Using Organizational Browsers and Bins

Color offers several browsers and bins for organizing shots, media, and grades that share some common controls. All these browsers and bins are used to manage files on your hard disk, rather than data that’s stored within the Color project file itself. As a result, their controls are used to navigate and organize the directory structure of your hard disk, much as you would in the Finder. See the following sections for more information on:

The File Browser

The browser that dominates the left half of the Setup room lets you navigate the directory structure of your computer’s disk drives (and by extension any RAID, DAS, and SAN volumes that are currently mounted) in order to find and import compatible QuickTime and still image media files.

It’s important to remember that the file browser is not the same as a project bin. The files displayed within the file browser are not associated with your Color project in any way unless you drag them into the Timeline manually, or relink the shots of an imported project to their associated media files on disk using the Relink Media or Reconnect Media command.

Note: The file browser displays only directories and media files that are compatible with Color.

When you select a media file in the file browser, a panel appears to the right displaying the first frame of that file along with information underneath.

Figure. Selected shot in file browser.

The information given includes:

  • Shot Name: The filename
  • Duration: Its total duration
  • Codec: The codec used to encode that file
  • Resolution: The frame size of the file, width by height
  • Frame Rate: The frame rate of the file
  • Timecode: The timecode value of the first frame in that file
  • Import: This button lets you edit the currently selected shot into the Timeline at the current position of the playhead.

Collapsing the File Browser

If you like, the file browser can be collapsed so that the tabbed area on the right can occupy the entire Color window.

To collapse the file browser
  • Move the pointer to the file browser divider at the right side of the file browser, and when it’s highlighted in blue, click once to collapse it.

    Figure. Collapsing and uncollapsing the file browser.
To expand the file browser
  • Move the pointer to the file browser divider at the left side of the window, and when it’s highlighted in blue, click once to expand it.

For more information on the Setup room, see Configuring the Setup Room.

The Shots Browser

The other browser in the Setup room is the Shots browser. This browser lets you see all the shots that are in the current project in either icon or list view.

In icon view, you can create groups of shots to which you can apply a single correction or grade to at once. For more information, see Managing Grades in the Shots Browser.

Figure. Shots browser in icon view.

In list view, you can sort all of the shots using different info fields. For more information on using the Shots browser, see Using the Shots Browser.

Figure. Shots browser in list view.

The Grades Bin

The Grades bin, in the Setup room, lets you save and organize grades combining primary, secondary, and Color FX corrections into a single unit.

Figure. File, Directory, and New Folder controls in the Grades bin.

You can use this bin to apply saved grades to other shots in the Timeline. The contents of the Grades bin are available to all Color projects opened while logged into that user account. For more information on saving and applying grades, see Saving Grades into the Grades Bin.

Corrections Bins

The Primary In and Out, Secondaries, and Color FX rooms all allow you to save the corrections made inside those rooms as individual presets that you can apply to later shots. The contents of corrections bins are available to all Color projects opened while logged into that user account.

  • Primary In and Out: Let you save and organize primary corrections. The Primary In and Primary Out rooms both share the same group of saved corrections.
  • Secondaries: Lets you save and organize secondary corrections.
  • Color FX: Lets you save and organize Color FX corrections.

Corrections Versus Grades

There is a distinct difference between corrections and grades in Color. Corrections refer to adjustments made within a single room. You have the option to save individual corrections inside the Primary In and Out, Secondaries, and Color FX rooms and apply them to shots individually.

A grade can include multiple corrections across several rooms; you can save one or more primary, secondary, and Color FX corrections together. By saving a group of corrections as a grade, you can apply them all together as a single preset.

Browser, Still Store, Grades, and Corrections Bins Controls

All browsers and bins share the following controls:

Display Controls

All browsers and bins have display controls that let you choose how you want to view and organize their contents.

Figure. List view, icon view, and thumbnail size controls.
  • List View button: Displays the contents of the current directory as a list of filenames.
  • Icon View button: Displays the contents of the current directory as icons.
  • Icon Size slider: Appears only in icon view. Scales the size of icons.

Directory Navigation Controls

The file browser and Grades and corrections bins also have directory navigation controls that you can use to organize and browse the grades and corrections that are saved on your hard disk.

Figure. Up directory and home directory buttons.
  • Up Directory: Moves to and displays the contents of the parent directory.
  • Home Directory: Navigates to the appropriate home directory for that browser or bin. This is not your Mac OS X user home directory. The home directory is different for each bin:
    • File browser: The Home button takes you to the currently specified Color media directory.
    • Primary In, Secondaries, Color FX, and Primary Out: Home takes you to the appropriate subdirectory within the /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Color directory. Each room has its own corresponding subdirectory, within which are stored all the corrections you’ve saved for future use.
    • Still Store: Home takes you to the StillStore directory inside the current project directory structure.

File Controls

The file browser and Grades and corrections bins also have directory creation and navigation controls at the bottom.

Figure. Directory navigation controls.
  • File field: Displays the file path of the currently viewed directory.
  • New Folder button: Lets you create a new directory within the currently specified path. You can create as many directories as you like to organize the grades and corrections for that room.
  • Save button: This button saves the grade or correction settings of the shot at the current position of the playhead in the directory specified in the above text fields.
  • Load button: Applies the selected grade or correction to the shot that’s at the current position of the playhead (if no other shots are selected) or to multiple selected shots (ignoring the shot at the playhead if it’s not selected). As with any Color bin, items displayed can be dragged and dropped from the bin into the Timeline.

How Are Grades and Corrections Saved and Organized?

Grades and corrections that you save using the Grades and Corrections bins in Color are saved within the Color preferences directory in your /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Color directory.

Saved correction category
Location on disk
Grades
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Color/Grades/
Primary corrections
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Color/Primary/
Secondary corrections
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Color/Secondary/
Color FX corrections
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Color/Effects/

Saved grades and corrections in these bins are available to every project you open.

Individual corrections in each of the above directories are saved as a pair of files: an .lsi file that contains a thumbnail for visually identifying that grade, and the specific file for that type of correction which actually defines its settings. Unless you customized the name, both these files have the same name, followed by a dot, followed by the date (day month year hour.minute.secondTimeZone), followed by the file extension that identifies the type of saved correction it is.

  • Grade_Name.date.lsi: The thumbnail image used to represent that grade in icon view
  • Grade_Name.date.pcc: Primary correction file
  • Grade_Name.date.scc: Secondary correction file
  • Grade_Name.date.cfx: Color FX correction file

Saved grades are, in fact, file bundles that contain all the correction files that make up that grade. For example, a grade that combines primary, secondary, and Color FX corrections would be a directory using the name given to the grade, “Grade_Name.date.grd,” containing the following files:

  • Grade_Name.date.lsi

  • Grade_Name.date.pcc

  • Grade_Name.date.scc

  • Grade_Name.date.cfx

Reorganizing Saved Corrections and Grades in the Finder

Each of the corrections bins in Color simply mirrors the contents of the corresponding subdirectory in the /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Color directory. You can use the Finder to reorganize your saved corrections and grades by creating new subdirectories and moving previously saved grades and corrections into them.

When you move saved corrections from one directory to another, it’s important that you copy both the .lsi thumbnail image for that grade and the .pcc, .scc, or .cfx file that contains the actual grade information, together.

If you reorganize saved grades and corrections in the Finder while Color is open, you need to manually refresh the contents of the Grades and corrections bins you changed so that they correctly display the current contents.

To update the contents of the currently displayed corrections bin
  • Click the Home button.

    Figure. Home button.

Moving Saved Corrections and Grades to Other Computers

If you have saved corrections and grades that you want to move to Color installations on other computers, you can simply copy the folders described in How Are Grades and Corrections Saved and Organized? to a portable storage device and then copy their contents into the corresponding folders on the new system. The next time you open Color, the saved corrections and grades will appear as they did before.