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Color Grading Tips and Cinematic Looks in SpeedGrade

Johnathan Paul

Capture some great cinematic looks in Adobe SpeedGrade with this helpful handful of color grading tips!

Color grading is an important part of the post-production process. With so many tools at your disposal, particularly those built into NLE systems like Avid, Premiere, and FCPX, you can essentially get just about any look you desire.

But what if you want to take that color grade to the next level? At this point you’ll probably be looking at standalone software such as Da Vinci Resolve or Mistika. Unless you’re in the Creative Cloud, where you’ll use SpeedGrade.

With this said, let’s explore SpeedGrade and find out what it takes to capture a quality cinematic look within the software. To help us do just that, we’ll be looking at a great tutorial from The Post Color Blog.

Here’s another great tutorial that could come in handy from The Post Color Blog that covers how to match two different cameras in SpeedGrade.

Seven Tips to Remember Before Grading

Hurlbut Visuals featured a great guest post from Vashi Nedomansky that goes over the 7 best tips for color grading. We’ll give you a quick run down of that list, but be sure to check out his article to gain a more detailed overview.

Courtesy of VashiVisuals

Tip 1: Don’t use in-camera stock color profiles. Instead, make sure the image that you’re seeing in the viewfinder is flat. This will ensure that you are capturing the most information possible, which makes the color grading process much easier.

Tip 2: Utilize Premiere Pro’s ability to work with scopes like waveform, vectorscope, and parade.

Tip 3: Get your workflow in order by going through the process the right way. Start with removing artifacts and noise reduction, then balance your shots adjusting blacks/mids/whites, saturation, and white balance. Once this is done, relight the shots, add gradients, diffusion, lens filters, and vignettes. Finally, grade your images, simulate a film stock, and resize and sharpen.

Tip 4: Use the fast color corrector effect in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Tip 5: Be sure that the areas of color that are supposed to be black are indeed that, then adjust your shadows. Once this is done, you can then work up through your grade.

Tip 6: Once you have good balance, use the mids to allow the faces to pop, as skin tone lives in the mids.

Tip 7: Find the flesh line through vectorscope and see just how far off your skin tone is.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Are you still struggling to find the right color grading solution? If so, be sure to check out this video from wolfcrow, which explains how to pick the right color grading system for you.

Want more info on color correction techniques? Check out these additional articles from PremiumBeat.

Have you used SpeedGrade successfully? Are these tips and tutorials helpful? Sound off in the comments below.