Colourlab Ai – Color Grading with Artificial Intelligence

September 8th, 2020

On this “Gear News Video”, we had the chance to talk with Dado Valentic, the CEO and founder of what could be a revolutionary tool for filmmakers: Colourlab Ai. This software allows you to color grade your footage based on the look of a reference image or graded clip, and on top, match the color look between different cameras easily. Let’s take a closer look at it!

Image credit: Color Intelligence

Post-Production and Color Grading

Color Intelligence -the company launched by Dado Valentic- has just announced the launch of a “factory driver program,” offering early access to its software: Colourlab Ai. But what is this software all about? To learn more about it, we had the occasion to talk with Dado about color grading, its software and see a live demo of it.

Nowadays, video production turnovers between shooting and delivering of the content are short. There are scheduling reasons for that, of course, but also the less important production budgets.

Also, at the end of the day, it’s no secret that most of the budget went into production, and post-production teams get what’s left. In short, it means that all post-production technicians/artists have less and less time to do their job. As Dado told us, he now has four days only to color grade a Netflix episode of a series.

Image credit: Color Intelligence

Colourlab Ai – Artificial Intelligence for Color Grading

To get his job done faster, Dado worked for three years to create a tool that is able to color match shots based on a graded clip or reference image: Colourlab Ai.

Of course, color grading tools that can match shots already do exist. However, all existing tools are making adjustments to your footage based on parameters such as histogram and waveforms to color match shots. These tools are having a hard time matching a wide shot with a close-up shot, for example, because they don’t understand the difference between images.

Image credit: Color Intelligence

This is where Colourlab Ai is different, according to Dado Valentic:

Colourlab Ai analyzes the composition of the shot to describe the color characteristics of footage – whether it’s a close-up shot, an exterior shot, daylight or nighttime, etc. The AI ‘understands’ how humans see, and it uses human perceptual transforms that are vastly more accurate than standard algorithmic methods.

Dado Valentic – Color Intelligence
Image credit: Color Intelligence

How It Works

First, to get the best results possible, it is recommended that you shoot in LOG picture profile to get the maximum possible dynamic range out of your camera’s sensor.

When you launch the software, import your footage (or a Resolve project), and select the camera you used to capture your images. Then, choose a reference image that you want to replicate the look of. Finally, click on Match Scene and let the magic happen.

Image credit: Color Intelligence

Colourlab Ai will match your footage to your reference image or graded clip. But, it also offers you a couple of different versions of the same type of grade that you can choose from. Also, you can fine-tune the results manually.

Colourlab Ai adjustments to your footage are non-destructive. The AI-generated adjustments are metadata settings, as the industry standard familiar controls of ASC CDLs, Lift Gamma Gain, or even Printer Lights.

This software is designed to save you hours of work and get all your shots in the same ballpark. But, it is not meant to finalize your project and create a lot of secondaries adjustments/power windows/keying, and so on. When you’re done, the idea is that you can roundtrip your project directly and quickly into DaVinci Resolve to polish your look.

Price and Availability

If you want to give it a try, you can get immediate access to the beta builds of the software before the public release of Colourlab Ai in early October with a full annual license for only $99.00. According to the company, “Color Intelligence is seeking cutting-edge colorists and content creators to participate in the testing and feature development of this revolutionary approach to the established color grading process.”

After that, Colourlab Ai will work as a subscription-based software for $99.00 per month. A yearly plan will also be available for around $1000.00.

For more information or learn more about it, please visit Colourlab Ai’s website here.

What do you think about color grading with the help of artificial intelligence? Do you think Colourlab Ai would be useful to you? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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Bob Ditty
Bob Ditty
Member
13 days ago

How do you get into the $99 / year initial phase?

Florian
Florian
Guest
13 days ago

One of the best interviews i’ve seen in a long time. This man is so well educated and able to explain things in a pleasing way, just wow! :)

Admin
September 9th, 2020

Looking forward to trying this in real life soon – I also just shot an interview with ColorMatch from FilmConvert, so it will be interesting how the two solutions compare. We will post that interview in the coming days.

They have the same goal of matching cameras but take very different approaches to reach that goal.

Paul Corneille
Paul Corneille
Member
September 9th, 2020

“First, to get the best results possible, it is recommended that you shoot in LOG picture profile to get the maximum possible dynamic range out of your camera’s sensor.”
And most banding on you 10bit footage. Is unbelievable that this stupid sentence is still present on the mouth of professionals

Leo Kelion
Leo Kelion
Member
September 8th, 2020

This looks great…

But those fees firmly price out the enthusiast community.

That leaves room for another provider to move in and scoop up much of the audience (can see something like this being built into FCPX, Resolve, Premier etc). And as a machine-learning tool, it means missing out on a lot of data that could help keep the product ahead of rivals to maintain an early-mover advantage.

In any case, the developer is to be commended for creating something that could have major impact even if he’s steering it away from the mass market. Would love to give it a spin.

Evan Brandt
Evan Brandt
Member
September 9th, 2020
Reply to  Leo Kelion

Dado does everything by math with no shortcuts. He is a color master on top of it. The amount of work this took justifies the price. But yeah I do wish it was a lil cheaper.

Leo Kelion
Leo Kelion
Guest
14 days ago
Reply to  Evan Brandt

With any luck it’ll get bought out by one of the big companies (like what happened to Tim Dashwood and his VR plugin).

Dado will make a fortune and everyone will benefit!

Meantime, hope this spurs on further innovations from others as would love to use this in personal projects.

Evan Brandt
Evan Brandt
Member
13 days ago
Reply to  Leo Kelion

He has 3 products already and I’ve followed them closely over the last 2 years. He’s the head of the colorist community I don’t see it happening.

Member
September 8th, 2020

Sounds cool! Congrats to Dado for putting in, what I’m sure would have been painstaking work, to bring this product to market.

Gibran Ashraf
Guest
September 8th, 2020

Wonder what @waqasqazi786 thinks about this!

Eugenia L
Guest
September 8th, 2020
Reply to  Gibran Ashraf

He already owns it, I saw his name in one of their lists.

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