Color Grading Turnover

Thank you so much for choosing to work with me for color grading services. This document outlines the requirements for color turnover. The following elements are requred:

  1. Prepped picture-locked edit sequence (Project file and XML/AAF)
  1. Reference video export
  1. All associated online media

The project can be delivered via:

  • A web download link
  • A upload link provided by me
  • An external hard drive

⚠️  Note:  Online-quality flat pass exports are not acceptable within the scope of our standard color turnover guidelines. If you would like to consider doing turnover via an online-quality flat pass export, please reach out to us and we can chat about the specifics of the project to determine if that is an option.

The following guide explains the specifics of each of these elements and should cover the majority of edits and workflows. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this.

For alternate workflows or special circumstances that are unable to meet the requirements listed, please notify me ahead of time with information on the specifics of the project so I can work with you to make sure the turnover will be successful and fit within the scope of the project.

Prepped Picture-Locked Edit Sequence

Edit projects should be delivered as project files exported from your NLE software, as well as an XML/AAF of your color prep sequence. The project file should contain nothing other than the color prep sequence and associated media. The following outlines how these sequences should be prepped:

Sequence Simplification 

Projects should be prepared as simplified edit sequences. Simplified means: 

  • Video condensed to as few tracks as possible. Usually one, sometimes two or three (very rarely more than three) if there are overlays, split-screens, fades, etc.
  • All titles and graphics removed
  • No nested sequences
  • No unused (in terms of visibility in the final edit) clips present in the sequence, such as disabled clips, zero-percent opacity clips, or clips covered by other clips
  • All subclip limits removed and multiclips collapsed
  • Audio removed and replaced with audio from the reference export
  • No linked After Effects compositions

Once the edit is simplified, clips can be placed on different tracks for the sake of organization. Examples of reasons that tracks might be separated include:

  • Media type
  • Effects
  • Aspect ratio

If clips are organized in this way, tracks should be labeled. 

Titles and graphics can be exported as a separate video export on alpha and laid on the top track for review and postings. 

Clip Attributes, Crops, And Effects

Clip attributes such as scaling, reframing, opacity, and transfer modes will carry over in the online. Keyframes will carry over as well as long as they are linear. Any non-linear keyframes must be removed. 

Basic no-keyframe crop effects can be left applied and carried over to color, but any more complicated masking must be removed. 

All effects should be removed from clips and reapplied during finishing. 

If any of the above is necessary to view in color, the clip can be replaced with an online export and treated as a VFX shot. The export can be placed on a track above the original clip if color is to be applied to the original clip as well.

Time Remapping, Conformed Framerates

Speed changes are acceptable if they are done by a single percentage change per clip. For example, it is no problem to leave a speed change of 200% on a clip. 

Note: Any non-linear time remapping must be removed. They cannot be transferred to color and back to an edit via XML. They cannot be present in any sequence in a project being turned over to color. 

If a non-linear time remap is present in an edit, in order to ensure the full necessary extents of the clips are colored, there are two potential workflows:

  • Replace the time-remapped clip with an online export, to be treated as a VFX shot
  • Remove the time-remapping and extend the clip to cover the beginning and end timecode of the time-remapped clip as remapped plus 12 frame handles. The edit can be adjusted for this longer clip or the clip can be moved to the end of the sequence.

Clips that have project-level conformed framerate changes must be noted so they can be set up properly in color.

Reference Video Export

A reference video of the color prep sequence should be generated on the edit workstation and confirmed by the editor as correct before sending to color. It should meet the following requirements:

  • Dimensions should match the color prep sequence
  • Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy), DNxHD 36, or DNxHR LB format
  • Timecode should match the color prep sequence timecode
  • The following overlays:
    • Record Timecode
    • Source Timecode
    • Source Name
  • Sound if available (to be used for postings and review)

Note: If the sequence prepped for color is different than the final edit sequence, the reference must match the color prep sequence and not the final edit sequence to ensure that we can check the online properly. You are welcome to send a reference of the final edit sequence as well if you’d like for context.

All Associated Media

All associated media must be provided. If the project was edited offline and needs to be onlined, all offline and online media must be provided. If the project was edited online, all used media must be provided.

A trimmed, media managed project is acceptable, and encouraged if turning over digitally to reduce transfer times. Should a guide be helpful in creating this media managed turnover, we have created the following guide which goes over the media management process and trimming process in DaVinci Resolve step-by-step. 
Delivery Methods

Web Download Link

Turnover may be delivered via the web file transfer platform of your choice, as long as it provides for expedient downloads without risk of missing assets. The following platforms are not acceptable for the reasons provided:

  • Dropbox - Dropbox requires the user to add the files to their own account, or wait for platform-side compression and then downloads in less than 20 GB chunks. This usually requires us to download turnover file-by-file.
  • Google Drive - Google Drive requires the user to wait for platform-side compression, which takes a very long time, then the files are downloaded in a number of zip files which often fail to uncompress.
  • WeTransfer - While WeTransfer does package up the files properly, it has significantly capped download speeds which cause additional delays on our end.

The following platforms are particularly good choices as they provide desktop applications to increase download speed and reliability:

  • MASV Upload Link

We can provide an invitation to a project hosted on our account that can be used to upload turnover assets. We would just request a heads up on the amount of data needed for the project so we can properly provision our storage.

We recommend the use of the Transfer application to ensure maximum upload speeds and maximum reliability.

External Hard Drive

An external hard drive can be provided with turnover assets. The project assets will be copied to our server, so we will not be working off the turnover drive. The drive must meet the following specs:

  1. The drive interface must be one of the following:
    1. USB 3.0 or faster USB protocol
    1. Thunderbolt 2 or faster Thunderbolt protocol
  1. Data cable included
  1. Power adapter or power cable included
  1. If deliverables will be copied to the drive, enough free space to allow for that

Note: Irving Harvey is not liable for and does not guarantee the integrity of data on a hard drive. There must be at least one other copy (preferably more than one copy) of the data in existence for any drive in our possession. 

The drive can be delivered to our office at the following address between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM. Please notify us ahead of drive delivery.