Review: Stop Staring and Start Grading with Apple Color

Stop Staring and Start Grading with Apple Color
Walter Biscardi, Jr. – Creative Cow MasterSeries
DVD-Rom – $49.95

Walter Biscardi, who is a leader at the Creative Cow website, has produced this fine Color training video. It’s consists of just over 2 hours of tutorials in the form of 9 lessons. All the lessons are QuickTime movies.

A small FCP project file with three clips, which you take into Color, is included on the disc. The project file that he supplies you with is very basic. I was a little skeptical at first that having only three clips wouldn’t be enough to learn the program, but it’s actually enough to get you started with all of the basics. In fact, I think the simplicity of Biscardi’s approach is an asset.

As a teacher, Biscardi is nothing if not an enthusiastic guy. (At times he’s downright manic.) He assumes you’re an editor well versed in other Final Cut Studio applications and now you’re being asked (or wanting to learn) to be a colorist.

All the movies are screencasts. When Walter wants you to see something up close, he zooms in on the element of the screen he wants you to see. If he wants you to look at something in the user manual, he’ll superimpose those pages on screen. It’s all very helpful.

The disc’s emphasis is really on speeding through as much as possible to get you to dive in. In most cases, I felt like Biscardi did a fine job of covering things with enough detail that the application felt approachable, but not overwhelming. Walt spends the most time on Setup, Primary, and Secondaries. One minor criticism: The Primary Out room is barely discussed at all and I felt like he sped through this room too quickly. (I later found myself not using this room much at all, but was that because Biscardi hadn’t taught me about it? Or was that because Biscardi understood it’s only occasionally used? I don’t know.)

Another minor quibble I have is that the DVD’s interface is clunky. It uses a web browser to load the QuickTime movies you’re supposed to watch. It’s slow to load at times, and this could be done more elegantly. As a solution, I found it was easier to simply find the QuickTimes on the disc and simply play them one by one without the interface.

Of all the discs I surveyed and studied, Biscardi gets you in the fastest. There’s truth in advertising: By watching “Stop Staring and Start Grading” while following along on my own computer I was quickly able to navigate through Color with some confidence. Highly recommended.

[Creative Cow info page]
[Amazon link for purchase]

2 Responses to “Review: Stop Staring and Start Grading with Apple Color”

  1. ahmadTV Says:

    Thanks for the review, I was thinking of getting Digital Color Correction from CallBox , do you know how the two are compared ?

  2. Good Apple Color Tuturial + Other Color Correction Resources « Indie 2.0 Says:

    […] And so, the trigger for this post: Paul Harrill on his Self-Reliant Film blog (whose Declaration of Principles I quite like and agree with) reviews and recommends an Apple DVD tutorial (Stop Staring and Start Grading with Apple Color, by Walter Biscardi, Jr. – Creative Cow MasterSeries, DVD-Rom – $49.95), which I may pick up. I have to admit, however, I have a lot of unused training material lying around–seems that by the time I finally get some free time to do the self-training… the materials already somewhat obselete, because there’s a new version of the software out. So, I’m going to going to get a subscription to Lynda.com where, for US$25/month I can access 27,646 QuickTime videos, covering more than 404 topics, via streaming video. The video quality is quite good. And what I like is that I can do a little training here and there on all the topics I’m interested in (this month: Leopard, Keynote, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, LightRoom–and they also have what seems to be reasonable Color Tutorials). And then for those months when I’m too busy to do any self-training, I just turn off my subscription. With this “pay as I go”, I’ll get more training for a lot less money–and because it’s online, they I can get training on the latest release of a software package, rather than having to buy an expensive upgrade (as I’d been doing over at Total Training, with their Adobe Premiere & production pack training DVDs.) […]