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Conforming a project with an Edit Decision List (EDL)

From: Up and Running with SpeedGrade

Video: Conforming a project with an Edit Decision List (EDL)

In this movie, I want to show you what is probably the most common way of getting projects into Adobe SpeedGrade and that's by using an EDL or an Edit Decision List. By using an EDL, you can conform a project here in Adobe SpeedGrade back to the original edit that you had in your editorial tool. And by using a standard CMX 3600 EDL, you can reconnect to a wide variety of video formats such as RAW video from a Red camera or other codecs and resolutions that your project may contain. Now I know what you might be thinking, EDLs really Rob? Well, it's true, EDLs are a little bit of an antiquated format, but they still really work well for exchanging information between different applications.

Conforming a project with an Edit Decision List (EDL)

In this movie, I want to show you what is probably the most common way of getting projects into Adobe SpeedGrade and that's by using an EDL or an Edit Decision List. By using an EDL, you can conform a project here in Adobe SpeedGrade back to the original edit that you had in your editorial tool. And by using a standard CMX 3600 EDL, you can reconnect to a wide variety of video formats such as RAW video from a Red camera or other codecs and resolutions that your project may contain. Now I know what you might be thinking, EDLs really Rob? Well, it's true, EDLs are a little bit of an antiquated format, but they still really work well for exchanging information between different applications.

So in this movie, we're going to use an EDL and then reconnect the EDL to the clips that we want to color correct and grade. If you're following along with the exercise files, be sure to open up this project for this Timeline called 02_03_edl.ircp. Make sure you don't open up this one, also called 02_03.edl. We'll use this file in just a second. For right now, I want to have the actual IRCP file or the SpeedGrade project file open. So down here in my Timeline, you can see that I have that Timeline open, but there are no clips in it. So what I want to do is add the EDL to this Timeline and remember an EDL is simply an instruction set. It doesn't actually contain any media.

So what I'm going to do is come back up here to my Desktop view and let's go ahead and select the EDL file, 02_03.edl. I'll click the plus button to add that to my Timeline. Okay, so down here in the Timeline, you can see that I have a whole bunch of clips. And notice the color of these clips, they are kind of a peachy orangey color. This indicates that these clips are not actually online. And if you look at one of the clips here, you can see it says Reel not loaded. Again this is because an EDL is simply an instruction set, it doesn't actually contain any media. So what we need to do is point SpeedGrade to the media that this EDL uses.

So the way I'm going to do that is by coming down here to my Timeline tab and then over to this tab right here labeled Reels. Here in the Reels tab, you can see all the individual clips that are used to make up this particular sequence, or this particular Timeline, but notice again, they say Reel not loaded. So what I want to do is come over and click on this button right here, Load from desktop, and what this says is it loads reels from the sequence desktop. However, there's one really important thing that you need to understand about this, is that it loads media based on your current Desktop view. So right now, I'm looking at the Exercise Files folder and I know that all of my clips that make up this EDL and make up this Timeline, are located in the Exercise Files folder, and then in the subfolder called Media, and I'm viewing the subfolder again because I have this option right here, Sequences from folder + subtree selected.

So it's important that you first navigate to the location or the folder or the driver whatever it may be, where the media is located for the EDL that you're trying to conform and reconnect media to. If your media is in multiple locations, you'd first just need to navigate to each location and reconnect each location separately to the EDL. You can make this task easier by using multiple Desktop tabs and sort of create bookmarks for each location in which your media resides that you need to reconnect back to the EDL. So I'm already in the right place. So let me come down here and click this button right here, Load from desktop.

And instantaneously, all of my media is reconnected, conforming to show to the EDL or to that instruction set that I exported. Okay, so now that we've reconnected all the media to this EDL, what I'm going to do is come up here to my Monitor tab and remember you can always use the keyboard shortcut D on the keyboard to toggle between your active Desktop view and the monitor, and then what I'm going to do is use the keyboard shortcut, since I'm on a Mac, of Command+Home to snap the clip back into the viewable area of the monitor. Just remember if you're on a PC, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Home to accomplish the same task.

Next, down here on the Timeline, I want you to notice something. I actually have three different tracks. I have two shot tracks, and then I have a track right here labeled Dissolves. In this particular Timeline, I have some dissolves that transition between these clips. An EDL supports simple transitions like dissolves. Okay, let me go ahead and just drag through this sequence, and you can see that I have a little dissolve there, cut into another clip, another dissolve right there. Everything is looking pretty good. Let's back up and I'll play this by pressing the spacebar. (music playing) Visually, everything looked great, but did you hear that audio? Well, that audio came through because we reconnected to a couple of clips that had audio with them.

And if I don't want to listen to that clip audio, I can come over there to the left side of the Timeline and click these little speaker buttons right here for each one of the shot tracks. Now personally, I don't find listening to clip audio to be all that helpful while I'm color correcting and grading, but what I do find to be particularly useful is listening to all the audio of the entire show, the music track, the sound effects track, the nat sound, and so on. So what I'll often do is export a self-contained stereo file of the entire show or ask my client to do that. And then what I will do is I'll bring that into SpeedGrade, so I can color correct and grade the show in context of the audio that I'm working with in the project.

So what I'm going to do is press the Home key to navigate back to the first frame of this Timeline and then I'm going to press D on the keyboard to toggle back to my last active desktop, in this case, it was the Exercise Files folder. And then what I'm going to do is scroll up a little bit here, and there's a file right here called edl_audio.wav. I actually want to go ahead and add this audio file to this Timeline. So let me go ahead and select this file and then drag it down here to my Timeline. What I want to do is position it underneath all the other clips. When I do that, you'll notice this red line underneath all the clips.

And I'm going to try to position the clip right at the beginning of the Timeline, something like this. So I will go ahead and let go. And you'll notice it lined up pretty well, but not exactly. You'll notice that there are a couple frames difference here at the end. So anytime that you want to move a clip around on an Adobe SpeedGrade Timeline, simply place your mouse over that clip and then using this little icon right here, you can click and drag. Notice that red bar as I drag? What I'm going to try to do is line up that red bar right to the end of edl_clip7, right here. All right, that looks pretty good. Let me switch back over to my monitor by pressing D on the keyboard, then let's go ahead and play back this Timeline.

(music playing) Okay, so now I have the audio mix down in context with all of my shots. Now you might have noticed that the audio stumbled there just a little bit, that's because it was just playing through this last cross dissolve right here. Once it's sort of cached that cross dissolve, everything should play back just fine. Okay, so that's an EDL workflow of Adobe SpeedGrade.

I think you'll find that it's the workflow that you'll use most often, especially if you're doing long form work.

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Up and Running with SpeedGrade

29 video lessons · 7531 viewers

Robbie Carman
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