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Old May 6th, 2010, 10:45 PM   #1
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Any full time colorists here?

Hey guys,

Time for me to upgrade a bit. While our business cannot afford to move to anything like Scratch or Lustre, I am looking for a solution as close to the DaVinci Resolve as I can get, but on a PC platform. We have zero opportunity to go Mac, so let's not go there.

Avid will be the host system, but I am unaware of the grading power of Avid and the Boris tools that come with it. Right now, Magic Bullet Looks is leading the race since it gives me some masking tools, and can do the equivalent of power windows, etc. I'd love to hear alternatives in the $800-$1500 price range.

Thanks very much.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #2
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Magic Bullet is not anything like a Da Vinci or any other pro color correction platform. It's cute and it's gimmicky, but if you've ever worked with any dedicated color grading platform, it will only annoy you.

The cheapest "Da Vinci like" color grading platform is Da Vinci on a Mac, which will run you a little under $10k for the Mac Pro tower, Quadro FX graphics card, qualified Decklink card and the Da Vinci software. Monitors, storage, control surface, networking cards & external scopes are not included.

I've never used it, but Avid Symphony is supposed to have pretty good color correction tools. That might be a pretty good fit for your shop.
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Old May 7th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #3
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Arnie, I appreciate it, but I simply CANNOT go over the budget I listed here. I've got another $8k of gear to buy and I just can't stretch it do this. I'll probably play with learning to do everything by hand or maybe just get MBL to do some stuff and call it a day. We have contracts for hardware with Dell and HP and those cannot be broken to bring in a Mac.. I tried 2 years ago and got laughed at. I'm no Mac fan, but a copy of Color or Resolve would have been most welcome.

Oh well, thanks for trying.
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Old May 8th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #4
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For that budget, take a good look at After Effects CS5 with its newly upgraded Color Finesse 2. AE by itself is a powerful CC program but Color Finesse 2 makes it so much better.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #5
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Like you Perrone, I'm a Vegas guy, but Edius has some excellent color tools.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #6
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Another vote here for Color Finesse in After Effects. I don't have CS5 yet but the version with CS4 is great. Import your footage into a comp and create an adjustment layer. Open up Color Finesse in the Adjustment Layer and have fun. If you need to do heavy secondaries with masks those are pretty simple to do in a layer. I'd say Color Finesse is probably one of the better choices for a PC and is roughly on par with Apple Color in terms of capability. Not DaVinci but nothing is at that price point. It does have it's own interface that opens up and I prefer that because I use the scopes as well as the image to do corrections. Render times are decent as well.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 07:00 PM   #7
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Combustion

Might want to also have a look at Combustion, built in color correction similar to Color Finesse
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Old June 15th, 2010, 11:02 PM   #8
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Hey Perrone...

What's the going rate for outsourcing your colouring?? Is this a better option?
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Old June 16th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Manojlovic View Post
Hey Perrone...

What's the going rate for outsourcing your colouring?? Is this a better option?
No, not a better option. I ended up going with Magic Bullet Looks. Between that and AVID, it will do the job to the level I need. Not what I want, but it's what I could afford at this time. Should get it in this week.

I got one heck of a learning curve comming. Avid, MBL, Boris, Scriptsync...
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Old June 18th, 2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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This tutorial may be of some help. Just skip the initial commercial : )

Good luck with the learning!
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Old July 19th, 2010, 08:46 AM   #11
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Yes, I saw that tutorial last week. VERY helpful and thank you!
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Old July 20th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #12
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The learning curve is a son of a gun.

Even though I know Apple Color, or lets say I know what everything does, it's such a complicated program to use because the User Interface in that program is one of the worse I work in.

I just used Magic Bullets to grade my project here, and couldn't be happier with the program considering the price/User interface

KINETICS - The Story Beyond The Still on Vimeo

and the two different colors from blue to amber/warm are all in post. For the non-professional colorist, You'll basically live in the presets in Magic Bullet - they have so many choices and you can tweak them to your hearts content too.

Have fun out there and when it comes to grading, keeping it simple will keep you happy!
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Old July 20th, 2010, 02:03 PM   #13
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Well,

I've been playing with MB Looks now for about a week. I've played a bit with the presets, but have had much more success with making my own looks. The interface is a pleasure to work with, but it didn't take long for me to understand why a professional colorist would be grossly underwhelmed by this program.

The first big surprise was the lack of support in the looks builder for DPX, Cineon, or EXR file types. The second major surprise to me was the fact that you cannot direct output to your monitor. This failing is exacerbated by the fact that the program only has a single scope available. That being the RGB parade. Fortunately if there was ANY single scope that would be most helpful, this would be it. But goodness it would be nice to have a vectorscope and maybe a histogram available as well.

But for what the program costs, and what it can do, I am quite pleased. I don't want to sound like it's all doom and gloom. There are a few things I have yet to delve into with the program, and I will be getting to those this week. So far so good.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 01:56 AM   #14
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Hmmm...

Why someone would recommend Magic Bullet Looks over Magic Bullet Colorista for color correction eludes me.

Colorista is made for color correction... You might want to take a look at that, particularly if you're used to an actual color correction system...
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Last edited by Tim Kolb; July 21st, 2010 at 01:57 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 21st, 2010, 08:29 AM   #15
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Colorista didn't add anything beyond what I already had. I have tools for color correction. I wanted tools for grading. MB Looks contains Colorista's tools and a bunch of other stuff as well.
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