Join Robbie Carman for an in-depth discussion in this video Sending a project from Premiere Pro to SpeedGrade, part of Premiere Pro Guru: Lumetri Workflows using SpeedGrade and Direct Link.
- Now, I want to be clear. Direct Link is a lot different than Dynamic Link. Dynamic Link is a functionality that happens between Premiere Pro and After Effects, where your shot is actually replaced with an After Effects composition. And then, as you work in After Effects and save things, it dynamically updates that replaced clip on your timeline back in Premiere Pro. Direct Link, as its name implies, is a direct connection between Premiere Pro and SpeedGrade, because you're working on the same project file.
Here, in our project, I have a few different sequences open, O2, O2A, B, and then if I scroll over here a little bit, you can see that I have C. Now these are actually all the same sequence, with some differences that I'll point out in just a moment, but let's first talk about how we actually get a sequence over to SpeedGrade in a Direct Link workflow. Well, it's really actually pretty easy to do. I'm simply going to select the sequence that I want to send, and that's this sequence right here, O2 O2A, and then I'm going to come up to the file menu.
And then I'm going to choose this option: Direct Link to Adobe SpeedGrade. When I select that option, Premiere Pro asks me to save the current state of the project. So, I'll go ahead and choose "Yes". And then, in just a second, Premiere Pro will close that project, and SpeedGrade will automatically open up. Now, when SpeedGrade opens up, you'll get this little warning that says, "Hey! "I'm parsing the project", and now we have this chooser dialogue. And what this chooser dialogue allows us to do, and it�s called the Sequence Importer, by the way, is choose the actual sequence that we want to work with here inside of SpeedGrade.
Now, because O2 O2A was the sequence that we had selected and open when we sent over to SpeedGrade, you'll notice by default, it's highlighted right here. So, I'll go ahead and click "Open", and now you can see that we have our entire sequence rebuilt over here inside of SpeedGrade. Now, in a later movie, I'll go through the SpeedGrade interface, how some of the various tools work here, but you can see that, yeah, indeed it looks like the entire timeline has come over, and if I go ahead and play this, you'll see that yes, I have clips and everything seems to be working just fine.
Now, another way that you can actually open up a sequence, is from directly within SpeedGrade itself. You don't always have to go to Premiere Pro, and then send over to SpeedGrade. Because, remember when you Direct Link a project, it's actually opening up the Premiere Pro project file from within SpeedGrade. So, instead of going to Premiere first, and then over to SpeedGrade, what I can do is come and click on this little button, on the right hand side of the timeline. This guy right here, not the X. The X will actually close this timeline.
You want to click on this button right here, and that will once again bring up the Sequence Importer. And from here, I can go ahead and choose a new sequence. Let's say I want to go ahead and open up O2 O2B. This guy right here, I'll go ahead and click open, and now that sequence is opened up. Now, in this case the sequence is actually identical, but I've actually applied a couple of filters, and in just a second we'll jump back over into Premiere Pro, and I'll show you what those filters are. But, there are two ways of opening or Direct Linking a project over to SpeedGrade.
From Premiere: choose "File, Direct Link to SpeedGrade", or, from within SpeedGrade, you can actually click this button to open up the Sequence Importer. Now, I actually lied to you. There's three ways. The third way is, if I go ahead and close SpeedGrade, I can come down to my task bar here, and open up SpeedGrade, without Direct Linking from Premiere Pro. And when I open it up, I have the choice to open up a recent project, and I can open up both actual Premiere Pro project files, as well as native SpeedGrade project files.
And I'll show you how a native SpeedGrade project file works in a later movie. So, if I go ahead and choose this Premiere Pro project file again, you'll notice that we get back to the same exact Sequence Import dialog. Okay, let's go ahead and close SpeedGrade. I'll exit out of it, and then inside of Premiere Pro, let's go ahead and open up our project once again, and here we are. Now, the sequence that we opened up first, O2 O2A, is really just a cuts only sequence. I have a cut here, a cut there, and it's just a straightforward sequence with some audio.
Now, by the way, about audio, audio will now actually flow over from Premiere Pro to SpeedGrade. In previous versions of Premiere Pro and SpeedGrade, you did not get audio in a Direct Link workflow, but now you do, which is a nice bonus. Now, over here on this sequence, O2 O2B, it's actually the same exact sequence, but I've done quite a few things. And I've identified those things with markers here. Let me show you what I mean. If I go ahead and select this first shot, and open up my effects controls panel, you can see on this first shot, I've scaled into the shot by 23 percent, so, it's at 123 percent.
On this shot down here, if I go ahead and select that, you can see that I've actually applied a Lumetri effect. Let's keep going and scroll to the right here, and see what we have in our timeline. Let's see what we have right here. I'll zoom back in and select that shot. Yeah, on this shot, I actually have a three way color corrector, and feel free on your own, if you have access to the exercise files, to select these shots and see the various effects and things that I've done to them. Now, the reason I'm mentioning this, is because certain effects, like the three way color corrector, or this horizontal flip that I've applied to this shot, when they get over to SpeedGrade, you can actually see their effect, but not be able to edit them.
In other words, the effect will be maintained, however, you can't do anything with those effects over in SpeedGrade. However, with effects like the Lumetri effect, like if I go back to this shot right here, and select it, if you have the Lumetri effect applied to a shot, well, that Lumetri effect will be editable over in SpeedGrade. So, let me just say that one more time. Effects that you've applied to a shot, like a three way color corrector, or a tint, or a scale, or something like that, you'll see the results of those effects over in SpeedGrade in a Direct Link workflow.
You just can't do anything about them (laughs) or tweak them, once you get over to SpeedGrade. So, I'm going to go ahead and take this sequence come up to the file menu, and then down to Direct Link to Adobe SpeedGrade. And sure, I'll go ahead and save the project once again. It will close the project and SpeedGrade will open up in just a second, and I'll go ahead and make sure that I open up O2 O2B, which is the sequence that we're just looking at. And now you'll see, if I go to, say, the second shot, I actually have a primary correction on the shot, and if I toggle it on and off, you can see that is the Lumetri effect that we had on that shot.
It was simply a basic primary correction to make that shot warmer. Let's come down to some of these other shots. Come right there, yep, let's go ahead and toggle that on and off. Hmm, that's interesting! Toggling that effect on and off doesn't seem to be doing anything. This is a shot that I actually applied a three way color corrector to, over in Premiere Pro. So, I'm seeing the results of the effect, but I can't tweak it. And that's a really important note. In my personal opinion, I think it's always a good idea to disable any effects inside of Premiere Pro, that tweak color and contrast.
If you're sending them over to SpeedGrade anyway, why do you want to be doubling up your work? Most of the time, you can actually do a better job over in SpeedGrade, than you can inside of Premiere Pro. So, for me, in my own workflow, I tend to turn off effects, like three way color correctors, tints, and so on. Okay, so now that we know that these effects are either baked in, or in the case of the Lumetri effect, are editable over in SpeedGrade in a Direct Link workflow, let me show you one more thing. I'm going to go ahead and close this project, and, no, I don't need to save it.
And let's open up the Premiere Pro project back in Premiere one last time. Now, finally, on this sequence, O2 O2C, it's a much more complicated sequence. Yes, I have effects, I have clips on different tracks. You can see at the beginning, I actually have a title that's been applied to the sequence. I have an adjustment layer, that's been applied to the sequence, and in the adjustment layer I have a Lumetri effect, I have a three way color corrector. So, I think you would agree, that this is a much more complicated sequence. Different tracks, different effects.
Adjustment layers, titles, and this is probably going to be more representative of the sequence that you'll have in your own projects. Well, will it work? The answer, "Yeah, absolutely!" So, let me go ahead, and up to the file menu. Once again, we'll Direct Link this over to SpeedGrade. I'll save this, of course, and you know the deal now. SpeedGrade will open up, and Premiere Pro will close that project, and once again we'll get the importer, we'll make sure that we've chosen O2 O2C, and go ahead and click "Open". And now, look at that, our entire timeline has been rebuilt, including the adjustment layer.
If I go over here and look at the text, yeah, the text is there. All the effects that we had applied. The layer order, all of that kind of stuff is intact. Now, once again, if I have a Lumetri effect applied to any of these shots, I can go ahead and tweak the Lumetri effect. Like, for example, if I select that adjustment layer, you can see that I have a primary layer and I have the sepia tone layer. But other effects, like scale and rotation, or flip or three way color corrector, remember those will be baked in. Now, one last important note about a limitation.
Adjustment layers can be created in Premiere Pro of course, and sent over in a Direct Link workflow. I just want to note that you can't actually create adjustment layers from within SpeedGrade. Likewise, you can't actually create titles. And then, this last thing I think should make sense. You can't actually edit your timeline once you're in SpeedGrade (laughs). That could be kind of dangerous, editing in two difference places. All of those tasks are reserved for doing them inside of Premiere Pro. Okay, so now that we've covered the essentials of Direct Linking over from Premiere Pro to SpeedGrade, and how filters and effects are handled, in the next movie, I want to show you how we get back over from SpeedGrade, and any correction work we've done there, back to Premiere Pro.
- Applying Lumetri look presets to clips and adjustment layers
- Combining presets with other color corrections
- Sending a project from Premiere Pro to SpeedGrade and back again
- Merging clips in the Timeline
- Matching clips
- Using Lumetri looks in Photoshop and After Effects