DGA Quarterly magazine singled out ColorSynth for its NAB 2018 highlights feature, written by David Heuring.


Hollywood has always attracted inventors, because there’s always been money to be made if you can design the right tool and get it into the right hands. The National Association of Broadcasters annual April gathering assembles 100,000+ tech-minded attendees and more than 1800 exhibitors hawking their wares – many of them hoping their invention becomes the next Steadicam or Avid.

Of course, most products along the miles of aisles are rehashed, recycled and repackaged, but a few genuinely disruptive advancements emerge and promise to add efficiency or creative flexibility to the filmmaker’s toolbox. Here, DGAQ shines a light on the latter - coincidentally, designed to make it easier for filmmakers to use computing power to bring their various visions to life.


THE ESSENTIALS: Codex’s innovation in workflow, data management and storage is widely appreciated by directors, cinematographers, digital imaging techs and post and VFX pros. Their Codex Backbone, a simple tool for ingesting EDLs and pulling and transcoding visual effects plate shots, was developed with Marvel, but is now in use at other post houses as well. At this past NAB in Las Vegas, Codex introduced ColorSynth, which is essentially a powerful streamlined color correction suite that works as a plug-in for Final Cut Pro (and soon, Adobe Premiere). ColorSynth offers a depth of control over the image previously only available in the post house suite. At $295, the price is right. Codex Keys is a re-thought interface that disposes with the trackballs.

THE INNOVATION: According to Codex’s VP User Experience Philippe Panzini, “We’re living in a world where collaboration happens throughout the life of a project, with many contributors. Codex is building a solution that can be used by just about anyone. People can develop sophisticated looks very easily and share these looks across the production pipeline. We want to make sure that everybody in the chain, no matter what product they use, can get a LUT file from ColorSynth and actually see the effect within their environment. The tool has to be blazingly fast, consistent and intuitive. As a result, the design is deceptively simple. There’s enough control to do the job--and not enough to hang yourself with.”

THE INSIDE DOPE: “Until now, most solutions just copied previous designs and approaches,” says Panzini, formerly chief technology officer for Discreet Logic. “At Codex, we try to look at things with a bit of distance and humor. We’re close to cinematographers, directors and colorists, and we’re interested in the intent of the creatives--people with an eye. There are a dozen affordable color grading solutions out there, and most tick the usual boxes, as does ours. But that’s where the fun starts--what we can do on top of that. There are so many more interesting and powerful ways to deal with the film image and color than moving sliders around.”

KEY USERS: SHED founder and DI colorist Yvan Lucas, who works with A-list directors of photography such as Robert Richardson and Darius Khondji, and was involved in the development of ColorSynth, will be a marquee user.

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Extract courtesy of DGA Quarterly magazine. Written by David Heuring. Full story DGA Quarterly

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