• Price When Reviewed: 101

  • Pros: Fast and high-grade colour tools. Swift masking controls. High-quality output.

  • Cons: Final Cut’s colour-correction tools are already pretty good.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

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Red Giant Software is best known for its popular Magic Bullet Suite plug-in set, which gives footage the look of classic film and TV styles – from Technicolor to CSI.

Colorista is aimed at almost the opposite operation, colour correcting and matching footage. This is an integral part of using the Suite – you need to balance your footage before applying ‘Looks’ so the end result is consistent across shots – but Colorista has wider appeal for all colour correction tasks.

Colorista is built around a three-way colour-correction system that initially looks suspiciously similar to that already found in Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro – though notably not in After Effects.

The software’s terminolgy of Lift, Gain and Gamma is used by high-end colour-grading software such as Da Vinci or Final Touch – but the effects are broadly similar to that from FCP’s system.

How Colorista differentiates itself, though, is with its underlying colour engine, DeepColorRT. This always uses a 32-bit floating point colour space for more accurate and consistent results – even if your project is in a lower colour space – and takes advantage of your computer’s graphics card: utilizing the power usually reserved for 3D acceleration and putting it to better use. This provides usable real-time performance with SD footage and fast renders with HD.

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Colorista is unique at this level in that it offers built-in masking tools – with visual controls within your application’s video window – and an excellent red overlay mode make it easier to see the limits of you mask. 
Other colour correctors use the host application’s masking tools, which offer more control – but Colorista’s approach is faster in the majority of situations. There are a couple of secondary colour controls – saturation and exposure – but no built-in tool for changing single colours.
AE users will certainly want Colorista, as will anyone looking for consistent colour-correction tools across applications – as your licence is good for use with any application you happen to own. Final Cut users will benefit from the higher-spec colour grading, but it’s not essential – and with Apple’s ownership of Final Touch, we expect much improved colour-corrections <BR>
tools from the next version of FCP.
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