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Color Grading Workflow

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Kurt LarsonColor Grading Workflow
by on Mar 18, 2011 at 8:20:59 am

Alright so I just got cs5 premiere pro and after effects. I edited all my stuff in premiere and am ready to grade, but I want to grade in after affects. Dont ask me why i just like the workspace and it seems to show me the real color of the footage I am grading where as premiere seems to add some contrast in its playback. Whats the best way to get my whole edited thing into after effects using dynamic link? That way my grades instantly update in premiere. As of now it seems like I have to make a completely new after effects comp for every shot. I have over 300 cuts so this is not the most conveniant way.

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Color Grading Workflow
by on Mar 18, 2011 at 11:18:02 am

If your edit is done, which it should before coloring, you can import your PPro and get the whole timeline in one comp. However, I think that it is best to grade each shot individually.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Kurt LarsonRe: Color Grading Workflow
by on Mar 18, 2011 at 5:12:15 pm

Thank you guys for the replys. I'll start with Ted. Yes my video is fully edited. I know of a way to bring in entire timelines, but I would like to take advantage of the adobe dynamic link system, so my grades update instantaniously in PPro.

Walter unfortunitly I am an ametuer and a student. Resolve is out of my price range, and I'm on a PC so color is out as well. For grading I am using Colorista II. A very powerful grading solution for the cheap mans computer. The thing is with that plugin, it can take advantage of after effects because it can use its custom wheels and gizmos. After effects is not the most efficiant workflow for grading, but it's the best I got.

Again thank you both for your replys. Hopefully I can find a solid workflow.

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Walter SoykaRe: Color Grading Workflow
by on Mar 18, 2011 at 4:38:44 pm

There have been a couple posts about grading in AE in the last week. While I'm the first to treat AE as a the Swiss Army knife of video, I really don't see the appeal of using it for grading. AE's toolset is designed for compositing multiple layers -- not handling multiple shots.

A real color grading tool like Color or Resolve -- or even the coloring tools available within most NLEs -- will offer you a toolset built to deal with multiple shots, and far smoother workflow, especially if any editorial changes are required after picture lock.

It's true that AE has color management and PPro does not, but unless your monitor is well-calibrated, that won't matter. You should be grading on a real video monitor, anyway.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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