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September 2014

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Page 28 of 51 27 POST SEPTEMBER 2014 A look at the tools and techniques behind maintaining pristine color displays THE ART & SCIENCE OF COLOR CALIBRATION alibrating monitors used in color grading is an art — and a science. "Calibration gives images meaning," declares Chris Clark, color scientist at Colorworks at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, CA. "Colorists are making very subtle color decisions. The accu- racy of the calibration enables them to fi nely adjust the image to give it mean- ing. That's why it's extremely important to calibrate to standards that exist be- tween facilities and within the industry as a whole." SONY COLORWORKS Colorworks does fi nishing for theatrical and video releases (www.sonypictures The facility uses projectors, including Sony SRX-320 4K digital cine- ma projectors, and 42-inch Dolby PRM- 4200 professional reference monitors for color grading. "We calibrate everything regularly," says Chris Clark, "although the Dolby monitors are very, very accurate and require very little calibration because they're so close to the Rec. 709 spec." The Dolby monitors are used in Col- orworks' HD suites as well as in the theaters to compare home video releases to the master. All color grading decisions are done on these monitors, and clients use them as their viewing monitors. Sixty-inch Panasonic plasmas are also in the rooms but are placed off to the side; they're not typically turned on un- less clients request them, says Clark. "We used to check the Dolby calibra- tion quite often when we fi rst got the monitors, but we noticed they don't real- ly drift, so now we check them every few weeks. They're calibrated very well out of the factory," Clark reports. "The plasmas do tend to drift, but we use them less often. So when we need to turn them on we calibrate them." Either Clark himself or Mike Whipple or Brian Nogle, who comprise the three- BY CHRISTINE BUNISH C Colorworks employs Sony digital projectors and Dolby professional reference monitors.

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