Course Title: Colour grade moving images

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: VART6208C

Course Title: Colour grade moving images

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4295 - Certificate IV in Screen and Media

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Andrew Harrison
Phone: (03) 9925 4815

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

Post-production technicians involved in digital intermediate workflow, colour graders, colourists, telecine operators and archival media technicians apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit.
Colour grading is the process of altering and enhancing the colour of motion picture or television images, either electronically, photochemically or digitally. The process is completed by transferring the output from grading to the required medium, e.g. DVD, film, video.
Colourists need strong visual, creative and technical skills. Also critical to the grading process is attention to detail and accuracy, as well as effective safe working practices.
In most circumstances, limited supervision is required of people working at this level of expertise.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFPOS403A Colour grade moving images


1. Clarify work requirements.

Performance Criteria:

1. In consultation with relevant personnel, identify deadlines for colour grading and ensure work is planned to meet production requirements
2. Assess condition of source materials for faults, determine whether remedial action is required to meet production requirements and follow-through accordingly
3. Ensure source materials are loaded and recorded according to enterprise procedures
4. Identify data files on digital storage network where applicable


2. Prepare equipment for grading process.

Performance Criteria:

5. Ensure equipment is fully operational and work area is organised appropriately
6. Calibrate grading system for correct colour space using appropriate calibration standards
7. Complete tests prior to commencing grading process as required
8. Ensure frame count is set correctly at start of reel and record other
initialisation settings as appropriate


3. Grade images for colour.

Performance Criteria:

9. Apply basic (primary) colour corrections for each scene to ensure overall balance
10. Balance colour and density for each shot according to normal appearance
11. Make suitable adjustments to each scene to suit client's production requirements
12. Apply appropriate system tools to enhance specific colour detail within each shot or image
13. Apply additional (secondary) corrections and shapes to meet specified production requirements
14. Record colour correction data established by grader for each shot according to equipment operating specifications
15. Where required, ensure additional digital effects comply with predetermined production requirements
16. Record out, or render, correctly graded material
17. Deal promptly and efficiently with problems that arise during the colour grading process to ensure that production deadlines are met
18. If appropriate, output colour correction data for printing


4. Finalise colour grading.

Performance Criteria:

19. View results on relevant format and make further corrections as required in consultation with production personnel
20. Check that grade and print requirements are met according to production requirements
21. Complete further job instructions
22. Produce required documentation to report on quality of graded output according to specified format
23. Log completed graded job and dispatch to required destination according to enterprise procedures
24. Review colour grading process and note areas for future improvement

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to apply creative colour grading techniques to a range of media productions.


Details of Learning Activities

Learning Activities will consist of
practical exercises
reading set texts
planning and development of visual effects assessments
You will be responsible for your learning and will be expected to engage in independent research, reading, study, practice and screenings

Teaching Schedule

Week           Class content Assessment Elements
Class 1
Week 7
Orientation to the course
Introduction to resources, assessments and course expectations
Introduction to colour grading in Avid MC– overview
Introduction to HSL colour grading
Includes – class exercises and discussion
Summative Task 1: assessment guide handed out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Class 2
Week 8
Revision from week 7
Correcting luma and chroma with the HSL group
Automatic colour grading technique
Primary and Secondary colour grading
Using AVID MC colour grading toolset
Includes – class exercises and discussion
  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Class 3
Week 9
Revision from week 8
Shot consistency and matching colours
Working with broadcast safe
Understanding colour warnings
Export formats
Includes – class exercises and discussion
  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20
 Class 4
Revision of weeks 7 to 9
Practical Assessment – Formative task 1
Formative Task 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Class 5
Week 11
Revision of weeks 9 and 10
Creating a look
Creating a bleach bypass look
Creating a graphic colour effect
Includes – class exercises and discussion
  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20
Class 6
Week 12
Revision of week 11
Keyframing your colour grade
Working with colour effects
Working with curves toolset
Includes – class exercises and discussion
  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20
Class 7
Week 13
Revision of weeks 11 to 12
Practical Assessment – Formative task 2
Formative Task 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Class 8
Week 14
Practical Assessment – Summative task 1
Source and develop colour grade for showreel
Summative Task 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 51, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Class 9
Week 15
Practical Assessment – Summative task 1
Present draft colour graded versions to class for comment and feedback
Summative Task 1 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19
Class 10
Week 16
Practical Assessment – Summative task 1
Refine the colour grade’s and prepare to finalise
Final export and submission
Summative Task 1: Due 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Hullfish, R, Fowler, J 2003, Color Correction for Digital Video, CMP Books, USA


Hullfish, R 2008, The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction, Focal Press, USA (available in the library)
Kennedy, A 2011, Editing with Avid Media Composer 5, Peachpit Press, USA
You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

Portable Hard Drive – Firewire 800
USB Stick or passport drive

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will involve practical exercises, knowledge assessment tasks and practical group projects

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered as essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.
To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessments and a grade for the summative assessment.

Formative Assessment
1. HSL Colour grading and completing to Broadcast safe standard
using a Primary and Secondary technique
Colour Grading terminology and procedures research exercise

2. Creating Looks - creating a bleach bypass and graphic colour

Summative Assessment
1. Colour Grading your showreel – creating three (3) distinct looks:
a. Broadcast Safe
b. Bleach bypass
c. Graphic colour effect

For further information on assessments and the grading system and criteria used, please refer to the course blackboard site.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:
CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Feedback - You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Special consideration, appeals and discipline

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity 

Course Overview: Access Course Overview