With version 2.1 of Color Finesse, the long-promised stand-alone application with the Colorociter CS-1 Hardware control surface is now available. Color Finesse 2.1 is also available as a plug-in for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro.
New features in the plug-in version of Color Finesse, include an additional simplified interface which is directly accessible in the host application, without the need to switch to the full Color Finesse, in addition to the full interface assessable as in the past for more advanced color correction tasks. The 2.1 update is also significantly faster.
Other new features include the scrubbing of clips within the Color Finesse interface, realtime preview playback, import and export of color correction settings via the ASC CDL (American Society of Cinematographers Color Decision List), the ability to store up to eight QuickGrades which can be recalled with a single keystroke, and over 500 color presets, including film looks and emulation of lighting gels from Rosco, Lee, and GamColor. Users can also create and save their own presets.
Color Finesse 2.1 also adds direct support for video previewing without the need for additional software. Preview hardware support includes FireWire/DV and boards from AJA and Blackmagic Design. To ensure accuracy, all previews can use LUTs created within Color Finesse or imported from Photoshop-, Discreet-, or Quantel-format files.
The Color Finesse 2.1 plug-ins are currently shipping for Macintosh and Windows. List price for Color Finesse 2.1 PI is US$595. Registered users of Color Finesse 1.x may upgrade to Color Finesse 2.1 for $169. A special $169 upgrade to Color Finesse 2.1 LE is also available to those who received the limited edition of Color Finesse bundled with Adobe After Effects 6.5 and 7.0. All orders for electronic delivery receive a US$20 discount.
Color Finesse 2.1 HD+
Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ is the standalone version of the Color Finesse color corrector. As a stand-alone application Color Finesse is not limited by the host application support. Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ manages color correction projects on its own, with its own timeline rather than relying on the host application’s. Still images, QuickTime movies, and image sequences can all be loaded onto the timeline for correction. Supported image formats include JPEG, TIFF, Targa, Cineon, and DPX. Clips can be grouped into scenes so that they can be corrected all at once, and individual frames can be assigned markers for rapid navigation.
However most users will not want to start a project from scratch in Color Finesse, preferring to take an existing edit into the application for color correction. . Color Finesse accepts Final Cut Pro-generated XML files which it can read in as a project onto the Color Finesse timeline. Once the color correction is complete, the project, now with corrected footage, can be exported to a new XML file and re-imported into Final Cut Pro for any final rendering. Other applications may be supported if their format can be converted to Final Cut Pro XML, using tools from Automatic Duck for example.
Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ shares the basic features with the plug-in version except Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ is resolution-independent, handling SD to HD to Film resolution projects. For those whose needs are more modest, Color Finesse 2.1 SD, which is restricted to NTSC/PAL resolutions, is also available.
Color Finesse works entirely in floating-point, allowing proper handling of overbright image areas, avoiding unsightly clipping problems. Color Finesse does not require a specific video card, allowing it to run on every type of system, from laptops to multi-processor workstations.
Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ is fully compatible with the just-announced Colorociter CS-1 Colorist’s Workstation.
As a standalone application Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ is currently shipping for Macintosh with the Windows version scheduled for release in Summer 2006. List price for Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ is US$1995. Color Finesse 2.1 SD is also available for US$995. Upgrade pricing is also available for those who previously purchased the plug-in version of Color Finesse.
Colorociter CS-1 Tactile Control Surface Color Finesse
THE Colorociter CS-1 Colorist’s Workstation, is a hardware control surface providing a tactile interface to the company’s Color Finesse software, using the familiar trackball interface. There are four backlit trackball controls with surrounding free-spinning ring controls. Having four trackballs maps perfectly to Color Finesse’s division of controls into master, shadow, midtone, and highlight groups.
As well, there are twelve high-resolution encoders for adjusting color correction parameters and two 24-character by 2-line user-configurable alphanumeric displays to provide labeling for the encoders. There are also seven page selection buttons to choose which user-definable control layout is in use, plus a parameter reset button, as well as fourteen user-configurable buttons.
The assignment of physical controls to software color correction controls is entirely user configurable. Up to seven configurations can be stored and recalled with the push of a button.
The Colorociter CS-1 is compatible with both the Color Finesse 2.1 plug-ins and the Color Finesse 2.1 SD/HD+ standalone application. The Colorociter CS-1 connects to the host computer via USB. It is currently shipping for use with Macintosh versions with Windows compatibility schedule to ship in Summer 2006. List price for the Colorociter CS-1 is US$3950. Discounted bundles with Color Finesse are also available.
The Colorociter, Color Finesse 2.1 Plug-in and Color Finesse 2.1 HD+ will be demonstrated at NAB 2006 in Synthetic Aperture’s booth, SL5138G. Bob Currier, President and Founder of Synthetic Aperture will be interviewed on Creative Planet’s Digital Production BuZZ during the Monday afternoon Live-from-NAB show at 3:00pm US Pacific time.