[Tig] FinalTouch HD

Sean McKee sean
Fri Sep 23 07:41:01 BST 2005

Hi Bob,

To respond to your questions about myself and my qualifications to comment
about a product, our company and what type of work we do:

Yes, I am an owner/operator.

Yes, we have invested in da Vinci systems and Discreet systems, but I have
no agenda to knock any system just because we own other systems that cost
more. Sounds like you are having to defend it because it doesn't cost as
much. As you said, "the colorist makes the magic".

Each of our colorists has at least 15 years experience driving different
telecines and color correctors.

The company's main business is film restoration, with the restored titles
ending up being rebroadcast in HD, or distributed in retail markets on DVD.
We also offer services complimentary to the restored product, such as the
encoding & authoring, menu & package design, etc, but we do not compete in
the same space against traditional post houses, and our sales efforts do not
solicit commercial work. We in fact have many post houses as clients. Our
location in Schaumburg, IL (20 miles west of Chicago) has no bearing on our
abilities, and our business does not require us to be downtown, or even in
LA, as much of our work is unsupervised, and we have clients from around the
world. I understand you run your FTHD system out of your house in the south
suburbs, should I question your experience based on your location? So
regarding coloring, we do color 'correction' in the literal sense, but
everybody has had previous creative commercial and feature film coloring

No, we did not try to drive the Final Touch system like a da Vinci. We
looked at it for what it is. There was no operator error because, as I said,
it was easy to use and was mastered quickly. So I appreciate the offer for a
demo, but we had our own and could probably show a few tricks ourselves...
When I mentioned 'mems' I was using a term familiar to most on here and my
comment was regarding the lack of being able to switch grades or store a
color setting from the control panel.

To quote you again, "Helloooooo....dude" I did read the web site and knew
the fact that the HD version was meant to work with FCP. I merely stated
that the system assumes you are working with FCP, not as a negative, but
merely as fact. My point and complaint in that paragraph if you read it
properly was that the system does not allow you to render a single, large
quicktime of the whole movie if you wanted to, which I would expect to be a

Our tests of the system were methodical and detailed. We tested every system
feature with clips of different lengths, from one minute to 2 hours, in SD
NTSC and PAL, every variation of HD at different timings, and 2K data.

I hope that now in your eyes you think I am qualified to comment and have an
opinion on a product or an experience. Although I have never spoke to Lucas
Wilson from Assimilate regarding his offer on the TIG to check out Scratch,
he must think I'm qualified enough to demo it with the possibility of me
posting my thoughts on this forum, without knowing my credentials. Isn't
that what the TIG is for, to exchange opinions, ideas, experiences and
knowledge? I did end up saying it's a cool product in the end, but like I
said, I was just frustrated with the interactivity with the JL Cooper
panels. Those guys even made me put 1/2 down on a credit card to demo their
$5500 panels and now want to charge me a restocking fee! Yet we've demoed
much more expensive equipment for no charge.

Here's another opinion and I'll say it up front, this is not a metaphor to
compare with this topic of discussion, rather just me being a person with an
opinion that people don't have to listen to... I don't like beer. I prefer
Jack Daniels and wine (not at the same time). When I was a kid, my friends
tried to get me to drink beer and said "it's an acquired taste, you have to
drink more". I thought, "why do I want to learn to like the taste of
something that I don't like to start with?"  Let's hope we don't get the
beer manufacturers to get their users to question my experience to make such
a comment and have an opinion!

To quote a popular DJ, "you've been listening to the free speech radio

Sean McKee
Screen Time Images

On 9/15/05 9:20 PM, "Bob Sliga" <bobsliga at comcast.net> wrote:

> Thanks to Pandora for supporting the TIG.
> --
> The best thing about this forum is the ability to have open
> discussions and respectfully submit opinions among professional
> colorists across the world. I was told by someone to check into what
> Sean McKee said on the Tig about FinalTouch HD.
> I read what Sean McKee said and as a FinalTouch user and Demo Artist
> I feel it?s my responsibility to give an accomplished users point of
> view.
> I?ll try and keep this short as possible.
> Disclaimer:
> I?ve been a Chicago Colorist for 26 years. I?ve worked on many
> flavors of Rank Cintel scanners and for the last 8 years a Spirit
> Datacine.  I have worked on all flavors of daVinci and for the last 2
> years a daVinci 2K Plus. Great color correctors in their own right
> and all have / had their individual issues.  I also freelance as a
> demo colorist on FinalTouch HD for Midwest Media Group.  For the last
> 3 months I have been working with my own FinalTouch HD system and I
> am VERY impressed with its power.
> It really is a shame that Sean had a bad experience with FinalTouch
> because I have nothing but good things to say about FinalTouch.
> I do not know Sean and have nothing against him. I don?t know if he
> is an owner of a facility or colorist but those are the only 2
> possibilities I can decipher from his email. I think it is only fair
> to know what type of experience he has to post such a comment. Also,
> what type of color correction do they do in Schaumberg? Sean has
> commented that they work with Discreet products and has made
> reference to a daVinci 2K.
> By his posts I think its fair to say he had some operator errors with
> FinalTouch that we all have happen to us working on new technology
> without updated documentation.  From his posts I can determine that
> he tried to drive it like a daVinci and had problems getting out of
> the daVinci mindset.  Once he couldn?t make it run like a daVinci he
> got frustrated. We?ve all been there?I still get frustrated when the
> daVinci 2K Plus crashes while building complex corrections, in front
> of clients. But that?s a story for another day?.
> Sounds more like a review on the panels than the FinalTouch software.
> Also, sounds like you or the company you work for either has invested
> hundreds of thousands of dollars into Discreet and daVinci 2K systems
> and are really trying to find any reason to knock the system.
> FinalTouch works differently than a daVinci.
> Anyway Sean pointed out in one of his complaints that FinalTouch is
> assuming the user is using FinalCut Pro.  Helloooooo?..Read the
> literature first dude?  On Siliconcolor?s web site under products it
> states ?FinalTouch HD is cut from the same cloth as its big brother,
> FinalTouch 2K. With tight FinalCut Pro integration via XML and direct
> support for QuickTime media?  So yes, It assumes you are working with
> FinalCut Pro?.
> It also works with any uncompressed QuickTime format for people who
> want this type of color correction capability and are not working in
> FinalCut Pro.
> It?s no surprise that Avid wanted nothing to do with FinalTouch HD
> since they have their own color corrector in their products. I
> haven?t had time to test an EDL list because I have been too busy
> with a few independent features cut in FinalCut Pro.
> The XML integration with FinalCut Pro is by far a really cool
> advange. This works as promised for FinalCut Pro users.
> Export a XML file out of FinalCut Pro, Import the XML into
> FinalTouch.  After import the FinalTouch timeline shows up just like
> it was in FinalCut Pro, even layers. All scenes are their own clips.
> Color Correct until your blue in the face. Render all files. Export a
> color corrected XML out of FinalTouch and then import the new XML
> into FinalCut Pro. The new sequence in FinalCut Pro loads with all
> the clips with the new color corrections.
> I?ve done some demos for a few commercial film editors here in
> Chicago and they were blown away from the immediacy of the new color
> corrected sequence. They had some suggestions for SiliconColor like
> all editors would but they thought it was a great feature.
> I use a Kensington Expert Mouse Pro Multi button trackball and have
> had zero crashes like Sean experienced with the panels. On the other
> hand I have heard that some of the panels early on had issues
> communicating, that?s why I stayed away from them.  Doesn?t really
> surprise me, considering third party hardware on new and evolving
> software are due to have issues. Sounds like Sean couldn?t get past
> that and no matter what happened the rest of your experience was
> blind to the real benefits of the system.
> I have done sessions and demos in front of clients. It?s not a
> problem. It?s new technology and a new way of doing things.  It?s
> going to do nothing but evolve and get better. People are excited by
> the results and are blown away that this is running a Mac G5.
> Remember you can have all the gear in the world to do color
> correction but it?s still the creative talent of the colorist that
> makes the magic.
> Yes, the non real-time output for HD is a bit of a bummer right now.,
> but that will be changing in the near future?
> I can?t say enough good things about the engineering support.  They
> respond with suggestions quickly and go the extra mile in getting the
> problem resolved.  They want to make the product better and are open
> to suggestions from users on how to advance the product and make it
> better. I can honestly say I haven?t felt that type of support from
> daVinci. Again, a story for another day.
> I am glad Sean stepped away and reread his post after his frustration
> wore off and realized things weren?t as bad as he thought.
> Sean  I am doing a demo with David Sallak of Midwest Media Group  for
> the Chicago FinalCut Pro User group. September 28 at the Adler
> Planetarium at 6:15 pm.  It would be great if you could make it??..
> http://www.chifcpug.org/
> FinalTouch is bringing high level color correction to the masses in
> what was once only available to the high budget productions.  I can?t
> see that being a bad thing?. It?s a fine product with a definite
> place in the market which will only get better with age and refinement?
> Bob Sliga
> daVinci 2K Plus and FinalTouch HD
> Freelance Colorist - Chicago
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