I recommend looking at Color Finesse, which you already have in AE. There are Color Finesse tutorials on the Creative Cow, and I expect there are some here on the Adobe Web site as well. You could find them by using the search term color finessse in AE's online Help.
Thank you Dave. I will explore tutorials. What is the work flow? Do I do a rough edit in PPRO, bring into AE and back to PPRO to finish project and then render?
I guess my question is two parts.
First, what is the logical workflow for color correcting working with both PPRO and AE?
Second, which effect (you answered this part - Color Finesse) and which tuturials (also answered)?
If your workflow ONLY is within Adobe Crative Suite, I'd say Daynamic Link would be effective in getting edited video into AE for color correction.
However, I wouldn't rely on Dynamic Link to get my color corrections OUT of AE. I would render to a lossless codec, I would import the file(s) into Premiere, and I would go from there.
There may be those who have different opinions. I hope they'll chime in and give reasons for their differnt workflow. Perhaps we will both learn to do something new and better in the process.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This is exactly the information that I was looking for. I will wait to mark this as correct to see if anyone else has additional input on logical color correcting workflow within Creative Suite.
One more question, how do I choose which "lossless codec"? Any support tutorials on that one?
I know Dynamic Link is more stable now, but I've had problems with it in the past. Besides, I like having the shots seperate from one another. My workflow is to lock an edit down in Premiere, export the audio track as a WAV, import the Premiere project and WAV into AE (the import with all the shots seperated into layers vs. one dynamically linked layer) and do my color correction and color grading in AE, render a lossless file out of AE for use in Adobe Media Encoder to make the final delivery. If need be, I skip the WAV step and take the losslessly rendered file into Premiere for further audio work.
I should also add this: color correction is something that typically takes place only after Edit Lock: no further changes allowed.
People violate that rule of course, but they do so at the expense of additional time, plus the additional storage necessary to accommodate changes in the edit. It's a matter or weighing one's priorities.
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I am an experienced user of PPRO CS5. I am a novice with color correcting and color grading. I am also just barely competant in AE CS5. It has been suggested that I use AE for color correcting my footage.
You can do it that way, sure. But you don't have to. You can accomplish quite a lot without leaving PPro. This has two major advantages. First, if you aren't using AE for anything else, it gets you out of using AE at all, so gets you out of climbing another set of learning curves.
Second, even if you are using AE for other things (I use AE to make motion lower thirds, for example), doing the work in PPro can improve exporting speeds. This is because AE gets restricted to a single processor core in some workflows as discussed in this thread and others (search around if you're interested). This can make exporting take 3x as long or longer, depending on how much footage has to be processed by AE.
So, how to do color correction without leaving PPro? Use either a luma corrector or luma curve effect to set black and white points, and contrast (use a waveform monitor to help). Then use a three way color corrector effect to get rid of any residual color casts (use the vectorscope to help, and the RGB parade, etc.).
If you find you have specific colors that need to be fixed, you can apply another three way color correction effect and use it to make that secondary color correction (for example I find the blue dyes used in many labels tend to fluoresce under fluorescent lighting, and has to be desaturated with a secondary color correction or it "blooms" on an HDTV -- IOW, it has to be made "broadcast safe").
If you want tutorials for using these tools, the ones on Creative Cow by Andrew Devis are quite good, and free. The ones on color correction with PPro cs6 start at tutorial number 47. There's a bunch of them. All good.
Finally, get a copy of Van Hurkman's Color Correction Handbook. May be the best technical book I've ever read, and it'll certainly point you in the right direction for doing color correction work regardless of which tools you use to do it.
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You can accomplish quite a lot without leaving PPro.
Wisdom here. Since you're used to Premiere, this would probably be the best way to go. When you get a bit of free time, and want to learn AE, start here.
Thanks for the thoughtful message. I think for me, this is the "correct" answer. I will check out the reference materials that you mention above.
Regards and thanks again,