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Grading in Photoshop ... !?
  • There's a post over on one of the Panny GH4 threads here from a guy demo'ing how to grade vid footage in Photoshop CC. I knew of people that are Ps experts that use Ps as their entire video "suite" ... create timelines, "tracks", layers & all completely done in Ps, hadn't thought of using it as simply a grading tool.

    Why would you? To get the full controls of Adobe's "ACR" set ... curves, hue sat & luminance, luminance/color noise controls, everything ... and use it on video footage. I've complained to Adobe that I do wish that Speedgrade had an equivalent of the hue/sat/luminance section of ACR, and know it's on the list of things to add ... well down the list, though.

    What does the hue/sat/luminance section do that's so quick & handy? They have eight "colors" ... red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, & magenta ... with three different controls for each: the hue, the saturation, and the luminance. It's pretty dang slick. Say your footage (or maybe the camera itself) is a bit too blue-ish in the magentas? No problem ... slide the magenta hue control towards red (away from blue-reddish/purple).

    Your greens dead & lifeless? Well ... do they need a luminance lift, or do they need to be darker? Use the luminance control for the greens. Should they be yellower or bluer? Grab the hue slider & give it a try. You can use this just for the particular piece you're working on, or if' you've created a "standard" one you'd like to use for a camera/lens combo, you can save that as a preset.

    I've used this in stills a LOT ... especially in Lightroom. Rather awesome tools, frustrating not to have in video.

    Well ... notes the guy that did the vid tutorial, you CAN do this in Photoshop CC ... open a clip in Ps, turn it into a 'smart' object, take that into ACR (all from standard menu choices or keyboard shorts) ... then use any of the several tabs worth of controls including some pretty decent noise, grain, and sharpening tools ... then save-as to render the footage out completely when done.

    So ... it would take some time to do the final output renders, which is what you would then bring into your NLE. And though you can only grade one clip at a time and the ENTIRE clip will have the one "look", you can save that look as a preset to apply to other similar clips. So ... for those of us doing things with a not-too-huge number of clips that will have realistically only one set of adjustments per clip, the ACR controls in Photoshop might be worth looking at.

    I've used them on stills from my GH3, and they clean up the magenta plasticine skin quite easily, which is why it was frustrating that I had to learn to work a secondary and tweak what's "chosen" for it & how it's modified in Speedgrade, to do the same thing I can do in Lr/ACR in a couple seconds.

    For some of my jobs this should work brilliantly. Can't wait to get home, get my new hot-rod computer (that's sitting by my desk right now!) all set-up with my programs loaded into it, my set of working discs installed (yea, got six discs my workflow is spread over, some internal some external, ALL going internal on the new box) ... and give this a whirl on some GH3 footage. I think it would also make a quick job of matching D600/GH3 footage for 'basic' grading.

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  • I think all still and video tools must converge. With some standard interface available so you could use any still tool/filter/editor in your NLE.

  • While ACR is pretty much all I use for grading still photos, it has a some huge gaps that make it clumsy to use for video:

    • No calibrated gamma controls.
    • No secondary color correction tools.
    • No layers or masks.

    Of course, you can always load your ACR images into Photoshop to gain access to these features and more, but why not just use After Effects in the first place? Likewise, SpeedGrade is a great color corrector, but Adobe's integration of it into CC was sluggish and unwieldy. For anything that doesn't require major surgery, I find AE's built-in Color Finesse far more nimble and no less capable than the heavy duty color correction suites.

    Also, ACR's eight color sliders are really meant for correcting color casts in lighting rather than for detailed grading. What makes them of limited use is that they work on the entire luminance range rather than individually on the highlights, mids, and shadows. For my purposes, having completely separate controls for master, highlights, mids, and shadows is one of Color Finesse's most valuable features.

  • The fun of shooting with a GH3 is that *&^$% pink plasticine skin ... and the easiest thing I've found to deal with it IS the ACR style controls in stills ... but it's the same problem in vids from the cam. So yea, the PS way of doing it wouldn't give you the full capabilities of a good grading program ... more something that could be used as a pre-treatment so to speak for my clips before I get into PrPro with them. Yea, the "sliders" are meant for color-casts but also to help correct camera particularities.

    Now ... as I've seen what Suzette Allen has done on a timeline totally created in Photoshop ... and yes, with layers aplenty ... you can do layers in Ps on video after "leaving" ACR. Not something you'd do on a normal sequence though.

  • A while back I tried playing with some Alexa ProRes files on it, it was a lot of fun. Well isn't the new version of Resolve creating a Photographer friendly Cinema DNG interface?

  • I don't see these posted here, so I might as well share.

    does grading 4k (higher res) benefit more or no difference using this to grade vs say premiere 3 way color or colorista?

  • The best thing of ACR is the unsurpassed Chromatic Aberration fix and the Clarity algorithm

  • I tested this last night, and it is a pretty time consuming process. they need to beef up photoshop to handle video (if your going to do it, don't half way do it), or integrate ACR with premiere

  • Indeed it is time consuming in terms of rendering, but the speed at which you can do your corrections is awesome. I've done lots of testing and ACR just gives me the best looking final image I can get so far. Ideally this would open up a new door to quick 32bit ACR style controls in After Effects or even just Premiere.

  • ACR inside Premiere (replacing the current limited RAW Source Settings) would be killer, but I gather ACR isn't a realtime debayer algorithm like whatever Premiere is using instead. That should be high up on the list of priorities for Adobe, though, given how many RAW-capable cameras are out in the field now. Otherwise, Resolve and its growing NLE capabilities starts to look like a viable alternative.

    As far as the Clarity slider, it's not a replacement but the Midtone Detail slider in Resolve 11 is a nice first step.