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Digital Video & Audio

Introducing Adobe SpeedGrade CS6

Welcome to Moving Colors, the new SpeedGrade blog! SpeedGrade CS6 is a new addition to Adobe CS6 Production Premium and Creative Cloud Membership and gives you professional color grading tools to take your visual storytelling to the next level.

Color grading used to be the domain of a select few, in part because of the high costs of the technology. But that has changed. Now you can do sophisticated color correction and look design on a laptop if you want to.

The purpose of this blog is to help you bring high-end color grading into your production workflow. SpeedGrade CS6 allows you to do that.

The SpeedGrade UI may seem unfamiliar at first glance: Welcome to the new world of color grading! Actually SpeedGrade CS6 is pretty easy and fun to use once you get comfortable with it.

UPDATED (October 19, 2012): This article has been updated with new links to more recent posts.

Here’s a quick tour to get you started. (Remember: if you have specific technical questions, you can always visit the SpeedGrade user forums)

The Desktop is where you locate and sort your media. You can have multiple Desktops for different projects.

The Desktop is where you locate and sort your media.

The Desktop
The first thing you see when you open SpeedGrade CS6 is the Desktop. It occupies the top half of your screen (assuming you have a single display setup. Let’s save dual display configurations for another posting). The Desktop is where you locate your media and organize your projects. You can have multiple desktops, which you might use for different projects, for example.

Double-click a clip, or an EDL to add it to the Timeline.

Press D on your keyboard to hide or show the Desktop.

The Look Panel is where you do your color grading work. Select clips to apply grades, or adding a grading track to apply looks across multiple clips.

The Look Panel, in the lower half of the screen, is where you do color grading. Select clips to apply grades, or add a grading track on the Timeline to apply looks across multiple clips.

The Look Panel
The Look panel is where you do your color correction and design the creative “looks” for your projects.

Click on a clip in the Timeline to activate the Look panel. Then click on the Look panel tab to open it.

Grades are applied as layers in SpeedGrade CS6. A “Look” in SpeedGrade CS6 consists of color adjustments made in one or more grading layers. Create looks with any combination of:

  • primary adjustments – which affect the whole image
  • secondary adjustments – which affect specific color ranges
  • Effects, film-style filters, and 3D LUTs – for stylized looks or to emulate film stocks and processes
  • Masks – for example to apply a vignette

Lots of interesting stuff to talk about in this panel, but you can play around without fear. All the changes are applied non-destructively, so you can’t break anything while you are learning.

If you run into problems (see system requirements) you can always just close out SpeedGrade CS6 and restart the application. It loads really fast and opens right where you were when you left off.

Apply setting for your renders in the Output Panel.

Apply setting for your renders in the Output Panel.

Output Panel
This is where you choose the settings for rendering material. This panel packs a lot of power but is pretty straightforward to use. Basically, you start at the top and work your way down. You can output to a wide range of formats. You can create offlines proxies for editing, dailies with file information burn-ins, or masters for final delivery.

This was just a quick tour of the main areas of SpeedGrade CS6. We’ll be back very soon with tips and tricks for how to get the most out of this awesome new component of the Adobe CS6 Production Premium!

Useful Links
Check out the introductory video for SpeedGrade CS6 on Adobe TV.
Download Introducing SpeedGrade CS6 (PDF).
Download a free 30-day trial of SpeedGrade CS6.
For help, you can visit the SpeedGrade user forums.


Introducing SpeedGrade CS6

Join the discussion

  • By Anonymous - 4:10 PM on May 30, 2012  
  • By DANIEL N.A.VANDERPUYE - 12:22 AM on June 7, 2012  


    • By Eric Philpott - 5:07 PM on June 11, 2012  

      You are welcome! Have fun grading.


  • By Chris Durham - 1:22 PM on June 7, 2012  

    Glad to see a blog dedicated to SpeedGrade. I recently used it to grade a project. The learning curve was a lot smoother than I imagined and it’s really a joy to work in. Looking forward to learning as much as possible about the product.

    • By Eric Philpott - 5:09 PM on June 11, 2012  

      Hi Chris,

      We are thrilled to hear it! Color grading and look design are becoming such an important part of digital filmmaking. Best of luck!


  • By Dave Gibson - 6:18 PM on June 7, 2012  

    Hello, Speedgrade Blog! I’ve been looking for you. Glad you showed up. I’m looking for great things from you. Talk to you more soon.

    • By Eric Philpott - 1:47 PM on June 11, 2012  

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for dropping by! Come again, soon

      Eric and the SpeedGrade team

  • By Andreas Urra - 9:42 AM on June 10, 2012  

    Is there some way to subscribe to this blog? It would be great to get email notification for any new entry.

    • By Eric Philpott - 1:58 PM on June 11, 2012  

      Hi Andreas,

      You can follow us on Twitter: @AdobeSpeedGrade. We will announce all new blog postings there.

      You can also add this page to an RSS feed, such as Google Reader.