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FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.

COW Library : NAB Show : Walter Biscardi : FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.
CreativeCOW presents FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool. -- NAB Expo Feature


Biscardi Creative Media
Buford Georgia USA
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Wednesday at the NAB Show I had the opportunity for a 1 on 1 demo of the full Baselight color correction system and it's "little cousin", the plug-in tool for Final Cut Pro (and other hosts).



First off, Baselight is just the most intuitive color correction tool I've seen. I sat through the session with fellow Apple Color Forum host Joseph Owens and as the artist was walking through the various features and functions of the tool, it all made sense. It's a very efficient and infinitely adjustable tool for working both in video and film. The $80,000 price tag is definitely what puts it out of range of most Final Cut Pro users.

Enter the Baselight plug-in. Well actually plug-in is not the right description quite honestly since it's really a fully featured mini-app that operates independently of Final Cut Pro. Here's how FilmLight describes it in their press release:

Baselight for Final Cut Pro is not merely a port that uses the Final Cut Pro interface. Rather, it provides editors with access to Baselight functionality directly within the application. Editors can grade projects and then either render within the host application, or export the grade as an XML list—with all metadata preserved—to a full Baselight system for final adjustments and rendering. Similarly, grades prepared in a Baselight suite can be exported seamlessly to Final Cut Pro for conform and final editing.

After first seeing the full Baselight system run, I can tell you that the plug-in had many of the same features as the big brother. Baselight operates in what are called layers. Each layer is an adjustment. So Layer 1 might be your primary adjustment, Layer 2 a secondary, Layer 3 a mask, Layer 4 another secondary, Layer 5 an effect and so on. So each shot is comprised of a series of layers to make your color correction. This is precisely how it operates in the plug-in. You will have infinite Layers per shot. So you can essentially do a Baselight color grade session inside of Final Cut Pro.

No, the plug-in does not have EVERY feature of the big brother, for $79,000 cheaper it can't. But it does have a lot. And did you catch that part at the end of the press release? If you do color grading with the plug-in, you can then send that information to a colorist on a full featured Baselight system. OR, a colorist on a full featured Baselight system can send the grades TO YOU on your Final Cut Pro edit system. You will be able to open and render with any grade created on a full Baselight. Regardless of the features the colorist used, it WILL show up in your Baselight plug-in. If it's a feature not included in the plug-in you will not be able to modify it, but it will show up and you will be able to render with it.

So the plug-in allows you to bring a ridiculously powerful color correction system directly inside of Final Cut Pro. Or you can do an XML round trip between FCP and Baselight just like you do today with Color and Davinci Resolve.

The plug-in will be available in the fall of 2011 and pricing is expected to be below $1,000. But let me tell you, if it was in my budget to pick up the big brother today, I wouldn't even think twice. It's just crazy good.

http://filmlight.ltd.uk/baselight4fcp

Comments

Re: Article: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.
by kim krause
looks like you were ahead of the game here...but it looks like someone has dropped the ball with this. does this mean we should all keep our fcp suites and use them as grading suites now. another reason to stick with final cut?
Re: Article: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.
by walter biscardi
I'm trying to convince them to do the same thing now with Premiere Pro actually.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"This American Land" - our new PBS Series.

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Re: Article: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.
by kim krause
why not final cut x then. at least it would make a great grading system. once you can get xml in and out you would have a real use for fcp x. people might even start using it for editing!
Re: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.
by Ricky Dominguez
Demo of the Baselight for FCP7 plug-in:

http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/ssimmons/story/detailed_demo_of_the_...
Re: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.
by ayman abdel-basset
Hi Walter,

very good article :-)thank you.

Each layer is an adjustment. So Layer 1 might be your primary adjustment, Layer 2 a secondary, Layer 3 a mask, Layer 4 another secondary, Layer 5 an effect and so on

but i'd like to add something that you can add shape then outside the shape you can apply primary and inside it secondary and all play realtime and all in same layer...

Thanks

Ayman Abdel-Basset
http://www.mbasset.com
Abu-Dhabi UAE
+1
@ayman abdel-basset
by walter biscardi
So we'll be able to adjust inside and outside the mask on a single layer in the plug-in too? That's very sweet.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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@walter biscardi
by ayman abdel-basset
honestly i don't know about the plugin..i'm using the big system..

but i might visiting filmlight soon so I'll ask them is the plugin has same feature or no..

but i think noo you might need to you the FCP layers..else no advantages for the system and its price! :-)
Re: @walter biscardi
by Rafael Amador
[walter biscardi] "Quite honestly because it's not very good. Especially compared to Colorista which in my opinion is a much better CC tool than Color Finesse."
Walter, you should have again a look in to Color Finesse.
Colorista is an improved version (a mask and little more) of FCs 3W-CC filter.
Color Finess (6 secondary room, Internal 32bFP/HSL, RGB, CMY,YCbCr. CONTROl SURFACE in FC, Curves, LTUs, better scope options than Color), is almost like having Color integrated in FC. If there are limitations, those comes from FC.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com
Re: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool.
by Shane Ross
Question. I use Colorista2 quite a bit, but then I have to give the client a rendered out file...a QT of the full show. Because if I just give the project file back, they can't look at anything unless they too have the Colorista 2 plugin installed. So if they want to make changes, or a quick cut down, they can't. Color allowed us to render out NEW media and hand back a fully functional sequence back to the clients.

Does the same hold true for Baselight? You need to render out a QT file? Just curious.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def
+1
@Shane Ross
by walter biscardi
I'm assuming it's just like Colorista or any other plug-in within FCP. You client would have to have the plug-in in order to see anything if you gave them the project file.

Otherwise you'll give them a self contained movie of the final grade. If you do a LOT of color grading for this client, it would be worth it for them to get the plug-in as well so they can make fine adjustments on their end if they want to, or you can simply change one shot and send them the new timeline or even the new filter setting.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: @Shane Ross
by Sean Kapleton
Great article so excited to get my hands on this tool!
Just curious is it just mr or is there no forum yet for baselight?
I only ask because not only is this plugin on it's way and making such a forum more relevant, but also I myself might be able to get some night time hours on a full baselight and would really love a resource! Is the latest manual for baselight available anywhere for studying in the meantime. I notice some of the forums up on the cow have like so few threads and seemingly very little traffic, with color grading become more and more popular and the davinci forum being the most trafficked why not a filmlight baselight forum?!
cheers and thanks again for the blog post!
Re: @Shane Ross
by Rafael Amador
I think the acceptation of any CC plugin for FC, will depends on the price and on how Color gets integrated in FC.
There is since long time a super-plugin for Color Grading in FC: Color Finesse.
Nobody had payed him much attention ($600).
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com
Re: @Shane Ross
by walter biscardi
[Rafael Amador] "There is since long time a super-plugin for Color Grading in FC: Color Finesse.
Nobody had payed him much attention ($600)."


Quite honestly because it's not very good. Especially compared to Colorista which in my opinion is a much better CC tool than Color Finesse.

And Baselight is in a whole different league. Depending on how many features they unlock, you could essentially have the power of Color directly inside FCP.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Neil Sadwelkar
When using this as a plug-in within FCP and then rendering it out as a master within FCP, was there some indication in the demo for the kind of render time involved?
Meaning, if one were to use this as a colour correction tool within FCP, would it take like many tens of minutes to render just a minute's grade, hence encouraging users to only grade on this for a preview but actually pass it all on to a full-blown Baselight.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India
@Neil Sadwelkar
by walter biscardi
Render time is going to be wholly based on what you're doing with the plug-in obviously. As I mentioned in the article, you have unlimited layers per shot.

So a shot with a single layer of a primary correction will take far less time than a shot with 6 layers with blur and masking.

Render times were not shown, but I would expect them to be in line with Colorista and Apple Color.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Chris Kenny
Was this demoed live? Can anyone who saw it comment on performance? Resolve is delivering real-time on current Mac Pros. If this can deliver real-time playback on the FCP timeline and supports affordable control surfaces, and if format support for things like R3D pans out in FCP X, I could see us switching from Resolve. Being able to stay right in Final Cut would be a huge workflow advantage, even compared with Resolve 8's XML import and multitrack support.

Digital Workflow/Colorist
You should follow me on Twitter here. Or read First thoughts on Final Cut Pro X on our blog.
Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Adam Claude Jones
Well, what are the limitations of the plug-in compared to the full version and also compared to Resolve 8, which is fair comparison since the price is similar?
Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by walter biscardi
[Adam Claude Jones] "Well, what are the limitations of the plug-in compared to the full version and also compared to Resolve 8, which is fair comparison since the price is similar?"

I would say the difference between the full Baslight and the plug-in is about $79,000. The full version is a hardware, Linux based system that is realtime, all the time and comes with a tremendous control surface that is the best I've ever seen. So no matter what you do and throw at the system, it's realtime, all the time.

Compared to Resolve 8, I could not tell you entirely until I can play with both side by side, but I can tell you that you'll be able to achieve the same looks in both applications.

The Motion tracker I don't think will be a part of the plug-in so if you require that, then Resolve is the way to go.

Honestly with the new price point, we'll definitely add Baselight to our toolbox when we want to work directly in FCP and not round trip to Resolve. Why limit ourselves to just one or the other when they're both reasonably priced? Apple is practically giving FCP away now so purchasing Baselight is a no brainer.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by walter biscardi
[Chris Kenny] "Was this demoed live? Can anyone who saw it comment on performance?"

Yes it was demo'd live one on one for me. You will have to render the filter out before you can output.

How much realtime playback you'll get will depend wholly on the machine you're running. Full minimum specs for use were not provided by FilmLight as I'm sure they're still working that out, but it can run on a laptop on set, which they have been doing for years with the full Baselight.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Christopher Tay
Hey Wally...too bad I didn't bump into you at NAB this year and i like what you've said. With the price of these tools being so within reach nowadays, why limit to just one ? Use whatever is best for your project, that's what I always believe.

Did you get a chance to see the Resolve Linux to have a comparison to the Baselight in terms of performance ? The real time noise reducer on the Resolve Linux on 2K resolution files was really impressive.

-chrispy
Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Adam Claude Jones
Well, honestly, once Resolve for the Mac was released is there really any reason to look elsewhere? A plug-in which costs "more" than a full featured application which also happens to be the industry standard?
I think this is only good for people who is already invested in Baselight. As to having a powerful color tool inside FCP. After seeing the Supermeet demo I'm thinking if Color has not be fused with FCP, most of it's functionality seems to have been. The power windows is surely there. So again, I don't see the need for this Baselight plug-in for people who already don't use Baselight. Just get Resolve.
Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by walter biscardi
[Adam Claude Jones] "Well, honestly, once Resolve for the Mac was released is there really any reason to look elsewhere? A plug-in which costs "more" than a full featured application which also happens to be the industry standard?"

Two reasons to look at this.

One - You stay inside of Final Cut Pro. One of the biggest complaints for Apple Color is the need to round trip, which you still need to do for Davinci Resolve. Although Resolve 8 added multi track capabilities and a much much better round trip from / to FCP.

Two - We don't know what the price will be. It's going to be under $1,000 and until you play with this "plug-in" you really don't understand how it basically is a fully featured color corrector inside of Final Cut Pro.

What I see is yet another option for color correction that's almost a no brainer for the artist. You want to drop out into Resolve, no problem, it's only $995. You want to stay within FCP, no problem, Baselight.

As for the cost, you'll find that many, many plug-ins for FCP are now more expensive than the application itself. But then those plug-in manufacturers don't control the hardware pipeline.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Adam Claude Jones
I see where you are coming from Walter. But as I mentioned, it seems some of Color's functionality has been fused into FCP-X. Depending how much of it has been fused in and specially if the whole application has been merged into FCP-X, then your argument of "You stay inside of Final Cut Pro" will no longer carry that much weight since no round trips to Color will be needed. By looking at the supermeet demo it definitely looks like FCP-X has some features from Color, like the power windows. What's left to be seen is if Color has been totally integrated into FCP-X or still exists as a stand alone app. If it has been fully integrated into FCP-X I think this Baselight plug-in is DOA in my opinion. Unless it comes dirty cheap and even so it will only appeal to those who like the interface better as I doubt the crippled plug-in can do more than the full Color.
Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by walter biscardi
[Adam Claude Jones] " But as I mentioned, it seems some of Color's functionality has been fused into FCP-X. Depending how much of it has been fused in and specially if the whole application has been merged into FCP-X, then your argument of "You stay inside of Final Cut Pro" will no longer carry that much weight since no round trips to Color will be needed."

Color is still a stand alone app. There are better tools inside of FCP with this new release, but nothing near as good as a full blown Color app, Resolve or the Baselight plug-in.

You can stay inside FCP today with Colorista if you choose as it's a much better tool than the 3 Way CC included.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Simon Astbury
As someone who has recently been lucky enough to have moved to Baselight from Color, I have been blown away by a great number of things. The support, the way they actually listen to your comments and suggestions. The machine itself, which I cannot praise highly enough. Finally, and I hate to say this as I do believe it is as much about the operator as the kit, my work DOES look better coming out of Baselight compared to Color. I don't have to have those awkward moments with clients where they ask for something and I have to find a compromise or workaround, Baselight can just do it. The tracking is fantastic, the number of ways you can do things is great, Color had one way of Keying, Baselight has 5!
I know we go back to price etc, but I am working in a facility and the kit doesn't really have an impact on my pocket. The problem was that I was competing against places that have Baselights and Resolves, and the clients don't care, they just want the best result.
As I am a Beta tester for Filmlight and also helping develop the XML workflows I am hoping to get my hands on the FCP and Nuke plugins very soon. I will be sure to let you guys know my thoughts.

Simon
Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by walter biscardi
[Simon Astbury] "As someone who has recently been lucky enough to have moved to Baselight from Color,"

Without a doubt, Baselight has THE coolest control surface EVER. Particularly the LED, completely programmable buttons.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by Gil Woodley
Hi Walter,

Great blog - the info and insight greatly appreciated.

I know I was bemused - still am - by the choice to release plug-ins rather than a stand-alone app, and while you've made a good case for FCP, I'm not sure about it as a Nuke plug-in.

Anyway, just a side note: one of the minor things to come out of NAB that I've noticed is the emerging support for what used to be the MC Color panel (now Avid Artist). The Baselight plug-in and, if I read right, Resolve 8.0, both support the Avid Artist - add last year's Storm to that as well.

Hopefully support for the Tangent panel will be added to the non-Resolve offerings, but while we're waiting it might be time to revisit those old MC Color vs Wave reviews...

cheers
Gil
Re: Blog: FilmLight Baselight for FCP. It's a serious color tool
by walter biscardi
[Gil Woodley] "The Baselight plug-in and, if I read right, Resolve 8.0, both support the Avid Artist - add last year's Storm to that as well."

Yes, both FilmLight and BlackMagic had the Avid Color panel on display operating with their systems.

The Tangent Wave already operates with Resolve, not sure about Baselight.

I actually had a very nice meeting with the Tangent guys in NAB.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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