The SpeedGrade workflow consists of three main steps: load footage, color grade, and render out finished content.

Use the following tabs to perform the workflow:

  • Click the Media tab to access the Media Browser for loading footage
  • Click the Color tab to access the Monitor view for applying color grading
  • Click the Render tab to access the Output view for rendering out the completed project

All the tabs are available from the SpeedGrade main user interface.

Load footage

  1. Locate content using the Media Browser. Use the folder browser on the left side to navigate to the folder containing your content. Thumbnails of the clips appear in the Media Browser.

    If you have many clips, you can manage them as follows:

    • Sort alphabetically.
    • Sort by time code range, resolution, or date modified.
    • Filter to display only certain file types.
    • Search for specific filenames or filename extensions.
    Media Browser

  2. Add clips to the Timeline by double-clicking or dragging them to the Timeline.

    • Drag clips by their handles to reposition them on the Timeline.
    • Set in- and out-points and switch between Timeline views as you review or color grade your content
    • You can add up to nine separate playheads. See Compare frames with multiple playheads.
  3. If you want, load Edit Decision Lists (EDLs) on the Timeline. See Color grade a sequence.

    • To add an EDL, double-click the EDL in the Desktop view.
    • To add the clips to the EDL, choose Reels in the Timeline panel and click Load from Desktop.

Apply color grading

  1. Apply color correction to balance blacks and whites and to match shots. See Color grade a clip.

    • Apply primary color adjustments to the whole image, the shadows, the midtones, or the highlights.
    • Select color ranges to apply secondary color adjustments.
    • Use the waveform, histogram, and vectorscope to ensure accurate color adjustments, such as balancing blacks and highlights. 
    Look panel
  2. Use effects, film-style filters, and masks to design creative looks.

    • Add new grading layers to build your look.
    • Apply masks to individual layers, for example to create a vignette.
    • Add unlimited layers and reorder as required. Changes are applied non-destructively.
    • Each layer has its own opacity slider where its influence on the overall look can be adjusted.
  3. Match the color grading between two video shots using the Continuity Checker and Automatic Shotmatch features.

    • Quickly correct underexposed or overexposed footage by using another shot as reference.
    • Match the grading of an external image. For example, apply a color grade that you create in Adobe Photoshop to your video clip.

    For more information on these features, see Continuity Checker and Automatic Shotmatch.

  4. Animate masks or grades to match movement and changing light in your frames.

    • Add keyframes to your masks or grading tracks.
    • Adjust masks or grading at keyframe positions.
    • SpeedGrade animates transitions smoothly between keyframes.
  5. Save grades as Look files and apply those looks to footage. To apply a look to footage, select the footage and then click a Look file.

    • The Look file preserves all the layers and settings of the grade.
    • Click a Look file to apply it to selected footage on the Timeline.
    • Edit existing looks in the Look panel.
    • Export looks as LUTs for use in other applications or devices.

    The Look tab has a Look Management Browser to effectively organize, view, or minimize the Look presets that you save.

    Look Management Browser

  6. While working on a project, save your Timeline, including all clips and grading settings, as a SpeedGrade project.

    Press Ctrl+S (Windows) or Cmd+S (Macintosh) to bring up the Save Timeline As dialog box.

For help and tutorials, see Color grading.

Render out content

Render out content to create digital dailies for review, proxy media for offline editing, or masters for final delivery.

  1. Start with the content you want to render on the Timeline and click the Render tab to display the Output panel.

    Output panel
  2. Proceed from the top to the bottom of the panel to apply settings for your render.

    • Select a location and create a filename for the rendered content.
    • Choose output format and whether to include burn-in information. See Display burn-in information on frames.
    • Choose Online Quality for final masters or Offline Quality for proxies and dailies.

Special tools and workflows

Color spaces

Use Color Space Defaults for different file formats in the Timeline panel.

Automatically match cameras

Automatically calibrate cameras using Macbeth color chart test shots.

Pan & Scan

Add pan & scan tracks to your clips to reframe content. See Adjust the framing of shots with pan and scan.


Use the Crop tool to resize your frames.

Dynamic Quality

Use Dynamic Quality to accommodate viewing on displays with different resolutions.

Aspect ratio

Use the Aspect Ratio tool to display anamorphic content in a 1:1 aspect ratio.


Toggle the Burn-in tool to display or hide file information in your frames. See Display burn-in information on frames.

Format defaults for Alexa and RED

Select Alexa or RED format settings under the Format Default tab in the Timeline panel.


Activate stereo tools by checking the Stereo checkbox in the Timeline Setup panel. See Stereoscopic Workflows in SpeedGrade (Adobe TV video).

Scene Detection

Use Scene Detection to identify scene changes in archived material. See Detect scene changes (Help article) or Using Scene Change Detection in SpeedGrade (Adobe TV video).

Consolidate Reels

Create copies of the clips used in your project to save active storage space.

Save EDL

Export an EDL from a SpeedGrade project.


Add annotations to your clips, or to individual frames.

Audio Tracks

Add audio tracks to your footage from the Desktop.

See also