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Applying and saving looks

From: Up and Running with SpeedGrade

Video: Applying and saving looks

In this movie, I want to talk about looks. Well, what do I mean by a look? Well, a look is a combination of corrections that you've applied to a shot. So for example, our primary correction, a secondary correction, a mask or maybe even a custom Look layer. Taken altogether, those separate corrections make up a look that you've developed for a particular shot. And in this movie, I want to show you how we can use some pre-built looks that Adobe has developed for SpeedGrade. I also, want to show you how we can customize those looks to save our own costume looks that we can use within a project or even for other projects.

Applying and saving looks

In this movie, I want to talk about looks. Well, what do I mean by a look? Well, a look is a combination of corrections that you've applied to a shot. So for example, our primary correction, a secondary correction, a mask or maybe even a custom Look layer. Taken altogether, those separate corrections make up a look that you've developed for a particular shot. And in this movie, I want to show you how we can use some pre-built looks that Adobe has developed for SpeedGrade. I also, want to show you how we can customize those looks to save our own costume looks that we can use within a project or even for other projects.

First off, if you're following along with the exercise files, be sure to open up this Timeline called 05_03_looks, and this Timeline has a shot that we've seen before, and it's an okay looking shot of this guy working on his guitar. But it's just a little flat and just a little boring. So what I want to do is jazz up the shot with a custom look. And to do that, what I'm going to do is come down to my Look tab here, and then underneath my color controls, you should notice, that you have a bunch of open tabs. This first tab, if you haven't saved your own custom look before, will be empty like I have it here. But on these other tabs, you have some examples of looks that Adobe ships with the application.

You have Cinematic looks, Desaturated looks, Stylistic looks and then some Temperature looks. Again, a good way to think about these looks that Adobe had shipped with the application is as a starting point for developing your own custom look. I don't advise that you just use these looks right out of the box, because in many cases they just won't look right. You'll often have to go in and tweak some of corrections that make up that look to fit your footage. Okay, so what I'm going to do is come over here to Cinematic category here and there's a look that I want to apply to the shot right here, called BleachBypass1.

I'm simply going to click on this look, I'm not going to double-click on it, and when I click on it, you'll notice up here in the monitor I now have that look applied, but I'm just previewing this look. How do I know that I'm previewing it? Well down here on the Look tab, notice this red text right here, that says Preview. You haven't actually committed to using this look as of yet. If you don't like this look, or if you don't want it applied to the shot, simply press the Backspace or the big Delete key on your keyboard to reject that look. However, if you do want the look, simply select it again, and then press the Enter key on your keyboard number pad to apply the look.

Okay, I've applied that BleachBypass look and over here in my Layers, you can see that I have a primary correction, as well as a custom look layer, this BleachBypass layer right here. But what I want to do is customize this look just a little bit more. So the first thing I'm going to do is come down here, and click on the plus button to add a New Custom Look Layer, and then what I'm going to do is choose, this look right here, FxBloom. And then with the Intensity sliders here, I'm going to drag up until I get a value of around 2 or so, maybe 2.2, and what I'm trying to do is give a nice glow to the highlights in the shot.

All right, that's working pretty well for me. The next thing I'm going to do is add a new Primary layer, and then I'm going to switch over to my Mask tab, and I'm going to use these Preset buttons here to create a new mask, and the one I'm going to click on is this guy right here to create a new Vignette type Mask. And up here on the actual image in the monitor, I can use the widget here to resize and reposition the mask. So I'm going to make it a little bigger, something like that, and I'm going to add some softness to it, maybe a little more softness. Yeah, that's working pretty well maybe just add touch more softness.

And then you know what? I'm going to actually skew it just a little bit, something like that, and let me reposition it ever so slightly, and maybe just a touch more softness. There we go. Okay, then I'm going to come back down to my Look tab and using these controls right here, I'm going to click on this button, so I affect the outside of the mask. And then, using my main color controls here in the overall category of Look tab, I'm going to drag my Gamma or my Midtone brightness down quite a bit, something like that, and I'll do the same thing for the Highlights.

Now you'll notice that I'm getting sort of a nice sort of edge vignette on the shot. I'm going to come back to the Mask tab I think, and size this down ever since slightly, so the vignette is a little bit more pronounced. Okay, that's working for me. Then finally what I'm going to do is add another Primarily layer and come over here to my Overall controls in the Look tab, and I'm going to warm-up the midtones of the shot, just ever so slightly. Something like that. However, that's a little too warm for me. So I'm going to use the Opacity slider here, for this Primary layer and drag down, and remember you can hold the Shift key down to have sliders move a little faster inside of SpeedGrade.

So I'm going to go to a value of maybe around .35, .37. Yeah, that works pretty well. Okay, let me go ahead and use the 0 key on my keyboard to toggle the whole grade on and off. Here's the original shot and here's the look that I've developed. So now, what I want to do is go ahead and save this as my own custom look, so I can use it on another shot on a Timeline or may be even in another project. And to do that I'm going to come down and click on this tab right here. Remember, this tab I said was empty if you hadn't previously saved any custom looks. Now when you say you save a look to this tab, where does it actually go? Well, that's a good question.

It goes to by default to your User documents folder Adobe SpeedGrade 6 for Adobe SpeedGrade 6 and then Settings. With this tab active, I'm going to come down to my Layers and click this button right here to save a .look file. A .look file is the combination of corrections that you've applied to a shot, or in other words, a look. So I'll click this button to save the look and over here you can see that the look has been saved. If I click on the actual name of it, I can remain this and I'll call this warm bleach with vignette.

Finally, I just want to mention a few more things having to do with .look files. First, if you ever need to remove a look that you've created, simply hover your mouse over the look and then, click this X button right here, to delete the look. Another thing that you can do when you hover over a look is click this E button to export the .look file, and when you do that a new window opens up. And in this window, you can export the .look file into various flavors of 1D and 3D LUTs or look-up tables, and look-up tables allow you to exchange information between different systems.

So by translating the .look file into a 1D or 3D LUT, you an exchange the look that you've created with other users on other systems and this is a very nice workflow thing, when you need to interact with other operators and other artists on different systems. So in this case, I'm not actually going to export the look, so I'll just click the X here to close this window. Finally, you should know that if you work with Adobe Photoshop or Adobe After Effects, you can now access .look files in those applications to apply looks to footage. And I'm really excited about this from a workflow standpoint.

As in the past as a colorist, I would had to rendered out footage for those artist to use. Now I can simply develop a look and then they can apply that look to the footage in Photoshop or After Effects without me needing to render first, and that's definitely a time saver. So that's just a little bit about working with looks. As you can see, it's easy to apply one of the pre-built looks that ships with SpeedGrade, modify it, and then save your own look. But of course, you can always start from scratch, creating a look as well.

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Up and Running with SpeedGrade

29 video lessons · 7527 viewers

Robbie Carman
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