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After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
Illustration by John Hersey

Color matching


From:

After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Color matching

Another important design consideration when you're using multiple pieces of video is to give them all roughly the same color look, particularly when you're using stock footage that might have come from different sources. As you can see here, some of these videos are darker than the others. These two are darker than these two and some have different color tints. These are bit on the warm side, these are bit on the cool side and this final video has a bit of a yellowish tint and is bit on the dark side itself.

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After Effects Apprentice 16: Creating a Medical Opening Title
3h 30m Intermediate Jan 17, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This project-oriented course leads you through the creative and technical process of building an opening title sequence from scratch in Adobe After Effects. Author Chris Meyer shows how to pull together numerous skills you've learned in the other After Effects Apprentice courses, from working in 3D space to creating type and shape layers to writing expressions. Along the way, Chris lets you in on the mental process he uses when creating similar spots for real-world clients, while sharing numerous tips that will help broaden your After Effects skills.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com library.

Topics include:
  • Animating to music
  • Arranging layers in 3D space
  • Performing time stretches
  • Working with 3D camera tracking
  • Typesetting and animating text
  • Adding effects like drop shadows and motion blur
  • Creating and animating shape layers
  • Building and delivering a broadcast package
Subjects:
Video Motion Graphics Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Color matching

Another important design consideration when you're using multiple pieces of video is to give them all roughly the same color look, particularly when you're using stock footage that might have come from different sources. As you can see here, some of these videos are darker than the others. These two are darker than these two and some have different color tints. These are bit on the warm side, these are bit on the cool side and this final video has a bit of a yellowish tint and is bit on the dark side itself.

So let's pick a video that we particularly like or color-correct one video to match with the client wants and use that as our guide to correct the other videos to tie everybody together. Now I kind of like the colorization of this first video. I like the brightness, the greens and blues aren't too far often the greens and blues are already existing elsewhere in this project, so I think I'm going to use that as my rough visual guide to alter these other videos and try to get them to match. This maybe another case where I take advantage of edit this, look at that, so I can edit one video and then check it in context in my final composition.

So I'm going to lock this Comp down, add a new Comp Viewer, and in the second Comp Viewer, open up my extra videos. I decided that Extra Video 1 is my guide, so I'm going to leave that one alone instead move on to Video 2 and see how I can improve it. Well, Video 2 is noticeably brighter than Video 1. So the first thing I'll do is I'll add Color Correction, Levels, check out its Histogram to make sure it's maximizing the bright and dark areas.

It's lacking a little bit of black, so I'll bring up my input black point to maximize its contrast, and then play with the gamma to give it a balance that matches a bit better. Notice with edit this look at that, the one I am editing one Comp, I need to release the mouse before my second locked Comp is updated. This is giving me a little closer to a balance that matches the first video. I could even reduce the Output White a little bit to make it a little bit darker. That's getting a little bit dull. I'll put it back to its original setting, maybe a little less contrasty, that's a little bit better of a match.

The second issue is that it's a very warm video. It has a very orangish tint to the background whites and to this display in the foreground. I think I need to cool it down a little bit to match my background and my guide video better. So with it still selected, I'll go to Effect>Color Correction, and for starting point, I might even use something very simple like the Photo Filter effect. This gives me a series of preset gels to help colorize my video. I don't need it to be even warmer than it is. I want it to cool down a little bit.

That takes a little bit closer, might be a bit too cold in the whites, let's try this other one. Now that's giving me an interesting tint, let's try this other cooling filter. Now that's a way too blue. I think I like that filter and kind of adjust its amount to get the sort of balance that I like. And I think that's better than the original video. Maybe a little bit less cooling. Okay, let's move on to Extra Video 3. This video is a little bit under-lit, it's a little bit on the dark side and it's particularly cool.

Let's go back in time to where we can see it compared to our original video. Select it, apply Color Correction>Levels. Full range, I don't need to improve its contrast, but I might improve its gamma a little bit to brighten it up a little bit so I can see back in that room a bit better. That's nice. That's a bit of an improvement. And in this case, I might want to warm it up a little bit by using a photo filter and trying one of the warming presets. Warming filter 85 is pretty good. That's similar.

I'm not really happy with that, I think I'll go back to 85, maybe increase its strength a little bit and now I'm closer in match than I was before. Yeah, that's much better. Okay, we move on to Extra Video 4. It, too, is also under-lit and a bit on the cool side so I could even copy and paste the effects I applied to the prior video, which happens to be supplied by Artbeats, apply them to the second video, also supplied by Artbeats. They are from the same stock footage house so they have a similar esthetic.

I'll paste. Closer but if anything I'm a little too washed out now. Let's make it not quite as washed out, maybe improve the white point a little bit in this particular look. And I have my warming filter, now add just touch a warming to maybe about that point. Before and after, I think that's pretty good. It's an improvement. Now let's move on to our final video, the Hero video. We need to move to a point where it's visible and since the viewer is going to be really focusing on this in the end, I think I can even get rid of my second video frame here and just focus on my main Hero video in isolation.

It's a little bit on the dark side and it has this yellowish cast I'm not very fond of. So I'll apply Color Correction>Levels again. I see I can improve its white point a little bit to make a little bit brighter, maybe around there. And then I need some way of getting rid of that yellow cast in the mid tones. I could use Auto Color. There are some interesting cycore effects, but one of my favorite tools to add or subtract specific color tints is Selective Color. I'll choose that. I want to change my neutrals, my mid-tone grays, and I need to pull some yellow out of it.

Now I'm getting to a much more neutral white there. I don't want to get too cold but I think that's a nice improvement. Before and after. Go back to my Final Comp and I like that a bit better. As long as I'm here playing around with this Final Comp, the last thing I think I'm going to do is these little bits of the video frame are bothering me just a little bit. I think I'll just fade them out at the end. So go to Hero + Title, in which we have the crash, which is when the camera move is in at its full zoom, select my Hero video frame layer, press T for opacity and key-frame it, so it's gone within two, let's say even four beats.

That will be a nice gentle fade out. So in the Final Comp, that frame is no longer visible and won't be distracting the viewer.

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