Up and Running with SpeedGrade CC
Illustration by Richard Downs

Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs


From:

Up and Running with SpeedGrade CC

with Patrick Inhofer

Video: Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs

In this movie, we are going to pull up Dead Man's lake ungraded, and regrade it this time using a LUT. And why are we going to do that? Because this film was originally recorded on an Arri Alexa as Log C. So, this is a perfect example of a film where we might want to apply a lot to help us get the color grade started. If you have access to the exercise files, open up exercise file 10_03_logandluts. Before we get started on this, let's just take a quick look here at the timeline and the format default, and you will notice there is an Alexa format default.
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  1. 31m 43s
    1. Welcome
      3m 40s
    2. Where does SpeedGrade fit in a post-production workflow?
      5m 52s
    3. Exploring additional equipment
      5m 34s
    4. Using the exercise files
      9m 36s
    5. What's new in 7.1
      4m 57s
    6. What's new in 7.2
      2m 4s
  2. 46m 13s
    1. Interface overview
      7m 7s
    2. Navigating to media in the Media Browser
      5m 4s
    3. Direct Link vs. Native
      5m 39s
    4. Direct Link on the Mac
      2m 54s
    5. Manipulating the viewer
      5m 44s
    6. Manipulating the Timeline
      5m 3s
    7. Using analysis tools to evaluate contrast and exposure
      6m 42s
    8. Using analysis to evaluate color
      8m 0s
  3. 24m 44s
    1. Importing clips directly into SpeedGrade
      4m 42s
    2. Using automatic scene detection
      5m 53s
    3. Sending a sequence from Premiere Pro to SpeedGrade
      6m 58s
    4. Using an edit decision list (EDL) to conform a project
      7m 11s
  4. 35m 30s
    1. Colorist lingo: What is a primary correction?
      4m 11s
    2. Understanding the 3-Way controls: Contrast
      4m 59s
    3. Understanding the 3-Way controls: Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights
      5m 26s
    4. Understanding the 3-Way controls: Hue and Saturation
      5m 16s
    5. Using the slider controls
      6m 39s
    6. Adding, deleting, and working with primary layers
      8m 59s
  5. 17m 9s
    1. Making initial contrast and color adjustments
      6m 59s
    2. Balancing your shots by removing color casts
      6m 6s
    3. Grading in passes
      4m 4s
  6. 44m 3s
    1. Colorist lingo: What is a secondary correction?
      2m 9s
    2. Colorist lingo: The vignette
      1m 42s
    3. Using masks
      5m 23s
    4. Mask linking
      5m 41s
    5. Maks and layer linking
      2m 30s
    6. Grading layers and grading clips
      5m 29s
    7. Tracking masks and using the keyframing controls
      8m 15s
    8. Understanding the secondary layer
      8m 16s
    9. Pulling HSL keys and limiting with masks
      4m 38s
  7. 13m 13s
    1. Tracking a face
      6m 44s
    2. Keying and grading skies
      4m 47s
    3. Using a mask with a sky correction
      1m 42s
  8. 27m 10s
    1. Copying corrections from one shot to another
      4m 59s
    2. Using the Snapshot Browser
      7m 19s
    3. Using the Continuity Checker
      5m 47s
    4. Using the Shot Matcher
      4m 14s
    5. Saving and recalling grades
      4m 51s
  9. 14m 8s
    1. Understanding the Look layer
      7m 55s
    2. Saving and applying looks using the Look Manager and Look presets
      6m 13s
  10. 17m 8s
    1. Colorist lingo: RAW, LOG, and look-up tables (LUTs)
      5m 5s
    2. Controls for RAW footage
      5m 46s
    3. Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs
      6m 17s
  11. 20m 1s
    1. Setting up a render
      7m 0s
    2. Importing rendered media back in Premiere Pro
      2m 40s
    3. Sharing looks between SpeedGrade and Premiere Pro
      5m 38s
    4. Direct Link to Premiere Pro
      4m 43s
  12. 4m 36s
    1. Additional resources
      2m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      2m 0s

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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with SpeedGrade CC
4h 54m Beginner Aug 15, 2013 Updated Jan 24, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the interface and reading scopes
  • Getting clips and projects into SpeedGrade
  • Understanding the 3-way controls
  • Making contrast and color corrections
  • Pulling HSL keys
  • Making secondary corrections and using custom look layers
  • Tracking masks to objects
  • Matching shots
  • Rendering footage
  • Moving timelines between Premiere Pro and SpeedGrade
Subject:
Video
Software:
SpeedGrade
Author:
Patrick Inhofer

Understanding LOG (flat) footage and LUTs

In this movie, we are going to pull up Dead Man's lake ungraded, and regrade it this time using a LUT. And why are we going to do that? Because this film was originally recorded on an Arri Alexa as Log C. So, this is a perfect example of a film where we might want to apply a lot to help us get the color grade started. If you have access to the exercise files, open up exercise file 10_03_logandluts. Before we get started on this, let's just take a quick look here at the timeline and the format default, and you will notice there is an Alexa format default.

The thing is, is this wasn't ARRIRAW and that's what this pull down menu is referring to, ARRIRAW. This was actually recorded to ProRes 444 as Log C, therefore, this doesn't really apply to the footage we're working on now. So, let's jump back into the LUT tab and let's apply the LUT Look layer. And right off the bat it looks (LAUGH) terrible. Well, that's because it's giving us the wrong LUT. it's the CineSpace LUT, and let's jump up instead.

There are to AlexaLUTs that ship with SpeedGrade CC. Were going to pull the one for Rec 709. And the image doesn't quite look right. Certainly, if I come over here and use the eyeball to turn this layer on and off. I mean the image looks better, but I wouldn't quite say it looks rich and dynamic, like I'd hope this image would look like. And why is that? Well, because you do have to spend a little bit of time preparing the image for a LUT. Most let's assume that the incoming image is using most of the tonal range.

And what do I mean by that? Well, if I turn this off. Press the A key for analysis tools, notice how little of the full tonal range we're using. The highlights are peaking out at about 60 IRE. What we want to do is expand this out, set our blacks, set our highlights, and then feed that into the LUT to allow the LUT to preform its magic. So we'll come here into the Look tab, we'll select the Primary layer. And now I'm going to first use the overall offset, because the offset affects every pixel of this image.

And also do a very slight balance in the blacks, it looks to me like the greens were a little high. So I'm going to make a slight adjustment there to even them out. And then bring them down but not clip them out. Then I'm going to take gain control on the over all and lift that up, and I want the clouds, oh, probably around 95%. Right about there, on these highlights right here. Now, this image doesn't look very good. There isn't much color or saturation to it. Clearly, there's more work I want to do. But before I do that, now is a good time to feed this into the LUT and see what the LUT does for us.

So now, I'll turn on this LUT, and there we go. I've got a much more interesting picture. Look at all the color that came in. but I am doing a little bit of clipping out of the highlights right now. So maybe what I want to do is jump back into this primary and pull these highlights back. Just a touch, and then maybe pull these shadows up just a touch. And maybe I do want to give a little more saturation, because I'm looking at them and their skin tones, and I'm thinking I'd like a little more saturation in their skin tones.

Now that's looking better. Now, if I turn this LUT on and off. This LUT has done a nice job. If I turn the entire grade on and off, that's where we started, that's where we ended. That's a much better looking image, a much happier. But notice, we had to do a little bit of work in order to get a LUT to work for us. And now, let's see what it does for the rest of the shots in this sequence. Let's jump over to shot number two. I'm just going to hover over this first clip and press the C key to copy the grade across. I'm actually pretty please with that.

That is actually looking like pretty good shot to me. Next clip, press the C key, not bad. Next clip, hover, press the C key. maybe a little saturated there on the shirt. Again, the C key. Definitely a little over saturated on the shirt, but I'm generally happy with the skin tone. So, I will come in here with the secondary. Some of these blacks are a little crushed. His shirt looks like a big black-hole, and then I've got this orange screaming out at me. Back to the reverse shot. I'll come up to this previous reverse shot.

If I want, I can turn on the Little film strip here does help me find the shot I'm looking for. This one right here, press the C key. Next shot, come to the wide C key. And then I've got this point of view shot that I'll just put the C key on there, and that could probably be using a little more tweaking. But you can see that, you know, we've got the foundation of a very strong color grade going on right here. And there's more work that can be done, but using a LUT helps us pull a lot of this detail image right away.

Now I don't have to do it. And you can go earlier in this training title where I'm working with primaries, and we work with this footage using just the tools here as in the primary layer. Basically grade this shot from scratch, and not using a LUT. So you can go either way that you want. In this case I think the LUT is a pretty decent starting point. And I can go ahead, add an another primary layer, and if I want may be left out some of the detail in those shadows. I'm going to bring down my highlights a touch.

Come in to my mid-tones and maybe drop the mid-tones a little bit. It's a little later in the day. While lifting the mid-tone gain a touch to give me a little more contrast. And then taking the highlights and dropping them a bit. Just to keep the clouds from clipping out, we'll put a little bit more color, little bit more blue into those highlights. And that's what we've done on that third primary layer. So there you go. If you have access to the project files, I will save this off for you so you can kind of deconstruct what I've done.

It'll be saved as 10_03_logandluts. And, and hopefully this will give you a good idea of how to use LUTs in a grading workflow.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with SpeedGrade CC .


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Q: This course was updated on 12/20/2013. What changed?
A: This update covers the new features added to SpeedGrade 7.1. There are new movies covering the Direct Link workflow, which allows you to open Premiere Pro projects in SpeedGrade. Also covered are improvements to mask and layer linking, grading layers, and grading clips. We also revised several movies to reflect the impact Direct Link has on managing media, tracking, rendering, etc.
Q: This course was updated on 1/24/2014. What changed?
A: We added one new movie to address the changes in the 12/12/2013 update to Creative Cloud.
Q: Why am I getting the 'File Not Supported' error when reconnecting to the source files in Premiere Pro?
A: If you get the 'File Not Supported' error when reconnecting to the source files in Premiere Pro - this is a problem with the reconnect dialog in
Premiere Pro that Adobe has not yet fixed. Everything is fine with the media and the projects. To get around this 'bug':
 
1. Open the Premiere Pro project in Premiere.
 
2. During the reconnect dialog click Locate and navigate to Exercise files > Media and then to the sub-folder of media the dialog is asking for...
 
3. Here is the trick: You MUST actually select/highlight the first file that Premiere is asking for. The easiest thing is to click the 'display
exact name' button and then *actually click on the file* that matches the name.
 
*If you don't highlight the file*--navigating to the folder and *clicking ok without selecting the file will give you the 'file not supported' error
each and every time*. You must select the file that matches - Premiere is not smart enough to just figure out the folder contains the file.
 
This is not something that is unique to this training its just a little quirk of Premiere Pro currently.
  
After you select the first file all the other files should reconnect - assuming you have 'relink others automatically' selected.
 
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