Masterclass description

In this masterclass in color grading, Hollywood colorist Chris Jacobson invites you into his color suite to show you every detail about his color work with the popular tv-show SUITS. Chris will take you through the full technical process in DaVinci Resolve from setting up the project to final delivery, including building the node tree, creating the look and shaping the final images.



About the instructor

Chris Jacobson is one of the most successful colorists in Hollywood and is the colorist behind big features and tv-shows as Mulholland Drive, SUITS,  Alpha Dog and Covert Affairs among many others.

Course content

Chris is preparing the project for color grading.

Analyzing the shots and discussing the importance of time management and how to prepare for keeping deadlines.

Going through the project settings in DaVinci Resolve

In this lesson Chris goes through his node tree in detail with special attention to compressions and highlight controls.

Building a strong “Ansel Adams”-contrast and shaping the shots.

Going through techniques to add an extra “pop” to the images.

Discussing the looks in SUITS.

Chris demonstrates how to adjust grades in a scene and ripple the result.

Discussing visual effects.

Finishing it all up with the delivery settings.

  • Kiyo Sato says:

    There is closed caption? I’m Deaf, and need to access the courses with closed captioning.

  • Chris Jacobson says:

    Yes Justinian – Time management is very crucial to every color session. 700 shots is an estimate, for action shows cuts can run up to 1200 events

  • Scott Chontow says:

    I got some really good tips from this master class. Thank you!

  • JJ Jordaan says:

    Awesome to see the thought process behind a master. Would have loved to see how he does skintones, as he just glanced over that node. But I guess everyone needs their secrets. hahaha

  • Badi says:

    Hi Chris, thanks for this great master class. Very helpful. I would be very happy to see a real life session. Even for 10 minutes 🙂

  • Alan Smith says:

    Great class.

  • Robert Rodriguez says:

    Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience , wonderful tutorial!!!!

  • Daniel Agustin says:

    I would also be interested in seeing how the highlight compression node is built and what its doing. Thanks!

    • Илья Гумеров says:

      I think nothing special there, if I understood correctly, in the first node Chris qualified the highest part of luminance and compressed it using gain control.

  • D. Skousen says:

    Hi Chris, I enjoyed your class, but I was perplexed as to how you went about compressing the highlights in lesson 4. Could you elaborate on that? Thanks!

  • Grayson Dere says:

    Chris Jacobson, I really enjoyed watching this masterclass. Thank you so much!

  • Leon Mathisen says:

    Hi! Thank you for a great master class. The grey card you use, is that 17% grey?

  • says:

    I think he wants to see a grade built up from ground up..

  • Az Kola says:

    That’s correct he uses Lift/Gamma/Gain to get the exposure that he desires

    • Chris Jacobson says:

      Yes, that’s correct. Exposure is all done in the Color tab unless its something very tricky, then I get into camera metadata settings and will adjust exposure and color temperature there and then move into the color tab.

      I have played with LUT’s ACE’s and IDT, etc. but I have found these handcuff my ability to push the image in particular directions. I will on occasion apply the LUT to see what direction the image is heading, grab a still, and then remove the LUT and start from the beginning.

      LUT’s can be helpful when they are good and you don’t have a lot of time, but ultimately I found these to be generic short cuts that tend to be missing or clipping information from the BIT depth.



  • François Dompierre says:

    Nice one, always great to see how a colorist works specifically. And in the case of the TV, quickly. 12-16 hours for 700 shots.

    He mentions he’s working in classical YRGB, no color management, with timeline set to Rec709 gamma 2.4. How does he get the Alexa from LogC to Rec709? I guess he just does it manually with Lift Gamma and Gain?

    • Abby Bader says:

      The custom curve you can see in his node tree and lift, gamma gain.

    • Justinian Buckley says:

      Great, insights, especially about the reality of time management and the number of shots he physically has to get through an hour. As he says anyone can colour but getting through 700 shots is another thing.

    • Chris Jacobson says:

      Yes, that’s correct. I do not use LUT’s or ACES or IDT, etc. I have played with all types but in the end I felt they handcuffed me and didn’t allow me to push in places I like to go.

      • Badi says:

        For the metadata editing, does it mean that you grade RAW footage ? Or this lift gamma gain workflow also works on Alexa quicktime 444 log.

        I never be able to have better gamut curve with the color tab than with the “technical” LUT or IDT on log footage (no raw). Especially for skin tone.


  • Dimitrios Papagiannis says:

    You mentioned that you like to work in linear. Where do you get in and out of linear?

    • Tom Evans says:

      In this case he just means working with the log tools when going out of linear.

    • Chris Jacobson says:

      The media is LOG but the Resolve controls are in LINEAR. You have the option to work in LINEAR or LOG on the resolve. Most of the time I work in LINEAR but switch to LOG when I need to make subtle adjusts in the “blacks” without affecting other parts of the image.



  • Adam Fiori says:

    This is great!

  • jabez nelson says:

    Hey man Big Fan. Thank you for the masterclass

  • Mike Ernst says:

    Really nice insight! Thanks guys!

  • Thomas Singh says:

    I love this, thanks!

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    Last activity on September 10, 2022 4:42 pm
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