what each node does. At the end of the lesson Bob throws one of his samples on the screen and the node tree looks like a freaking redwood tree…as a beginner color artist it looks so intimidating but they calm me down and explain that the best learning is deconstructing a complex tree. That is a great way to learn what node does what…brilliant sirs.

Wrap It Up
As you can tell I’m a big fan of this DVD. The price is right at $99. To learn the power that this application has is incredible and worth the money and time. As an editor, learning Color will place you in another level in the editing world as a professional. There are more and more jobs being offered to Color specialists and purchasing this DVD is a step into becoming a Color specialist.

Tags: Final Cut Pro · Reviews · Software

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