What Changed in LiveGrade Pro v4? 11 min read

LiveGrade Pro v4 comes with a lot of new features and improvements. In order to get you started quickly with LiveGrade Pro v4 and give you a smooth transition from LiveGrade Pro v3, this article gives you an in-depth overview of the most important changes.


TLDR: If you don’t want to go through all the changes in detail, here is a short summary of the most important ones:

New slot bar: Devices, preview image and metadata per camera is organized in a slot. All slots are visible in the new horizontal slot bar. Slot bar is configurable in size.

Shot library: What has been the look library is now the shot library. Has more columns. Look presets have an extra place.

Video Scopes: Waveform, histogram and vector scopes, all with settings.

Preparing metadata: You can enter slate info and other information before the action. Metadata can be filled from live ANC data from camera signals.

Custom keyboard shortcuts: LiveGrade Pro v4 has new keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts can be customized. You can restore keyboard shortcuts from v3.

New UI configurations: “Color”, “Metadata”, and “Browser”

Also check the main menu for new features.


This article covers the following topics in detail:

Slot bar

The most noticeable change in LiveGrade Pro is probably the new, horizontal slot bar in the main window. This slot bar is the place for the new metadata features, and gives an overview of the configured camera slots with its devices. In the device manager (accessible via the “Devices…” button above the slots) you can add new slots (the number is not limited), and change the device configuration for the slots.

LiveGrade Pro’s new slot bar

The display of the slot bar can be configured in three modes: As tabs only, with preview image, and with an additional metadata table (with the segmented control above the slot bar).

The preview image shows the last frame grab or the live image (it will also indicate the display of a reference in split view mode). You can configure the width of the slots for different sizes of the preview image via the gear menu above the slots.

Each slot contains buttons for the the most important actions. You can

  • create new entries in the shot library for an individual slot or all slots at the same time,
  • switch between viewing modes (graded vs. original, false color),
  • manually update framegrabs (if a capable device is configured for that slot), and
  • save the slot’s current image to disk as a still image file.

The slot also shows the list of devices used in this slot as small icons below the preview image.

When fully expanded, the slot shows a table of metadata fields for entering and monitoring metadata. These metadata fields are generally editable. A lot of them can also be filled automatically from ANC metadata of the captured live signal if a capture devices is configured.

The metadata in these fields can be used to create a shot report over time, as it is stored in LiveGrade Pro’s shot library.

Depending on your screen size you can configure the number of rows to be shown (via the gear menu above the slots).

The slot bar also holds a section for global metadata that refers to all slots.

Live metadata and editing metadata

For a lot of situations on set the information for the next shot (such as slate information and camera settings) is available in advance. In order to keep your eyes on the action while it happens, the slot bar allows to prepare all necessary metadata by editing it before the action happens.

LiveGrade Pro distinguishes between slot-related metadata (unique to one camera, such as focus distance) and global metadata (concerning the entire shot, such as scene name).

Slot-related metadata fields for a shot

For quickly editing individual fields you can jump from one editable field to the next with the “Tab” key, and there are even keyboard shortcuts for directly editing the metadata of a certain slot (in the “Slots” menu).

You can configure which fields you want to see in the metadata table from the metadata menu accessible in the header area of each slot. This menu can act as a quick overview of metadata, and can be opened from the main menu or with a keyboard shortcut. It can be closed with the “ESC” key at any time.

There are fields for recording information (e.g. clip name, fps), exposure information (e.g. IE, white balance) and lens information (if available through the camera via Cooke /i or ARRI LDS).

In order to pre-fill fields from live camera metadata being captured in the ANC data of the camera signal, you need to have a capture device configured in that slot. The live metadata in the live signal differs from vendor to vendor, so in the capture device dialog you can set the type of camera you want to use. All fields with live metadata can also be switched to be edited manually. Live metadata is currently supported for Panasonic (e.g. Varicam LT), Sony (e.g. F55) and ARRI cameras (e.g. Alexa).

The quick entry panel from LiveGrade Pro v3 for entering metadata is still available. It is shown when the slot bar’s metadata tables are hidden and you create a new shot (“Create Shot” from the “Shot Library” menu). You can also always or never show the quick entry panel with different menu entries in the “Shot Library” menu.

In order to learn more about the new metadata capabilities of LiveGrade Pro you can also take a look at our blog post that covers this topic in detail.

Shots

In LiveGrade Pro v3 the rows in the library have been representing “Looks”, with aspects of look presets mixed with aspects of a production history of looks. In LiveGrade Pro v4 all information from a slot is stored in LiveGrade Pro’s library as one “Shot” (as one row in the shot table). This table is now called the “shot library” in LiveGrade Pro’s v4.

The shot library with bin and folder outline

Shots are stored in bins, and bins can be grouped in folders. You can organize folders within folders to create a project hierarchy, similarly to Silverstack. Selection of bins and folders behaves recursively: Selecting a folder shows the shots of all the bins and folders in the selected folder.

The primary actions for lists of shots are:

  • Export look metadata of selected shots as CDLs or lookup tables
  • Create shot reports as PDF from a bin or folder
  • Export a bin or folder to Silverstack’s automatic look matching feature.

The primary actions for single shots are:

  • Apply the shot’s attached look of a selected shot to the current slot
  • Use the shot’s attached still frame or movie clip as a reference (e.g. split screen) in the current slot
  • Output the shot’s attached still frame or movie clip to HD-SDI (either in the current slot or permanently in the library slot)

All actions are available through context menus (right-click) or main menu entries / keyboard shortcuts. PDF reports are now customizable, the selection of columns in the report follows the selection of columns in the shot library.

Shot info panel and look presets

The right panel besides the shot library has three tabs: One for the shot details, one for look presets, and one for the history.

The Shot Info shows detailed information about the currently selected shot and a preview image. You can resize the preview image by resizing the right panel.

Shot info details and look presets

The tab for look presets allows you to store looks presets for later reuse. To create new look presets based on the grade of the current slot, click the “+” button besides above the “Looks” area. To create a look preset from a stored shot, drag the shot to the “Looks” area. To apply a look preset to the current slot, double click it. You can manage look presets in bins and folders the same way as you can manage shots.

Video scopes

LiveGrade Pro comes with a set of typical video scope tools: Waveform, histogram and vector scopes. You can switch between different selections of tools in the List above the scopes area.

Video scopes with settings

You can show and hide the scopes area with the “Scopes” button in the toolbar. You can also “undock” the scopes area from the main window by clicking the window button on the right on top of the scopes area. Each tool comes with its own settings. The settings are accessible from the gear button besides the tool selection above the scopes area.

The scopes always process the image currently shown in the selected slot. This can be a still frame as well as a live captured signal.

The video scopes in LiveGrade Pro always analyze the currently processed image. In order to see scopes of the original image, switch to the “Original” viewing mode for the slot.

The waveform panel shows also a RGB curve of the resulting color transform. It represents the curve of all combined transforms including 3D LUTs and CDL transforms. You can disable the result curve in the Settings panel of the scopes.

UI configurations

To make it easier to navigate the application for certain purposes, LiveGrade Pro version 4 introduces three UI configurations, that are easily accessible from the toolbar (most right three buttons).

UI configurations are “Color” for grading (color wheels visible, look presets shown), “Metadata” for entering and monitoring live shot metadata (metadata overview expanded), and “Browser” for inspecting shots stored in the shot library (color wheels and lot metadata hidden, shot details shown).

Keyboard shortcuts

LiveGrade Pro’s main menu contains a comprehensive list of actions. In LiveGrade Pro v4 some keyboard shortcuts changed, in order to make the primary actions of LiveGrade Pro easier (most of them are now accessible without modifier keys).

Custom keyboard shortcuts editor

You can customize the keyboard shortcuts in LiveGrade Pro v4 and set a custom keyboard shortcut for every entry of the main menu, also for entries that don’t have a shortcut yet. The keyboard shortcuts can be edited with “Keyboard Shortcuts” in the “LiveGrade Pro” menu.

If you are already very familiar with the keyboard shortcuts in LiveGrade Pro v3 and want to stick with them, you can also restore the keyboard shortcuts from LiveGrade Pro v3 in the keyboard shortcuts editing dialog.

Library slot

There is a new way for inspecting stored shots in LiveGrade Pro, the “Library Slot”. The library slot is an extra slot (hidden on default), that can be used to load a shot into. There are two main use cases for that:

A) Compare the look of a stored shot with the current look of a device slot

B) Permanently set the HD-SDI output to a certain shot’s frame grab

In order to un-hide (and hide) the library slot, you can choose “View” menu -> “Show Library Slot”.

The library slot for “pinning” reference stills to the HD-SDI output

To load the selected shot into the library slot you can use the “Load” button in the toolbar. It also un-hides the library slot if it is hidden. You can also drag a shot from the shots table to the preview image of the library slot. When a shot is loaded into the library slot, you see an indicator in the shot table showing which shot is currently loaded. There is also a context menu entry on the shot rows as well as a main menu entry for that.

The library slot has a button with a pin that allows you to pin the output of the viewer and the HD-SDI output to this library slot. If the pin is active, you will see the loaded shot in the viewer and on HD-SDI output, no matter which slot is selected.

In order to quickly switch betten different stored shots in the library slot, use the arrow keys for navigating through the table (arrow up and down), and the keyboard shortcut for “Load” (default is “Y”).

New toolbar and main menu entries

LiveGrade Pro v4 adds a lot of new main menu entries for global access to features. So you can find out about new features of LiveGrade Pro v4 by exploring the main menu.

LiveGrade Pro’s toolbar

Preferences

For the new features LiveGrade Pro also got a few additional preference settings. Please also take a look at the preferences window for new options of customizing LiveGrade Pro’s behavior.

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About the Author
Patrick is a product manager for Pomfort's on-set applications. For his work at Pomfort he combines a technical background in software engineering with practical experience in digital film productions – and a preference for things that actually work.