Walter knows his stuff, he grades using Color on a regular basis and has produced a top selling Color instructional DVD. He managed to squeeze some demo time at NAB to take a look at Baselight and the FCP plugin.


Wednesday at the NAB Show I had the opportunity for a 1 on 1 demo of the full Baselight color correction system and it’s “little cousin”, the plug-in tool for Final Cut Pro (and other hosts).

First off, Baselight is just the most intuitive color correction tool I’ve seen. I sat through the session with fellow Apple Color Forum host Joseph Owens and as the artist was walking through the various features and functions of the tool, it all made sense. It’s a very efficient and infinitely adjustable tool for working both in video and film. The $80,000 price tag is definitely what puts it out of range of most Final Cut Pro users.

Enter the Baselight plug-in Well actually plug-in is not the right description quite honestly since it’s really a fully featured mini-app that operates independently of FCP. Here’s how FilmLight describes it in their press release:

Baselight for Final Cut Pro is not merely a port that uses the Final Cut Pro interface. Rather, it provides editors with access to Baselight functionality directly within the application. Editors can grade projects and then either render within the host application, or export the grade as an XML list—with all metadata preserved—to a full Baselight system for final adjustments and rendering. Similarly, grades prepared in a Baselight suite can be exported seamlessly to Final Cut Pro for conform and final editing.

After first seeing the full Baselight system run, I can tell you that the plug-in had many of the same features as the big brother. Baselight operates in what are called layers. Each layer is an adjustment. So Layer 1 might be your primary adjustment, Layer 2 a secondary, Layer 3 a mask, Layer 4 another secondary, Layer 5 an effect and so on. So each shot is comprised of a series of layers to make your color correction. This is precisely how it operates in the plug-in. You will have infinite Layers per shot. So you can essentially do a Baselight color grade session inside of Final Cut Pro.

No, the plug-in does not have EVERY feature of the big brother, for $79,000 cheaper it can’t. But it does have a lot. And did you catch that part at the end of the press release? If you do color grading with the plug-in, you can then send that information to a colorist on a full featured Baselight system. OR, a colorist on a full featured Baselight system can send the grades TO YOU on your Final Cut Pro edit system. You will be able to open and render with any grade created on a full Baselight. Regardless of the features the colorist used, it WILL show up in your Baselight plug-in. If it’s a feature not included in the plug-in you will not be able to modify it, but it will show up and you will be able to render with it.

So the plug-in allows you to bring a ridiculously powerful color correction system directly inside of Final Cut Pro. Or you can do an XML round trip between FCP and Baselight just like you do today with Color and Davinci Resolve.

The plug-in will be available in the fall of 2011 and pricing is expected to be below $1,000. But let me tell you, if it was in my budget to pick up the big brother today, I wouldn’t even think twice. It’s just crazy good.

This article first appeared on Walter's blog and is reproduced with his kind permisssion.

Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


Log in to comment