Color Correction: Advanced Tools
I then would go down and I wanna show you some more of the controls. Again, you go to the next one creative, the style one that nobody really wanted to deal with because we don't wanna deal with it we wanna do it on our own. But, again, I always like a little sharpening, a little vibrance. You'll see the sky will get a little bluer, but it shouldn't really affect some of the greens because they're already pretty saturated. And I do want you to look with the white balance, that this is much more centered. If I were to look at this, there might be a little more red in the scene than should be necessary. I could go back and work with the tint sliders for that. But I think this is good, 'cause I wanna continue to move down and just show you some of the other areas. So the next area, and I'm gonna zoom in, this is called curves, okay? And this is great a lot of you again are familiar with curves in the Photoshop world. And some of you may not have ever used curves. And there's also a differ...
ent way that we deal with our saturation, the saturation circle is pretty cool. So, with curves, you can actually add a lot of punch to a scene by saying oh, you know what, I'm gonna go ahead and I'm clicking right in the upper part, and I wanna just limit the control just the highlights. And I wanna control just my blacks. Now I'm doing this in all colors basically which is white. So, if you notice I brought up the shadows a little bit. I brought down the sky a little bit . And I just clicked and it created, you know, a key frame. I can if I want to go to the next level, click on any of these buttons, and actually work with just curves, if you're good with curves, in just the RG or B colors. Basically red, green, and blue. So I could go in and I could say you know something in the sky, I'm gonna go ahead and grab this, and just change the blue in my highlights. If I completely trash it like I just did, double click on any of the keyframes and it goes right back. Now this is very interesting, the way this circle works, I'm not sure this is necessarily the best shot for this, because I don't have some things I wanna change. But I'm gonna mess with the sky more than I should. So, what this allows me to do is saturate certain colors within my shot. So I could click on the blue, and it automatically gives me three dots, and those dots are keyframes. And I could go ahead and what I'm doing is I'm adding saturation to just the blue area, okay? While I'm not saturating anything else. If, let's say I wanted to go ahead and bring out some of the red, I could go in and instead of hitting the button, I could click on here to make some points and bring down the red. So, I'm really able to fine tune saturation in different bandwidths on this really weird kind of color wheel. And it's very clever, the first time I saw it. And again, I like what it is so I'm not gonna reset it, but if I double clicked on any of the keyframes, I could reset it back to where it wants to be. So I like that, and again, what did we do with this one area? I'm not turning off the whole filter, I'm just turning off what did we just do to the one area. And I did, my blues popped a little bit. And I think I did lose a little punch, but we'll see what else we can do. So that's that element. We'll go down here and again, these are colors wheels. We've kinda worked with some of these before but here's another way that you can control how you color correct. And again, you can use all of these or some of these. It's your style, it's what you normally already use if you're doing this in Photoshop or Lightroom. You don't have to use every slider. Your goal is to make it look good. You'll have to, this is a good war story. I taught a color correction class, and this must have been ten years ago, and it was using a specific color correction tool that was part of a suite. And it was, again, all people that are gonna be instructors,eight people in the class. And we go around the room and everybody's like yeah I've used the whole suite, I know all this, I know the editing program, I know the audio program, I wanna get certified in the color editing program. Everybody was the same thing. The last guy, very quiet, meek person, he goes I'm not like in your league I'm not an editor, I don't do audio. All I do is I work on this DaVinci color system and color correct. Well, at the time, and still, this was like the holy grail of color correction. And he just wanted to get certified to teach the other people. You know, he was like embarrassed, and we're like we're not worthy, this is amazing, please teach us the art of color correcting. But what was fascinating is, you know, suddenly he now became the rockstar of the room. And he was embarrassed, he was like I don't know this editing stuff. You know, you color grade, you correct these shots, you're doing TV shows. How many shots do you do a day? And he goes, somewhere around 400 or so. And like all the people in the room are like (gasps). Because when you're at that professional level, think about that, you're doing 400 shots in an eight hour day, how many shots is that an hour? He's pretty quick, a couple of minutes maybe. You know, he's not spending hours doing this. And I tell you that story because you shouldn't spend hours and hours correcting a single shot. Because then you have the next shot that you have to deal with and the next shot. And you're probably cutting a shot about every six seconds. You wanna get it good, you wanna get it to the point where people aren't saying oh that's green, that's blue, that's dark. You can tweak forever and you're already 95% there in the first couple of minutes. So you gotta give yourself that latitude. Again,turn off the filter, and the filter on again, see where you came from. You'll be surprised at how far you've come and you don't need to tweak it further. So, I do want to point that out that don't get so obsessed with every nuance. Photography, a little different. Do you know why? Because somebody's gonna spend a lot of time looking at one image, and you wanna get it right. And that's why we do it. But this is going by at 30 frames a second they're not gonna pause to look at how your color corrector was on one single frame. So I wanna be able to temper that madness that we have. So getting back to the color wheels, this allows us to do two things, control two areas of our image. It allows us to work with the luminance values of our shadows, our midtones, and our highlights, which we've kind of had access to before, and also allows us to once again tint the color in our shadows, in our midtones, and our highlights. And there are situations where you might look at this scene, and I look at this and say, this black area is really a little bit blue because of the color. And I don't wanna change the whole scene, but you know something, maybe if I took and I pulled out some of the blue by going to the opposite direction, I can make those blacks truly a solid black. And there are other tools, there are other filters that you can use within Premier to complement this. There are other third party color correction filters. But this is incredibly powerful. I can go into my highlights, it's pretty blue, I like where it is, maybe I'm gonna take a little bit of green out of the mid range, kinda arbitrary. Yeah that looks too red. And again, sometimes things don't need fixing. And I'll tell ya, it looked better before I messed with it, 'cause it's way too pink. Let's go ahead and fix that. We're gonna get to secondary, I'm gonna work on a different clip for that. Secondary is something new in the latest release of Premier, and what it allows you to do is work with just one specific color area. You create a mask, and be able to tweak that based upon color, which is saturation, luminance, and the hue. We'll work with that on an image that we can actually really refine that instead of this general area. And this is great, it's secondary color correction. A lot of video editors were asking for it, and we will explore that with a shot that requires that change. And at the very bottom is something called vignette. Most of you know what a vignette is. A jargon term for video or film, they sometimes call it a power window. Why do they do that? So people who know what vignettes are are confused. OK? It's like if you're every on a movie set and somebody says give me a C47, it's a wood clothespin. It's a C47. Why, because you can put that on a line item and say we need 100 C47s and nobody is gonna complain versus we need 100 clothesline clips. Which are very useful, but it's one of the things, different jargon, it separates groups. So, here we are, we're gonna look at this. I wanna show you how the vignette works. There's four sliders, and I see this described and a lot of people go oh well, you know you can go in there and you can increase or decrease the vignette. And that's pretty obvious, you know, and vignettes are nice. It focuses the eye, it does give it a certain feel. And I actually like putting vignettes on a lot of things. By the way, you have to keep it as a centered vignette, there's other ways to do like off-center vignettes. And then there's the midpoint you can play with and they don't know what they're talking about. And there you go you can deal with the roundness, and then you can also feather it. And that's the vignette and they walk away. This is the best way to understand a vignette. Take the feather down to zero, now you have a hard circle you can actually see what it's doing. So, when you look at the amount, and I'm gonna zoom in here so you can kind of see that, so amount is how strong the black is or how strong that is. The midpoint, well, that's really the size, you know? It's not changing the location. So that's the size, and then the roundness, now you can see what your vignette looks like and once you get it where you want, and you get used to it then you can throw your feather back in. And now you can really see what you're doing instead of playing with a bunch of sliders having no idea what anything does other than the amount slider. So what we've done is we've kind of worked on this image and we gave it some style. So it's playing back, its stuttering a little bit because I have so much happening. And we talked about rendering before. Because it's not playing back every frame because it's trying to calculate all these modifications on the fly. So if I wanted to see that as fluid as it can be, I might go and say render into out and it would go through and then it would apply all of these changes. And then when I play it back, it'll be nice and smooth. I could do that. One of the reasons it was jumpy is we made a change in an earlier lesson to this. We are looking at this at full resolution. Which means it's playing back 1, pixels by 1,080 pixels every second. But you know something? I'm only looking at a quarter of my television screen. Do I need to see every single pixel? No, I'm actually seeing a quarter of them. Normally I keep this at a half, if it's a really big image I might put it to a quarter. It's gonna play back more fluid. When you pause, when you freeze, it goes to full 100% resolution. So it's something to keep in mind if you're seeing stuttered playback. So this is a lot smoother. We're looking at, by the way, a progressive image on an interlaced television. So that's why you might see some striping when you're watching. It's hard to see from a distance, but now I've basically fixed my shot, it plays back. It's a lot nicer than it was originally. I'm gonna open up some questions, then we're gonna stop and look in some more detail, we're gonna look at fixing a couple shots, especially ones that had a serious hue issue. This did also, I think I had forgotten already how blue this was. And that's one of the things, and by the way, we learned earlier something called a match frame. And we used it to find a clip before. With color correction, I often hit the F key to match frame. Because it allows me to see very quickly my before and my after. And I think most of us, including myself, forgot how horrid, the word for the day, this was. And I would hate to put this in a show. But you know something? I could get away with this. Except for the fact there's something dead on a window. But we can fix that in post, oh this is post, you can fix that. I would actually, be honest with you, I would fix that in Lightroom and Photoshop before I created the time lapse. But I like to have flaws, 'cause again, it makes me human. So, I said I'd open up to questions. Either you're overwhelmed or you have questions or you just wanna dig deeper. What do I see, what do I hear?
Practically speaking, do you depend on your eye more than the graphs when you're actually doing this? I mean, you're the artist, right?
Fifty fifty, yeah, and you know why? Because there's still that, I can look mathematically at everything, but then I have to look at it emotionally. So, mathematically I look to take it to neutral, to what I think the image should be. And my last step I may go ahead and modify the image to give it a visceral feel. So I may fix this beautifully and then go ahead and throw an adjustment layer, we learned about adjustment layers earlier, cause I didn't wanna mess up the clip, and give the whole thing more of a golden look, or a glow in our gold. So I can put this look on it, and we're gonna actually very briefly look at that towards the very end of the session in the next few minutes. But I usually try to get it to neutral, and when I go and I fix this, if I had shot other things out the window, I may copy and paste this color correction. I might still need to tweak it because the light has changed or the environment has changed, but it got me a lot closer. But usually I try to fix the shot first so that it's not distracting and then I figure out stylistically what I want to do.
In Photoshop they don't have those little color wheels underneath the curve.
No, you address some of these color changes differently with adjustment layers and filters. And you can get to the same point. This is a incredibly powerful color correction tool for a video editing tool. I was blown away when these guys put this out. And you can do some really nice stuff. So this is, to me, one of the big selling points in Premier, it's also relatively real time. I mean I did a lot of changes we had to render but if I go ahead and switch this back to say half size, and I make a change which means my render is now gonna be obsolete, and I'm gonna do something that's ridiculous, I'm gonna change my, now it's completely lost we went from green to yellow, but now look, I play it, it's not stuttering, is it? So, keep that in mind that if it's stuttering, maybe you can make a quick adjustment to the interface instead of going and rendering everything. Because you know something, it's gonna render everything again when you export. So why waste the time rendering now when you can do it on export.