Shade EasyLooks 2.5
Shade EasyLooks 2.5
the years, there have been a great many questions coming from
editors regarding both color correction and, with growing frequency,
what many companies are calling color looks, color shading or
color grading. My own term is color management, but it really
is all the same thing, a form of color correction to achieve
a specific ambience created by that certain look and feel. This
has been made easier recently by the creation of more and more
color correction plug ins that go far beyond basic color correction
and Final Cut Pro's 3-way color correction wheels. While some
of these 'Looks' plug-ins are wonderful to have, not everyone
can afford upwards of $800.00 to buy them.
When Noise Industries recently
upgraded their many collections, one of their associated software
companies did as well. EasyLooks 2.5 is an upgrade with some
new features over the previous Easylook 2.1 and it is guaranteed
not to break the bank or burn a hole in your pocket.
DV Shade EasyLooks 2.5 is a similar
'looks' color correction, creation tool similar to a few of the
correction applications already on the market, but like all similar
things, there are differences as well. EasyLooks 2.5 is compatible
for Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express 4+, Motion 3.0, and Adobe
After Effects CS3/4. For those who are still using a Power PC
G4 or G5, DVShade EasyLooks might be your ticket for a color
correction tool that goes far beyond the basics as it is compatible
with those machines as well as the current Intel Processor Mac
Pros. The only caveat is that you do need to have the Noise Industries
FX Factory software already installed to enable your use of DV
Shade. That's not a hard choice to make as Noise Industries makes
some of the more outstanding filters, transitions and generators
on the market today, and I wouldn't hesitate to suggest any or
all of their plug in collections to anyone based upon their individual
DVShades EasyLooks comes supplied
with roughly 35 different presets creating significant color
environments from the start. All of them are supplemented with
a large number of parameters that you will be happy to have once
you start tweaking the appearances to your desired needs.
The numerous set
of default shading presets supplies you with plenty to get started
Once chosen, switching between preset looks was instantaneous
and with no lag time as the new preset loaded.
Once you have tweaked any of the presets to your satisfaction,
you can save (by clicking on the 'Save As' button in the controls
tab), them for future use so time will not be lost as you try
to recreate a specific look. Eventually, your list of saved presets
will probably grow significantly so be sure to provide your saved
preset with a name that will recall for you just what it was.
Should you forget to do that, no big problem as I found that
switching between any of the presets was immediate. While I did
not have the opportunity to try this feature out, you can also
share presets with a friend or another computer by emailing or
copying to an external hard drive. Once the second computer receives
the preset and is copied into their preset folder, it will show
up under the 'Choose Preset' drop down menu.
On the left is the
original frame of a goatfish and on the right with the 'Extreme
While the default worked well with this image, as if you would
probably need for most presets,tweaking of any of them is paramount
in getting just the appearance you want.
DVShades EasyLooks supplied parameters are simple to apply but,
like any color correction work, they demand patience and time
to get the appearance you are seeking. They are divided into
6 basic category effects: Basic 3 Way, Black Diffusion, White
Diffusion, Gradient, Techni, Color Temperature and Vignette.
Any of the effects
parameters may be applied or not, then enabling you to adjust
them as needed.
The Black and White Diffusion parameters simulate many of the
previous diffusion type filters I have seen in that they overlay
a blur onto the original. There are many ways diffusion can be
used in video clips, to create a dreamlike sequence, time travel,
a transition to a past memory and plenty you can probably think
The original image
shot in DVC Pro HD on the left and with the White Diffusion enabled
on the right.
Below I used one of the supplied presets named 'Matrices' on
this giraffe. Once the preset was applied I then adjusted the
color lift, the opacity of the lows, mids and the mid gain.
The original frame.
With Matrices applied.
Original on the left
and that CSI Miami look made using DV Shades 'Golden Look' preset
All in all, DVShade's Easy Looks has improved from its previous
version in several ways. It includes a new rendering pipeline
for quicker renders resulting in improved quality. The 3-way
color corrector is also new as is the new gradient overlays controls
and vignette effect. Should you have the previous version, version
2.5 is a free upgrade. Version 2.5 does not step on the previous
version so that when you open your DV Shades bin in the effects
tab, you will see the previous version there as well. This is
so that you will not lose those DV Shades Easylooks effects used
on older projects. In the bin, it will say that the older version
is obsolete but, again, it is there to prevent loss of your earlier
work. My bottom line is that DV Shades Easylooks Version 2.5
worked flawlessly in Final Cut Pro, Motion and Adobe After Effects.
If you already have Factory FX installed but do not own the DV
Shade Easy Looks color correction package, nor another correction
application, I would seriously suggest adding this to your arsenal
of color correction tools.
Steve Douglas is a certified Apple Pro for Final Cut Pro 6 and underwater videographer. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and productions for National Geographic and the History channels. Steve is also feature writer for Asian Diver Magazine and is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. He is available for both private and group seminars for Final Cut Pro and leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to Micronesia for the Manta Fest in 9/09, the Red Sea and Egypt for Nov.2009, Truk Lagoon and Yap in Micronesia for July, 2010. Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared on www.kenstone.net
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