Baselight is a fast, creative non-linear grading system for commercials, television and film but the $80,000 price tag puts it out of range of most users. Now it will change with FilmLight's Baselight Plugin which will make Baselight's advanced colour grading functionality accessible within the heart of Apple's Final Cut Pro. The Baselight technology will work seamlessly in a familiar fashion, right within the FCP timeline and the editor will grade source media in place and in full context of edits and applied effects.
The Interface of the plugin will be very similar to the one used in Baselight. The same interface and menus will be familiar to any Baselight operator, with all the grading operations running natively on the Mac. The Baselight Plugin will store its grades directly within the FCP XML list, allowing the whole grade to be transported into a full Baselight suite for finessing and rendering. The list will provide the option to be updated back into FCP for finishing with uncommitted grades. Users will simply make the grade, and work between multiple systems and operators.
For quick projects it will be easy to apply grades in place without leaving the edit. Baselight Plugin will allow the editor to do this while keeping all decisions live. For more complex timelines it will support in-context grading of multiple image elements within a composite; to view, adjust and approve the final result. The plugin will also support the Avid Artist Color & Transport control surfaces, allowing the editor to use a standard grading panel with trackballs and encoders for grading. An editor familiar with the Baselight Plugin will be also able to easily transition to using the same interface on a fully-configured Baselight system, providing an easy learning and migration path.
The plugin should be available in the fall and the price should be below $1000 - $79k cheaper than its big brother!
Walter Biscardi had the chance to see the plugin in action while visiting NAB 2011 in Las Vegas. Here are some of his thoughts:
"Plugin is not the right description quite honestly since it’s really a fully featured mini-app that operates independently of Final Cut Pro. (...) 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. (...) 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. (...) It allows you to bring a ridiculously powerful color correction system directly inside of Final Cut Pro".
You can read the whole entry made by Walter Biscardi on Baselight Plugin here.