Post Production

Grading with the Tangent Ripple in Final Cut Pro X

This week on MacBreak Studio

This week on MacBreak Studio, Steve Martin from Ripple Training is joined by his lead editor Travis Richmond as they demonstrate the new Tangent Ripple with Final Cut Pro X and Color Finale.

The Ripple is Tangent’s latest control surface for performing color correction, announced at NAB this past April, and now shipping (but backordered last time I checked!). The Ripple is the “baby brother” to Tangent’s other products including the full-featured Element and the mid-sized Wave. It is quite small and portable yet still robust with sturdy trackballs and programable buttons.

In this episode, Steve and Travis take the Ripple for a spin by setting it up to work with Final Cut Pro X and Color Grading Central’s Color Finale plugin for Final Cut Pro X. To get started, you need to use the Tangent Mapper software to “hook up” the Ripple to Color Finale for FCP X (it works with Resolve as well). The Ripple does not work with the native Color Board in Final Cut Pro X, so you do need the pro version of Color Finale (which should be shipping shortly).

The process is straightforward: apply the Color Finale effect (located in the Effects Browser in the Color Finale category once installed) to a clip, click the “Open” button in the Inspector to bring up the Color Finale interface, and get to work.

The three dials at the top of the Ripple control luminance (shadows, midtones, and highlights), while the trackballs control the color wheels in Color Finale, allowing you to adjust hue and saturation in each of the 3 luminance ranges.

Because making color adjustments is an interactive process – meaning for example that changing a particular luminance range will impact other luminance ranges that will need to be adjusted – the benefit of using a control surface becomes quickly apparent: the ability to change two (or more) controls at the same time. By manipulating these dials and trackballs in concert with each other, you can grade a shot much more fluidly and quickly than by clicking around with a mouse.

Check it all out above. If you are new to the world of color correction, this tutorial will get you up to speed.


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Mark Spencer is a freelance producer, videographer, editor, trainer and writer based in the Bay Area. He produces Final Cut Pro X-related training and plugins for with his partners at Ripple Training. He is an…

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