Adobe Premiere Pro CC's Lumetri Color Tool: Gamechanger
COW Library : Adobe Premiere Pro : Walter Biscardi : Adobe Premiere Pro CC's Lumetri Color Tool: Gamechanger
Adobe has taken the wraps off their latest version of Adobe Premiere Pro to be shown at NAB Show 2015 and like all of their releases since CS6 (when I came onboard to the Adobe product line), they are consistently getting "the little things" right. Listening to the end users and bringing to bear a lot of wonderful new toolsets but at the same time improving upon efficiency by tweaking little things throughout the interface. The tool keeps moving forward with enhancements yet doesn't completely disrupt the collaborative workflow. In fact they are continuing the path of getting the technology out of our way so we can just get to creating and creating more efficiently.
Now there are a lot of overview articles coming forth so instead of telling you everything about the new Premiere Pro, I'm zeroing in on one tool that for me changes everything about the way we'll use the tool moving forward. The Lumetri Color Tool. The SpeedGrade purchase really starts to pay dividends for editors now.
But first a minor "little thing" that sets up the "big" little thing.
This article is short on words, but big on images because after all, that's what you really want to see here.
Click any of the images for a larger version.
The new interface looks very similar to what you're used to except at the very top.
Quick workspace tabs have been added allowing us to quick change between Workspaces without having to go to the dropdown menu and the workspaces have been re-designed to make them more useful.
Effects Workspace and you get the idea, I'm not going to show you all of them.
And yes you can save your own, they show up right there in the header and it's easy to manage your workspaces too.
So that's the little thing, nice touch to make it easy to switch workspaces which we do a lot depending on what we're doing and very easy to manage the workspaces. Which leads to the "big" little thing. The Color Workspace.
You see the Scopes on the left and the control panels on the right for Lumetri Color? It really looks like it's ready to go, right? Well that's because it is. Once you drop into the color workspace, the new Lumetri Color grading tool is active and ready to go. If you want to start color grading your clip, simply start making adjustments in the Lumetri Color panel. Premiere Pro automatically applies the effect to your clip.
Yep, no more Drag Filter, open the Effects and start grading. Now it's just start grading.
Here's the Lumetri Color control panel. It's very simple and you don't need a whole of explanation to start using it. Simply click any tab to open the sets of controls. When you click another tab, the other closes down so you're always working with one tab at a time, no more dragging up and down to see all the color tools.
Basic Correction Tab, exactly what you'd expect. Notice you can input LUTs here too.
Creative Tab. Some tinting / saturation / vibrance controls and more.
Curves, which includes a really cool Hue Saturation Curve wheel. More on that shortly.
Color Wheels. Clean and they really work, oh they work so well, thank you Adobe engineers, coders and whomever else is responsible for these.
Vignette. Can create both bright and dark vignettes with a lot of controls.
LUMETRI COLOR PANEL
The entire Lumetri Color control panel is brilliantly designed and super efficient. Many tools brought together in one place but no more twirling down triangles to see more tools and then having to scroll down to see what you're doing and then manually closing the triangles up to make more room to see what you're doing. Just the little touch of automatically closing the tabs as you switch to another tool is a huge time saver when you're color grading an entire timeline.
This is a HUGE step forward for now efficiently apply color grading and looks to your projects within Premiere Pro and without having to use third party tools. Oh and anything you create in Premiere Pro will follow over to SpeedGrade too.
Okay, enough words, here's some examples of playing with the tool.
You see we have a Pen icon right under Lumetri color so we can draw free-form masks and multiple masks on the clips.
Mask draw on the glass of chimichurri with some feathering and then I just brightened it a bit as an example. Simple right?
Here's a nice bar shot from our original series "Fork U" shot in UHD 4k. Just boosting the shadows a bit in the Basic Correction controls.
In the Creative Panel, I'm going to play a little with the Shadow and Highlight Tints. You see the Tint Wheels have empty centers right now. That means nothing has been applied. When I click in the middle of those circles and start dragging my mouse, the circles will fill in telling me tinting has been applied. Nothing to turn on or off, it just "does."
Tint Wheels are filled in telling me I've done something and I've added some warmth to both the shadows and highlights.
NOW THE FUN REALLY STARTS
Now the fun really starts. Curves and that cool Hue Saturation Curve wheel too. I've adjusted the blue and red curves a bit to further refine the color. Honestly I'm using too many controls in this example, but just showing you what a lot of this stuff does.
And that fun little Hue Saturation Curve Wheel. Simply grabbing that white circle will increase and decrease saturation globally.
But notice the little color dots below the wheel. Click any (or multiple) color dots and mask points appear on the white circle where the color appears in the spectrum. Can you guess what I can do now?
How about isolating a color as easy as this? Stretch out the greens to maximum and pull back the rest of the color wheel to minimum. Now the sports fields on the TV are there but everything else is black and white. Yeah, pretty sweet and of course you can use this same principal to simply enhance or knock down colors.
Ok, I reset the Hue Wheel but knocked down the saturation just a touch, let's look at the Color Wheels, the REAL color wheels finally!
As before, the wheels will have a hole in the middle if no changes are made. Once you make a change, they fill in. Beautifully simple to know whether I've made any changes. Here I've raised the midtones and made an adjustment to the tint as well. Just having fun, the shadows and highlights work beautifully too.
The Vignette allows you multiple directions with dark, light and also the roundness of the mask itself. Here's a bright vignette.
The Dark Vignette and some variation on the roundness and feather. For comparison, the original shot at the bottom.
To Reset most of the parameters for Lumetri Color you do that in the traditional Effects Controls Window. And in fact, you can operate the entire tool here if you so choose, everything is here ready to go.
BEFORE AND AFTER
Here's a few more Before / After shots that I played with in Lumetri Color.
COLOR ME HAPPY
In my testing I have found the tool very snappy and responsive. I tested on a base MacBook Air running HD footage via a USB3 drive and on a 2 year old 27" iMac again with a USB3 drive and 4k UHD footage.
I really don't like the words "Game Changer" because they are tossed around every year by just about every company at NAB. But for editors, I think does apply to PPro and the Lumetri Color tool. I've been asking for improved on-board color grading tools since I made the switch to Premiere Pro 3 years ago and have been waiting to see when the SpeedGrade purchase would pay big dividends for editors.
This is super simple for any editor to operate. Once again, Adobe nails the "little thing" of giving us a very powerful tool that is incredibly simple and efficient to operate. What good is a super powerful "new thing" if you can't figure out how to use it?
This will truly change the way we operate in editorial and color grading.