Understand Color Grading and Correction in Adobe SpeedGrade
Using the exercise files
If you're 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 file titled Exercise Files. You will be presented with a folder titled, Exercise Files. This one right here. You can place it in a location of your choosing, but for this title I have gone ahead and placed it here on my user desktop. Inside this folder you'll find several other folders, organizing the various assets I've provided to you. There are two folders I want to call your immediate attention to.
First, the Media folder. It's organized by project and contains all the footage we'll be using in this training. We'll be color correcting three different scenes from three different projects, each organized by folder. One is a music video, the other two are from short films. I do want to note, to keep the download size of the Exercise Files manageable, most of this footage has been transcoded to the Apple ProRes LT codec, and this is a really big deal. To be able to play back this footage you must have the latest version of Quicktime installed on your Mac or PC Which you can download from Apple's website.
Also if you are on a PC, ProRes is a read only codec. That means you can render out to ProRes. Now on the Mac, to render out to ProRes, you'll need one of one of Apple's Pro apps, such as Final Cut Pro, Compressor or Motion which will enable the rendering for your computer.ProRes Except for the movie on rendering, all we'll be doing is reading or playing back from these ProRes LT movie sources. Now, the other folder I want to look at with you, the Projects folder.
It contains all the .IRCP files which are the SpeedGrade projects we'll be using throughout this title. Each project name corresponds to a specific chapter number and movie number. And in each movie, either I'll tell you precisely which IRCP file to open, or an onscreen graphic will let you know. We'll be open them from within SpeedGrade itself. And yes, a few of these projects open up to a blank timeline, so there's nothing to worry about there. Don't let it confuse you. One thing to note, not every movie has a project file.
For instance, see these ones that say end? Once we get to the chapter Primaries in Action, we're going to start building out color corrections on the three different scenes I've provided, with later movies building on our work in earlier movies. At the end of those lessons, I've saved off the result of my work, I've appended them with the initials of the scene we color corrected plus the word end. And then these end files Become the start files in later movies. Another thing to note. See these files, they say matched.
These are from the chapter on the shot matching. At the end of the last movie in that chapter, I went ahead and I did the shot matching for all of the three of the scenes and then save them off for you. I didn't record myself doing this grading, but I wanted you to see the end result, and every layer of every shot is named, so that you know precisely what I did, allowing you to reconstruct or deconstruct my approach. You'll also notice that I've provided a few Premiere Pro CC project files. In a few movies, we've spent some time in Premiere Pro and viewers who have access to SpeedGrade CC through the Creative Cloud subscription bundle, they all have access to Premiere Pro CC.
If you are not one of those people and don't have access to Premiere Pro, then definitely watch along. A quick note about the direct link movies. In those movies where we talk about the integration between Premiere Pro CC and SpeedGrade CC, we'll be opening Premiere Pro project files. For the rest of this training, we'll be working in SpeedGrade's native IRCP project format, since this format opens up the entirety of SpeedGrade's tool chest. When working Direct Link, much of the under the hood stuff is instead handled by Premiere Pro CC, and now let's jump into SpeedGrade CC.
To use the exercise file successfully, we need to get our preferences set correctly and then we'll get this work space here configured. The end goal is to allow us to find the exercise files easily and then connect those files to the footage they use, all with only a few clicks of a mouse. Let's start by pressing the preferences button up here, which can also be accessed by using the shortcut button S, for settings. Over here in the preference list, let's select playback.
We want to start this training with our based frame rate set to 24 frames per second. If this is set to something different, go ahead, double click, and punch in 24 directly. Later in the training, when we're working in death scenes, that's a 23.976 scene. That's the number you'd punch in here to work with that footage. In this new version of SpeedGrade CC, the frame rate of a project is saved. With the IRCP file which means as you switch between the various exercise files I provide, you won't have to keep coming back in here.
But to start off this training, let's leave it at 24. Now let's come back to this list and select Editing. Like we did on playback, let's change this to 24. Press Close to save and exit the Preferences. Now come down here to timeline then setup. Notice the Frame Rate here, it's still stuck on the old Frame Rate I had. To fix that, I'll go ahead, restart SpeedGrade, and let's see what happens. There you go. New frame rate. Now let's walk through loading up an IRCP project file and reconnecting the media to it.
First, if you, like me, put the Exercise Files on your desktop, the folder will be sitting right over here in this list. If you put it elsewhere, you'll need to navigate to it by first opening up the drive you placed it in and start digging down. Next because I organized this folder with subfolders, nothing is showing up here in the media browser. To get access to every project, EDL, and source footage all at once, just come up here. And in this pull down window, select sequences from folder plus subtree.
Now also, make sure this filtering here, make sure it's set to all files. Now I'm going to select a random project here, how about 08_05_jane_matched. I'll click on this plus button in the right hand corner here And the timeline automatically loads up, also speed grade knowing that the footage needs to be reconnected it moves me into this Reel sub tab. I can also tell that these clips are not connected by the peachy color of this bottom footage layer. That 's the color of an unconnected or offline clip, also if I look closely it says Reel not loaded.
All I have to do now is press this button load from desktop And if the footage is displayed up here, it'll reconnect, which it does. Now, after relinking, if you come back, open up this exercise file and don't want to keep repeating this relinking process, come up here to Save, and the Save dialog opens up. You can save the project file anywhere you like. But I like keeping things nice and tidy, so I'm going to save it back into this Projects subfolder, here in the Exercise Files folder.
Go ahead and append a version number here, say version 001, and press save. You have now saved off this project with the footage re-linking saved while also preserving the original exercise file. Now notice, I don't see the new version 001 project file here in the browser. That's because SpeedGrade isn't showing a live view of your folder structure. You'll need to come down here. Click this little refresh button and boom, now it shows up. By the way, if you ever want to delete one of your files, just right-click, select Delete, and confirm the delete. Refresh.
It's gone. The other thing I need to show is how to reconnect the Premiere Pro CC project files to our source media, here in this exercise folder. I have already launched Premiere Pro. Told it to open up a project and I'm about to launch here 03, 03 Premiere to SpeedGrade. Click Open. Now Premiere is looking for the original source media and it's, it can't find them. So what we are going to do is the first one that pops here is this Chris Jane CU1. .mov, click locate and now come to the exercise files folders that's on my desktop.
Highlight this Media folder. I'm going to scroll down and select the Chris Jane music video, trying to locate Chris Jane cu1. Display only exact matches. Highlight it. Click OK. And now I am going to have to do this two more times. One for each of the timelines. This next one Creature Running. That's going to be Dead Man's Lake. Click, okay. And one more time Collin's MCU. Locate, death scenes, that's the Collin's.
Click OK, now it launches, and now I've relinked all my source footage here in Premiere Pro CC. If you're a monthly member or an 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, and I strongly encourage you to do so. Okay. Now that we have the exercise files sorted out, let's get started.
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