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Color Grading Techniques

Lesson 7 from: Color Correcting and Creating a Cinematic Look in Photoshop CC

Jesús Ramirez

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Lesson Info

7. Color Grading Techniques

Next Lesson: Color Grading Tips

Lesson Info

Color Grading Techniques

I'm first going to show you what a color look up table is in photo shop. And just to keep things clean, I'm just gonna do what I've been doing in the past and the exceptions just doing, uh, Revert if 12th to just reverted back to when we started. In case I have all of these adjustment layers that we really don't need, That's ah, file Revert. Which brings you back to the last time that you save or when you first open your file, have you haven't saved? So we have this image here, and we're gonna apply a color look up table to this file and that is a lot file. So if I click on kind of look up right here, Photoshopped has thes preloaded, uh, looks that you can apply to an image. What is this one here That you'll orange? Look, there it is. And even though it creates an interesting effect and it looks similar to the movie effect that we're going for, we don't have a lot of control. The only control we really have is obviously the blend modes and you opacity, But we have no controls in terms ...

of adjusting anything else. So that's why I personally don't like to start out with look up tables. Having said that, I do use him a lot in the way that I use them. It's with blend mode. So for something like this, maybe soft, light or simply just keep the color very rarely the way you look up tables. Luminosity. But you can try that and see how it works for the images that you're creating. Um, but a color look up table set to normal looks like this, and what this is is a file that is generally found in ah, the premier. They'll be speed grade aftereffects or any other video file that allows you to import color, look up tables and obviously, Photoshopped and use him as well. Um, one little side note, Um, photo shop is pretty much the same on both the PC and A Mac. There's virtually no difference, of course, that keyboards shortcuts editor from names, but in terms of what it can do, it's essentially the same. The only difference were not the only difference is one of the few differences that I found is that the Mac version of Polish Up gives you. I believe three or four mawr options for cocoa. Look up tables. I don't know why that is, but that's one of the few differences. And I To be honest with you, I don't recall exactly what those three or four look up tables are. But yeah, that's one of the few differences you'll find between the Mac and PC in terms of what Photoshopped can do. So let me show you to create one of these color look up adjustment layers and to do so, let's just work in a new document. Just keep things clean, someone or right click on this layer, and I'm going to click on the duplicate layer and then just going to document new. We wanna duplicate that layer onto a new document. We don't need to worry about the name, so I'm gonna press OK, and there we go there, set layer on this new document. Now we can apply the same cinematic color effect that we've been working with. I'm gonna create the two curves adjustment layers. I don't need to name him for this. I guess I'll name just So you guys know what I'm doing? So luminosity. It's always a good habit. It is good to get in the habit of naming your laters. I mean, not city. Let me spell that correctly and then color. And I'm gonna change the blend mode to luminosity for the luminosity curves, adjustment layer and to color for the color adjustment layer. And now we're gonna apply the color grades. So I'm just gonna, quickly through the default medium contrast here. And then I'm gonna do the a similar color adjustment as we've been doing the tool orange of excell gonna select blue, clicking the targeted adjustment. And by the way, on the targeted adjustment. When you when you select it and you click on it and make an adjustment and you click on another layer and you come back to it, it's not selected. So I get a little annoying clicking on in every time. If you want to make sure it's on by default, going to the fly out menu and shoes Auto select targeted adjustment tool. So now if you go to another layer and come back still selected, so that's a quick tip there for you because it can get annoying just clicking on it every single time you click on another layer So let me reset this layer and we'll start again So I'm gonna go into blue and I'm gonna add blues in the shadows Remove it from skin tones and I'll do the same for the Reds will actually remove read from the shadows but added to the skin tones And that will be our cinematic effect for this example. So now we can take the color that these two adjustment layers are applying and turn that into a lot file that we can then use in photo shop or use in any one of those video applications and I'm gonna show you how that works. But the first time is not gonna work. So I'm gonna go into file export and color Look up tables and fortitude was sending us No, you can't do it. Is you need a background layer? Um, I don't know still works of background layers, but I usually don't. So you always have to create once you would. You can select the the image, the photo and go into layer, um, background from layer, which is here, and notice that little lock there. And now it says background on that layer. So now we have a background layer, and now we can export it in photo shop will be happy. So file export color. Look up tables. There's a look up table, the sort of different types of formats. We can leave a more check, but Cuba is the one that I'm really going to use, and I can just call this whatever we want. So I can call this seal for creativelive and just l u t for a lot file, and we compress okay, And we can save this anywhere we want just to make it easier for me to fly. And I'm gonna go into the my Creative Lives folder here, and I'm just gonna save it onto that mean folder and the file has saved. Now, if I create a new color look up adjustment layer, I can load. I could just, uh, Lotus set by the faulty. You can just click on it and it opens up this window that I asked you where there is a look at file. If I go back into that same folder, you'll see all the let files that I created. I'm just gonna select the cube impress open for the trip is going to take a minute while it loads that file. And now that it loaded it loaded that same color effects on that one single layer. So that's the original. I'm gonna put him into a group. So, like both of them, command g to put that into a group, this is the other one. So there is no real difference between it looks exactly the same. This look up table could also be applied to any video footage that you have again by using premier after effects or speed grade all adobe products. And if you remember the creative, the full version of the creative cloud you have access to that photo shop can also handle video so you can actually import video into photo shop and also apply that same code. Great. If you wanted to you so you can have cell phone footage that has the movie look effect with If you like, I wanna go back. I think I skipped a little bit something here with, uh, with color correction. And, um, one thing that I wanted to point out is this graphic here? Um, is that when you when you look at an image yet again. Go have neutral grace. And I guess I should have explained this before It might have made some things easier to understand. And I sort of skip this part. So I apologize is I have these grew radiance here and these Grady INTs. When I hover over them, they're gonna have the numerical values in the in four panels. Let me open that up. So we have the info panel here and notice how, when I hover over the neutral grays that values are exactly the same on all the images. Excuse me and all the ah rgb values. So 1 76 1 47 No matter where I go, they're exactly the same. I don't even have to tell you just by looking at at the grating to the right, you can already assume which, uh, channel's gonna have the highest value. You can probably tell us just blue just by looking at it. So if I hover over the image, you'll see that the are the red is 1 65 The green is 1 74 in the blue is 1 85 So that means that this particular grating has a blue color caste and this Grady int here again just by looking at it, you can probably guess that Red has the highest American values. That's 2 to 18 for green and to 14 for Blue, so I could just make a selection around. These radiance are grading here on the left and add. We've been using curves, but I can even do it with the levels adjustment layer at a levels adjustment layer. And we have that that neutral gray eyedropper there. Click anywhere on the image and notice that it, uh, color corrected that Grady and obviously had made some changes to outside of the great in there because of selection wasn't perfect. But that's OK if I hover over the image. It's still not a perfect neutral gray, especially cause you can compare it to the one next to it. But it's better than what it was before, So that's essentially what we've been doing, what you need to do before you color. Greater name is you make you got to make sure that everything has, um, neutral grace. We talked about creating the duo tone effect. Um, you can actually color grade by using a similar technique. So show you how that works. I can click on ingredient map. Let me just reset this to the fault. So what this Grady in map allows us to do is to map colors onto an image based on illuminates values the color here, on the left, his for the maps, the dark valleys of the image, the color on the right maps, the bright values of the image. And if we select the color like maybe, um, this one here, we see that the red is now where the darks were in the green is where the lights were. A better example will be this one. Here we have this. Excuse me. We have this purple in this orange, so that gives you an idea of how that works can also add color so that if you wanted to and if you wanted to get really creative, you could select three colors and go back into the extensions and adobe color themes, and you could select something like Triad. And then you can select three different different colors that would look good with each other. And you can click on this icon here again to set the foregone in background. But I'm really not going to do that. I just wanted to give you the option of finding colors that you could use so that they will look good together, at least according to color theory. Um, so I'm gonna tryto create that same teal orange effect by using the greatest member. And I've already spoke about in a previous class about the photographic Tony's, which I really enjoy. So I'm gonna select those impress, okay? And I'm gonna click on the one that looks more like the teal orange effect that I'm going for. It is probably gonna be one of these right here. Let's just go with this one here. I think this one would work, and you can make adjustments to it, Of course, by clicking and dragging on the swatches here. What? I'm trying. They're trying to make sure I don't have too much blue in the skin tones press okay. And then we can take advantage of the blend modes to make those colors blend onto the image better so we can try. Blend bones like overlay a soft light or simply color and see where works better um, for this in this case, actually, kind of like how stuff light works so we can use stuff light and then, ah, bring down the opacity if need be and adjusted accordingly. So this is another way in which you could you can create that again. Same cinematic effect that we're going for, um, by using one single adjustment layer. But to be frank with you, if you're gonna create something that looks like the movies feels that you have, you probably saw my website. If you went to it from the actual movies Hollywood movies, or create something that looks like this, you probably will need to use either the curves adjustment layer or the, um, um select the color layer.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

PTC Color Grade.atn
Cinematic Color Grading - Before.cube

Ratings and Reviews


I watched this class live, and I thought he gave great examples as he explained techniques. I have been wanting to learn how to color grade images, and I am very happy with the three approaches he shared. I feel I have a great handle on this look now. Thanks so much CL for bringing him to teach us.

Alissa Rosenberg

I am only onto lesson 6 but already I have learned so many new things that I really needed to learn about color! Especially how to use the curves layer adjustment with blend modes! Wow!! Such a great investment!

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