We’re really proud of the development of SpeedGrade since the launch of Creative Cloud. A lot of engineering muscle went into creating the industry’s first integrated editing and color-grading pipeline with Direct Link, which allows users to move Premiere Pro projects in and out of SpeedGrade without the hassles of transcoding or XML translations. This kind of seamless integration is revolutionizing how color work is done and brings professional color grading into easy reach of everyone who edits video.
Now that the hard work is done, we’ve turned our attention back to the creative tools, which are the heart and soul of SpeedGrade. This includes, new Curve adjustments, awesome new Grading Layer Grouping, hover previews for Looks, and a whole bunch of enhancements. For those of you with Blackmagic video I/O cards, such as the Decklink line, we’re delighted to announce that the wait is over. SpeedGrade now offers enhanced Mercury Transmit with support for 4K output and, let me repeat it, Blackmagic cards.
Altogether the new features and enhancements add up to really smooth workflows, whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out with color grading. Let’s dive in and learn more about the 2014.1 release – coming soon to Creative Cloud on your desktop.
Like all of the Creative Cloud video applications, the new release of SpeedGrade offers a refined new user interface with support for HiDPI displays, including Windows 8.1 systems.
The color scheme is more subtle and UI elements have been simplified. For example the Effects menu has been organized to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Click the “+” icon at the bottom of the Grading Layer panel to see it.
The first thing you see in the new Effects pop-up menu is “Curves.” Click it to reveal two new color tool options: RGB Curves and Hue & Saturation Curves. Click either one to add a new grading layer – the Curve controls open in the grading panel. In both cases you can drag the curve line, adding (or removing) control points until you get the result you want in your image.
With RGB Curves, the leftmost curve controls the Luma, which is like a ganged adjustment of all three (R, G, and B) channels.
The Hue and Saturation curves allow you to boost or mute any part of the color spectrum. Add control points and drag the line to apply your adjustments.
You can use Curve adjustments on their own, or combine them with any other grading layers, Looks, or LUTs. This brings us to the next awesome feature …
Grading Layer Grouping
From the very earliest days, SpeedGrade has used layers (rather than nodes) for adding and combining grading adjustments. With the 2014.1 release we’re taking layer-based grading to the next, um, “level.”
With Layer Grouping, you can now collect parts of your grade (or “Look,” as we call it) and collect them together. Not only does this allow you to organize complex Looks better, it also means you can adjust the opacity of a group of grades at once. This makes it easy to combine multiple Looks and effects and create a kind of “Look remix” out of them.
You can now multi-select individual grading layers, for example to save as a new Look, or to copy, just those parts of the grade. And then there’s drag and drop with Look presets – which brings us to the next feature …
Hover preview Looks
Now when you hover over a Look thumbnail, you see how that Look will impact your image, right in the Monitor. This makes it incredibly easy to test out Looks. To apply the Look, all you have to do is click on it (no more forgetting to press Enter and wondering later what happened to your Look …). Alternatively, you can drag the Look thumbnail into the grading layer stack, where it will appear as a new Group, and is automatically applied to the image.
Words don’t do this justice: you have to try it out yourself to see how smooth this really is. We think you will love the new Look workflow.
Better Direct Link
We have added audio support for Premiere Pro projects inside SpeedGrade, so now you have sound with your color. This is great since soundtracks or dialog often provide cues for transitions in lighting.
Performance with masks is now also improved, making it easier to work with masks in general, and multiple masks in particular. Related to this, SpeedGrade’s tracking, which is actually a pretty slick piece of engineering under the hood, is now significantly faster.
We also improved Autosave, both in Direct Link and in native SpeedGrade mode, so you can work with confidence.
As noted above, we have enhanced Mercury Transmit to support output to 4K monitors and adding support for Blackmagic cards.
Last but not least, SpeedGrade sports four new SpeedLooks, giving you even more options for sophisticated color grading presets that perform really well across different types of footage and lighting conditions. Did I mention that you can group this with grading layers to instantly create new custom Looks?
SpeedGrade is about three things: precision color science, efficient and flexible workflows, and the freedom to play with light and color. We’re excited about this release and we can’t what to see where you take it in your own work.
The new updates to the Creative Cloud video apps and Adobe Anywhere for video are expected to ship in the coming weeks.
Adobe will host MAX, The Creativity Conference, Oct. 4-8 in Los Angeles, to share even more amazing innovations coming to Creative Cloud across desktop, mobile, services and community. To be among the first to know when these and other Creative Cloud updates are available, follow us on Twitter @creativecloud or join us on Facebook.
Visit the Creative Cloud video page for links and news from Adobe at IBC 2014 from September 12 – 17
If you can’t make it to IBC, please join us for a special Ask a Video Pro session on Friday, September 12 at 10 am PT (7 pm CEST). Live from Amsterdam, Jason Levine will demo the new features coming to the CC video apps, including SpeedGrade