Color grade like a pro with the right workstation

    Drew Geraci’s entire world as a cinematographer revolves around creating stunning images with stunning color. In turn, he needs a system that can accurately display colors as he works.

    When it comes down to it, there are many things that inspire Geraci’s color work. He wants to create scenes with vibrant colors, which means color accuracy in the editing room is essential. After all, how can you create something exactly to your liking if you can’t see it accurately?

    Color accuracy is key

    It is easy for many beginning filmmakers to overlook the importance of color. Nevertheless, it is a very important element in every video production. Geraci says that “As you grow and become more professional in your career, you want to make sure you have really accurate color images.” The colors of the scene are what gives life to every clip Geraci shoots. It’s an understatement to say having color accuracy in the editing room is important to your video production. In fact, it is essential.

    What’s Geraci’s process?

    To start off, Geraci always checks his scopes and histograms to make sure both of those are looking good. After checking those, he will actually go in and adjust the clip’s color channel by channel.

    One of the most important elements in Geraci’s editing process is the monitor he is using. Indeed, for Geraci, the monitor plays “the most important role.” It allows him to see the colors he is editing accurately. “If I don’t have an accurate color monitor then I’m not actually getting the color grade I want.”

    What monitor does Geraci use?

    One of the monitors Geraci uses is the Dell Ultrasharp 8K monitor. When thinking of most highly color accurate 8K monitors, you usually expect to see price tags in the thousands of dollars, but one of the reasons Geraci likes the Dell Ultrasharp 8K monitor is that it’s affordable.

    Saving money is nice, but what about the monitor’s accuracy? Well, Geraci says when he first hooked up the Dell Ultrasharp 8K, he was stunned by the image. He was able to see his 8K frame in full resolution without having to zoom in. He describes that experience as “mindblowing.” “The detail, the color, the vibrancy in it, the screen was just incredible,” he says.

    Using the monitor has helped Geraci in his career tremendously. While working on a project at the Kennedy Center, Geraci was able to more accurately color correct, allowing him to land even bigger jobs in the future.

    The system you use needs to keep up with your workflow

    The hardest thing for Geraci when color grading is the time it takes. That is why it’s so important for Geraci that the system he is using gives him real-time color information. The Dell Precision workstation and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 together allow Geraci to have a workflow that is both speedy and efficient. He’s able to see and playback 8K RAW files with no slowdown or stuttering.

    The systems that Geraci has worked within the past were underpowered for the work that he was doing. They were so underpowered that it took him days to render a video. And when you are working for a client, time is money. A slow system can really hurt your reputation as a creator if it leaves you and your client are waiting around for a video to finish rendering. You need to be able to make your deadlines. Plus, the faster you’re able to render out videos, the more money you will be able to make.

    Switching over to the Dell Precision workstation and NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 has allowed Geraci to focus on what matters most — the creative side of his productions. Now he always knows he’ll meet his deadlines because he no longer has to wait around for his system to finish rendering.

    This article was sponsored by Dell and NVIDIA.

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