|Review: Color Correcting in FCP 5
- Color Correcting in FCP 5
By Andrew Balis
DVD ROM Ripple
Run time 4 hours - $99.95
Purchase in the lafcpug
Review by Ken
Ripple Training has just started shipping
its new 'Color Correction in Final Cut Pro' DVD tutorial by Andrew
Balis. This is a four hour tutorial with 10 chapters and all
project files and required media are supplied on the DVD, so
that you can work through the lessons in FCP, side by side with
the tutorial. 'Color Correcting in FCP' is for both FCP 4.5 and
5, project files are included for both versions of FCP (in both
SD and HD formats). At four hours, this tutorial covers everything
from the most basic through the very advanced and is meant for
all users, from the beginner to the more accomplished.
For those of you familiar with
my web site, you will recognize the name Andrew Balis. Andrew
has been contributing FCP articles to my web site for years,
including the very popular Color Correcting for FCP 3 and 4 articles.
Andrew brings considerable expertise to this tutorial and he
has crafted this tutorial in a manner that makes learning color
correcting an easier task. For example, in most color correcting
tutorials, the instruction teaches about the FCP scopes while
also teaching color correcting. For someone trying to learn color
correcting, melding two lessons into one does not work well.
This is where Andrew excels and his experience as a teacher shows.
In the first chapter we learn how to calibrate our 'client' monitors
(including commercial TVs if that's what you have) an essential
chore that must be accomplished before color correcting begins.
He then teaches us how to use the FCP scopes, providing clips
that demonstrate how the scopes work. This lesson is about the
scopes and not color correcting. In other words, he teaches us
how the tools work and how to use them first, and then, once
we know how to use the tools, he moves us ahead to color correcting
lessons in which these tools are employed. It is like this throughout
the tutorial, teach the tools first and then teach their use.
As you can see by the Chapter index
shown below, this tutorial is extensive. It includes, not only
color correcting but substantial lessons using FCP to alter and
create special moods or a stylized look, a very important ability
to have for a film maker.
Here we're shown how
to create different moods and styles by adjusting the coloring
and balance of our film or video. We are also shown how to use
the new multicam feature in Final Cut Pro to compare four different
looks side by side.
Most tutorials supply video to work with, but often, the video
footage used in color correcting tutorials is normal footage
that has been 'tricked up' to be bad and then fixed following
the provided lessons. This is not the case with this tutorial.
In addition to providing real world film and video media, several
days were spent shooting material that was shot incorrectly on
purpose. Under and over exposure, improper color balance, too
little or too much contrast, color tinting, blown out skies (and
windows), washed out blacks and all of the other errors that
can happen during shooting. Having 'real world' problematic footage
makes all the difference when it comes to learning FCP color
Using a combination of the whites, blacks and mids color wheels, the Color Corrector 3 Way
was used to correct video shot with the wrong white balance.
Over the years Ripple Training has produced exceptionally high
quality tutorials and this one seems to have the highest production
values yet. Color Correcting in FCP comes on a DVD but this is
not MPEG 2 DVD video which is great for movies but does poorly
displaying the FCP interface and text. This tutorial is DVD ROM
with a 960 x 600 widescreen window, encoded in H.264, for amazing
on screen quality. Gone are the static PowerPoint (should I say
Keynote) slides, replaced by panels created in Apples Motion
application, which add some excitement to the lessons. By using
DVD ROM, Ripple Training is able to add chapter and sub chapter
markers which allow easy navigation by the user. Using the chapter
drop down menu, you can easily select any lesson you want to
view or review. Because QuickTime is used, there is also a timeline
playhead which will allow you to scrub to any place in the tutorial
that you wish to visit.
I am very impressed with Color Correcting in Final Cut Pro by
Andrew Balis, it is one of the finest tutorials I have ever seen.
The excellence of the on screen visuals are matched by the quality,
thoroughness and even pacing of the lessons. There is a great
deal to learn about FCP color correcting and the numerous tools
that are employed in the process. Andrews teaching presence is
clear and comfortable and he has the ability to simplify what
are normally complex and sometime confusing concepts, making
the lessons comprehensible and even enjoyable. Color correction
and insuring that our video is Broadcast Safe are very important
issues, but beyond that, using color correction to establish
the mood and tone of our movies, (a style if you will) can be
just as important. In this tutorial there is ample instruction
to enable us to apply our artistic vision to our movies. I have
been doing basic color correcting for some years now, but after
working through this tutorial, I have a much better idea of what
I am doing and have better ways of doing it. Color correcting
is about technique and workflow and I now feel that I can make
much better use of the FCP tools to achieve the end results that
I desire. Thanks to Andrew, I can even get 'Match Hue' to work
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