RAW Video -> Polished Look
L-5 Imaging maintains a midrange grading studio to provide a full range of services to our clients. Our primary application of color grading is to provide DI as a part of a complete end-to-end production solution for individuals and smaller organizations. This allows L-5 Imaging to handle the entire pipeline of videography, editing, and color grading. We can work with your raw, recorded video, integrate it with video shot by L-5, and then edit, color-correct, match, and grade the entire project.
One of the most important aspects of grading is to start with a pristine base. No matter what monitor is used or what supposed calibration is applied, video appearance is influenced by computer, operating system, and graphics cards. The exact same video can look quite different on the same monitor, just by connecting that monitor to a different computer. L-5 uses a Black Magic UltraStudio 4K, which is connected to the grading computer via Thunderbolt. HDMI out from the UltraStudio 4K is then connected to an ASUS ProArt grading monitor. This provides a pure baseline version of a video to use during grading. The monitor can be set to the proper color space based on how the final product is to be viewed.
Our particular specialties are HD videos for online display including HDR. An SDR reference monitor along with the XDR display of our primary grading computer (64GB M1 MAX MBP) serve as additional references for how video looks in different environments.
L-5 Imaging uses Davinci Resolve Studio (paid version) with Fusion for FX.
In the event you have footage that has already been edited in Premiere or FCP, we can colorize footage that has been properly prepped, i.e. no tiles, overlays, or FX. Bake-and-blade/EDL is the easiest path, provided the footage is ready to be colored. If it is in a log format, is is often better to work with original files, especially if under- or overexposure needs to be corrected. These corrections are best done with raw footage. ProRes with EDL is generally a good path, although Resolve is often quite good with automatic scene-cut detection. EDL just speeds up the process. The colorized output will be provided in a suitable format (most often ProRes). Interim grades are posted to a private Vimeo account. We are considering adding licenses for FCP and Premiere to facilitate faster round-trip between these packages and Resoove. Please contact L-5 Imaging to discuss your project in more detail.
L-5's particular specialty is outdoor/action videography, custom B-Roll and BTS. L-5's founder, Jim Armstrong, engages in night (wilderness) Search and Rescue as a private contractor. He also does detail product reviews in a wilderness setting. It's likely that Mr. Armstrong could film almost any B-Roll you can imagine or even be a videographer for your next outdoor production - think 'Expedition Big Foot' or 'Expedition Unknown'.
L-5's primary services are outdoor and action videography, HDR photography, and color grading. We do editing and FX, but all in Davinci Resolve Studio.
Most people viewing this page are individuals and small production shops. L-5 Imaging is largely a solo operation. We know what it's like to work in an environment just like yours. We've also make the serious investments in gear (paticularly in the color grading studio) that are outside the capabilities of most small shops. We're your partner, not your competitor.