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Before we actually start color grading in SpeedGrade, in this movie we're going to take a couple moments to take a look at the basic equipment you'll want to have in place for a reliable SpeedGrade setup. Of course, the first question is always, what OS? Adobe SpeedGrade CC is cross platform, runs on both Windows and Mac. On the Windows side we're talking Windows 7 service pack 1, 64 bit only, or Windows 8, on the Mac, we're talking versions 10.7, 10.8, or 10.9, but you can expect an optimized experience on OS 10.9 Mavericks.
As always, these are the recommendations at the time of this recording. If you're putting together a SpeedGrade system, I recommend you jump onto Adobe's website, and take a quick look and see if any of these recommendations have been changed or updated. Now in terms of codecs you want to have installed on your machine, for QuickTime player, you're going to want 7.6.8. And then when it comes to the codecs, the industry standards have become ProRes and DNxHD. The bummer with ProRes, so you could only render out the ProRes if you're on the Mac version.
On the PC version, you can go to Apple's website, you can download ProRes, but that will only allow you to read those files; to play them back in ProRes, not for rendering. If on the PC you want to rendering, then I strongly encourage you to adopt Avid DNxHD as your go-to codec. The codec is free and downloadable off of Avid's website. Now in terms of your actual CPU, fast processors, right? As fast a CPU processor as you can afford has been the advice on computers for media applications since I got into this business 20 years ago.
Currently SpeedGrade has a minimum recommendation of four gigs. I really, strongly suggests you move up to eight bytes, eight gigs or even more of RAM. It just make everywhere more stable especially when you start dealing with HD, and then 2K, and then 4K image sizes. Screen resolution, again, I go with the recommendation 1920 by 1080. Now the cool thing about SpeedGrade CC is that it is GPU reliant. That means all of it's color rendering is done on the GPU and that means you can swap out your GPU when new ones come out.
Leave the rest of your rig the same way and you'll see huge performance gains allowing you to eek another year or two out of your equipment before you have to kind of throw everything away and do a massive upgrade. When selecting your GPU you're going to want a minimum of 1 gig of VRAM. You can get a card that has 2 gigs of VRAM, so much better. Now SpeedGrade CC does support the NVIDIA Quadro Cards as kind of their preferred go to cards. They're kind of optimized for those cards. But this entire training series has been recorded on a GTX 670 card.
It's worked great for me. So I have no complaints and so yes, you can work on a non-quadro card when you're working on SpeedGrade. Now when it comes to talking about monitoring, I, we could go on for an hour or two on this. We're not going to obviously, but here are a couple of things you do need to know. Number one, SpeedGrade CC now implements mercury transmit and AJA and Matrox are both supporting Mercury transmit for Mac and PC, and that allows you to be absolutely sure that the 1's and 0's that are recorded on your hard drive are actually being displayed when you're looking at a calibrated monitor.
Now, as far as what makes for a good calibrated monitor, I don't have a specific recommendation here because, so much of it depends on who are your clients? How are they delivering? You know, what's your budget? What are your client expectations? But, here are the two core elements of a really high-quality monitor. The first, it can switch between several different gamma settings and several different color spaces. The other thing I look for in a professional reference display is that it's adjustable, that I can calibrate it.
I need to be able to test it over time, and if it drifts off the spec, I need to be able to make adjustments to it, to keep it within spec. Now when it comes to actually controlling the interface, there are two things you're really going to want. The first is an extended keyboard, and that's a keyboard that has an, an additional number keypad on it. And a three button mouse. Specifically on a three button mouse, one of the huge advantages comes on right clicking on a color wheel. When you right click on a color wheel, it turns it into a virtual color wheel.
It allows you to mimic the trackball action you would find on a control surface. And when you consider how often you're making these corrections, holding down that button all the time can start to induce some carpal tunnel stuff. So this virtual color wheel control, I think, is a great feature in SpeedGrade CC. And of course, if you actually do have a trackball, you can use that in place of a three button mouse. I do that all the time about have of this training which was recorded that way and it's a great way of interacting with SpeedGrade CC. If you want to upgrade, you move up to a control surface.
The picture you see here is of a tangent element. I love control surface, I'm a control surface junkie. You'll find that if your looking for ways of speeding up the time it takes to do your color corrections on your projects, a control surface will absolutely do that for you. SpeedGrade currently supports the range of tangent devices surfaces. And there you go a very quick round up of the core equipment you'll need in order to have a really successful and productive time working here in SpeedGrade CC.
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