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Train to be a Freelance Colorist

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Embarking on a journey to become a skilled colorist can be both exciting and challenging. As beginner colorists eager to learn the art of color grading, finding the right resources is crucial for success. One such resource is Waqas Qazi’s Freelance Colorist Training Course, designed to provide comprehensive guidance for those new to the field. In this blog post, we will delve into the specifics of this course and explain why it is an excellent starting point for aspiring colorists.

Waqas Qazi is a respected freelance colorist who has worked on a wide range of projects, including music videos, commercials, and feature films. His clients include major brands such as Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and Adobe, and he has collaborated with top artists like Kendrick Lamar and Jaden Smith. With years of experience under his belt, Qazi is well-equipped to share his knowledge and expertise with beginners in his Freelance Colorist Training Course.

The course is designed to help aspiring colorists build a solid foundation by covering essential topics such as:

  1. Introduction to Color Grading: This module focuses on the basic principles of color grading and familiarizes students with the role it plays in film and video production.
  2. Color Theory: Here, Qazi delves into the principles of color theory, explaining color harmonies, complementary colors, and color psychology to help students understand how these concepts apply to color grading.
  3. Color Grading Software: In this section, students are introduced to popular color grading software, such as DaVinci Resolve, with detailed instructions on setting up the workspace, navigating the interface, and understanding the essential tools.
  4. Techniques and Workflows: Qazi demonstrates various color grading techniques like primary and secondary corrections, shot matching, and creating looks. He also shares insights on developing efficient workflows to streamline the grading process.
  5. Practical Exercises: Throughout the course, students have the opportunity to put their newfound skills to the test with hands-on exercises, enabling them to learn by doing.
  6. Building a Portfolio: Qazi offers valuable advice on how to create a strong portfolio, which is crucial for securing freelance work or full-time positions in the industry.
  7. Marketing and Networking: Finally, students learn strategies for promoting their services, connecting with potential clients, and networking with other professionals in the color grading community.

Qazi’s Freelance Colorist Training Course has been highly praised by both industry professionals and beginners alike for its comprehensive approach, practical demonstrations, and insights into the real-world application of color grading skills. By enrolling in this course, beginner colorists can expect to gain a solid understanding of color grading fundamentals and best practices, while also receiving guidance on how to establish themselves in the competitive world of color grading.

In conclusion, Waqas Qazi’s Freelance Colorist Training Course is an excellent investment for beginner colorists looking to start their journey into the world of color grading. With its well-rounded curriculum and expert instruction, this course provides the knowledge and skills needed to begin a successful career in the industry.

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Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve – For Beginners

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Color grading is the process of adjusting the colors in a video or image to achieve a desired look. It is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the mood, tone, and overall feel of a piece of media. DaVinci Resolve is a popular software program that is used for color grading.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of color grading in DaVinci Resolve. We will cover topics such as how to import footage, how to use the primary color correction tools, how to use the secondary color correction tools, and how to use the node editor.

We will also provide some tips on how to improve your color grading skills.

DaVinci Resolve?

DaVinci Resolve is a professional non-linear editing and color grading application developed by Blackmagic Design. It is available for free download on both Windows and Mac computers. DaVinci Resolve is a powerful tool that can be used to edit and color grade video, audio, and images.

DaVinci Resolve is used by professional filmmakers, colorists, and editors around the world. It is also used by students, hobbyists, and anyone who wants to create high-quality videos.

DaVinci Resolve is a very versatile application. It can be used for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Editing video
  • Color grading video
  • Adding effects to video
  • Mixing audio
  • Creating titles and graphics
  • Compositing images

DaVinci Resolve is a very powerful application. It offers a wide range of features and tools that can be used to create professional-looking results. Some of the features that DaVinci Resolve offers include:

  • Non-linear editing
  • Color grading
  • Effects
  • Audio mixing
  • Title and graphics creation
  • Compositing

DaVinci Resolve is a very user-friendly application. It is easy to learn and use, even for beginners. The interface is well-organized and easy to navigate. The tools are well-designed and easy to use.

DaVinci Resolve is a very affordable application. It is available for free download. There is also a paid version of DaVinci Resolve that offers additional features and tools. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to create high-quality videos. It is a powerful, versatile, and user-friendly application that offers a wide range of features and tools.

Importing Footage

The first step in color grading is to import your footage into DaVinci Resolve. To do this, go to the File menu and select Import > Media.

In the Import Media dialog box, select the footage that you want to import and click Open.

DaVinci Resolve will then import the footage into the Media Pool.

Primary Color Correction

The primary color correction tools are used to adjust the overall color balance of an image. To access the primary color correction tools, click on the Primary tab in the Color tab.

The primary color correction tools include the following:

  • The White Balance tool is used to adjust the white balance of an image.
  • The Exposure tool is used to adjust the brightness of an image.
  • The Contrast tool is used to adjust the contrast of an image.
  • The Midtones tool is used to adjust the midtones of an image.
  • The Shadows tool is used to adjust the shadows of an image.
  • The Highlights tool is used to adjust the highlights of an image.

To use the primary color correction tools, simply click on the tool that you want to use and then adjust the settings until you achieve the desired look.

For example, if you want to make an image look warmer, you would increase the red and yellow values in the White Balance tool. If you want to make an image look cooler, you would increase the blue value in the White Balance tool.

Secondary Color Correction

The secondary color correction tools are used to adjust the color of specific areas in an image. To access the secondary color correction tools, click on the Secondary tab in the Color tab.

The secondary color correction tools include the following:

  • The Color Wheels tool is used to adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness of specific areas in an image.
  • The Power Curve tool is used to adjust the contrast of specific areas in an image.
  • The HSL Secondary tool is used to adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of specific areas in an image.
  • The RGB Secondary tool is used to adjust the red, green, and blue channels of specific areas in an image.

To use the secondary color correction tools, simply click on the tool that you want to use and then select the area in the image that you want to adjust. You can then adjust the settings until you achieve the desired look.

For example, if you want to make a person’s skin look more orange, you would use the Color Wheels tool to select the skin area and then increase the orange value.

Node Editor

The node editor is a powerful tool that allows you to combine multiple color correction effects into a single node. To access the node editor, click on the Node Editor tab in the Color tab.

The node editor consists of nodes, which are used to represent color correction effects. You can connect nodes together to create a chain of effects.

To add a node, simply click on the Add Node button in the toolbar.

To connect two nodes, simply drag a line from the output of one node to the input of another node.

You can then adjust the settings of each node to achieve the desired look.

For example, you could create a node that adjusts the brightness of an image and then connect that node to another node that adjusts the contrast of the image. This would create a chain of effects that would both brighten and contrast the image.

Tips for Color Grading

Here are a few tips for color grading:

  • Start with a good image. The better the image quality, the easier it will be to achieve the desired look.
  • Use a reference image. A reference image is a photo or video that you can use to guide your color grading.
  • Use a color wheel. A color wheel is a tool that can help you choose colors that work well together.
  • Experiment. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different color combinations and effects.
  • Save versions. As you’re working, be sure to save your work frequently as different versions within DaVinci Resolve so that you can go back to previous versions if needed.

Color Grading for Different Genres

The type of color grading you use will depend on the genre of your video. For example, if you are grading a horror movie, you might want to use dark and moody colors to create a sense of suspense and dread. On the other hand, if you are grading a comedy, you might want to use bright and cheerful colors to create a sense of fun and lightheartedness.

Here are some tips for color grading different genres of video:

  • Horror: Use dark and moody colors to create a sense of suspense and dread. Avoid using bright colors, as they will make the video feel less scary.
  • Comedy: Use bright and cheerful colors to create a sense of fun and lightheartedness. Avoid using dark colors, as they will make the video feel less funny.
  • Drama: Use realistic colors to create a sense of authenticity. Avoid using exaggerated colors, as they will make the video feel less believable.
  • Documentary: Use natural colors to create a sense of realism. Avoid using stylized colors, as they will make the video feel less authentic.
  • Music video: Use vibrant and eye-catching colors to create a sense of excitement and energy. Avoid using muted colors, as they will make the video feel less engaging.

Tips for beginners

  • Start with the basics. Before you start using DaVinci Resolve, it is important to learn the basics of video editing and color grading. There are many resources available online and in books that can help you learn the basics.
  • Use the tutorials. DaVinci Resolve comes with a number of tutorials that can help you learn how to use the application. The tutorials are a great way to get started with DaVinci Resolve and learn the basics of the application.
  • Experiment. The best way to learn DaVinci Resolve is to experiment with the application. Try different things and see what works for you. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
  • Get feedback. Once you have started using DaVinci Resolve, it is a good idea to get feedback from others. Ask friends, family, or other filmmakers for feedback on your work.
  • Watch tutorials and read articles. There are many resources available online that can help you learn more about DaVinci Resolve. Watch tutorials, read articles, and follow blogs to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in DaVinci Resolve.
  • Join a community. There are many online communities where you can connect with other DaVinci Resolve users. These communities can be a great source of support and information.
  • Have fun! DaVinci Resolve can be a lot of fun to use. So relax, have fun, and enjoy the process of learning and using DaVinci Resolve.


Color grading is a powerful tool that can be used to improve the look and feel of your videos. By following the tips in this article, you can learn to use DaVinci Resolve to create stunning color grading effects.

Here are some additional tips to help you improve your color grading skills:

  • Practice regularly. The more you practice, the better you will become at color grading.
  • Experiment with different techniques. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different color combinations and effects.
  • Get feedback from others. Ask friends, family, or other filmmakers for feedback on your color grading work.
  • Watch tutorials and read articles. There are many resources available online that can help you learn more about color grading.
  • Use reference materials. Look at other films and videos for inspiration.
  • Have fun! Color grading can be a lot of fun, so enjoy the process.

How to Choose the Right Color Grading Software for Your Film

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Color grading is an essential part of the post-production process in filmmaking. It is the process of adjusting the colors of a film or video to achieve a desired look and mood. Color grading is done using specialized software designed for this purpose.

However, with so many color grading software options available on the market, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll go over some key factors to consider when choosing the right color grading software for your film.


The first thing to consider when choosing color grading software is compatibility with your editing software. Most color grading software works as a plugin for popular editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, and Avid Media Composer. If you’re already using a particular editing software, make sure that the color grading software you choose is compatible with it.


The next thing to consider is the features offered by the color grading software. Some software is designed for basic color correction, while others offer advanced features like advanced color grading tools, keyframe animation, and color matching. Consider the specific needs of your project and choose a software that offers the features you require.

User Interface

The user interface of the color grading software is also an important factor to consider. The software should be easy to navigate and use, even for beginners. A clean, intuitive user interface can help you save time and focus on your creative vision.


The performance of the software is also a crucial factor. Color grading can be a resource-intensive process, so you need software that can handle high-resolution footage and complex grading tasks without crashing or slowing down. Make sure to check the recommended system requirements for the software and ensure that your computer meets or exceeds them.


Finally, consider the price of the software. Some software is free or relatively inexpensive, while others are quite expensive. Remember that the most expensive software is not always the best option, especially if you’re just starting out. Choose software that fits your budget while still meeting your needs.

In addition to choosing the right software, it’s also important to consider some professional colorist training to give your career a boost. Professional colorist training can help you learn the ins and outs of color grading, develop your skills and techniques, and gain practical experience with industry-standard software. A comprehensive training program can also help you build your network and connect with other professionals in the field. Investing in your education and training can help you stand out in a competitive industry and advance your career.

In conclusion, choosing the right color grading software for your film requires careful consideration of factors like compatibility, features, user interface, performance, and price. By taking the time to choose the right software and investing in professional colorist training, you can create visually stunning films that captivate audiences and take your career to the next level.


While it’s essential to have the right color grading software and skills, there are still significant benefits to hiring a professional colorist to do the color grading for your film. A professional colorist brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and creativity to the table. They have spent years perfecting their craft and developing a keen eye for color and visual storytelling.

A professional colorist can help you achieve the look and feel that you want for your film while also providing valuable insights and feedback. They can help you avoid common mistakes and make sure that your film looks its best on any screen, from cinema to mobile devices. Moreover, hiring a professional colorist can save you time and allow you to focus on other aspects of post-production, like sound design and visual effects.

Ultimately, working with a professional colorist can help you create a visually stunning film that stands out from the crowd and resonates with your audience.

The Top 10 Film Color Grading Techniques You Need to Know

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Color grading is a crucial aspect of the filmmaking process that can greatly impact the overall look and feel of a film. It involves adjusting the color and tone of the footage to create a specific visual style or mood. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 film color grading techniques that every filmmaker should know.

1. Color Correction

Color correction is the process of balancing the colors in the footage to create a natural-looking image. This technique involves adjusting the exposure, contrast, and saturation of the footage. It is the foundation of all color grading techniques and is essential for achieving a consistent look and feel across different shots.

2. Color Grading for Emotion

Color grading can be used to evoke specific emotions in the audience. For example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow can create a sense of warmth, while cool colors like blue and green can create a sense of calmness. By using different color tones, filmmakers can influence the emotional response of the audience.

3. Bleach Bypass

Bleach bypass is a technique that involves skipping the bleaching process during film development, resulting in a desaturated and high-contrast image. This technique was popularized in the 1990s and is commonly used in action and thriller films to create a gritty and intense atmosphere.

4. Day for Night

Day for night is a technique that involves shooting a scene during the day and then grading the footage to make it look like it was shot at night. This technique is commonly used in outdoor scenes and can be achieved by desaturating the image, adding blue tones, and adjusting the exposure.

5. Cross-Processing

Cross-processing is a technique that involves processing film in the wrong chemicals, resulting in a unique and stylized look. This technique can create bold colors and high contrast, and is commonly used in music videos and commercials.

6. Vintage Film

Vintage film is a popular color grading technique that involves recreating the look of old film stocks. This technique can add a sense of nostalgia and timelessness to the footage, and is commonly used in period pieces and documentaries.

7. Teal and Orange

Teal and orange is a popular color grading technique that involves adding a teal tone to the shadows and an orange tone to the highlights. This technique creates a warm and cinematic look that is commonly used in action and adventure films.

8. High Key

High key is a technique that involves creating a bright and airy image by raising the exposure and reducing the contrast. This technique is commonly used in romantic comedies and dramas to create a soft and dreamy atmosphere.

9. Low Key

Low key is a technique that involves creating a dark and moody image by reducing the exposure and increasing the contrast. This technique is commonly used in horror and thriller films to create a sense of tension and suspense.

10. Desaturated Look

A desaturated look involves reducing the saturation of the footage to create a muted and subdued image. This technique can create a sense of realism and can be used to convey a serious or dramatic tone.


In conclusion, color grading is a powerful tool that can greatly impact the visual style and emotional impact of a film. By using these top 10 color grading techniques, filmmakers can create unique and engaging images that resonate with their audiences.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the world of filmmaking, understanding these techniques is essential for creating visually stunning and emotionally compelling films.

The Importance of Color Grading for Independent Films

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Color grading is a crucial aspect of the filmmaking process that can greatly impact the overall look and feel of a film. This is especially true for independent films, where the budget is often limited, and every aspect of the production must be carefully considered to achieve the desired result. In this article, we will discuss the importance of color grading for independent films and how it can enhance the storytelling and emotional impact of the film.

Visual storytelling

Color grading is an essential tool for visual storytelling. It allows filmmakers to convey mood, atmosphere, and emotion through color. A well-executed color grade can bring a sense of realism or surrealism to the film and help to immerse the audience in the story. By using color to create a specific tone, filmmakers can influence the audience’s emotional response to the film.

Enhance the production value

Color grading can enhance the production value of a film. Even low-budget independent films can look more polished and professional with a well-executed color grade. By adjusting the color and contrast of the footage, color grading can make the film look more cinematic and immersive. This can help to attract a wider audience and make the film stand out from the crowd.

Create a consistent look and feel

Color grading is essential for creating a consistent look and feel across different shots and scenes. This is particularly important for independent films, where there may be limited resources for reshoots and post-production. By creating a consistent color grade, filmmakers can ensure that the film looks and feels like a cohesive whole.

Correct color issues

Color grading can also be used to correct color issues in the footage. This can include correcting exposure, white balance, and color temperature. By fixing these issues, filmmakers can ensure that the film looks its best and is visually appealing to the audience.

Stand out from the competition

In today’s digital age, there are more independent films being produced than ever before. To stand out from the competition, filmmakers must be willing to invest in the production value of their films. A well-executed color grade can help a film to stand out from the crowd and attract the attention of film festivals and distributors.

The Importance of Professional Colorist Training

Undertaking some professional colorist training can give a filmmaker’s career a significant boost. By learning the latest color grading techniques and tools, filmmakers can take their films to the next level and stand out in a crowded market. Professional colorist training can help filmmakers to develop their skills and techniques and stay up to date with the latest industry trends. It can also provide valuable networking opportunities and help to build a reputation within the industry.

In conclusion, color grading is a crucial aspect of the filmmaking process that can greatly impact the overall look and feel of a film. For independent filmmakers, color grading is essential for enhancing the production value, creating a consistent look and feel, and standing out from the competition. Undertaking professional colorist training can give a filmmaker’s career a significant boost and help them to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. By investing in color grading, filmmakers can create visually stunning and emotionally compelling films that resonate with their audiences.

The Importance Of Color Grading In Film And Video Production

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Ask people what they consider to be the most important part of a film and they will more than likely reply with “the storyline”. Of course, this is true but it is not the only element of film that stands out. So many different elements have to come into play such as the location or setting, the actors and the way in which the film is filmed and processed. Everything works together to create a final product that captures the audience, evokes certain emotions and leaves them wanting more.

With this in mind, there is one element of filmmaking that is extremely important – color.

Think about films through the years and the way in which color brings them to life. Moody films are set to dark tones to create the right atmosphere while lively, fun and happy films are more than likely to include pops of color throughout to heighten the mood of the viewer. So, it is fair to say that color is crucial.

Films take viewers on an emotional journey and it gets our mind working in wonderful ways and it is often the reason why people consider watching films as a form of escapism. Both consciously and subconsciously, they can engage with use and allow us to enter a whole new world.

What is Color Grading?

Essentially, color grading could be considered a type of color correction but it is important to recognise that the two are completely different. Color grading is much more than balancing color which is part of the correction process because it gives footage a specific feel.

Color grading is one of the final steps when it comes to processing film and for that reason, it could be considered one of the most important. When it comes to film, both the director as well as the cinematographer will play a part in helping the colorist to create that final look.

The process involves adjusting white balance, adjusting blacks and whites, adjusting saturation and contrast as well as many other elements. Effectively, the process can take dull and flat footage and bring it to life.

How is Color Grading Used?

In the early days of film, color was not as important as it is today and that was mainly down to capabilities and technology. As technology developed and post-production processing became an integral part of the process, color grading is now considered extremely important.

From romantic films to thrillers and comedy, the colors will all help to create a certain feeling based on the film itself and that forces viewers to respond in a way that connects them to the film.

Color grading is not just a process that is used primarily in the film industry. We now live in a connected world whereby almost everything we consume has to engage and deliver a message. Spend time on social media and you will be met with ads. These ads have nothing more than a few seconds to capture your attention and to do this, color is often used. The same can be said for TV ads and even personal videos such as wedding videos. Essentially, whatever the viewer is consuming, they have to become emotionally connected with it.

When Should Color Grading Be Used?

There are a large number of reasons why color grading would be used as part of a project. Of course, much like the many other tools available, it is important to know when color grading should be used. In fact, it has to be implemented correctly or else it can detract from the film or video and the message it is delivering.

Color grading and using color to create a specific mood is not a new concept. Throughout the decades, mood rings have been used because color is known to evoke certain responses but what really matters is understanding when to use color grading and how to use it.

The reality is that colorists should be involved in the process as early as possible. This is down to the fact that it is common for new filmmakers to completely miss or overlook the importance of color. This can lead to the outcome of the film being impacted by lack of power and emotion when it comes to color.

The Positive Effects of Color Grading

Color grading is crucial for any video regardless of whether it is being used for a relatively small marketing campaign or being watched by millions of people globally. As far as film goes, viewers have high expectations and to meet those expectations, color has to be balanced throughout. It has to have the right tone and feel and there is a whole variety of genres that have been improved as a result of color grading.

An example of this is the film Saving Private Ryan which was given the bleach bypass effectively. This creates a desaturated look but when you look at the film, you can see exactly what it brought to the overall feel and how it worked with the type of film that it was.

A film that has been professionally color graded will be technically clean but will work in harmony with the creative element of the film.

The Process

Color grading is not a process that can be carried out in a matter of hours. It is an important part of ensuring that film leaps from the screen and comes to life. Therefore, it has to be done in a way that ensures it creates an immersive experience that keeps viewers hooked. As a result, the process can take a matter of days or weeks or months to ensure that the image is perfect in every possible way.

As far as post-production processing goes, color grading is more important than many might realise. A colorist will have an understanding of the look and atmosphere that needs to be created, ensuring that the power of color gives footage a completely new feel and meaning.

Color Grading Training – Learning DaVinci Resolve

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DaVinci Resolve is a piece of software that is extremely powerful and is used by a growing number of professional filmmakers and colorists.

It comes with a wealth of features that make it appealing to editors, cinematographers and directors as it comes with collaboration tools that enable all those involved in post-production to work together. In fact, it is considered such a highly regarded tool that it is used in TV, film and TV ads to carry out many different processes in addition to color grading.

Color Grading Training

Whether you are someone who wants to get into color grading or you are at a point where you want to take that next step, DaVinci Resolve is everything that you need and more. It has a wide range of functionalities and because it is used by professionals in the film industry, it is clear to see that it is considered to be an industry-leading piece of software. In fact, DaVinci Resolve is the most widely used color grading tool in Hollywood.

Learning DaVinci Resolve The Right Way

Attempting to learn the software yourself will take a huge amount of time and can leave you frustrated, simply because of the time it takes to familiarise yourself with the different elements that it offers.

Therefore, one of the best solutions is to enrol on a top-rated course such as the Freelance Colorist course from Waqas Qazi. What does the course entail?

The course is designed to set you on a path of financial freedom where you have the potential to fine tune your skills in DaVinci Resolve but also turn it into a passion that earns you money if you wish.

The freelance colorist course covers 10 modules, including:

Module 1 – Conform – This module will help you to understand the best practices that enable you to import and export your footage from DaVinci Resolve

Module 2 – Cameras – You’ll learn all the color science of the most popular professional cinema camers, and how to take advantage of them.

Module 3 – Color Correction – In this module, you will learn how to balance footage that is almost irretrievable using nondestructive methods.

Module 4 – Shot Matching – Bringing together color sciences and multiple cameras, you will learn how to match shots from cameras.

Module 5 – Color Grading – There is no requirement for third-party plugins or LUTs but you will learn how to create stunning footage using popular looks.

Module 6 – Studio Setup – Getting the most from your new-found skill, you’ll need to create the perfect grading studio and you’ll be shown how to build a studio on any budget.

Module 7 – Freelance – You’ll receive insight into what it takes to work as a freelancer and how to have the confidence you need to quit your job.

Module 8 – Bonus – This module provides you with extra content that enables you to work more efficiently and give your workflow a boost.

Module 9 – Youtube – Create specific looks from Youtube videos that have been created by Waqas Qazi.

Module 10 – Professional Work – You’ll also learn to replicate some of the looks from professional work created by Waqas.

As part of the course, you will also have access to a community of people, coaching videos and free workshops

This course is delivered through the use of DaVinci Resolve but what are the benefits of using this software for color grading?

Post Production Control

The interface has been cleverly designed to be intuitive to the point where the user feels in control of everything that they are doing. It provides a smart timeline for filmmakers to manage, monitor and control the progress of projects in real-time such as previewing color grading without the need to wait. Furthermore, it allows users to edit footage in a way that is non-destructive and that means that clips can be moved around easily and freely on the timeline without being concerned about the potential of altering work.

A Single Application for Non-linear editing and Color Grading

All editing takes place directly on the original media. This avoids the need for transcoding or rendering, all of which can save time and reduce the amount of storage space required. This is a useful feature when working on large video files as it avoids delays that are commonly experienced when using non-linear editing systems. There is also extensive support for a range of file formats such as HDV from Panasonic, XDCAM from Sony and AVCHD from Canon.

Save Files in 4K and 2K

The software delivers a comprehensive format that allows users to edit in high resolution. This is crucial as it allows editors to work with the quality that they require and that avoids the need to compress files or transcode at any stage of production.

The DNxHR codecs can be accessed as a raw file type (DNNxRAW) or a version that is optimized which contains just one compressed stream per frame. This helps to make post-production more efficient by enabling color grading tools to make changes without the need for frames to be rerendered in order to accommodate downstream processing needs.

DaVinci is Cost Effective

As it is clear to see, DaVinci Resolve comes packed with features and enables you to undertake post-production and color grading, delivering impressive results and functionality. However, the cost of the software is based on a price per seat which means that there is no need to purchase an expensive licence in advance. For a single seat, Davinci Resolve can be purchased for $295 which makes it an excellent price based on what you can achieve with it, especially after completing the Freelance Colorist course from Waqas Qazi.

Essentially, if you are serious about working as a color grader as a full time job and on a freelance basis, then this is an investment that is worth making. For the amount of money you could earn once you become fully attuned with the software, it will pay for itself in no time at all. There is a reason why large editing departments rely on it and why it is used by professionals around the globe.

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How to Find the Best Freelance Colorist For Your Film

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Whether you are creating a short film or a feature-length film, you are going to want to ensure that it captures the story in every possible way. You want footage to resonate with your audience, taking them on a journey through your story and giving them the freedom to explore emotions that link them with your film.

The story plays an integral role in the success of any film but in the modern world, post-production helps to bring it to life so it’s ready for the screen and ready for your audience. This is where a colorist can really make a difference. They will understand what is required to capture the correct atmosphere, tone and image that depicts the very meaning of your film. So, if you are looking for a freelance colorist for your film, you might be wondering where to begin?

The good news is that there there are a growing number of expert, highly experience professional colorists available on a freelance basis who can provide you with their skills, experience and knowledge. To help you find the perfect colorist for your film or video project, we have compiled a list of some of the best freelance colorists or full time colorists from around the world. Take a look at the list below and discover the right freelance colorist for your film.

Martin Szafranek

Martin is a digital colorist who is located in both Berlin and Madrid and works using Filmlight Baselight or DaVinci Resolve while he places a focus on creating looks that are unique and diverse. However, he does aim to provide color grading for all genres including fiction and non-fiction although feature film is a space that he likes to work in.

He has covered a wide range of productions that include the likes of Guns Akimbo which starred Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving. He also provided color grading for 4 Blocks which was produced for SKy and he has worked with a range of directors such as Christopher Schier and Philipp Stennert.

His experience and ability to show his creativity has also meant that he has won several coveted awards.

Matt Mahmood-Ogston

Color Grading London

Matt Mahmood-Ogston runs a small, independent color grading studio which is located in North London. He has a passion for color grading and working with clients to help bring their ideas to life with a touch of creativity and passion.

He has worked on a number of productions which includes the documentary “ Legendary Children” whereby he showcases his ability as a colorist because his work and results spoke volumes. He also worked on “No Turning Back”, a feature film whereby he worked closely with the director who had no prior experience working with a colorist. As a result, Matt proved how easy he was to work with and how he had the ability to explain processes clearly.

Another string to his bow is his work on a music video which was directed by award-winning director, Andrew Richardson. Matt assisted by bringing his expertise to the process whereby he eventually created the music video “Eva”. All of his work sets him apart and his attention to detail and ability to capture emotions perfectly is the reasons why so many directors choose to work with him.

Ryan K. Mcneal -RKM Studios

Ryan K. Mcneal is the founder of RKM Studio which is located in Los Angeles. As a colorist he offers post production color grading for television, films, commercials and music videos. He has built a reputation for himself through the years, working with many different directors on a range of projects.

His services reach far and wide as he has won awards for the best color feature film with “The Mortuary Collection” and was a nominee for the Oscars Live Action Short Film with “Please Hold”. He offers to implement his experience and knowledge from across a broad range of disciplines to deliver work that can help to influence emotions and deliver a strong message.

Diego La Rosa

Diego La Rossa is a colorist who has been working in the industry and has been there since 2006. He has had a career that has taken him on some exciting journeys, enabling him to work on a variety of projects for many different clients. He graduated in TV and Film Editing at Video Symphony in Los Angeles and started working for MTV Italia.

Following this, he then worked for Abstract Groove as a Senior Colorist as well as one of the oldest post studios in India before moving to MagicLab in Prague. Now he has turned his attention to freelancing where he now works around the globe on projects for the likes of Audi, Armani and Gulf Air. He has a solid reputation and that has meant that he is considered in the top five freelance colorists currently in the industry.

Patrick Inhofer

Located in Orlando, Florida, Patrick has more than 30 years of experience when it comes to color grading. He has a range of clients from around the globe and he is known for delivering an exceptional standard of work. He also co-founded Mixinlight.com eventually becoming the sole owner. His credits paint a clear picture of his abilities as he has worked on a number of projects including “Split Ends” by Dorothy Lyman and “Poliwood” by Barry Levinson.

It is clear to see that the world of freelance colorists is wide and varied but all of the colorists in the list above are capable of delivering a professional service that delivers results that stand out. Their expertise, creativity and passion for color grading has enabled them to work on a range of projects, all of which proves that they are all capable of working on your next project.

What is Color Grading and Why is it Important?

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When it comes to filmmaking, there are notable differences between what the director can see during shooting and what is finally shown to viewers. This is because a lot of processing and post production changes takes place after the film has been made and part of that process is color grading.

Color grading in video is a post-production process that transforms footage by altering the color. As a result, the footage looks easier on the eye and is much more appealing to the viewer. Essentially, it brings the footage to life. So, let’s take a look at color grading and what it is all about.

Color plays a significant role in the way in which films are portrayed. Films that have a happy theme are likely to have splashes of vibrant colors while films that have a deep mood are likely to have darker tones. Effectively, color grading can help to enhance the mood in relation to what the director wants the audience to experience.

Color Grading and Color Correction – They Are Not The Same

Color grading and color correction are not the same thing. It might seem as though they are on the surface but they are both completely unique. What does color grading entail?

Color grading is the process of enhancing the color of film and the main purpose of this is to evoke emotions and feelings in those who are watching the film. As we have briefly touched on, films cause viewers to feel many different emotions ranging from happy to sad and romantic to scared and so, to achieve this, the correct colors have to be used. Color grading will provide you with the ability to add different tones or themes, all of which align with the message that will be delivered.

So, color grading is often applied after color correction and it forms part of the post-production process. This is down to the fact that the color grading becomes more apparent and successful on film that has been color corrected.

In reality, even for those films that have been perfectly shot, they are always going to require color correction because of the way in which it creates that perfect final look.This enables the story, the characters and scenes to come alive on screen.

As for color correction, this is a technical process that forms part of the post-production phase. It involves correcting colors so that it matches the hues and tones that you see in the real world. The aim of this process is to match the colours that are seen between each video clip so that there is consistency throughout. It will involve tweaking certain elements such as exposure and contrast to ensure that tones are represented accurately.

The Terms Used in Color Grading

There are a number of different terms that are used within the field of color grading.


This is used to depict a certain shade or color of a specific colour, making it possible to label it as purple, green, blue and red, however, it does not include white, black or shades of grey.


Saturation relates to the way in which intensity and purity of a color are displayed in a film or image. As the saturation is increased, the color will become more pure looking and when decreased, the colors will look washed out.


Luminance is influenced by the likes of highlights, mids and shadows but this term relates to brightness, how dark or how light a color might be.

Additive Color

These are non-primary colors but they come from mixing primary colors such as blue, red and green.

Color Cast

This term relates to the way in which the color of shot does not look as natural as it could or should. This is commonly caused by one or more incorrectly balanced light sources being used in a single shot, or the wrong white balance being set when the scene was being filmed.


Colors and be cool or warm and the temperature will define this. Blues and purples are known as cool temperatures while warmth relates to oranges and reds.

White Balance

Using white balance, it is possible to alter the coolness and warmth of footage. It is also used to help create a more natural appearance.

Three-Way Color Corrector

The hue, saturation, brightness and contrast can all be altered using this tool. It makes it easier to make alterations and removes the need to switch between different functions


Curves make it possible to give images a shaper appearance by adjusting contrast. However, it has to be applied correctly to ensure that the footage does not look oversharpened.

Is Color Grading Required?

When it comes to filmmaking, from an artistic angle, color grading is considered to play a pivotal role. Through grading, it is possible to add a variety of styles and elements to your film. For decades, filmmakers have used color grading to create a certain atmosphere, enhance mood and even alter character traits. It is a useful tool that can completely transform the look and feel of the footage. So, yes, color grading is an integral part of the process because it can give film the ability to capture viewers through color alone.

When is Color Grading Implemented?

There are a number of different stages involved in post-production but color grading comes towards the end of the process. At this point, color grading will involve matching up images with the lookbook and color palette. Then, any opportunities to alter the mood or the feeling of a setting through the use of color will take place. This tweaking process is highly vital but it has to be completed with precision because it can be all too easy to overdo it.
Color Grading Software

As you might expect, the best color grading is carried out using dedicated software such as DaVinci Resolve 12 and Baselight, but also there are some mainstream tools on the market that will allow you to dip your toes into grading, such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X.

Color grading is a vital part of the post-production process but without it, film would look completely different and would not capture the viewer in the same way as footage that has been color graded.

History of Color Grading in Movies With Examples from Films

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As with almost every other element of our lives, film has evolved throughout the decades. Look back at films through each decade and you can see that with each decade came huge improvements in the quality of the film. Not just the way it was shot or the special effects, but the way in which color became an integral part of the story telling process.

Anyone who has an deep interest in movies will understand how much of an impact color and light can have on a film. A director might shoot a film in warm daylight due to circumstances and budget, but when the final movie is released the story might actually be taking place on a cold afternoon.  Color grading is a part of the post-production process and so with careful and creative attention by a skilled Colorist, the Director can alter the look and feel of the film. With this in mind, what is the history of color grading?

What is cinematic Color Grading

Cinematic color grading is the process of adjusting and enhancing the color palette of a film or video to achieve a desired look, mood, or atmosphere. This involves manipulating the brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue of the image, and can also include the creation of stylized color effects. The goal of color grading is to bring out the intended mood and tone of the story, and make the visuals more aesthetically pleasing.

In the post-production phase of film and video, a colorist works with the director and cinematographer to determine the desired look of the final product. They use specialized software, such as DaVinci Resolve or Baselight, and dedicated color hardware to make precise adjustments to the color information in each frame and scene. This can range from minor tweaks to create a more natural look, to more dramatic changes that completely alter the mood of the scene.

Cinematic color grading has a major impact on the overall visual style of a film, and is an important part of the filmmaking process. A good color grade can bring the story to life, help convey emotions, and enhance the overall viewing experience. By carefully balancing the color elements, a colorist can create a cohesive visual aesthetic that supports the story and enhances the audience’s engagement.

Where did Color Grading Begin?

Research online and you will find a wealth of information about color film and where it all began. You might read that The Wizard of Oz was the first film of color in 1939 but in reality, this is nowhere near the truth.

In fact, the first color film was actually released in 1912 by the British Natural Color Kinematograph Company. This was Our King and Queen Through India. It captured the journey of the King and Queen as they travelled through India, all of which was captured in wonderful color for the first time. This was the very moment when the film industry saw the impact and the potential that color had on the industry.

Of course, every technology has to start somewhere and it is fair to say the Kinemacolor really set the standard and from here, the industry began to evolve at a rapid pace. There were limitations to what Kinemacolor could do but it still inspired the creation of other processes.

This evolved to Pathéchrome in 1912 and then the Handschiegl Color Process in 1916 and from here we saw one of the most famous – Technicolor which was used for The Wizard of Oz.

The Turning Point of Color Grading in Film

The use of Technicolor was a real turning point for filmmakers. It instantly made an impact and that explosion of color through color grading brought the film to life. It helped to tell stories in a new and innovative way, the world of modern cinema was born and from this moment, it became a part of filmmaking.

From the 1960s, a photo-conductive telecine was used although this was mainly used for live broadcasting. However, in 1978 Rank Cintel released the digital version of the MkIII telecine. This made it possible to take advantage of the 3:2 pulldown which meant that it could be used in the USA and those countries that used 60Hz images. Following this, it also released Topsy which was a separate programmer. Following this came the Amigo in 1983 and it was from here that the colorist was truly born.

Along Came Creative Control

Technical grading was on its way out and creative control was becoming more mainstream. Film had a large dynamic range, much more than could be transmitted and this is where colorists created techniques that enabled them to delve further into the colors through the use of secondary vectors along with primaries.

There were significant improvements in film scanning while HD came along and the use of third party color correctors and controllers became the norm. Digital color correction became possible with the Copernicus but then Pandora and DaVinci transformed the landscape.

However, in 1993, Kodak released the Cineon Digital Intermediate (DI)system. Following this came the Quantel Domino and both came with a film recorder and scanner. This brought with it a digital intermediate stage that brought together analogue film acquisition and delivery. This gave colorists the ability to implement their skills and influence the movie industry. As a result, films such as Amélie had a subtle grading added to it, which enhanced the way in which the story was told.

From here, digital innovation removed the requirement for large and expensive film scanning hardware. This made it possible to carry out grading using software and from here, new companies were formed that created software that made grading much more effective.

Let’s take a look at how grading has been used in different films through the years.


Technicolor is a technology used in filmmaking to add color to black and white films. It was first used in 1916 and became widely popular in the 1930s and 1940s. The Technicolor process involved capturing separate images of a scene through color filters and then recombining them to produce a full-color image.

The Wizard of Oz made Technicolor famous and the process involved a three-strip process. There were large cameras and massive projects involved but it allowed the delivery of posterized primary colors. It’s possible to recreate this using modern techniques such as splitter nodes and by splitting the image into red, blue and green before recombining them.


Sepia is a brown-grey tint that is often used to give a vintage or old-fashioned feel to photographs or films. This effect can be achieved by applying a sepia filter to an image or by using special film stock that has a sepia tone. Sepia is commonly used in films to create a historical or nostalgic atmosphere, or to convey a sense of aging or timelessness.

The Godfather is one of the most well known films ever made, and one of the key aims of the film visually was to recreate that 40s look. This was achieved through the use of Sepia whereby blacks were deep and whites were creamy. A touch of nostalgia was injected by adding warmth to the highlights while all other colors were desaturated.

Bleach Bypass

Bleach Bypass is a film processing technique that involves skipping the bleaching step during the development process. This results in a higher silver retention in the film stock, creating a distinctive look with increased contrast, heightened saturation and a reduced tonal range. The Bleach Bypass effect is often used in films to create a gritty, high-contrast and desaturated look that conveys a sense of intensity, grittiness or a heightened reality.

This is a technique that was first used in 1958 in the film The Rickshaw Man. It involved bypassing the bleach step during the chemical processing phase. This retains a lot of silver but then creates a desaturated look and this was seen in the likes of Saving Private Ryan and 1984. This was used in a lot of early films that attempted to move away from that hyper-saturated look associated with Technicolor.

Teal and Orange

Teal and Orange is a color grading technique in which the blue-green (teal) tones are emphasized and the orange tones are enhanced. This creates a high-contrast and stylized look that is commonly used in action and sci-fi films to create a sense of energy and excitement. The Teal and Orange effect is achieved through color grading software or by using special film stock and is known for making skin tones appear warmer while enhancing the cooler tones in the image.

This was another trend that has been seen in a number of films but one of the most prominent films is Transformers. It is used to make warm colors to stand out and cool colors to fade into the background. This creates a different dimension, bringing the subjects to life.

Color grading has now become an established part of the post-production process. From the results it has achieved through the years, it is clear to see why it has become so widely used in the film industry.