Grade Controls

With Livegrade Pro you can interactively change the color appearance of live signals. The processing of the image is in general not performed within the computer, but with the use of external processing devices such as LUT boxes, cameras systems, or monitors.

Livegrade Pro’s color grading feature focus on primary color correction transforms (e.g. ASC-CDL, 3D and 1D LUT and curve editor). For these transforms typical controls are available and grouped in the user interface as “nodes”.

For most of the attached devices such as LUT boxes, the transforms of all nodes are combined into one transform whenever you change anything in the grade. That transform is then automatically converted into a 3D LUT and sent to the device, often multiple times per second – as long as you modify the controls, such as turning a knob.

With some devices such as cameras, ASC-CDL values and lookup tables are updated independently in the camera.

The automatic and continuous update of the attached device allows interactive look control and fine adjustments of the appearance of the live image.

Livegrade Pro’s grade controls


The grade controls for the currently selected slot are grouped in “nodes”. A node can for example contain controls for a ASC-CDL transform, or for loading  a 3D LUT preset. Nodes are applied to the live signal from top to bottom, the top node is applied first, and the following nodes subsequently. If the grade node is reset or freshly added, it doesn’t affect the image. Change the controls of a node to give the node effect to the image. Each control or group of controls in grade nodes has a button with a little arrow that resets the controls.

You can enable and disable single nodes by using the checkbox on the left of each node. Disabled nodes are greyed out.

Nodes can have names. Click on the small pen symbol that appears when you move the mouse over the column on the left of each node. You can use names to better identify nodes with different roles (e.g., “pre LUT” and “post LUT”). Node names are also used when applying node presets from the look library for identifying nodes to be updated.

Note: Grade controls can be invisible, if the entire slot and control area is minimized in height. Drag the bar above the grade controls or the slots in order to make space for displaying grade controls.
The video scopes have a minimum height that also influences the minimum height of the grade controls. Open the scopes in a separate window or hide the video scopes in order to resize the grade controls to smaller height.

Grading mode control:

Livegrade Pro comes with a set of grading modes, targeted to different color pipelines. There are basically four different groups of grading modes:

  • ASC-CDL + 3D LUT modes, (typical color pipelines for a broad range of cameras and projects)
  • ACES modes (for use in projects that choose the ACES pipeline),
  • device specific modes (targeted to the capabilities of certain devices), and
  • freestyle modes (without any limitations in color pipeline, but reduced compatibility).

With some grading modes you can edit the list of used nodes in the grade controls. An “Edit” button appears in the bar with the grading mode if the grading mode allows modification of the grade nodes. For example in the “CDL Advanced” mode you can add more grade nodes, e.g. for additional 3D LUTs or ASC-CDL nodes.

Note: In order to match looks with clips for dailies creation and create the same color appearance on dailies as on the live image, it is needed to coordinate the grade mode and the node pipeline with the dailies creation process.

Look name:

When creating a look preset in the look library or a shot entry in the shot library, a look name will be added. You can prepare and edit this look name in the look name field of the grade controls.

Look display modes:

In a slot you can switch between different look display modes. Look display modes temporarily enable and disable specific grade nodes:

  • Graded: All nodes are enabled. The result image shows the original image with all nodes applied.
  • Bypass: Only 3D and 1D LUT nodes are enabled. The result image shows the original image with only these nodes applied, this will result in a “neutral” image.
  • Original: All nodes are disabled. The result image shows the original image with no nodes applied.

Disabled nodes are greyed out.

With the “False Color” control you can enable and disable the false color mode. The false color mode is always applied to the current result image.

Each slot also has controls to switch look display modes in the slot user interface.

Reset look:

With the reset look controls you can reset a look. “Neutral” clears and resets all nodes. “Reset colors” leaves 3D and 1D LUT nodes untouched and only clears all other nodes such as ASC-CDL nodes.

Video scopes:

The video scopes panel offers histogram, waveform, and vectorscope inspection tools with individual settings. The video scopes show the analysis of the current image of a slot with the current grade nodes applied.

The histogram and vectorscope also include a curve overlay that display the result curve of the combined transforms of all active grade nodes in the slot. The result curve is always shown, also when there is no current image available in a slot.

You can show and hide the video scopes from the main menu and from the toolbar. You can open the video scopes in a separate window by clicking on the “Toggle Windowed / Docked View” button in the bar above the video scopes.

Configure video scopes:

To switch between different types and combinations of video scopes choose the controls in the bar above the video scopes.

You can configure the update frequency of the video scopes from the wedge menu in the bar above the video scopes. The update frequency can have an impact on CPU use of your computer. Lower update frequency (e.g. less updates per second) lead to less CPU usage.

Building your skills?

This article is part of a series on the essentials of working with Livegrade Pro. Keep learning:
  1. Media Folders and Record Folder
  2. The Image Viewer
  3. Exporting Shot Information
  4. The Device Manager
  5. Slot User Interface
  6. Grade Controls
  7. The Main Screen
  8. Basic Hardware Setup