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Is Effectslab capable of "good" grading?

Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 1:02am

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No Degradation

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I want to get Effectslab, I downloaded the demo a week ago, and I liked that it included the grade engine with the effects. Is Effectslab capable of some pretty cool grading??? Don't mention that I should buy Visionlab or Compositelab, I need the effects, and the grading. Stock footage is cool, but not too good with customization. But will Effectslab still perform some pretty good grading? Like in the tutorial, (Tarn or Sollthar made), with the Beach film, how they made it look dreamlike, could I do something like that with Effectslab?
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 1:13am

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Axeman

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For more extreme, complex grading techniques, EffectsLab isn't going to be your best bet, but for basic grading, to improve your footage in general, it should be competent. Obviously there are lots of grading filters in CompositeLab and VisionLab that aren't included in EffectsLab, so you are much more limited as to what you can do, but there is still quite a bit that is possible with the filters that are included. Keep playing around with the demo and see what you can do with the tools it has.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 1:50am

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Terminal Velocity

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V&Clab will give you quicker and usually better results. However, with a lot--a LOT of work you can make Elab work for many of the others' factors. Some, like grain, can't be helped, but most can, I think.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 2:20am

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Biblmac

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Really Big Gun Studios wrote:

V&Clab will give you quicker and usually better results. However, with a lot--a LOT of work you can make Elab work for many of the others' factors. Some, like grain, can't be helped, but most can, I think.
I own Effects Lab Lite, (the old discontinued low version of Effects Lab Pro) and it doesn't take that much time, I can do some simple grading in a couple minutes, it doesn't take "a LOT of work," however you can't really do anything complex.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 3:33am

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Thrawn

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I knkow you don't want me to say "go buy compositelab/visionlab" but yeah, I'll say it anyways. Compositelab is a fantastic grading software, in addition to it's great compositing tools. Effectslab wasn't made for grading, so it's rather weak in that area of work. I'd say that most NLE's have equal grading capabilities as Effectslab, so I would recomend looking into your NLE's color correction system. While it's not nearly as powerful as Compositelab, it will suit your needs much better than Effectslab.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 3:44am

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Biblmac

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Thrawn wrote:

I knkow you don't want me to say "go buy compositelab/visionlab" but yeah, I'll say it anyways. Compositelab is a fantastic grading software, in addition to it's great compositing tools. Effectslab wasn't made for grading, so it's rather weak in that area of work. I'd say that most NLE's have equal grading capabilities as Effectslab, so I would recomend looking into your NLE's color correction system. While it's not nearly as powerful as Compositelab, it will suit your needs much better than Effectslab.
Agreed.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 5:30am

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ben3308

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If you're buying EffectsLab just for grading tools, you may be better off just using your NLE. It'll be just as - or perhaps better - in terms of color capabilities, and it'll be a smoother workflow all in one editing window.

Otherwise, if you're looking into advanced layer composition - not for keying/special fx but for grading - then CompositeLab and VisionLab are good tools for that. They also have fully-featured masking, so that's always a plus.

But for now, stick to your NLE. Not to take business away from FXhome, but save up more for one of their beefier programs; your NLE will work fine now for what you need to do.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 6:08am

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spydurhank

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I think he really needs the effects though.
Maybe he could use multiple grade filters to get the look he's going for?
I'm not sure what grading options effectslab has but multiple grade layers could in theory work for you. I don't really know but that's what I do sometimes when I'm playing around to get a certain look on my video.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 8:13am

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Atom

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If he's trying to achieve things with grading he doesn't need effects, spydurhank. The worst thing that could happen is that we misinform this guy.

My opinion on the whole matter? NLEs, Vegas specifically, can be had for so cheap these days and offer pretty awesome and easy-to-complex tools for color correction and grading.

Even in the lowest-end versions of Vegas, you get hundreds of filters and tools you can use to achieve pretty spiffy things very easily- all in the app you're editing in to begin with- a cheaper, faster, and more-convenient thing than VLab or CLab. Especially because it's already there for the using.

I hate to throw this out there, but one thing my movies are prided and praised on is, pretty consistently, the complexity and 'look' of the grading in them. Now, for a while now, I've done said grading entirely in the NLE. There was a time when I did muzzles and grading in EffectsLab, but I found Vegas to be faster and already there to do grading in with more complexity- which kind of halted me from buying CompositeLab, because I didn't need the keying aspect of it. I still pretty regularly use EffectsLab for muzzle flashes, though.

I'm just saying. CompositeLab, EffectsLab, and VisionLab all have very powerful and specified uses. What they are not are NLEs themselves, nor should they simply be bought for something with comparable results in an NLE- like getting it solely for grading. Again, just my opinion.

CompositeLab reigns because, well, it's got excellent keying options. EffectLab has particle generators and muzzle flash generators, and VisionLab has them all combined and then some. Solely considering for grading, though? No, you're better off just using your NLE.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 8:33am

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spydurhank

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Oh okay.
Dur, I thought he wanted to get Effectslab and was wondering if it had the same grade options as Clab or Vlab. Whoops. Sorry dude.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 9:47am

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Atom

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Well, I think that was his initial question, yeah, but it kind of delineated into 'would Effectslab be best for grading?' My answer, given the alternatives, would be a clear 'no'.

Especially when everyone is suggesting he get CLab or VLab instead to achieve advanced grading techniques/tools. The tools used and found in both are, as far as grading alone goes, pretty comparable to the tools and filters seen in Vegas.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 5:37pm

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spydurhank

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Aaah okay, that makes sense.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 10:45pm

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Terminal Velocity

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No Degradation wrote:

I need the effects, and the grading.

Atom wrote:

If he's trying to achieve things with grading he doesn't need effects, spydurhank.
I might be reading you wrong, but he said he does need the effects. If you're saying that he doesn't need them for grading, well sure...but he needs them both.
Posted: Fri, 24th Apr 2009, 11:13pm

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Goldenjabba

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I find Elab works pretty well, but now I wish I had bought composite lab. Might be something for me to save up for. In composite lab, stock footage (like the stuff from Detfilms) can be used, so special effects are still possible, with the addition of some great grading filters, and of course chroma key tools. But than again, like others said, some fairly cheap editing programs have colour correction / grading.
Posted: Sat, 25th Apr 2009, 2:12am

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Terminal Velocity

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Depends on what kind of movies you make.

Elab
Magic
Scifi
Large-ish battles in modern time
Basic filming and camera tricks

Clab
Less flashy
Romance
Smaller battles
Superheroes

Vlab
All of the above and more.

Good starting program and cheapest; Elab.
Posted: Sat, 25th Apr 2009, 4:23am

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Atom

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Really Big Gun Studios wrote:

No Degradation wrote:

I need the effects, and the grading.

Atom wrote:

If he's trying to achieve things with grading he doesn't need effects, spydurhank.
I might be reading you wrong, but he said he does need the effects. If you're saying that he doesn't need them for grading, well sure...but he needs them both.

Atom wrote:

Well, I think that was his initial question, yeah, but it kind of delineated into 'would Effectslab be best for grading?' My answer, given the alternatives, would be a clear 'no'.

Especially when everyone is suggesting he get CLab or VLab instead to achieve advanced grading techniques/tools. The tools used and found in both are, as far as grading alone goes, pretty comparable to the tools and filters seen in Vegas.
Posted: Sat, 25th Apr 2009, 6:46pm

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No Degradation

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I know Elab isn't for grading at all. I am planing on getting Vegas Pro Platinum Edition, is that version capable of grading like in Composite or Visionlab? I never knew you could grade in those NLE's.
Posted: Sat, 25th Apr 2009, 7:07pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Atom wrote:

Really Big Gun Studios wrote:

No Degradation wrote:

I need the effects, and the grading.

Atom wrote:

If he's trying to achieve things with grading he doesn't need effects, spydurhank.
I might be reading you wrong, but he said he does need the effects. If you're saying that he doesn't need them for grading, well sure...but he needs them both.

Atom wrote:

Well, I think that was his initial question, yeah, but it kind of delineated into 'would Effectslab be best for grading?' My answer, given the alternatives, would be a clear 'no'.

Especially when everyone is suggesting he get CLab or VLab instead to achieve advanced grading techniques/tools. The tools used and found in both are, as far as grading alone goes, pretty comparable to the tools and filters seen in Vegas.
Ah, okay. But who gave you a negative rating?
Posted: Sat, 25th Apr 2009, 11:00pm

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CurtinParloe

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I did, not that it's relevant who did it. It started off as a pretty good question about whether the effects package he needs would also do grading and was almost immediately hijacked into a "what's best for grading?" topic instead of addressing the question directly. Furthermore, Atom quoting his own post wasn't actually constructive and served to derail the thread even more. As such, it fulfilled the criteria a minus rating indicates.

Anyway, in summary, consensus is that effectslab can do basic grading, but it's not as good as clab or vlab, which are about as good at grading as Vegas. If Vegas is being bought anyway, then effectslab should be sufficient if money is tight.

EDIT: Thanks for the negative rating, it's exactly what I expected, and the reason I don't often bother with these forums any more. I keep coming back every now and then to see whether the rather good forum ideas are being used properly. Not yet, I guess.

EDIT2: I see the negative ratings have been removed, both from my post, and the one I suggested to be non-constructive.

Last edited Tue, 5th May 2009, 12:03pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 12:24am

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Bolbi

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Richard III wrote:

Good starting program and cheapest; Elab.
I'm pretty sure that CompositeLab and EffectsLab are the same price.
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 8:02pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Bolbi wrote:

Richard III wrote:

Good starting program and cheapest; Elab.
I'm pretty sure that CompositeLab and EffectsLab are the same price.
But to get the full potential of Clab, you need a greenscreen and lighting. Which cost money. Otherwise, all you get is grade objects.

I should have restated that.
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 8:50pm

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Axeman

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No Degradation wrote:

I know Elab isn't for grading at all. I am planing on getting Vegas Pro Platinum Edition, is that version capable of grading like in Composite or Visionlab? I never knew you could grade in those NLE's.
The Vegas website says that it does indeed have Color Correction capabilities, though someone who is experienced with the program will have to chime in with how extensive they actually are.
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 9:30pm

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Atom

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Vegas, I would consider, is pretty up-to-par with a program like, say, Apple Color; albeit not as complex. Honestly, you're a damn fool if you own Vegas and grade in something else. At the very least, for the convenience of in-NLE grading.

I've used the program and graded in it for about 5 years now.

The greatest thing about Vegas (any current version, really) as I've always said is the power and accessibility/ease-of-use for certain tools- specifically color correction and grading utilities.

For instance- I've found the number of options, filters, and manipulation abilities in Vegas to grow more numerous and complex as I myself have gotten better, more-experience, and in need of better grading tools.

Accessibility and power are the two things, here. When I was just stepping up my filmmaking game to the titular 'atomic' style a handful of years ago, I started using Vegas and immediately found ease in using HSL adjustments, brightness/contrast tweaks, and color temperature changes. This is what came of the imfamous 'Splinter Cell look' I created all those years ago.

And even for someone fairly inexperienced in advanced/complex NLEs who had never graded before, like myself, I found it easy-to-use and got great results. Years later, now, I still find myself using Vegas and the same set of tools for grading- and get great, powerful results out of it.

Honestly, I'd recommend nothing else. Easy, fast, powerful, accessible. Vegas has Magic Bullet, AE, and Color beat in my book, hands down.

This all, remember, coming from the community-appointed 'king of grading'. You see any of my movies? The look is, almost entirely, a product of post-production grading in Vegas. smile
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 10:04pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Im not sure about Vegas being the supreme grading app Atom, I would say that after effects has it beat in terms of control and flexibility, although I only have Vegas Platinum so I imagine Pro packs more features.
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 10:10pm

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Atom

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Having used AE and Color, extensively during a few editing jobs, I'd safely put my money on Vegas for grading. Vastly faster, more flexible, easier, and more powerful.

At least I think so. Color and AE can have all the controls in the world- if it takes forever to utilize them or many of them serve no function- than none of it matters. Vegas is king; anyone who uses it will tell you that.

That and the rather obvious fact that, like going to the many 24 hour video races and amateur film festivals I've been to, you can always tell the Vegas users from the FCP/AE/Premiere users- the Vegas movies tend, IMO, to have vastly more-complex, more-polished, and more-impressive grading.

This, to me, is such an obvious attribute in Vegas that completely trumps the others- that's it's hard for me to contain it. To be a bit cocksure again, have you seen my movies? They're better evidence than anything.
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 10:24pm

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No Degradation

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Yeah, Atom. Course I watched some of your movies. I have noticed they were exceptionally awesome, and the grading truly contributed to that. Good work!

Anyway Atom, (or somebody else), how complex is Vegas? I am a complete noob to video editing, and on the website it looks really complicated. How long would it take me to be able to work with it pretty well?

Now before anyone says "download the trial," I did. I downloaded it Thursday, planning on working with Vegas the whole weekend non-stop. But that day I got grounded for a week. The Vegas trial only lasts 7 days, so I won't even get to use it!!! Ahhhhh!

So is Vegas truly complicated? How long would it take to learn if you have almost no experience in movie making?

I would appreciate these questions answered, thanks!
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 10:42pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Rating: +2

I thought the trial lasted for 30 days? I only have vegas platinum like I said, and it is very simple to use, as an NLE it is very nice to work with. I'm still going to disagree about it being the ultimate, last word in grading. But ultimately, it's how you use the tools. And yes Atom, I have seen your movies, they are very green wink
Posted: Sun, 26th Apr 2009, 11:04pm

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No Degradation

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Are you sure they last for 30 days? My cousin downloaded the first Vegas trial and it ran out in like 7. He downloaded it a while ago, maybe something changed?
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 5:46am

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Atom

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The whole greatness to Vegas is that it is extremely accessible. From the seasoned user to the complete newbie, there are different tools and utilities in the same program and timeline that can be honed.

Is it complex? Absolutely; but only when you decide you're ready for its complexity. A few years ago I started up with Vegas and thought 'Whoa, this is so easy-to-use! Why doesn't everyone know about this?' It was fast, simple, easy-to-learn, and even easier to use.

That's part of the program's success and praise. It has different tools for different experience and skill levels. Like I said, as I've gotten older and more experienced with Vegas, I've utilized more and more tools at a greater and greater complexity. Hopefully it shows in my movies.

What kind of startup/learning curve time do you have to go through? Well, it took me no more than a week of fiddling with it before I took my first real stab at the power of the NLE in old old old movie Found.

I still edit in the same NLE I've used for 5 years, I still grade in the same NLE I've used for 5 years- and yet the complexity and professionalism of my editing and grading has risen over this time.

The key is accessibility; and it's there in Vegas more than any other program I've come across in all my time in filmmaking. You'd be a damn fool not to use it, in my opinion.

And swinton: Haha, you must know how that gets to me, yes? The whole 'green atomic look'. Truth is I put time, focus, and meticulous tweaking into each project I grade; and it's upsetting to hear people slub it all off as 'green' as if I'm simply throwing down a filter. I'm sorry I'm such a king of my craft people have come to expect and pay little notice to how fancy my grading is, I guess. And I'm cocky, too. wink
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 5:59am

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Axeman

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WOut of curiosity, what version of Vegas do you use, Atom?
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 6:11am

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Atom

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A scattered mess of things, actually.

Most consistently: Vegas 6. 4 before that in Found, Splinter Cell, and other movies of that time.

I also have 8 Platinum and have fiddled with it- just so I'd be able to get different uses and features- but really Platinum and Pro versions aren't all that different. Good to know, actually, so that I've been able to recommend and compare things to people more-truthfully.

I've tooled around with Vegas Pro (version 8 ) on Pages, but my steady racehorse has been, for a while, version 6.

The titler in 8 (and the upcoming Pro version of Vegas 9) are even greater selling points I've yet to utilize. But Vegas 6, yeah, is what I generally use for most things I've done. Not very different than the current versions- and the paradigm shift to 'HD-capable editing workflow' or however Sony wants to coin the interface as.
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 11:33am

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swintonmaximilian

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I was just kidding Atom, winding you up, I like your grading. Sorry, I suppose the tone of what you say doesn't really come through on an internet forum. I also hate it when people dismiss hours of grading, as if all you have done is thrown a preset filter at your film. Really sorry for the percieved insult on your grading.
Max
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 5:40pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Not nice, is it? Even when they're jokes. rolleyes
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 5:48pm

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swintonmaximilian

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No, it's terrible, absolutely terrible. Just terrible.
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 6:29pm

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Terminal Velocity

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Rating: -3

swintonmaximilian wrote:

No, it's terrible, absolutely terrible. Just terrible.
Actually I was addressing Atom...
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 8:54pm

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Atom

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Rating: -4

Dumbass, another thing you simply don't understand because you haven't been here long enough to figure out. Completely an 'inside joke', the whole 'green atomic grading'. It doesn't really bother me, everyone says it.

swinton knows this, too. Knowing that he grades his movies carefully, I knew he would appreciate my sentiments on the issue. I'm certain he's run into the same kind of talk.
Posted: Mon, 27th Apr 2009, 9:26pm

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swintonmaximilian

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Absolutely, there is nothing more annoying than people assuming it took you roughly as long to make a film as it took them to watch it. Grading is a time consuming, artistic, and very often painful process , and there are very few people who are goood at it. If I thought Atom was no good at grading, I wouldn't have said anything.