AO: Explore // Color Grading Duck Store Commercials with VSCO in Aperture

Last fall we completed a series of :30 commercials for The University of Oregon Duck Store. They had seen the ‘Experience Autzen’ piece we filmed for the marketing department at the UO and wanted to recreate that same sort of emotion and energy in their spots. Something that “communicated that an Oregon Duck fans’ experience starts at the Duck Store.”

We love the way VSCO film creates a very real, authentic, film-like look in photos. So we tried using VSCO Film in Aperture to color grade the final spots.

Here’s the rundown of how we did it, after editing it Final Cut Pro X.

Finalize Edit. We finalize the edit, and do basic color correction to make sure all the colors match, shot to shot. Basic color correction is important so that the look you create with VSCO Film can be applied throughout the entire sequence.  If you have too much diversity between your clips the effect created with VSCO Film may not appear similar among all your clips.

Hide Graphics and Titles. Before exporting the image sequence, we then take all the graphics and titles and hide them from the timeline, so that all we’re exporting is video clips.

Export Image Sequence. Export the spot as an image sequence. We saved each as JPGs for the sake of this, but you can also export as TIFs. We created a folder called something like “Duck Store 30 A Grade Pre.”


Import to Aperture. Open Aperture, and import the the folder you just exported from FCPX.


Apply VSCO Grade. Once all the images are loaded in a project in Aperture, we applied the VSCO Film filter to a few images to determine the one that worked best. It was important to adjust that filter (adjustment) so that it fits with every shot in your clip.


Lift and Place. Once you’ve found the look, select the “Lift Adjustment” button. Then select all the clips and select the “Place Adjustments” button to apply the adjustment to the selected clips.


Export Graded Image Sequence. After the adjustments have been made to each of the images, select all the images in the project, and export them into a folder. We used a folder named something like “Duck Store 30 A Grade – VSCO.”

Convert Image Sequence to video. Open Compressor. Select “Add Image Sequence” and select the folder of images above. (Duck Store 30 A Grade – VSCO).


Select ‘Apple ProRes 422 HQ’ and export the clip.


Import to Final Cut Pro X. Once the image sequence has exported to ProRes, open FCPX and import the file. We duplicated the Project, and placed the ProRes VSCO-graded file over the top of the original clips in the project timeline. You can modify the opacity of the VSCO Film clip if it want to tone down the film-look at all. We then make the graphics and titles visable again, and export for broadcast.