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Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?

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Tim Wilson
Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 13, 2012 at 6:09:56 pm

I guess this is as good a place as any to ask for insights from the current/prev user base from the good ol' IRIDAS days. That is, we've heard from a lot of Smoke 2012 and earlier user, pre-BMD Resolve and Final Touch-era Color guys...but I wonder what you Speedgraders think now?

Curiously yours,

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Lance Bachelder
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 13, 2012 at 9:37:16 pm

I don't know about past versions but there is certainly nothing to get excited about in the current version - it's no Resolve or Color for that matter. I think if I was to use Premiere full time I'd probably rely on Colorista or Looks and take pass on Speedgrade.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Brian Buongiorno
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 14, 2012 at 12:13:55 pm

As a long-time SpeedGrade user, I understand the product very well, and appreciate how well it works. I'm confident that the new generation of Adobe SpeedGrade will be even better.

It will take some time for the product to mature and reach the level of stability that exists with SpeedGrade NX. That is the case with any new re-build of an existing product.

The staff at "Iridas" (now Adobe) are great listeners, and they'll work hard to meet the expectations and demands of the SpeedGrade users new and old.

Brian Buongiorno
Tone Visuals


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Greg Andonian
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 5:33:49 am

I'm glad to see Adobe adding color grading to their suite of tools, but Speedgrade won't be very appealing to me until they get it connected to Premiere through Dynamic Link. Apparently right now the only way to get there is via EDL, or by expporting to a DPX sequence, which doesn't sound appealing at all- aren't those things like 8 megabytes per frame? :O

______________________________________________
"THAT'S our fail-safe point. Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Lance Bachelder
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 8:54:45 am

There is a send to Speedgrade command but it took quite a long time for a simple 3 clip test. Not sure how it would work with an actual edited reel.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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David Cherniack
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 11:49:49 am

[Lance Bachelder] "There is a send to Speedgrade command but it took quite a long time for a simple 3 clip test. Not sure how it would work with an actual edited reel."

You'd use an EDL. Then Speedgrade accesses your material natively and virtually instantly.

Dynamic Linking with PrPro is clearly high on their Todo list.

I haven't had any experience with Resolve but I can see that the Speedgrade engine is a mighty speed demon that makes full use of the GPU on my geForce 470. I've also found the tracker to be highly intelligent, even amazingly so.

My take on it is that Adobe bought a software that is highly extensible and a brilliant team that wrote it. I think we'll see some great engineering from them.

David
AllinOneFilms.com


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Mike Molenda
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 2:23:26 pm

[David Cherniack] "Dynamic Linking with PrPro is clearly high on their Todo list."

I think that right there is the linchpin. Speedgrade needs a niche to fill.

If you're working exclusively in SD/HD, it's foolish not to at least have a copy of Resolve Lite installed on your system, if it can support it. And if you regularly work with 2K/4K source material, you're getting your money's worth out of a full Resolve setup (or Baselight, or Scratch, depending on the work you're doing). And the process for getting a PPro sequence into Resolve is remarkably similar to getting it into Speedgrade.

If you only need functional color correction for quick-turnaround workflows, Colorista, Color Finesse, or even the built-in 3-way are going to have you covered. No external CC necessary.

Speedgrade will be most useful when roundtripping a sequence or group of clips is as painless as roundtripping to After Effects. I think that's its niche, a full-functioning grading suite that integrates seamlessly into the Creative Suite "ecosystem." And it's not quite there yet.

Still, it's probably my favorite addition to the CS6 suite so far. I'm glad Adobe took the route of adding an external grading application. There's something very "Zen" about locking your picture and jumping into a dedicated grading suite. You're totally focused on the task at hand, not thinking about whether you still need to trim a few frames off that clip, or if the levels on that music could stand to be brought down a bit.

And you avoid the "drag-drop-copy-paste" operation inherent to internal effect-based color correction. Something that I find speeds up my work quite significantly.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 11:53:36 am

When you use the Send To SG command, Premiere renders a set of intermmediate, uncompressed DPX files first. The reason it does this is because both Premiere and SG accept various native codecs, but not the same ones. DPX mainatins the quality. That's a temporary solution as a result of the short turnaround time between the IRIDAS acquisition and the CS6 launch. For now, it will be faster to export an EDL and link to the files in SG.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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David Jahns
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 3:32:51 pm

2 things it definitely needs before CS6 can be a FC Studio replacement.

1) Dynamic Link from Ppro

2) Mercury Transmit - video out to your I/O card on the Mac.

I understand that it's a new acquisition, etc., and it will probably be great by CS7 - but it still amazes me that it will just then be reaching the functionality of FC Studio circa 2007. (yeah - Color was pretty buggy way back then - but still - I could round trip to my NLE and output to a calibrated monitor - is that asking too much?

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 5:02:08 pm

[David Jahns] "2 things it definitely needs before CS6 can be a FC Studio replacement.

1) Dynamic Link from Ppro

2) Mercury Transmit - video out to your I/O card on the Mac.

I understand that it's a new acquisition, etc., and it will probably be great by CS7 - but it still amazes me that it will just then be reaching the functionality of FC Studio circa 2007. (yeah - Color was pretty buggy way back then - but still - I could round trip to my NLE and output to a calibrated monitor - is that asking too much?"


Agree that these two things are the two that will impede adoption during the CS6 cycle.

As an insider to Adobe, you cannot dismiss that 6 months is precious little time to get what we did done. I can tell you that as a field person, I was amazed at all the cool stuff they did do. In the CS6 cycle, they completed their move to a brand new 64-bit engine, took some cues from Adobe's UI design (including layers) and incorporated a first pass at integration. In addition, the AE and PS teams got the .LOOK file incorporated. So, I'm pretty happy given that there was so little time.

That said, we KNOW we need to do a lot more to make it as Adobe users have come to expect - best of breed integration both internally and externally. We'll get there, just give us a little time.

Finally, while I admit my comparative ignorance around the speedgrade tool, I will say that feedback about stability has been very positive. That's one thing that if you don't have, no amount of integration is going to help!

Dennis - Adobe guy


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William Edwards
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 6:27:30 pm

Is it not possible to go from a Thunderbolt connection out to something like an Ultrastudio 3D Blackmagic to SDI connection into a calibrated monitor?

Or does that calibrated monitor have to have a thunderbolt connection directly from the computer?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 6:44:19 pm

[William Edwards] "Is it not possible to go from a Thunderbolt connection out to something like an Ultrastudio 3D Blackmagic to SDI connection into a calibrated monitor?"

I don't think so. AFAIK, SG is designed to send the UI to one display and a video signal out through the SDI port of an NVIDIA card with internal SDI outputs. That's the same thing Assimilate has done with Scratch, but something Apple has never supported.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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David Jahns
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 15, 2012 at 6:48:29 pm

As I understand it, SG does NOT talk to the Mercury Transmit module, which is what gets sent out to the KONA/BM card - via either PCI or Thunderbolt...

In it's current form, the only way to go out to a proper monitor via SDI is to use a Windows system, and to have a 2nd NVIDIA graphics card with SDI output on the card.

David Jahns
---
Joint Editorial
Portland, OR


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 16, 2012 at 10:46:00 am

For CS6, SpeedGrade needs an NVIDIA SDI board to monitor output. Given it's past pedigree in film workflows, this wasn't a big deal, but as we bring SpeedGrade to a wider audience (like now), this is a huge issue.

We know we need to address this.

For what it's worth, I love the NVIDIA guys and products but I've been very upfront with them that their SDI board is too expensive. If they had an i/o board that was $1500 more or less, then you guys could have a monitoring solution and CUDA acceleration in a single solution. That would be nice.

Dennis


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Mike Molenda
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 17, 2012 at 3:40:34 pm

I think one of the great things Apple did with Color, and is missing from SG, is the ease of roundtripping.

You hit "Send to Color" and an XML was generated for you, brought into Color, and connected to your original media. Start your grading right away, no fuss, no muss. When you were done grading, you rendered, hit "Send to Final Cut Pro," and your sequence was magically right back in Final Cut, with your correction applied. If nothing went wrong during the process, that is.

Even though Color was kind of a leap out of the comfort zone for FCS users, it never felt like Apple was sending you too far out into the woods. Sending an EDL to SpeedGrade feels a whole lot like the conform process in Resolve, and I feel like that's going to be a turnoff for a lot of new users. But people seem to be flocking to Resolve Lite, so what do I know?

I've done a decent amount of work in Color, and a bit in Resolve Lite. So far there is nothing too unusual about the way SpeedGrade works in comparison to these applications. From a colorist's perspective, everything either makes sense, or you can at least understand the thought process behind it.

Most of the work I do ends up distributed over the web, so the lack of broadcast monitoring isn't a huge deal-breaker for me. If I need a calibrated monitor, it's usually in a situation where it makes sense to pay for use of someone's grading suite for a day or two (or exchange an in-kind favor). But I can see how this is going to limit SpeedGrade's day-to-day usability for a whole lot of people, especially given the limited number of I/O devices it can talk to.


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Michael Gissing
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 18, 2012 at 9:31:09 am

I thought the PPro send to SG worked. EDL is an alternate from the videos I have seen. Not got my hands on the software trial yet so can't say for sure.

Also from what I hear dynamic linking with SG and Pr will be implemented soonish so it will be more integrated round tripping than FCP and Color managed, much like AE is now.


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Mike Molenda
Re: Any IRIDAS Speedgrade users care to weigh in?
on May 18, 2012 at 1:40:10 pm

I should clarify. Send to SpeedGrade does work, and is pretty foolproof. However, the way it works is not ideal for every project.

It renders your sequence out to DPX first, and sends that to SpeedGrade. So there's some waiting, and arguably a significant amount of disk space needlessly eaten up. Final Cut Send to Color outputs an XML, and then relinks your original footage in Color automagically. Using your original footage is the key here. Which is what using an EDL does and Dynamic Link would do.

And the EDL workflow in SG is pretty smooth after you get used to it. If your clips are not all in the same directory, the reel loading process will take you some time, but it's not too bad.

But getting your graded sequence from SpeedGrade back into Premiere is no picnic. Again, this was something FCP/Color handled for you. The only solutions I've been able to figure out so far:

A) Render, Reconstruct a timeline with your graded media in SG, Export EDL. But this is dependent on rendering with the "position in sequence" TC option, or adding the clip number to the head of the clip filenames. Rendering your clips with handles is out of the question here, too.

B) Render, Reconstruct your sequence in Premiere. Again dependent on sequence TC and/or clip order naming.

C) Render, Duplicate Premiere project, Relink to graded online media. This one is dependent on using the "source" TC option, and maintaining the original clip filenames. Seems like it could easily fall apart with duplicate timecodes, say from a DSLR, or if the clips lack unique filenames, like footage from Panasonic AVCHD cameras.

I am also stuck on the export options themselves. I'm using a 2 minute, 58 second long test sequence. Every clip is coming out as 2:58 long (the exact length of the sequence), where it will hold on the first frame of the clip until it gets to that clip's position in the timeline, then it will play through the clip, then it will hold on the last frame of the clip for the remainder of the 2:58.

I think I was able to solve this on the demo version, and get my renders to export at the proper clip length. Can't seem to remember the setting or whatever I used now that I've installed the full version.

Also can't figure out for the life of me how to add handles to the graded clips. That option is grayed out by default.

If anyone's curious, I've been making my way through the manual here on Adobe's site:
http://helpx.adobe.com/speedgrade/topics.html
But it is still kind of incomplete, and missing a lot of specifics.

I posted about SpeedGrade in another thread, and was also pointed to the old IRIDAS manual by the Adobe SG Engineering Manager / Founder of IRIDAS. Because this is Adobe, and if you have a technical problem, the friggin' project lead will track you down and answer you personally. :) You can find it here:
http://doc.iridas.com/index.php/Category:SpeedGrade


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