Masterclass description

Mark Todd Osborne is one of the most successful colorists in Hollywood, with hundreds of feature films and TV shows on his credit list. In this masterclass you are invited into his color suite to watch how he creates great looking images and discusses workflow, techniques and strategies that will help you become a better colorist.

The course is about the art and craft of color grading and is not designed to teach the operations of a specific software.

Mark often uses a specific print emulation in his node tree. It is available for Ravengrades Cinelook users under the name “Niran”. Simply add Cinelook to node labeled “CST” in the downloadable node tree and choose Niran from the drop-down menu. It’s been used in several of his feature film projects, but the placement of the node can vary.

About the instructor

Mark Todd Osborne is a world-renowned colorist based in Hollywood, with hundreds of top level movies on his credit list including Need for Speed, Satanic Panic, It Follows, The Act and Lowriders to name a few. He began his career working 12 years at Company 3, and after working closely with many of the high-end facilities in Los Angeles over the years, he founded MTO Color inc, where he works today.

Course content

Mark structures a feature film project, and demonstrates ways to set up several color management systems, settings and timeline structures. He talks about remote grading methodology, useful features and the important of knowing the box.

Walks through and discusses the benefits of his fixed node structure.

Sums of what we have learned so far.

A deep dive into contrast management, and several ways to get the image in shape. Mark does a first pass on a scene and teaches the “if you don’t go, you won’t know” principle.

Talks about how to prepare for color grading sessions, and about establishing strong relationships with clients both in the color room and in remote sessions.

Mark balances and matches shots in a feature film sequence and discusses various techniques to keep consistency. 

In this lesson, Mark grades and talks about challenges with exterior scenes.

Going through ways to improve the image and create looks. Discusses how to set up and organize nodes and groups in the look development process. Then, sharing his thoughts about how to treat skin.

Mark discusses muscle memory and instinctual grading. Grades a full scene as you watch, and discusses all the decisions that has to be made and why he does what we does.

Mark gives tons of valuable advices to colorists about how to master the craft and stay on top of the color game.

  • Filipe Louzado says:

    Thanks Mark, you’re the best.

  • César Ricardo Alpuche says:

    It’s so interesting to see how MTO has the human interaction factor of coloring so baked in that even to the interviewer, he never uses negative language. When discussing how turning a noon shot into a night shot, he never says “impossible”, or “can’t be done”, or “extremely hard”. He says “that can be a great challenge”, as in a nod to the director that spending their time budget on that might not be in the best interest of their project.

  • Marian Nica says:

    This is GREAT! Something to watch over and over again, as there is so much great info. A true masterclass. Thank you Mark, all the best!


    Thanks Mark for getting your vision of moving forward for professionals. Thanks Lowepost for possibility to study with Top of Tops!

  • Benjamin Folts says:

    Thank you, Mark! May I ask what the specs are on the computer you are using to run resolve?

  • William Dowling says:

    It’s always made sense to me to do a majority of grading after the CST/LUT node, but in RED’s pipeline diagram they say to do everything before their Rec709 LUT node. It gets awfully frustrating getting so much mixed info. I guess you have to do what’s best for you. I know the Hue vs Lum curve doesn’t hardly do anything unless applied after the Rec709 node.

    • Abby Bader says:

      I think it’s safe to say that the transform is happening at the end of the node stack in most professional workflows. Most of the grading controls are designed to be applied in camera space and the results of their corrections are designed to go through a transform. That said, there are no rules in creativity.

      • William Dowling says:

        I’m working on a 10,000th pass on a project as I try to practice trial and error. Once everything is near where you want it before the transform node, it seems like you can make fine tuned adjustments more easily after the transform node. At least with RED Gemini footage. When I compare the results of other LUTs it seems easier to create those looks as well post transform node. There is also a good chance I’m doing everything wrong for the 10,000th time.

        • Abby Bader says:

          Might be, but the point is that the curve of the transform should be the main component to decide where your corrections should fall on the tonal range.

          Applying corrections after the curve will have no component to decide where your colors will fall, how your highlights will bend etc.

          I can’t stress enough to set up a good workflow. You will get better continuity between shots and scenes, and professional looking result.

          Watch the professional color grading training with Kevin to understand this concept better.

  • Studio Django says:

    Great stuff, thanks Mark and Lowepost!

  • Fige Deegbe says:

    Very great advice from a great colorist!

  • Robert Rodriguez says:

    Many thanks Mark for sharing your insights, a wonderful masterclass, and a Lowepost for always helping us to learn more and more, great work!!!!!!!!


    which grading moniter they have

  • Benjamin Mauz says:

    Thanks for this class! Really great one for me 🙂

  • Phil O'Dea says:

    Thanks Mark for some great over the shoulder insights.

  • Jamie Neale says:

    Brilliant mix of insights/stories and just enough ‘how to’. Great work MTO and LP, very much appreciated.

  • Stefano Marconcini says:

    Wich monitor for reference are you using?

    • Ivan Oliveira says:

      Looks like an LG OLED

      • Willian Aleman says:

        If I well remember from an interview someone did to Mark, it’s an LG 8. He must be using a LUT box for the calibration, because LG 8 doesn’t have support for internal calibration LUT like the following series does.

  • Dimitrios Papagiannis says:


  • KAI HIM KWOK says:

    Which reference monitor he uses..?. Learned few new tricks tyyyyy

  • Danny Phillips says:

    Thanks for sharing MTO, so many helpful insights..!

  • Heiko Thies says:

    Great insight and lots of useful advice, thank you. Always fun to peek over the shoulder of industry professionals 🙂

  • Vincent Hogan says:

    This is one of the best color grading tutorials I’ve viewed. Thank you Mark, well done.

    Vincent Hogan

    Former Motion Picture Lab & Post Owner

  • Adéyẹmi says:

    What does he mean by high red, high green, high blue?

  • Romain Kedochim says:

    Thanks, can’t wait to get my teeth sinking into this.

  • Raymond Gangstad says:

    This was really great Mark. Thanks for taking the time!

  • Yov Moor says:

    Thank you for your great work Mark and Lowepost!

  • Tom Evans says:

    Love this, thank you Mark and. Lowepost.

  • Emily Haine says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge Mark!

  • William Dowling says:

    I’ve watched everyone. It’s tough without someone right there with you to say you are doing it all wrong.

    • Abby Bader says:

      People have different ways of working, I think it’s about finding a workflow that you feel comfortable with. Personally I prefer to start with global exposure and balance prior to the transform and build from there if needed. Also, look into what color management (RCM/ACES) can do for you. It can take you to a nice place pretty quick.

      • William Dowling says:

        I’m guessing you work with RAW files. RED has a set of LUTs with different contrast and rolloff that have been my best starting point. If I adjusted exposure and balance then applied the transform, any work done before the transformation would be for nothing.

        • Abby Bader says:

          Apply the transform first, then adjust exposure and balance in a prior node.

          Again, watch the pro training with Kevin to understand how to set up this workflow. If you already have, watch it again.

          • William Dowling says:

            I think I have a tendency to want to make things harder than they need to be and I just need to put more trust in my primary wheels.

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    Last activity on September 10, 2022 4:42 pm
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