07/05/2017 carlos

What does a Digital Colorist do? Digital Film Colorist

digital colorist | Carlos CorresaNowadays the digital colorist role has expanded to include pre-production and production levels activity, as the presence of a colorist before shooting and on set as dailies colorist and/or digital image technician has become more commonplace.

In post production a digital colourist mainly does color correction and colour grading, although sometimes they are required to be the finishers, which includes finishing the project and conforming the final master.

Here are the main differences between colour correction and colour grading: digital colour correction is about balancing, matching and correcting exposure, ISO, contrast, etc, while digital color grading is doing colour correction first and then develop a look and applying it to create a style.

A colorist core responsibility is to basically correct errors and artefacts in the pictures, balance and match the footage and then create a style for the look of the final movie.

digital color grading | Kaitoscopico.com

Graded/Original Frame of TV Commercial

digital color correction | Kaitoscopico.com

Original/Graded Frame of Music Video – LOS BENGALA

Why do I need a Digital Colorist?

Due to the fact there are many camera choices, with varying logarithmic curves, codecs and different ways to work with each one of them, different color spaces for a wide variety of projection screens plus the tendency to shoot flat and work with raw footage, it has become essential with digital color correction and digital colour grading process for a quality product on a production.3

Digital colouring is a specialized job. As important as a gaffer is for a cinematographer or an assistant director is for a director, a professional colorist works together with both of the above.

gamuts comparison web

Gamut Comparison Color Spaces except ACES

Capable of making your footage match perfectly, colorists are the critical and trained eyes, and technically they know how the footage from the camera works, and how the footage should be manage to produce final quality and take your movie to an upper level.

A DI colorist can quickly interpret the client’s idea and bring this to the image, because they have a thorough understanding of what dials to turn and how much. Their eye is calibrated to see colour in a creative perspective, but more importantly in a scientific way too.

What can I offer you as a digital colorist?

davinci resolve colorist | Carlos Corresa

Picture of 2017 Davinci Resolve Set

Technical and creative problem solving, accurate shots matching, efficient workflows management, creative style development, and a good listener because teamwork is the essence of our craft, so together we can articulate a vision not just to keep high quality and beautiful images, but also to tell clear and captivating stories.

Davinci Resolve Colorist

original replacement davinci resolve coloris 2 web

original replacement davinci resolve coloris 1 web

Original & Graded with Sky Replacement Davinci Resolve – BERLIN

original replacement davinci resolve coloris 1 web

original replacement davinci resolve coloris 3 web

Original & Graded VFX Shot Davinci Resolve – XMILE The Movie


SOWREEL 2017 | Carlos Corresa (Digital Colorist)


A walk by the Digital Film Colorist… Revolution?

While we have been making movies since the creation of the first camera back in 1890, there has been an exponential growth in movie making during this revolution that started about 15 years ago.

Thanks to this technology revolution, cameras, software and hardware have evolved considerably and have become financially more accessible.

Thomas Edison colorist in film web

Picture of Thomas Edison. Moving Picture Camera Patent, 1891

Thanks largely to these factors digital colour correction and digital colour grading have changed considerably, and this activity is taking more presence and importance in the production scene. Nowadays we are required to work in every type of production from film, corporate, commercial, music video and even TV shows. This is due to technology trend demand and new possible workflows, which often incorporate more processes inside the production.

A colorist back in the days was credited as a colour timer in feature films. He was in the lab, scanning, adjusting the colours and printing the movie for film, but the level of activity and tasks was considerably less in comparison to today’s standards. Colour timer credit has instead evolved to become Digital Intermediate colorist, and with this the way we plan and build teams to achieve colour grading in every project.

Digital film colorist (colorist in film)

digital film colorist | kaitoscopico

Set Digital Film Colorist

I believe that the majority of professional colorist has aspirations of one day becoming a digital film colorist and working one of the big studios in Hollywood. It is often in these big productions with big budgets that you find colouring is planned in a far more sophisticated way, whereby you can find a variety of roles in the end credits such as: Colorist Supervisor , Dailies Colorist , Digital Colorist , Assistant colorist , DI colorist or Digital Intermediate Colorist. All this related to the  digital film colourist (colourist in film)

As we can see the colour process has evolved in complexity in line with the development of new technology. There is a

long history and relationship between colour grading and photography which stretches back to photography’s infancy. Here is a very good link I found where you can explore more deeply a timeline about this craft’s evolution: http://icolourist.com/library/history-of-colour-correction/

A couple of crucial moments within the evolution of the colour process was the O’Brother movie which was the first movie that was fully digitally colour graded back in 2000, and Pleasantville in 1998 that was using in house tools to digitally colour grade some portions of the movie. Since then a professional digital colourist is as paramount to a movie project success as is a cinematographer, editor, sound designer or any of the other primary roles in a team.

OBROTHER 2000 web Pleasentville 1998 web







Picture of Pleasantville, 1998 and O’Brother, 2000

Here is a good link to see how was the color grading



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