Meet the SpeedGrade CS6 Desktop

Over the next couple of months on this blog, we’re going to walk through the basic areas and features in Adobe SpeedGrade CS6. Today we’re taking a look at the Desktop.

Before we dive into the Desktop, I just want to mention a really cool story by DP and colorist Jerome Sabourin called Why I Use SpeedGrade. Jerome shares a bit of his own journey as a cinematographer, and describes how he uses SpeedGrade in his work. It’s a great read.

Now, back to the Desktop…

When you launch SpeedGrade CS6, the Desktop displays by default in the upper half of your screen. This is where you locate your media for your project. The SpeedGrade CS6 Desktop offers powerful search and sort tools, and you can create multiple desktops, for example for different projects.

At any time, just press D on your keyboard to show, or hide the Desktop!

Meet your new Desktop!

The Desktop displays in the top half of the screen. Press D to show or hide the Desktop.

Locate your media
To populate the Desktop with your media, start by locating the drives or folders containing your clips, projects, or EDLs.

Among the great strengths of the SpeedGrade Desktop are its sorting and filter tools.

Use the Sequence Folder View pull-down menu at the top right of the Desktop to determine which folder content is displayed in the desktop.

Choose “Sequences from Folder + Subtree” to display all the items in your folder, as well as the contents of subfolders, including clips, EDLs, and any SpeedGrade projects (.ircp files).

Use the Folder View pull-down menu to show contents of subfolders on your Desktop (or not!)

Use the Folder View pull-down menu to show contents of subfolders on your Desktop (or not!)

You can isolate specific types of files to display in the Filter pull-down menu. This is very handy when you’re dealing with a lot of files.

Sort file types, to display specified types of files on the Desktop

Use the Filter to determine which type of files you want to display

And speaking of dealing with a lot of files, you can get a nearly full-screen view of your Desktop by pressing P on your keyboard. P is for showing and hiding the SpeedGrade control panels.

Use the Deskktop in near-fullscreen mode to see a lot of files at once. Click to enlarge image.

Use the Deskktop in near-fullscreen mode to see a lot of files at once. Click to enlarge image.

You can resize a thumbnail to fill the whole viewing area. Drag on the top of the thumbnail to scrub.

You can resize a thumbnail to fill the Desktop - a great way to scrub and review a clip in detail without having to load it on the Timeline. Click image to enlarge.

You can resize a thumbnail to fill the Desktop – a great way to scrub and review a clip in detail without having to load it on the Timeline. Click image to enlarge.

More Sorting Tools
To find content more quickly, you can sort your clips by File Name as well as Timecode Range, Resolution, or Modified Date. An arrow to the right of the sort buttons allows you to switch the direction of the sort.

Wildcard Searches
SpeedGrade CS6 also offers advanced search functions. You can enter searches with wild cards by using the * symbol on the Search box, and narrow your searches to specific file types with the Search Filter pull-down menu.

From the Desktop to the Timeline
You can drag content to add it to the Timeline, but the simplest way is simply to double-click on a clip, EDL, or .ircp file (.ircp files are SpeedGrade projects).

Once you’re on the Timeline, press D to hide the desktop. Use the playback controls to review content. Select a clip to activate the grading tools; click on the Look tab to open the Look panel and start grading. More on that later!

Coming up next on Moving Colors
In our next walk-through we’ll look at the four different ways you can bring content into SpeedGrade.

In the meantime:
Check out the introductory video for SpeedGrade CS6 on Adobe TV.
Download the free SpeedGrade CS6 30-day trial.
For help, or any technical questions, visit the SpeedGrade user forums.

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