July 22, 2010

Colorista II: a significant upgrade [updated]

Colorista II is available now from Red Giant Software. It's a significant upgrade, and can be used in After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Final Cut (but not Avid or Motion). There's much more detail at RGS and Prolost; here's what's new and an intro video from Stu Maschwitz:
  • A powerful, easy-to-use keyer you to adjust individual colors or ranges of colors.
  • 8 HSL channels make it easy to get your crucial colors just right.
  • Use the new Pop slider to give your images more visual 'pop' or use it for incredible cosmetic touch-ups.
  • Highlight Recovery makes it easy to rebuild blown-out highlight detail.

: there are already reviews,

Update 2: There's many interesting comments around the web (eg, one thread on Creative Cow with Walter Biscardi), and Stu has an addendum to his original post,

'Both Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro bypass their own plug-in SDKs for their native 3-way color correctors. They use window configurations and graphics drawing routines that third-party developers don’t have access to. On some systems this can make UI interaction for third-party effects with Custom UIs slow. In the case of Premiere Pro, the slowness can be bad. Real bad.

Have you noticed that Premiere’s own 3-way color corrector has never been ported to After Effects? This is one consequence of the Premiere team’s choice not to use their own plug-in SDK. Another is that third parties cannot provide a fluid custom UI experience within Premiere Pro.

After Effects, on the other hand, “eats its own dog food,” and has no effects that don’t use the public SDK. This means that third parties can create excellent user experiences within After Effects. The benefits to us users are obvious — just look at all the amazing plug-ins available for After Effects.'

Note: See also the comment by Bob Currier of Synthetic Aperture at the Adobe Forums on "After Effects plug-ins versus using Color,"

'I'm biased as to what your choice should be, but one important thing to keep in mind is the basic difference in workflow between a dedicated color correction app like Apple Color, and a color correction plug-in like Color Finesse/Magic Bullet.

Color is designed to work similarly to a traditional tape-to-tape color correction workflow. That is, you complete your edit, lock it all down, then move on to color correction. Doing additional editing after color correction is difficult. The advantage is that you get to work in an environment dedicated to color correction, and the corrector "knows" about the entire project, making global operations easier. But the integration between the editing app (FCP) and the color corrector (Color) is limited.

With a plug-in, you do you color correction in your editor/motion graphics app so that revisions are easy to make, with no need to lock anything down or flatten the edit or effects. Integration between the app (AE/PPro) and the plug-in can be extremely tight. The disadvantage is that the plug-in is applied to individual clips/layers so that the plug-in only "knows" about that one item, making global operations more difficult.

We try to split the difference with Color Finesse, giving you an environment dedicated to color correction, while still being a plug-in. Of course, we also offer our standalone version for Mac users.

Neither approach is necessarily "better" than the other, they're just different. It largely depends on your own workflow preferences.'

For more on Color Finesse, see AE Help's "Resources for Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse."

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