SpeedGrade CS6 (6.0.4) Update

Today, the SpeedGrade CS6 (6.0.4) update was released.

The SpeedGrade 6.0.4 update includes the previous 6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.03 patches. Please install this update, even if you have installed the earlier patches.

If Adobe Application Manager hasn’t already told you about this, go ahead and check for new updates by choosing Help > Updates in Adobe Bridge. The best way to check for updates is by closing all Adobe applications other than Adobe Bridge, and choosing Help > Updates in Adobe Bridge; this ensures that all processes related to Adobe video applications have been quit and can be updated safely.

Ideally, you should install the updates automatically as described above, but you can also directly download the update packages from the download page for Windows or Mac OS.

Continue reading…

Back to School with SpeedGrade

It’s back to school for lots of people today, and you can just as easily go “back to school” for SpeedGrade, thanks to a growing list of learning resources. The recording of of our recent “SpeedGrade for Aspiring Colorists” webinar just became available.

That webinar was aimed at editors who are interested in adding color grading to their workflow – and we know that there are a lot of you out there! Our presenter, editor and colorist Jeff August, started off by taking us through the color correction tools in Adobe Premiere Pro, and then moved on to see how much you can do with color and look design in SpeedGrade. Continue reading…

SpeedGrade CS6 (6.0.3) Update

Today, the SpeedGrade CS6 (6.0.3) update was released. Thank you everyone for your feedback!

If Adobe Application Manager hasn’t already told you about this, go ahead and check for new updates by choosing Help > Updates in Adobe Bridge. The best way to check for updates is by closing all Adobe applications other than Adobe Bridge, and choosing Help > Updates in Adobe Bridge; this ensures that all processes related to Adobe video applications have been quit and can be updated safely.

Ideally, you should install the updates automatically as described above, but you can also directly download the update packages from the download page for Windows or Mac OS. Continue reading…

Adding Atmosphere with Vignettes

Vignettes are a great tool for visual storytelling. They add a depth to shots and they help give digital content a more filmic feel – and Adobe SpeedGrade CS6 offers powerful tools for creating them.

Psychologically, vignettes allow you to focus the viewer’s attention on the subject and subtly mimic the human eye, where color perception drops off around the periphery of our field of vision.

You create vignettes for an individual shot, by adding a mask to a grading layer, within a clip, or by adding a separate grading track on the timeline, for example to go across multiple clips. Colorists sometimes combine vignettes, adding atmosphere and a greater sense of space to their shots. In this post we’re going to look at how to add a single vignette to a shot in SpeedGrade. Continue reading…

Grading Secondaries in SpeedGrade

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the SpeedGrade webinar with Jeff August last week! In case you missed it, we’ll have a recording of the webinar available in a few days. In this post we’re taking a look at how to apply secondaries in Adobe SpeedGrade CS6.

Secondary color corrections are applied to specific colors within your images – as opposed to primary color corrections which affect the whole image.

For each secondary, you select a color range, and then apply adjustments to just those pixels. Secondary adjustments allow you to accent, modify, or tone down parts of your image. With SpeedGrade, secondary color corrections are added as individual grading layers within the overall grade. Continue reading…

Upcoming: SpeedGrade webinar for editors

Please join us for SpeedGrade for Aspiring Colorists, a special webinar on August 16, starting at 10:00 am PST.

If you are an editor, and you want to learn about color grading, this course if for you. The session will start with a review of the color tools in  Adobe Premiere Pro and then move on to provide a primer in the powerful color correction and look design capabilities of Adobe SpeedGrade CS6. Continue reading…

Extending SpeedGrade with SpeedLooks

SpeedGrade CS6 has been out for a few months now and we’re already seeing some great third-party additions. SpeedLooks, created by LookLabs, are a great example, and help to illustrate the power of color grading to dramatically transform your images.

I chatted with colorist Jeff August of LookLabs recently to learn more – quick plug: Jeff will be giving an online seminar on color grading for video editors on August 16

Continue reading…

SpeedGrade CS6 (6.0.2) Update

Today, the SpeedGrade CS6 (6.0.2) update was released. As always, we want to thank you for your feedback. Building great software is a team effort.

If Adobe Application Manager hasn’t already told you about this, go ahead and check for new updates by choosing Help > Updates. The best way to check for updates is by closing all Adobe applications other than Adobe Bridge, and choosing Help > Updates in Adobe Bridge; this ensures that all processes related to Adobe video applications have been quit and can be updated safely.

Ideally, you should install the updates automatically as described above, but you can also manually download and install the updates using updaters for Windows and Mac OS. Continue reading…

Color Correction Basics – Working with the Waveform

Most color grading workflows include two types of tasks: color correction and look design. Look design is what you do to give your story its individual character: it’s the visual style that communicates mood and place.

For example an action film might have a gritty, de-saturated look; a horror story might have a cold blue otherworldly look, a period piece might have vibrant colors, like a painting or an old color photograph. Different scenes within a film usually use slightly different palettes. In short, look design is a part of storytelling Look design is a very exciting aspect of the new digital filmmaking tools: we never had as much freedom as we do now to define how we want our productions to look.

Before you get to detailed look design, you will usually want to begin by color correcting your shots. Continue reading…

A Quick Look at the SpeedGrade Look Panel

The Look panel is where all the fun happens in SpeedGrade. This is where you apply color corrections and design your look: the two parts of most color grading workflows.

Color correction, sometimes called the “technical grade,” is about making your shots look good and matched.

The creative part of grading is where you give your project its distinctive visual style. Here in SpeedGrade-Land we usually refer to this as “look design.”

To open the Look panel, make sure you have a clip selected on the Timeline (see Four Ways to Load Footage in SpeedGrade for more info). If a clip is not selected, the Look panel tab will remain inactive and you can’t open it. Continue reading…

Move up to Creative Cloud

Adobe is making it simpler to keep your software up-to-date. And a lot cheaper.

Adobe CS6 has been so well received by reviewers and production professionals around the world, and you now have several options for buying it. Along with boxed versions (or “shrink” as they call it here), and purchasing online, you can also subscribe. That last option is a great model. I encourage you to take a good look at Adobe’s Creative Cloud Membership.

Continue reading…

SpeedGrade – A Little Bit of History

The origin of SpeedGrade can be traced back to a playback application called FrameCycler, which was first release by IRIDAS in 2001. FrameCycler provided uncompressed playback of frame sequences and was widely adopted in the visual effects community where artists needed an easy way to check their work.

In a recent interview on Animotion (great site, by the way), Lin Kayser, the founder of IRIDAS tells the story. As Lin points out in that interview FrameCycler employed the pixel shader technology in GPUs to provide LUT support in FrameCycler. Pixel shader technology is widely used in gaming to provide really fast screen refresh rates, but is not commonly used professional color applications. Continue reading…

Four Ways to Load Footage in SpeedGrade

Last time we looked at the SpeedGrade Desktop. This week, let’s look at how to get your content onto the Timeline where you can work on it.

Patrick Palmer, Product Manager for SpeedGrade has created a video which shows how this is done.

There are four ways to get your footage into SpeedGrade. The most automated way to do this is to use the Send to SpeedGrade command in Premiere Pro. The most flexible way is to load an Edit Decision List (EDL) and conform your clips. This allows you to update, or swap out, individual clips, for example. You can also load an existing SpeedGrade project ( an .ircp file). The most manual way, is to add individual clips to the Timeline one-by-one. Continue reading…

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… Continue reading…

Write Your Own SpeedGrade Review

Just a quick note to let you know that you can submit detailed feedback on your SpeedGrade experience now. Our Create your review for SpeedGrade CS6 page just went live. Continue reading…

Notes from a SpeedGrade Seminar

Recently, our friendly Adobe SpeedGrade product manager Patrick Palmer hosted a seminar introducing Adobe SpeedGrade CS6, the professional color grading application which is now part of Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium, Master Collection, and Creative Cloud.

In case you missed it, we have posted a recording of the seminar.

Patrick covered a lot of ground in the seminar, both in the main presentation and in the question-and-answer segment at the end. Here’s a brief outline of what Patrick talked about, as well as some links to more information about each subject: Continue reading…