In a previous post, I talked about the importance of color grading your footage. I can’t think of the last time we worked on a project here at GCC that we didn’t take the time to do some sort of grading to the final edit. Here’s the truth – There’s always something you can tweak with a grade to make it better. Today I wanted to share some of the tools we use here at GCC to help grade our projects as well as share a few video tutorials we’ve found to be helpful for anyone getting started. Like with any creative skill, the more you practice, the more you will learn. So find some footage and start experimenting.
Software We Use
FCPX – For quick and simple grading jobs, FCPX has a few great tools to get the job done. Although I prefer using curves in either AE or Davinci, the color correction tab in FCPX can be quite powerful. It also is super fast for render times. If you’re a beginner, this is the ticket!
Davinci Resolve – This is by far the most robust set of color tools one will ever need. If you’ve never heard of Davinci Resolve, you can actually download a free copy here. Davinci works well in a roundtrip scenario with FCPX and Premiere. One of the most powerful tools within Davinci is the Tracker to create dynamic grades for your moving footage.
After Effects – From Curves to Glows, After Effects has a great tools set that works well when adding motion graphics with your footage. It also works seamlessly with Premiere.
Plugins We Love
Magic Bullet Looks – http://www.redgiant.com/
Gorilla Grain – http://gorillagrain.com/
Magic Bullet Mojo – http://www.redgiant.com/
Colorista – http://www.redgiant.com/
Pixel Films Pro Vintage – http://store.pixelfilmstudios.com/plugin/provintage-plugin
Beginner Tutorials for FCPX
A Few More Great Web Resources for Anyone Interested in Color Grading