If you’re a Canon DSLR shooter, one of the best third-party applications has been Technicolor’s CineStyle profile, which enables you to capture a flat Log-like look, which gives you more latitude during color grading.
Now Technicolor has released a software application, CineStyle Color Assist, that makes color grading easier and more efficient, and works hand in hand with the CineStyle color profile. The technology is based on Technicolor’s DP Lights, a professional on-set color-grading tool.
When first opening Color Assist, if you’ve done any amount of color correction, the interface is very easy to navigate. In the Main Viewer window, you’ll see your main video clip preview, as well as your video control tools, and when applying a look or adjustment, you can preview it in real time.
Below the Main Viewer is the File Browser tab where you can locate your video files. Like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X, you can organize clips as thumbnails that can be adjusted, or you can view them as a list. On the right side of the application, Color Assist has professional scopes such as a histogram, waveform and vectorscope.
One of the best tools in Color Assist is the History Panel, which lets you review the different looks and changes you’ve made to your clips. You can save up to nine color compositions per clip. What’s even better about Color Assist is that any look or adjustment you apply to your clip is completely nondestructible to your original video files.
On the left side of the program there are four color tools. Curves is a very useful tool, and Color Assist lets you create your own curves, adjust each RGB channel, as well as use pre-selected curves. With the Color Control tab, you can adjust hues, luminance, shadows, midtones and highlights with standard three-way color-corrector wheels, as well as have access to saturation level bars.
The Looks tab will probably be the most popular tool for most users. It has 25 looks that were developed by Technicolor colorists, including looks such as Ruby Slippers, Movie Musicals, Film Emulation, B&W Horror Film and more.
If preset looks are a little too gimmicky for you, S-Curve is probably the best solution, especially if you shot with the CineStyle profile with your Canon EOS 5D Mark II or III. The S-Curve is sort of like a LUT that adds the proper saturation and contrast levels back to your neutral, flat-like look from CineStyle. The S-Curve also works great if you captured the RAW look with the GoPro HERO3.
Color Assist works as a standalone application, but you also can use it with Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro 7. Technicolor does need to simplify the installation of the Premiere Pro plug-in, but once that’s done, you’re good to go.
While working in Premiere Pro, if you want to apply looks to clips in your timeline, you have to locate your plug-in under the Effects tab and drag the Color Assist icon into specific frames in your timeline. You now can send your clip to Color Assist, but make sure the program is already open.
Once you save the look or looks that you like in Color Assist, the clips are immediately updated in Premiere Pro when you return. Your looks then can be implemented, rendered and exported as a finished project.
Color Assist is a great solution if you’re looking for an easy-to-use and less intimidating color-grading system than Resolve or SpeedGrade. It integrates nicely with Premiere Pro and is ideal to work with if you used to shoot with CineStyle or Protunes.
The program is priced at only $99; you can purchase additional CineStyle Looks packages, including Movies and Extreme, for $19 each.
For more information, visit www.technicolor.com.