Post Production

Color Correction Video Tutorial

The latest in my series of color correction video tutorials is a brief departure from art to get to the nuts and bolts of installing color correction hardware.

If you are doing a lot of grading, there is no way to keep up with the “real” colorists doing work on dedicated systems like da Vinci unless you invest in a “panel” or manual user interface for Color or Color Finesse (or any of the other “software” color correctors).

The main two companies manufacturing units like these are Tangent Devices and JLCooper. They actually have very similar install setups. When I wrote “The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction,” I went around the country and sat in on sessions with the nation’s top colorists. For those sessions, I brought along a Tangent Devices CP-100. That unit was about $25,000. If you’re not quite that flush with cash (and who is today?) then you could try their CP-200BK or various combinations of smaller Tangent Devices boards that are meant to work together. Each of those boards runs about $6000. Tangent is also soon to release their even lower-cost unit, The Wave.

JL Cooper has the Eclipse CX, which is about $7,000 which delivers about the same functionality of the $25,000 CP-100. Originally, I was not a big JLCooper fan. The first versions I tried seemed rough and almost gritty. But the Eclipse I’ve been using for the last few months is a huge improvement over previous versions. The unit is good looking, feels solid and is a pleasure to work on. Also, with the new software it can be configured by the user to get the most efficiency from the way you like to work. I’ll try to get into that user customization of the JLCooper in another tutorial soon. But first, I’d like to show you how easy it is to get set-up and working with a new unit, fresh out of the box. You should be able to have this up and running in about the time it takes to watch this tutorial, especially if you have someone who knows computer networking. If you don’t have someone like that, don’t panic. This video will show you everything you need to know.

This video tutorial is on the upcoming revised edition of “Color Correction for Video” which I originally wrote with Jaime Fowler in 2002. The release will be out in December of this year on Focal Press. Please subscribe to the RSS feed to receive future video tutorials in this series.


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Steve Hullfish has been producing and editing award-winning television since the mid-1980s. He has written six books, and edited four theatrical feature films (including two Number One New Movies in the US). He has lectured…

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