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
What are SpeedLooks?
SpeedLooks are specially designed LUTs which emulate the look of film. They are based on Fuji and Kodak film stocks and they give images character instantly.
What gave you the idea for this?
For a long time I’ve tried to give a unique look to interlaced video. I wanted my shows to look different from the way broadcast looked – to give video a more filmic personality.
What lead you to SpeedGrade?
I liked the workflow and I loved the timeline, which I felt comfortable with as an editor. It was LUT support that really caught my eye. I searched around for someone who could train me in SpeedGrade and found there was only one person in Canada at the time: Jerome Sabourin. He flew out to Calgary and we worked together for a while. We discovered we had both been working on the problem of bringing cinematic visuals to video and digital formats.
When did you start developing SpeedLooks?
We started creating our SpeedLooks six years ago on this and honestly, I’ve been using them on all my own work ever since. We’re still developing new SpeedLooks today.
Do you use SpeedGrade to create your SpeedLooks?
We do. SpeedGrade CS6 has such refined color tools and by using layers to build up your looks, you can create very subtle effects. It’s also easy to test looks on all kinds of footage in SpeedGrade, so it’s a great platform for this kind of development work.
How should people use SpeedLooks in their own grading work?
I suggest adding a grading track on top of your footage and applying your SpeedLooks there. That way the overall look is applied across your project or scene and you are working inside that palette. Then I would go in and do my shot specific color corrections, add masks for depth and mood, and do any secondaries. It s a very effective workflow and gets great results fast. The name says it all: SpeedLooks for SpeedGrade!
Jeff will be presenting an online seminar on August 16 SpeedGrade for Aspiring Colorists. You can sign up here – it’s free!
We’ll have more information on advanced look design in the coming month. Stay tuned…