L-5 Imaging Color Grading


    So, you've been to the online freelancer sites, right? Everyone says they offer 'professional' or 'cinematic' color grading services. What that really means is most people learn editing and then a bit of post. They learn how to make simple lift/gamma/gain adjustments followed by a show LUT ... or, they just proceed directly to the LUT. Ask the self-professed 'cinematic' colorist how they produced the work in their reel. Ask them what they believe is the difference between a commercial and film grade. How do they handle conform for footage created outside their grading software? And then, ask them about the investment in their grading studio as this is a very hardware and software intense business at the 'professional' or 'cinematic' level.

    L-5 Imaging has over $10K invested in a grading studio and our founder (Jim Armstrong) likes to use the term 'professional' with humility (a top-end grading monitor can cost 3-5X that amount). The studio includes the following hardware and software.

    • ASUS ProArt 27" 1000-nit grading monitor
    • 32" SDR reference monitor
    • 64GB M1 MAX 16" Mac Book Pro
    • MBP XDR display doubles as HDR reference monitor
    • 2016 MBP used for additional SDR reference
    • Black Magic UltraStudio 4K mini
    • Davinci Resolve Studio (paid) 17.4
    • Vimeo Pro and Frame.io accounts
    • ColorLab AI Pro (coming Dec. 2021)

    HDR Trims

    HDR is a growing area of specialization for L-5 Imaging and this section showcases some selected HDR trims. These videos are best viewed with an HDR-capable display capable of 1000-nit peak brightness.

    Carlsbad Caverns in HDR
    RED | ARRI -> Aces 1.3 -> HDR Grade
    HDR Grade from Multiple SDR Sources

    SDR Trims

    The SDR grading portfolio includes grades for both individual and mixed cameras. We can offer hourly or attractive day rates, including discounts for repeat business. And, while we use Resolve Studio 17, it makes no difference if you use Premier Pro or FCP as a NLE - we speak your language (bake-and-blade/EDL). L-5 can do shot-matching if you provide reference stills or clips, and generally deliver in ProRes (at specified quality). A private Vimeo account is used to post lower-resolution previews of grading in progress. Please Contact L-5 Imaging to discuss your specific requirements.

    Note that all drone footage was shot by L-5's founder, Jim Armstrong.

Basic film look from Sony FX-6 footage
Grade of underwater footage
Different looks (No LUT) from ARRI Alexa LF
Commercial look (No LUT/CST) from RED Helium 8K footage
Quick film looks (No LUT) from RED Epic Dragon footage
Bright, soft look from sharp/contrasty drone video - light FX
Graded from three cameras (A-Cam and drone/GoPro) with dramatically different lighting
ACES Workflow on Sony A7S III S-Log2 footage
Outdoor & cavern footage. Three radically different cameras.
Soft filmic look from low-end drone video
Challenging grade of night footage
Color-Correct & Grade/Shot Match Go Pro 10 and drone video