“I would say that wizardry is a craft. Learn it… and suddenly there’s no such thing as magic anymore, it’s just something you do. I am not special, I just know wizardry, so it looks to everyone around me like I’m performing magic. But I’m not. I’m just employing what I have learned.” – Shian Storm
ColorGHear was developed by filmmaker and colorist, Shian Storm who cut her teeth in the image manipulation world as a Colorist and Restoration Specialist at the famed Lowry Digital (now Reliance Mediaworks) made most famous by their work on Avatar, Benjamin Button, The Social Network, and their stunning restorations of Star Wars, Citizen Kane, and the entire library of Disney Animated classics.
In 2012, after receiving high praise for her work creating stunning images from HDSLR footage, Shian decided to make her toolkit and techniques available to the public in the form of ColorGHear – Designed to utilize powerful 32bit floating point render engines to max effect, the add-on allows users to implement powerful and dynamic color correction in a easy to use modular fashion.
Initially designed for use on 35mm film, it is now optimized for use with RED, Alexa, Phantom, and HD cameras. Panasonic GH2, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and Canon 5D & 7D users have also found ColorGHear to be the ultimate means by which to make their footage leap off the screen.
Upon it’s release in 2012, the ColorGHear Toolkit was only available for Abobe After Effects, but now with ColorGHear Pro FCP7 and Premiere Pro users now have access to layer based color correction. which is widely considered the industry standard for high-end color grading. Until now, layer based or node based corrections could only be performed in such high-end systems such as Davinci Resolve, SpeedGrade and Nucoda systems. But ColorGHear now makes it possible to not only perform these style of corrections in FCP6 & 7, as well as, Premiere Pro, but to port them to Davinci Resolve, Speedgrade and After Effects and vice-versa. Grade your footage wherever you feel the most comfortable or through the ColorGHear tutorials learn to operate the high-end tools like a pro. Whatever you decide, ColorGHear’s powerful tools will be by your side to help you quickly achieve stunning images.
So as not to be misleading, ColorGHear is a system, and not so much a plug-in… a school of thought supported through the ColorGHear Toolkit -which is a set of MODULAR PRESETS for After Effects and ColorGHear Pro – which is a set of MODULAR LUTs for Davinci Resolve, FCP7, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Speedgrade, and is not what you’d consider a classical style plug-in.
The toolkit is NOT a collection of drag and drop “looks” like Magic Bullet, or any other LUT based product. It is a series of nodes which contain a set of grading instructions or “macros” (a set of operations), specially designed to work with each other to speed up your workflow. Along with these nodes, comes a system of grading which replaces having to perform the minutia of individual corrections by hand. Learned through the online tutorials, this system will give you speedy and precise grades. It is this precision that prevents you from “bending” your images like with standard methods which is what allows me to get such drastic and dramatic grades from normally flimsy DSLR codecs.
As a professional colorist, I noticed that because of the way the color channels in RGB video are tied together; that typical methods like the Color Balance tool, and the 3-way Color Corrector will actually bend an RGB image out of shape. So in order to maximize the full potential of any given image, I had to learn a method of grading that would avoid damaging the footage. I called this method “precision grading.”
I also noticed that in executing these precision grades, I was performing the same operations over and over. I began taking notes on what these operations were, and trying to determine if it were possible to create a set of interacting preset nodes that would save me time in having to repeatedly perform these operations.
I soon discovered 37 distinct sets of operations that would serve to correctly grade any, and all footage. 6 of these macros cancel each other out, and only 1 of those 6 could be effectively used at any given time leaving me with 32 nodes – giving me 1,024 possible combinations. Over a thousand distinct grades. Over time, I added some other tools to the set which now sits at 74 nodes all of which are designed to be used in conjunction with the other nodes. (69, if you subtract the 5 canceling nodes) which brings the total to 4,761 distinct grades.
The precision method I mention above is demonstrated below. Along with how the 3-way Color Corrector damages your footage.
ColorGHear Toolkit and ColorGHear Pro are available now in our store.