Review of Mistika Boutique

By Francisco Lorite, C.S.I.

I’m Francisco Lorite and I’m a colorist in Los Angeles, CA. I started working with color more than 13 years ago, beginning at Technicolor Madrid grading in film. Photochemical process and simplicity were always on my mind and now what we can achieve in Mistika Boutique is visually as compelling. I’ve been using Mistika for the last eight years on a wide variety of projects including tv shows, big and small, features films, documentaries, commercials, and music video. The more complicated the project, the better. Mistika can handle it!

I know starting to learn a new color or finishing platform can seem intimidating. When I first learned Mistika I felt that way too, at the beginning. But as with all new things once you go through the process and put your hands on it and understand the logic inside the system, you’ll find that it is a beautiful tool. To get the best of the system I recommend the double screen set up.

Mistika GUI

Mistika is a layer-based, node stacks system, hardware-agnostic that can perform real-time finishing workflow for Stereo 3D, VR/360-degree and UHD 8K at 60p, even with uncompressed formats. Mistika Boutique is the software based program has the same functional operation as the Ultima system including color grading, VFX, Stereo 3D and VR/360-degree, and running fast with the latest Nvidia graphics cards.

One of the most ground breaking features right off the bat is the infinite Timespace. This flexible layout allows you to be efficient and fast by not being tied up to a video track, but you have to be organized. Things can get messy if not.

Timespace Organization

Having a tool with this flexibility is extremely helpful, especially while working on complicated projects with tons of VFX or never-ending re-conforms. To help with this, one of the latest tools, Match and Paste is fantastic. It allows you to edit and copy all the color grading adjustments, VFX, and GFX made into a new re-conformed edit, quickly and easily, and works with the already powerful RNDs, Mistika’s unique metadata format, to allow you to transfer adjustments between re-conforms.

For me, Mistika Boutique has incredible flexibility and fine-tuning capabilities. From conforming tools like the extensive settings for time ramps and fantastic optical flow to the text-based integrations that allow extended configurations and scripts, which are unparalleled. But what made me fall in love with the system was the color science, color tools, and how fast you can work.

The way color is applied to the image, how the correction coexists with the inherent light of the shot, and making an organic image is what captured me. The tools that I love for color correction are principally the bands and fixed vectors.

Fixed Vectors

Is all about detail and with these two tools, you can be extremely accurate in your corrections and your looks. Color grading is not only creating a look, and bringing the DP and Director’s visions to life, but keeping it consistent throughout the entire project.

Bands

Bands are five wheels with modifiable tolerances that affect independently luminance and saturation with HLS controls separated for shadows, mid-tones, and highlights while Fixed Vectors are fixed color vectors where you can independently modify Hue, Sat & Lum in any of the 6 bands. And of course, the Highlight Rolloff offers a lovely way to control highlights and even though it was originally designed for HDR, it works nicely in SDR. Also, being able to create a specially designed workflow for every project, with tools like Unicolor, or ACES, or any other camera native log curve is a key.

During the color process, you can take advantage of the Timespace as well, for example, it is extremely fast to create new versions, just duplicate the stacks and create a new version, you can create a group, work inside, and then if you want to mix the correction with the original, you have the flexibility to work whatever way suits you best. Another example is inside the color grade node, you work in layers, and in every layer, you have access to every grading tool, for example, if you can make a selection in the last layer, using the second layer as an input with all the mixing capabilities.

Mistika Boutique is a comprehensive tool, that integrates VFX, color-grading tools, GFX, and Stereoscopy in the same user environment allows the user to combine frame rates, resolutions, and work with a team on the same project. But most importantly, it is an incredibly flexible fast tool that allows me to deliver to vision of my clients.

Francisco Lorite, C.S.I.

Francisco Lorite, C.S.I. is a Freelance Colorist with over 13 years of experience. He started his career at Technicolor Spain working with film and then moved into the digital world working as a freelancer. He relocated from Spain to Los Angles a few years ago, where he has had the opportunity to work with incredible professionals on amazing projects for some of the major networks and platforms as well as on independent projects. He was recently nominated for an HPA Award for Outstanding Color Grading on TNT’s The Alienist: Angel of Darkness.

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