How to Use the exercise files SpeedGrade
Using the exercise files
If you are a premium member of the lynda.com online training library, then you have access to the exercise files used throughout this title. After downloading and unzipping the exercise files, you'll be presented with a folder called Exercise Files, this guy right here, and you can place this folder in a location of your choosing, but for this title, I've gone ahead and placed it here on my Desktop. Inside of this folder, you'll notice a whole bunch of files that use the extension .ircp. These are the SpeedGrade project files that we'll use throughout this title. Each one corresponds to the chapter and movie number in that chapter that it belongs to, and I'll be sure to mention the SpeedGrade file that we're working with, or an onscreen graphic will let you know which one I'm using for a particular movie.
Just know we won't actually be opening up these files at the OS level, instead we'll open them up through Adobe SpeedGrade, which is how you access the timeline and grade information in each file. Also notice I have a couple of Premiere Pro projects, these guys right here. While you can use SpeedGrade as a stand- alone application, many users will have access to SpeedGrade through the Creative Suite Production Premium CS6 bundle, which includes Adobe Premiere Pro. If you don't have access to Premiere, then you will just need to watch the movies where I use it. Also in this folder, notice the subfolder, called Media.
This folder contains all of the media that we'll use throughout this title. And we'll access the contents of this folder through SpeedGrade and Premiere Pro. I do want to mention though, to make your download of the exercise files manageable. Most of the footage used in this title has been transcoded to the Apple ProRes Proxy Codec and this is actually a really important point. To be able to play back footage encoded as ProRes, you'll need the latest version of QuickTime installed on your Mac or PC. Also, if you are on a PC, ProRes is a read-only codec, so you won't actually be able to write ProRes files. And if you are on the Mac, you'll need one of Apple's Pro Apps including Final Cut Pro, Compressor or Motion to be able to write ProRes files.
But in this title, that's not going to be a problem since we're not going to actually right ProRes files. Instead, we are simply going to read the ProRes proxy files used in the exercise files in this title. Okay, let's go ahead and close this folder, and then let me come down here to my dock. I'm going to open up Adobe SpeedGrade. To use the exercise files successfully, you'll first need to configure a few preferences in SpeedGrade and then reconnect SpeedGrade projects to the media that they use. So let's start out first by coming up here to the Settings tab at the top of the SpeedGrade interface. Over here in the Options list, let's go ahead and click on the Playback category.
Here where it says Base frame rate, make sure that your Base frame rate is set to 23.976 and this matches the footage that's used throughout this title. You can actually just click into this box and type in 23.976. Next, let's go to the Editing category. Once again, for the Base frame rate parameter right here, type in 23.976. Then down here on the Timeline tab at the bottom of the SpeedGrade interface and then over to the View tab, and then in the Playback section, make sure your Playback Speed is set to 23.976.
This parameter controls the current timeline, so it's always a good idea to check it each time you open up a SpeedGrade project used in this title. And as I mentioned before, each project in this title and the accompanying footage is 23.976 frames per second. Since my settings are already correct, I'm not going to actually go ahead and restart, but I think it's a good idea after making these changes to restart the application. Next, let's take a look at relinking SpeedGrade projects to the media that they use in the exercise files in this title. What I want to do is go ahead and press D on the keyboard to access the Desktop view inside of SpeedGrade.
You can also use the tabs here at the top of the SpeedGrade interface. The Desktop view shows you the contents of selected folders and drives over here on the left-hand side in the file tree. So since I placed my exercise files on my Desktop, I'm simply going to select the Exercise Files folder over here in the file tree. And then over here in the main area of the Desktop view, you'll see the contents of this folder. However, for ease of use and for the exercise files to relink properly by only using one Desktop tab, click in this menu right up here where it says Sequences from selected folder and then choose this option, Sequences from folder + subtree.
This option allows you to see the entire contents of the Exercise Files folder, including all of the media in the Media subfolder. Okay, so now I want to show you how to relink an actual .ircp or SpeedGrade project file. So what I'm going to go ahead and do is simply hover my mouse over this SpeedGrade product 03_01_ timelinelayers.ircp, I'm just choosing this one at random and then I'm going to go ahead and press this plus button right here in the bottom-right-hand corner of the little thumbnail. Down here in the timeline, the media is offline and I can tell that by the peachy color that these clips have and I can also, if I look closely, see it says Reel not loaded.
So what we need to do is actually relink the media in this timeline to the media on disc included with the exercise files. And to do that, I'm going to click on the Timeline tab down here at the bottom of the SpeedGrade interface and then I'm going to click over to this tab called Reels. And then what I'm going to do to relink these files is simply click this button right here to load media from the desktop view. And just like that, the media is relinked. Just keep in mind, some of the projects in this title actually started out with empty timelines. So after relinking, if you don't want to have to repeat this linking process every single time that you open up the project, simply save the project by pressing Command+S or Ctrl+S, and when you do, you are presented with a Save dialog box.
And you can save a project file to any location of your choosing, but I'm going to save it back to the main level of the Exercise Files folder. So let me go ahead and click Save and when I do, I'm asked to confirm a replacement, so I'll go ahead and click Yes. Then, here in the main desktop view, click this button right here to refresh the contents of the exercise files. After the folder has refreshed, you'll notice that there are two projects with the same name, except this one has the suffix _v1. This is the original project file without the relinked media and this one right here is the project file that you just saved with the relinked media.
This behavior is normal and SpeedGrade has a built-in versioning system. If you don't want a version, simply right -click on it and then choose Delete and then simply confirm the delete. Okay, let me go ahead and quit SpeedGrade. As I mentioned earlier, a couple of times in this title, we'll use Adobe Premiere Pro and in a similar fashion of SpeedGrade, you'll need to relink files. I've actually already gone ahead and opened up a Premiere Pro project used in this title, and when I opened up that project, Premiere Pro asked me where the media use in that project was located.
Well, all you need to do is simply navigate to where you saved the exercise files, and in my case that's the desktop, and then open up the Exercise Files folder, scroll down to the Media folder, and then here in the Media folder, you need to find the file that Adobe Premiere Pro is looking for, and you can see that here, at the top of the dialog. So I'll scroll down until I find the file premieretospeedgrade_clip2, I'll select it and then click Open. And Premiere automatically relinks to the other media used in the project. If you're a monthly member or annual member of lynda.com, then you don't have access to the exercise files, but you can follow along from scratch with your own assets.
Okay, so now that we have the exercise files sorted out, let's go ahead and get started.
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