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Using automatic scene detection

From: Up and Running with SpeedGrade

Video: Using automatic scene detection

In this movie, I want to show you a magic trick. Okay well, I might be exaggerating just a touch, but I think that automatic scene detection, which we will talk about in this movie, is a very powerful and useful feature inside Adobe SpeedGrade. Now what do I mean by automatic scene detection? Well, sometimes you'll be delivered a single self-contained movie file and because it's a self-contained file, all the constituent clips are not available for you to color correct and grade, like they would be say, if you had a Adobe Premiere Pro project, or if you had a folder of clips that you want to conform with an EDL.

Using automatic scene detection

In this movie, I want to show you a magic trick. Okay well, I might be exaggerating just a touch, but I think that automatic scene detection, which we will talk about in this movie, is a very powerful and useful feature inside Adobe SpeedGrade. Now what do I mean by automatic scene detection? Well, sometimes you'll be delivered a single self-contained movie file and because it's a self-contained file, all the constituent clips are not available for you to color correct and grade, like they would be say, if you had a Adobe Premiere Pro project, or if you had a folder of clips that you want to conform with an EDL.

Both of which, by the way, we'll talk about later in this chapter. So in the case of a single self-contained file I guess you could color correct it and grade it by key framing corrections throughout the entire length of the shot, but that would be a giant pain. So a better way of working with a self-contained file is to cut it up into its constituent clips. That's what automatic scene detection does. Automatic scene detection analyzes a clip to see where the separate clips or separate shots actually are in the file.

Then based on your input it will make cuts at those various edit points. If you're following along with the exercise files make sure that you open up this project or this Timeline called 02_02_scenedetection. Down here in middle of the interface you can actually see that this particular Timeline is a blank Timeline. So with the Exercise Files folder selected over here in my file tree, what I'm going to do is come down and scroll to the bottom of this view until I find this particular shot right here called scenedetect.mov.

This is actually a self-contained file of three or four maybe even five shots. What I want to do is use the automatic scene detection inside of Adobe SpeedGrade to cut this file up into its constituent clips. So what I'm going to do is click the plus button here to add it to this blank Timeline, and then down here in the Timeline tab and then on the Reels tab, what I want to do is hover my mouse over the shot, this movie right here called scenedetect.mov, and then I want to click this button right here called SCD, Scene Cut Detection, and when I click on that, automatically Adobe SpeedGrade will start analyzing this self-contained movie file.

What it's doing is it trying to figure out where the separate cuts are in this file. So now in this floating window I want to show you what you're actually looking at. Over here on the right we have this weird graph looking thing. We'll get back to that in just a second. Over here, I can see a preview as I drag through this weird looking graph over here on the right. Down here I have some controls to navigate through some various points in this graph. Then right here I can control the sensitivity of what I actually think is a cut point.

So looking at this graph you will notice that there are bunch of bars, and no, I am not trying to harking you back to your days in high school math. But what these bars indicate is Adobe SpeedGrade's confidence that, that particular frame is an actual cut point. The higher the bar, the more confident Adobe SpeedGrade is that that particular frame is a cut point. And when it's really confident, you'll get a blue bar like this one right here. A blue bar indicates Adobe SpeedGrade thinks that this particular frame is a cut point.

Let's go ahead and take a look at this particular one right here. Yup! That indeed was an actual cut point. Now sometimes things like dissolves in other transitions will confuse Adobe SpeedGrade into thinking that a frame is actually cut point when in fact it's not. So there are two options that have to sort of adjust how Adobe SpeedGrade handles scene cut detection when analyzing a file. The first is by using this little slider right here for sensitivity. Notice that I have this little sort of orangey gold line right here.

This is my sensitivity line. If I drag down, notice that the line goes up, and if I drag the other way, notice that the line goes down. Now let me drag all the way forward and you'll notice that the line starts to touch some of these bars and when it does, it turns those bars blue. Now Adobe SpeedGrade thinks of these blue bars, these guys right here, are actually cut points, when I know in fact, they are not actual cut points. So you can adjust the sensitivity control when Adobe SpeedGrade falsely indicates different frames as cut points.

Now you have to balance this out, because you don't want to be too aggressive and make too many frames cut points, but you also don't want to go the other way and have things that are really truly cut points not be cut points. Let me go ahead and reset that by clicking this little gray square right here. The other thing that you can do is you can use the controls right over here. If you click this button right here, you can navigate to the next frame that Adobe SpeedGrade thinks is a true cut, right there. Now in this case, this frame is truly a cut point.

But if I didn't want it to be, I could simply click this button right here to make it a regular frame or non-cut point. Let me go ahead and click that back. Let me just briefly scan through this. I think that most of the cut points that Adobe SpeedGrade shows in this particular case are probably true cut points, because there is only a three or four shots, and guess what? They are all cuts. So I'm happy with the automatic cut detection or the actually automatic scene detection that Adobe SpeedGrade did. So what I'm going to do is go ahead and simply click this button right here, split into clips.

Then in just one second here on my Adobe SpeedGrade Timeline you will notice that I have one, two, three, four different shots. Let me press D on the keyboard to navigate over to my Monitor view and then let me drag the playhead through the sequence. Oh, and remember there's a cool keyboard shortcut you can use. On the Mac it's Command+Home and on the PC it's Ctrl+Home to snap the image into the viewable area here of the monitor. So let's drag through. So it looks like it automatically detected all the shots in the self-contained file.

So no matter what you call it, automatic scene detection, automatic cut detection, or scene cut detection, really it's all just the same thing. I think that you'll find this to be a very powerful and useful feature inside of Adobe SpeedGrade when you have a single self-contained file that you want to color correct and grade by being able to cut it up into its constituent clips.

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Up and Running with SpeedGrade

29 video lessons · 7746 viewers

Robbie Carman
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