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Using Adobe SpeedGrade CC, powerful professional color correction and color grading is available to anyone with a Creative Cloud membership. In this course, professional colorist Patrick Inhofer offers a project-based learning experience to get you familiar with the SpeedGrade tools. You'll work three different types of projects through the color correction and grading process, which includes getting projects and footage into SpeedGrade, color correcting and grading shots, and then rendering and outputting shots. Each step of the process is rich with lessons and anecdotes that are applicable to real-world color grading scenarios that editors, producers, and other creatives will face.
This course was created by Patrick Inhofer and produced by Robbie Carman. We are honored to host this content in our library.
In this movie, we're going to pick up from where we left off on the movie about masks. And what we're going to do is talk about how we can track a mask. Why would we want to track a mask? Well it's pretty obvious, if we take a look at this shot, and reveal the mask here and I hit Play. I'm going to double-click on this clip, sets the in and out points I can loop through. The shot's locked off, so that mask isn't revealed. The mask is very stylized, it looks great. I've got two masks on here, the one on the window as well, looks great.
But let's move two shots down on this timeline. I'm going to Cmd+ right arrow, two shots down. And I'm going to play this shot down and loops through it, and decide what I want to do with this image. We're kind of grading in passes now, and I think the next thing I want to do is isolate her face and brighten her up a little bit. Yeah, it's a very kind of moody contrasty shot, but I think I really do want to bring out her natural beauty a little bit more. And that means, I have got to dig into her face, pull it out while leaving the rest of the image alone.
So I'm going to stop this, hit the Home button to take me to the first frame here. Since I know I'm probably going to have to track, I'm going to quickly create a mask that I think will work here. I know I'm going to want to feather it out a little bit more. Absolutely. And then I'll rotate this and kind of position it over the area of interest, and shrink it down somewhat. And probably feather out a little bit more. That's not bad. I'm going to turn off the onscreen widget, and now I'm going to add a new primary layer.
And I'm going to go ahead and add that mask to that layer. And I'm going to pick up the gammas a little bit there. Overall gamma, come to the shadows, and I'm going to drop down some of those gamma in the shadows. Well, I'll lift up some of the gain in the shadow. Maybe a little bit of gain in the, maybe gain gamma in the mid-tone. Press the Period key on the number keyboard to get a look at that, and I can see my mask a little bit too much.
So I'm going to enable that. I'm going to distort this a little bit more, increase the feathers some more, and decrease the size a little bit. Come back to this panel. And now, I think this is probably going to be natural enough. That as the mask moves with her, I think we'll be okay. I'm going to come over to this mask panel and click Track Object.
And there we go, SpeedGrade is tracking the mask position. And it's doing so by adding key frames. Now, I'll be honest with you, compared to a lot of other apps out there, SpeedGrade is relatively slow with it's tracker. Which means I tend to only use it when I really need it. I just don't have time to have a short shot like this take a minute, a minute and a half to track. And then have it fail and I have to reposition it, redo it and do it all over again.
So as I play this through I see yeah, it did, it did a really good job of, of tracking her. And you also notice that it's flashing red every now and then. The mask, what's going on with that? Well, to get, get a better look, let's frame up this shot. I'm going to turn off all, and then I'm going to click this little button here that will frame up the in and out points. Which is set for just this shot. And you'll see I've got these arrows. These arrows means there's key frames being interpolated. In other words, not every frame of this shot has a key frame set.
So if I sit on a frame that is interpolated, this is telling me this is an interpolation. In other words, if I want to make a move and I want to make a change here. I can't because there's no key frame for it. What I'm going to do now is get a closer look and see how well this grade is working. I'm going to press the P button to hide the color grading panel and I'm going to hit play. Yeah, the track seems to be working for me. Now, if I wanted to get rid of this track data, let's say I wasn't happy with this. Or let's say I had to change the shape, let's say I decided a much better mass. Well, I come over here and press this All button, and now it's deleted every single key frame.
Come back to the first frame. Turn on the onscreen widget. Now I want to make this much larger. I'll move this over to her, and now I can retrack. Now, let's say the track wasn't working at all and I wanted to do this manually. Well, that's easy enough. I'm sitting on the first frame of this shot. I am going to set a key frame. I'm happy with where that is. And now as I play through, I see yeah, not working so very much. So now I'm going to, pick the end position.
And before I grab the widget, I'm going to add a key frame. I'm going to press this Key frame button a second time. And you'll see that I now have an arrow going from the first key frame to the last key frame. That means this is an interpolation that's about to take place. Back on the last key frame, I'll position it over her where I want it. And I'm just going to go through and kind of bisect this. So, I'm going to go back and look for areas where it's really far off that I need to bring it back, which is probably right about here.
And I'm going to add another key frame, press it a second time for interpolation. Now, I'm going to come to this widget and center it back up on her, and notice this widget is kind of gotten off center. So if I hold down the Option key and drag it. There we go. Now I've brought it on center, so it feels a little more natural. And I'm going to continue bisecting wherever right about, it really drops off from the beginning right there. It needs to be put back, so I'm going to add another key frame here, click it one more time.
That turns it into an interpolation coming from. Before I put that on top of her. Now I'm going to hit the Home button and loop through and see where else I need to make changes. You know, I'm thinking on this key frame right here, maybe it's gone a little too far screen left. So I'll use this arrow, this left arrow to navigate to that key frame. And then I think I'm also going to go to the last key frame. And another way to navigate to the key frames is I can use F4 to go to the key frame to the right, F3 to go to the left, and F2 to add a key frame.
So I've used F4 to get to this last key frame, and I'm going to bring this a little bit over, so it's kind of in front of her. And now I think I'm happy with this. So now we just did a manual track adding key frames. Turning those key frames into dissolve key frames. Which will work terrifically for us if the track object command ever fails. One last thing about key framing. I can click in the Grading panel, and let's say I wanted to, when there's this lens flare, really kick that up. So what I could do is maybe put that in a key frame.
With this Layers panel active, I can add a key frame and I'll do that with F2. And I'll come where the flare really kicks up right there. I'm going to add another F2, and then I'll press F2 again to turn that into a disolve key frame. And then it disappears there. So, I'll press another F2, press it a second time. And now I'm going to press F3 to get back to that middle key frame. And I'm going to come to the overall, and really just kick this up.
I just want it to flare out on us. And now let's play through. Yeah, that's cool. So, there we go, we've taken a mask, we've tracked it to an object, we then did a manual track, and then we independently key framed our color grade. I do this type of this kind of stuff, and SpeedGrade actually makes it pretty easy. The only thing to remember is, get that mask shape right, otherwise you're going to have to re-track your object.
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