How to Grade S-Log2 using Adobe Speedgrade: A Complete Walkthrough

I’ve shown you how to expose S-Log2 in the Sony A7s for best results, and I’ve also reviewed Catalyst Browse, a software that will help you create LUTs for it.

In this video, I’ll walk you through my grading process. Here’s what I’ll be covering:

  • How to bring clips to a certain ‘level’.
  • How to grade S-Log2 while keeping the filmic look and the intended vision.
  • Finally, how to match clips so they all look like they belong in the same sequence.

 
Note: Before you watch the video, please note that I’m not a colorist. I make no claims to the quality of the color grade. I’m pretty sure any half decent colorist can do a better job than I did. What I can show you is how to overcome the technical obstacle of grading S-Log2, so you never have to be afraid of it again.

Enjoy:

Here are the steps:

  • Make sure you grade in a 32-bit environment.
  • Use Offset and Gain (or Lift/Gain) to work with the shadows and highlights
  • Use the RGB parade to correctly white balance the shots.
  • Adjust saturation and local settings (Offset/Lift/Gamma/Gain/Curves/Levels) to match clips.
  • Apply a LUT or Look or color grade – whatever you prefer. I prefer the latter. I don’t like using LUTs or Looks.
  • Use masks/power windows and tracking (if necessary) to enhance your grade.
  • Always view your grades in 100%.
  • Playback your sequence to see if it all ties in well.
  • Give your eyes some rest. A good night’s worth of sleep is the secret ingredient!

 

Once you’re happy with your grade, it’s time to look at noise reduction and sharpening. This is purely a subjective matter. If you’ve exposed correctly, the noise is aesthetically pleasing!

Please tell me what you think. I’m also looking to improve my grading skills, you know!