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  • @rNeil Truly great stuff.

  • @Imaginate ...

    Nice work. Once you start getting used to the "new paradigm" of the Direct-to-Sg link & back within PrPro/Sg it really speeds things up. No creating EDL's or DPX exports to import into Sg, then re-link with media back in PrPro. Really good stuff. There's a couple things like remembering to put an adjustment layer on a sequence before leaving PrPro if you want to put a grade over a whole sequence of clips, but that's easy to do ... hey, it takes only a few seconds to go BACK to Prpro, add an adjustment layer, and get back to Sg. Slick.

    The new "master clip" thing is slick too ... so you change the grade on a master clip, all other bits & pieces linked to that clip then "take" the new changes immediately. And the scopes ... those are now nice and very useful.

    I've found that for the first-pass color corrections I typically change the toolset from the color wheels to the sliders, as I'll be changing individual sliders based on what happens in the scopes. But for "feel" grading, using the wheels with a Kensington "Expert Mouse" trackball with the four big programmable buttons & the scroll ring outside the two-inch ball ... is very nice. Scroll wheel with the thumb for the outer-ring luma changes and fingers moving the ball for color changes ... love it.


  • Direct link to SG has come a long way, but it's still a bit wonky with some demanding formats like DNG sequences or R3D. At least masks seem to be improved for the next version if you follow Adobe's announcements and demoes from IBC.

  • Yeah, some things the 'overhead' seems a bit too much for slick operations. Masks have been a right bastard apparently, but improved some with the last release, if not to 'works real well always'. Ahem. Especially if you have a detailed mask shape, it's tracked/moving, or you have multiple masks. And yeah, DNG and RAW processing is still hit & miss ... some cams it's fine, others ... just a no-go.

    Some of my online acquaintances that prep for b-cast have found they're using the Direct Link more than they were ... but there's a guy in NZ who still uses a different workflow ... hey, he's got it DOWN, it just works ... and he's got deadlines for people without any humor whatever concerning timelines & deliveries of content. But even he's started using DL for some things, and as he does a fair amount in AfterEffects, which didn't always come through PrPro into Sg too well, he's kinda pleased.

    As always, stay tuned ... some things will be better and there will be a couple initial "oopsies ... ".

  • I've been using ProRes is a workflow that involves round-tripping between Premiers > SpeedGrade > After Effects. I'm still undecided on when to do SG primaries > Effects > SG Secondaries, and when to do SG primaries & secondaries > Effects. Either way, I've been impressed with how the whole system works fairly seamlessly and only seems to get better upon each release.

  • @rNeil I was aware that the Masterclip function worked with the direct link option, thanks for the tip to add the adjustment layer in Premiere. It would be nice if it just worked within speedgrade but its an easy workaround. I notice a big difference in speedgrade response when I convert to prores vs. the highbitrade .mts files from a hacked GH2... We just shot a movie with the 4K GH4 and Im assuming a prores transcode is going to be the best workflow.

  • @Imaginate ...

    Depends. The Adobe suite programs are kinda finicky on how they divvy up the chores to the hardware ... so it's easy to have what seems to be a hot system that just idles along, doesn't scream ... or takes one codec slowly and weirdly, another seemingly "heavier" one and flies. Through the Adobe forums, on the right side of the Premiere Pro "Overview" page, there's a link to the hardware forum ... there's a Tweaker's Page you can get to through that, that is page after page of test data, information, and such by a few devoted users. a "balanced" system is needed, one that matches the capabilities of CPU, RAM, disc layout, GPU, and disc usage to best effect.

    Minimum 16 gigs of RAM to do much, and say OS/programs on C, all cache files on D, renders on E, and a RAID array of discs for footage, and an nVidia v-card with at least 2G vRAM. It's nice if the system & cache discs are SSD's of course.

    I've heard of people stacking several cams worth of 4k footage on 3-6 tracks and having it run fine in PrPro. In native codecs. I'd love to have their machines of course. Ah well.

    All that said, prores does work well.

  • @itimjim,

    Yea, that's kinda the 64 million dollar question ... most stuff seems to work quite well between a PrPro project with a few AE comps in the timeline, going over to Sg for grading, back to PrPro or AE for polishing/titles & out to AME to deliver.

    HOWEVER ... some people have this or that effect from AE show up ... weird ... in Sg, while it works fine for someone else. And some folks have problems with Sg grades not being visible in Ae when re-doing/re-fining a comp. So so far it seems to be a feel your way through it for what works for you situation. In the next release or so they're expecting to greatly improve the nuts & bolts workflow issues like this ... um ... as far as I can go.

    Just for the heck of it I took a project through my normal flow of PrPro with grading in Sg ... and after going back toPrPro, went to AE to just create a look on a clip, back to PrPro ... and then into Sg. Worked great.

    As far as how to schedule things, the Adobe programs use their "layer" paradigm very seriously ... a grade under a different layer can have a very different effect than the same grade applied ABOVE a different layer. So ... do you want to control the color of the grass in the shadows ( a secondary job for sure) BEFORE working that whole clip in Ae, or ... after? If it's a correction I'm going for, I'd do it before going to Ae personally. Send Ae the "proper" look to work over the top of ...


  • Nice response @rNeil.

    I've found so far that doing heavy comp work, think Andrew Kramer Video Co-Pilot type stuff, that Primary > Secondary > Comp is the best way forward. Optical flares can look a bit funky with a heavy look applied on top too. For lighter comp work, I quite like applying the look as the last layer. Still it's only a rule of thumb for me, as it really does vary with the limited amount of work I do, and the approach even changes scene to scene :D.

    Either way, I'm finding Adobe CC just utterly freaking awesome. I've got a copy of Davinci and it's super powerful, but it just doesn't get a look in currently.

  • @itimjim

    You get used to the forth & back possible in the newest Adobe products, yeah, it's quickly addicting. Not perfect of course ... like the new blue look is a real dumb thing for male eyes (many of which "see" dark blues as desaturated/charcoal already). Still, yea especially in a one-man operation you can jump around so easily.

    Your comment ... primaries, secondaries, then a comp for special effects is probably a good assumption ... get the basic grade (primaries), nail down the hues of this & that (secondaries & masks), then you've got your basic "look" to go over to Ae for Big Effects ...


  • I've been looking for a more robust color grading system for awhile and nothing ever seemed to fit nicely with my mostly Premiere/Audition/After Effects workflow. Have tried every Lite iteration of Resolve and it's a powerful tool for sure but the workflow was very cumbersome and seemed more like a chore.

    I also tried the first version of SpeedGrade that shipped with the Adobe Suite but that was a nightmare and not at all what I wanted. However, a friend of mine recently recommended that I go back and try the newest version. Turns out, it's exactly what I was looking for. The interaction between Premiere and SpeedGrade is awesome and while Resolve might have a few extra features I like, the burden of working with the Resolve workflow is not worth it in my opinion.

    It's really nice being able to do more than simple corrections in Premiere with a workflow that doesn't take that much more time.

  • The whole Direct Link thing is amazing for so many. I dearly wish Speedgrade had vastly improved documentation, as there's a lot of things that can be done in three different ways ... that one might easily miss can be done at all. I've had the fortune to be around a few very experienced Sg "hands" discussing their professional workflows ... and it was quite humorous to see how ofter someone would mention doing X as part of their work here ... and another guy that does stuff for CNN, ESPN & others on a daily basis goes "What was that? You can do X from there? Huh ... I've always done that by doing this ... " only to have the first guy puzzled as he didn't realize you could do it the other way. And a third is going "You guys were doing WHAT? I've always gone back to AE to do that ... where in Hades does it say how to do it?"

    Both other dudes had found it out by "poking the box" or in discussion with another "power" user.

    In the hands of a knowing worker, it is fast and stunning in the range and finesse with which so many things can be handled. On the other hand, well ... sometimes masking works perfectly and sometimes not so much. But I love the time I spend in that program. Would be nice if I wasn't a one-man everything and had need to spend more time grading!


  • Anybody using masks in the newer SpeedGrade? I'm getting some better results but still curious as to when to use masks from PrPro or Ae and when I can just do it in Sg. Obviously after any scaling for size/motion I can't mask in Sg ...

  • EDL is a somewhat curious thing but still possible in SpeedGrade CC2014.1 (Caravan) ... but ... two things to be aware of if you export EDL or EDL and "flattened" media (exporting the sequence itself as a single file).

    1) There's a default in the EDL export dialog box that is set on "drop frame" being checked. If your footage is progressive, SpeedGrade will not allow connecting them to the EDL ... giving the Red Box of Death "Frame rate mismatch" dialog. With progressive footage you MUST uncheck that box before exporting the EDL.

    After figuring this out, I could export the EDL, and then in Sg navigate to it and drag it from the Media panel to the timeline area ... then navigate the media panel to the folder with the clips, and click "load reels from desktop" and it worked spiffily.

    2) When exporting my progressive timeline from PrPro to try the "flattened" footage route, I found that even though I'd selected "same as source" for export settings, way down the options in the Video tab on the Export Media box ... the export still was set for "Upper half first" rather than "Progressive". Interesting as exporting the media file as upper half still won't connect to the EDL if it's set for drop-frame. Don't know if lower half would but ... if you've got progressive media make sure the frame box is set for progressive.

    Once that was progressive I could take either the EDL to set a new timeline and drag the footage onto that, OR drag the footage to the timeline and drag the EDL onto that ... and voila, perfectly split into clips for grading.

  • Although not highlighted by Adobe, which bothers me ... there is a new update for SpeedGrade also in the 2015.1 cycle. It does WORK much better this time, as far as the Direct Link process from PrPro. To handle the HEVC that is now supported, you might (on Windows, don't know about Mac) need to download the free HEVC/h.265 codec pack from DivX ...

  • When I choose hevc as a format in the new media encoder, I was prompted to allow installation of the codec, which was accomplished successfully. I did have to re-install a vst plugin for it to work correctly in the new pp.

  • Good info ...

  • There is an issue for those using SpeedGrade in "native" mode and exporting to DNxHD ... if you use the "standard" export options for the DNxHD codecs, which include "strip Alpha" checked and no Alpha in the exported file, Sg blows it.

    All other codecs seem to work ok for me.

    For now, I'd suggest for ANY export using DNxHD out of Sg, un-check the 'strip Alpha' box, then under "more options", pick your specific DNxHD variant and be sure to check "Compressed Alpha" also. This will give you a correctly exported file.

    In 2015, a no-Alpha export of Sg will have the lower values dropped about 5 points or so, the gamma raised by 22 or so, and the highs/whites value raised about 10 points on a "100 point" scale. There is a slight difference in individual colors reaction though blue & red are very similar, green just a bit more.

    In 2014.2, you'll get a file that is too bright, having a major gamma shift 'up' so you need to reduce gamma by .30 to get 'back' to what the file looked like in Sg.


  • @rNeil - given you've shot progressive, you'd obviously want to export progressive, but the reason you probably weren't allowed to export 'upper half first' in a 30p project is because of field dominance in interlaced projects. Upper half first is the field dominance setting for a pal sequence - ntsc field dominance is lower half first, which might be a clue as to why you couldn't export your ntsc sequence with those settings...

  • @mrbill

    I never have any PAL sequences ... total NTSC here. Nor any interlaced footage either. Which is why the 'default' settings in the EDL export box seem bizarre.