Dailies Workflow with Assimilate Scratch

Using look information from set for the creation of dailies saves time and communication efforts. Scratch is a powerful and high performance software tool that helps you out to create dailies, additionally primary and secondary grading, sound syncing and much more. For additional information take a look at www.assimilateinc.com
This article provides you with  information about how to transfer your  pre-grades made with Livegrade on set to Asssimilate Scratch, to save you some extra time with creating dailies by the end of a hard day on set.

Note: There are  various approaches to apply a LUT & CDL grades in general, accordingly also in Assimilate Scratch. The steps below describe a typical DIT workflow, which we also recommend. 

This article describes a manual matching process, if you want to match grades in Scratch automatically you please see:

CDL Grade mode

Livegrade’s CDL-Grading mode lets you export ASC-CDL files of current color settings in Livegrade. These CDL files can be used in various dailies and post-production tools. To find out more about CDL please take a look on the ASC Society Website.

To transfer ASC-CDL files to Assimilate Scratch follow these steps:

1. Export ASC-CDL file from Livegrade

  • Choose “File” -> “Save current Grade as…” or “Save selected Grade as…” and save the .cdl file. You can open this file with a text editor and see the typical ASC-CDL XML syntax.
  • Hint: To automate matching of the CDL files with the clips you can use an automatic name scheme when exporting.

2. Export log-to-video LUT separately

  1. Set your grade to neutral (see figure 1.)
  2. Choose a camera preset or load a custom log-to-video 3D LUT
  3. Select “Export current Grade as 3D LUT” .
  4. In the “Save To” dialog menu choose  “Assimilate Scratch LUT” as the desired format.

Figure 1: “Set Look Up Table to Neutral”


Order of Operations

Note: To receive the desired result it is necessary to keep the same order of operations in Livegrade and Scratch. In our example the CDL Grade is applied before an Alexa Neutral 3D LUT camera preset like in figure 2. In this article we illustrate how to create this same order of operations in Scratch.

Figure 2: “Order first the CDL Grade then the 3D LUT”

Import ASC-CDL file in Scratch

At first you will apply a CDL look for every clip. Then you can add the log-to-video LUT in an Output Node for your whole construct, assuming you used the same 3D camera preset LUT in Livegrade. If you have different LUTs applied for different scenes you must apply the 3D LUT separately to every clip. Therefore you can use the copy & paste tool from Scratch. You can also apply  a CDL to every clip in you scratch construct by simply copy paste.

Set Color Settings with CDL file

  • Switch to your matrix tool set inside your desired CONstruct
  • Load the exported CDL from Livegrade by clicking load…
  • Select “CDL files (*.cdl)” at the bottom of the Open Dialog and navigate to the CDL file just saved in Livegrade.

Figure 3: “Select CDL”

Set 3d LUT if you use a 3d LUT Presets for log-to-video in output node

  • Switch from the Timeline to the Output mode like in figure 4.
  • Add a “Single Output” and enter the new node
  • Under the “FX Ctrls” hit “Insert” and add a new Plugin
  • From the “Plugin” Dialog choose your desired dailies output format
  • Switch to the “Matrix” with a right click
  • Load the exported 3d LUT or Camera preset from Livegrade by clicking load like in Figure 6
  • Set “3d LUT Formats” filter at the bottom of the Open Dialog
  • Select the desired .cube” file from Livegrade and press “Load”.
  • Hit the “Add to Queue” and switch back to your construct to start the Queue process by
    hitting the “Process” button to start the rendering of dailies

figure 4: “Output mode”


Figure 5: “Output Node View”


Figure 6: “Load exported .3dl file from Livegrade”

Alexa Look mode

Scratch does not support the import of Alexa Look files (xml) directly, but you can instead export a 3D LUT in Livegrade and then import it on a per-clip base into Scratch.

More information about the Livegrade’s Alexa Look grade mode.

Export 3D LUT from Livegrade

  • Make sure that you are in “Alexa Look” mode in Livegrade. Do so by switching the grading mode above the color controls or apply a grade from the grade library of the type “Alexa Look”

  • Select all the grades you want to export to Assimilate Scratch.
  • Choose “File” -> “Save current Grade as 3D LUT…” or “Save selected Grade as 3D LUT…” and save the grades as a “Scratch LUT File”  file.
  • Hint: To simplify matching of the 3D LUTs with the clips you can use an automatic name scheme when exporting.

Import LUT to Scratch

  • Switch to your matrix tool set inside your desired CONstruct and navigate to a certain clip
  • Load the exported LUT in Scratch by selecting “(*.3dl)” at the bottom of the Open Dialog and navigate to the LUT file which you just saved in Livegrade.


Apply to all your clips by using the Copy Paste Feature

  • If you use the same baked LUT for more than one clip you can use the copy/paste feature as follows in Figure 7 and 8.

Figure 7: “Load Baked Alexa 3D LUT from Livegrade”


Figure 8: “Copy Paste Feature to apply baked 3D Lut to other clips”