Video Grading? A little extra for VSCO Film Lightroom 4.

We've had a number of people ask how they can use VSCO Film with video. Using VSCO Film with video is very similar to using it with JPEG files, with a few big differences. Here's some instructions for those of you who want to try it out.

 

01- Edit videos in Library mode

02- Use the Quick Develop Panel to make basic adjustments

03- Access VSCO Film Standard Presets through the Saved Preset menu

04- Use the Contrast controls or the “JPEG Contrast Fixer” Tool

05- Holding down the Option/Alt key changes Vibrance to Saturation 

 

First of all, like JPEGs, only the Standard version of VSCO Film should be used with video. The Pro versions are built around custom camera profiles for RAW files that are not useable with video files, even from cameras who's RAW files are supported. The Standard version is found in the VSCO Film Pack 01 for Adobe Lightroom 4.

Secondly, video files can only be manipulated through the Library Panel in Lightroom. There is no access to any controls in Develop Mode. Open up the Quick Develop Panel in the Library Panel and use the up and down buttons to make basic adjustments. The VSCO Film Standard presets can be accessed and applied through the "Saved Preset" menu in the Quick Develop panel. 

Third, be aware that the Standard version of VSCO Film is intended for RAW files, which are completely "neutral". Video files have the same in-camera processing that in-camera JPEG's have, which usually includes contrast and color adjustments. Often these underlying adjustments combined with the adjustments made by the VSCO Film Standard presets compound into an over-contrasted look. Thus, use either the "JPEG Contrast Fixer" toolkit preset or turn contrast down using the contrast buttons in the quick develop panel. You may also find that using a more neutral profile in-camera and/or turning the contrast down before shooting video clips helps.

Lastly, not all of the adjustments available with JPEG and RAW files are available for video in LR4. Following is a list of the controls that are not available. Any aspects of VSCO Film that utilize these tools will NOT work with video:

Highlights

Shadows

Clarity

Sharpening

Local Adjustments

Noise Reduction

Lens Corrections

Effects (Grain, Post Crop, Vignette)

Spot Removal

Crop, Straighten Tool

 

Here is a suggested workflow:

1. Import your footage directly into Lightroom 4.

2. Apply VSCO Film Standard presets. Then make any necessary adjustments in the Quick Develop panel.

3. Export clips from Lightroom. (This will take a while, possibly several hours.)

4. Import graded clips into NLE (Premiere, FCP, etc) of choice.

 

Compression note: LR4 compresses video footage. Once it’s been graded, you may find it useful to transcode footage to Apple ProRes for easier editing in the timeline as compressed formats sometimes don't preview smoothly in editors.

 

The short film below is an example of a video graded with VSCO Film for Lightroom 4.