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Workflow Issues

May 20, 2012 7:46 PM

I've been playing around a little bit, and I'm wondering...just who can use SpeedGrade in their current work flow?

 

Here's why I ask.

 

It seems we have two methods of getting our PP sequences into SpeedGrade.  The first is to use the Send to SpeedGrade... command, which creates DPX files for every frame of our sequence.  This has the advantage of including all effects, AE comps, transitions, etc. so that what we see in SpeedGrade is just what we saw in PP.  But this has two distinct disadvantages.  The first is that it takes forever to do the DPX export.  Man, is that slow!  But that by itself is more of an annoyance.  The deal-breaker with this work flow option is that there is no way to go back into PP and make changes to the sequence, while keeping all the work we've already done in SG.  Now I know there is such a thing as "picture lock", but seriously Adobe, outside of Hollywood who among us ever gets that?  There HAS to be a way to reedit the footage and keep all the grading when working in most every level of this industry below that of a Cinema Editor.

 

So, the second method is to export out an EDL.  This has the absolutely necessary feature we were missing from the first method, the ability to go back into PP, tweak the edit, and simply reconform the footage in SG so we don't have to redo all our grading work on the new edit.  But like before, there are two disadvantages to this work flow.  The first is more of an annoyance in that SG is pretty limited in the formats it can work with from an EDL.  Seems MPEG based formats aren't on the list.  That's a major negative, but not a show stopper as one can always covert those formats to something usable.  I found that SG takes in AVI files using the free UT codec just fine, and it so happens I often convert my raw footage to UT for editing anyway.  But the second disadvantage, and this one is a deal-breaker, is that the EDL doesn't include all the effects and transitions applied to our PP footage.  So what we see in SG is NOT exactly what we see in PP.

 

So...I'm at a loss here.  Just who does Adobe think will be able to use SpeedGrade, when both work flow options contain fatal flaws and make the program unusable?  The two things that are absolutely essential to make SpeedGrade a viable component of the post production chain for the vast majority of PP users are 1) the ability to see in SG exactly what we see in PP, with all effects, transitions, AE comps, titles, etc., and 2) the ability to reedit our PP sequence without having to completely redo our grading.

 

Currently, I can't see a work flow that allows both of those two critical components.  Hence the question...

 

Just who can possibly use this wonderful new grading tool, Adobe?  Am I missing something here (and I truly hope I am),  or did you guys actually release the program without a way of achieving those two necessary components - a full sequence transfer and reeditability?  Currently, all I can see is "or".  But we absolutely must have "and".

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 21, 2012 5:25 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    I think what you want that SpeedGrade is integrated into Premiere. If you want to see all effects, transitions, AE comps, titles, etc, then is better no leave the NLE, isn't? For this job is better a pluging as Colorista II or even the own correctors of Premiere.

    For me the grading is the last stage, once finished the edit. If it is necessary reedit one pair of clips, I can load the new clips in another timeline in SG and grade it, keeping the old timeline open for to compare between they.

     

    Having said this, I understand what there's different priorities.

     
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    May 21, 2012 7:06 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Pateince Jim. Speedgrade is barley intergrated into CS6 due when it was purchased. You echo sentiments me and a lot of others have stated. Adobe knows what needs to be done, but stuff takes time.

     
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    May 21, 2012 2:45 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Adobe has aknowledge that as time goes on, SG will change. Its 1.0 and just barely integrated at this point. Patience!

     
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    May 21, 2012 3:11 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    And then how do you get those two clips back in place in the middle of the primary timeline?

     

    Well, in a recent job, a short, after the grading was finished in SG, the final render returned to Premiere for titles, dissolves (to black and from black) and final audio (from Pro Tools). If it are necessary a new clips, those clips can edited in this finishing timeline. I don't know if this answer your question.

     
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    May 22, 2012 1:03 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    That means all effects, titles, transitions, etc. are already done

     

    Only effects is rendered, titles and transitions (fade to black and from black) aren't rendered when to export to SG, it is a bad idea grading a title.

     

    If audio is worked in an external sala, also to make changes in the edit can to be very dangerous, only if it is absolute necessary.

     

    If you want to make changes until to end, I think that the built-in correctors and plugins is the better solution.

     
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    May 23, 2012 2:53 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Hi Jim,

     

    as you're looking for a more official statement, here it is:

    when looking at options how to integrate SpeedGrade with the existing Suite products, in particular Premiere Pro, we basically came down with 2 options (given the fact that all products reached feature freeze by the time the acquistion happened):

     

    1) put it in the box as is, just label it "Adobe SpeedGrade" and start working on something that won't show up for another 18 months

    2) create a "rigid but viable" workflow that leaves some questions unanswered but allows for using both products together on a number of scenarios.

     

    We chose option no.2 and got the Premiere Pro team to create the send to SpeedGrade workflow while improving the SpeedGrade workflow itself (making it layer-based to get in synch with Photoshops layer paradigm was key to us). While it is not perfect, Send to SpeedGrade has a major advantage: it is simple. On things like shorts or commercials and with a capable RAID / CPU, it's even fast. And it is rather hard to break (unlike XML export,re-import).

     

    So you might blame us for not acquiring the product any earlier or for creating an appetite while not delivering the full menu yet, and I can appreciate that.

    Let me just reassure you we're far from being done.

     

    There's a reason why we have pretty much the entire engineering team that worked on SpeedGrade in the past now working for Adobe.

     

    Cheers,

    Pat

     
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    May 23, 2012 11:21 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    As always, I can't make any forward looking statements

    All I can say is that my team very much enjoys working with all the other teams that are part of the DVA gorup, in particular Premiere Pro and After Effects.

     

    It's great to hear you have high hopes for the future of our products, don't stop demanding.

     

    Pat

    Jim Simon wrote:

     

    Excellent response, Patrick.  Thank you.

     

    If I might make one slight correction, though.  "Rigid but viable"?  That's kind of an oxymoron for most editors, I think.  In order to really be "viable", we really need reeditability.

     

    Perhaps "rigid and limited" is a better term.

     

    Anyway, it's nice to hear that you have the original team in house. II eagerly await further work flow integrations.  (And I do hope this is one area where the Cloud comes in handy.  I really don't want to wait another 18 months for a "viable" work flow.)

     
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    May 24, 2012 9:55 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Jim, I don't see what the problem is...may be I'm missing something here. Since CG allows you to add grade as a layer, the first time you render out from PP and do your thang in CG you have the work preserved in the grade layer(s). Then as you do more renders in PP, can't you just reuse the old grade layers?

     
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    May 23, 2012 9:41 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Jim

     

    Try and see your CC/Grade as a "discrete layer"  ie a totally individual video.  (like a DI)

     

    CC and grade in Premiere Pro and AEFX is also a discrete effect on the video clip or layer BUT you are seeing it composited with your Titles, graphics etc.  - unless you trurn off the eyeball or layers of course. 

     

    Change your thinking  from how you are used to seeing and doing it in a "composited editable view" inside the NLE

     

    Break down (deconstruct)  the elements in your edit workflow to determine which way you want to plan  and do it.

     

    eg, think about sending out your lockdown edit clips with handles  using an EDL then bring back the DIs.using an EDL

     

    In some ways it is easier to think ..you shoot  ...then you CC grade your rushes perfectly and then you export them to the editor.  You would then have ungraded Rushes clips and fully graded rushes clips  to work with.  Of course that is time consuming and space wasteful but its just one way to skin the cat...(planning is key)

     

    Dont get hung up on editabilty.

     

     

    Hope that helps a little .

     
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    May 24, 2012 9:30 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    I agree Jim. When a client asks me to reedit a piece that been color corrected, editability is a very important issue    I am a BIG proponent of have the option in SG for clips to be dynamically linked from the PrP timeline. If others prefer exporting the entire timeline that fine for them. But until we get SG with DL capability I will not use it.

     
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    May 24, 2012 11:24 AM   in reply to lasvideo

    Yes, dynamic links would be great of course; but that wouldn't be agreeing with Jim - he was complaining about different deal breakers, e.g., "The deal-breaker with this work flow option is that there is no way to go back into PP and make changes to the sequence, while keeping all the work we've already done in SG." This is incorrect as I see it since SG does allow for grade layers that you can re-use, so you do keep the work done earlier. Not saying rendering each time to SG is fun, but that's an option.

     
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    May 24, 2012 12:07 PM   in reply to Sekhar Ravinutala

    Thank  you Sekhar for trying to tell me what I mean. Stick to editing, your probably better at that 

     

    I agree with this statement by Jim whole heartedly..

     

    2) The ability to reedit the piece in a significant way without losing the grading we've already done.

     

    And I see dynamic link as the way of achieving that. 

     
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    May 24, 2012 1:55 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    I understand both of your thoughts on this (and agree it would be great if it could also be DL'd for certain workflows)

     

    Meantime - its a discrete operation similar to audio scoring and mixing a film.

     

    No one would contemplate scoring a film or mixing the audio without locking it down first!

     

    Who would create and apply CG to an edit that was not locked down?

     

    Who even CC and grades before locking it down? 

    Doesnt happen regularly in my world anyway... but if sonfor any reason...you go back a step and re do it.

     

    Certain processes have always been done late in the post workflow for a very good reason.

     
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    May 24, 2012 3:01 PM   in reply to shooternz

    Yes, the way I understand these products (just started checking these out), the workflow using the new tools is:

     

    1. Prelude (optional): gathering/logging footage to save time/effort for the (craft) editors
    2. SpeedGrade: technical grading stuff like cleaning up footage, applying LUTs, matching scenes, etc. so editors have matched footage and the dailies look good
    3. PP/AE/etc.: the usual editing, effects, etc.
    4. SpeedGrade (again): creative grading to apply the looks for creative goals

     

    Does this sound right?

     
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    May 24, 2012 3:25 PM   in reply to shooternz

    Shooternz,in the vast and varied world of video editing   projects have different workflows. Some lock, some dont. For those that dont, SG is counter productive at this time. I do hope that will change in the future

     
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    May 24, 2012 4:36 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    Shooternz,in the vast and varied world of video editing   projects have different workflows.

     

    That is obvous and a given but...my answer is really in response to Jim who asks...

     

    So...I'm at a loss here.  Just who does Adobe think will be able to use SpeedGrade, when both work flow options contain fatal flaws and make the program unusable?  The two things that are absolutely essential to make SpeedGrade a viable component of the post production chain for the vast majority of PP users are 1) the ability to see in SG exactly what we see in PP, with all effects, transitions, AE comps, titles, etc., and 2) the ability to reedit our PP sequence without having to completely redo our grading.

     

    Currently, I can't see a work flow that allows both of those two critical components.  Hence the question...

     

    Just who can possibly use this wonderful new grading tool, Adobe?  Am I missing something here (and I truly hope I am),  or did you guys actually release the program without a way of achieving those two necessary components - a full sequence transfer and reeditability?

     

    Jim is wanting to re-invent a workflow that in fact plenty of film makers use effectively every day. 

     

    The fact it may not be entirely  efficient and practical for low budget , fast turn around work ...such as corporate video , weddings, home movies etc...is not really a true issue of the CC application.

     

    I was trying to point out that he needs a paradigm shift..until maybe Adobe can make it work in a workflow the way  that Jim wants. ("absolutely essential")

     

    It is not compulsory to use SG ( or Resolve or Baselight or Symphony) ...because Premiere has the tools to do exactly what you guys need , already. 

     

    I am not arguing that you should change anything at all.

     

    BTW - I doubt I would ever DL a SG project to a Premiere Project.  I dont do so with AE either and prefer a DI workflow for best flexibilty and mangement of a project.  Discrete intermediate clips for audio and video and graphics suits my workflow and editing experience better.

     
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    May 26, 2012 1:19 AM   in reply to Jim Simon

    That makes SG unusable for the vast majority of the PP user base at the moment.

     

    I think there is a misunderstanding here: SpeedGrade is not a tool for editors but for colorists.

    While an editor can use SpeedGrade, only a colorist can make the most of this tool.

    In addition SpeedGrade is standalone software that can be used with other NLEs such as Avid, FinalCut, LightWorks or Vegas.

    The right tool for each job: a NLE for editors, a grading software for colorists.

     

    This is my viewpoint.

     
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    May 26, 2012 1:50 PM   in reply to Manuel LP

    I think there is a misunderstanding here: SpeedGrade is not a tool for editors but for colorists.
    ...
    The right tool for each job: a NLE for editors, a grading software for colorists.

     

    Manuel. 

     

    That is my view as well ...and that of course differentiates exactly who will benefit and use SpeedGrade (Resolve etc) .

     

    It is simply an off line / on line  workflow that suits some and not others. 

     

    My clients do not expect full grade edits for early stage approval processes and are fully aware that the grade , music , mix  and the final graphix are online stage work.  (Industry standard workflow).

     

    BTW -  for various reasons...it is not unusual to go back and redit something that was considered "finished and signed off " including audio, cc, grafix.... 

     

    Its a matter of redoing what needs to be redone. (we charge for this assuming it was not our error or ommission).

     

    ...................................................................... ........

    I once was asked to change the color of a piece of fried chicken in a shot from a TVC that was signed of  and complete and on air.

    The client had seen it at "home" and wanted it "fixed". 

     

    Back to the Grade Suite with client in tow..colorist pushed a bunch of buttons on the desk...client loved the changes..re mastered TVC and sent off to air.

     

    Buttons were unallocated to any CC or Grade function.  No change to original!

     

    Invoice to grateful client followed.... and was paid promptly..

     
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    May 26, 2012 4:13 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    I believe that to get the most out of a tool, this one should to be understood well.

     
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    May 26, 2012 5:46 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Yes, I agree with you, a good manual is an urgent need.

     
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    May 26, 2012 6:16 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Sadly for you Jim..I doubt it will ever work the way you want it to.

    ie. work CC DL in an editing timeline ( realtime).

     

    The DI is a standard and robust workflow. The DL is less so and comes with issues and complexities despite its sometime advantages.

     

    A little shift of client expectation and your workflow..and you will be gold  in the meantime.

     

     

    But ..yes...manual soon please. Urgent.

     
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    May 26, 2012 7:10 PM   in reply to shooternz

    shooternz- Sadly for you Jim..I doubt it will ever work the way you want it to. ie. work CC DL in an editing timeline ( realtime).

     

    Unless you have inside information to support that statement, I wouldn't be to sure of your theoretical prognostication

     
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    May 26, 2012 9:45 PM   in reply to lasvideo

    You may be right ...and I certainly have no inside information on the matter.

     

    My theory is based on do-abilty in a DL frame work and Adobes willingness to make it work this way for the market that might use it.

     

    But...

     

    If Adobe can totally integrate SG right into the Premiere Application as a Video Effect (or plugin)...Jim may get his wish for   CC and "editabilty" in his NLE.

     

    Avoiding DL, EDL, CDL, XML, AAF, DI etc... will be key to fulfilling the request.

     

    Meantime...no fear... Colorista and the internal CC tools will  exceed the requirement for the masses and those who choose a client workflow such as Jims company does.  I use them for various work I do and would not go near SG or Resolve for the very same reasons as has been discussed ....as well as fundamental " time, effort, profitabilty".

     
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    May 27, 2012 2:19 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    Your Point #1 is a significant departure from common edit  to CC workflows and makes no practical sense. 

    No one brings in graphix, multilayered video (blend modes), transitions, FX .....to a CC and Grade session.

     

    Clips are CC/graded as discrete entities.

     

    Point #2 . I dont understand why you say that you lose the grades you have already done if you re edit.

     

     

    I keep wondering how you expect this all to work in your scenario..

     

    eg, Jim edits a program and CC/grades it. 

     

    Client hates  the grade on one scene (the brides mother) and wants Jim to remove aunty Mavis from the edit and add a shot of Uncle Jim and a shot of the bridesmaid dancing on the table..

     

    You cut out one shot - easy..You edit in two shots need ing CC...and need to regrade one scene

     

    How would you like to be able manage the CC/grade workflow in this ?  What changes would you like Adobe to make to SG so that this scenario works for you as you would wish it to.

     

    You need plugins for this  Jim.  SG will never be for you.

     

    IMHO: It crazy  not to lock the edit down before committing to finishing post (cc,audio, fx) and to say it is only for higher end productions. That  is a nonsense without foundation. Its common sense!

     

    BTW- What actually do you do if you have audio created for a program.  Do you keep returning to redo it on every re edit?

    Do your motion grafix people keep re doing stuff for you when you re edit!

     
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