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Compositing with color adjustments

From: After Effects CS5 Essential Training

Video: Compositing with color adjustments

As we've talked about earlier in this training series compositing is the process of taking multiple bits of footage and putting them together as if they belong together. So, again, we have this example we've seen already with this moving scenery in the background. There is just someone hanging the camera outside the car in a family trip and then we had the subway scene and then a few other elements with this guy sitting here. And they kind of look like they belong together, but as we saw before, earlier in this training series, giving them the same color correction will make them seem like they belong in the same composite a little bit more.

Compositing with color adjustments

As we've talked about earlier in this training series compositing is the process of taking multiple bits of footage and putting them together as if they belong together. So, again, we have this example we've seen already with this moving scenery in the background. There is just someone hanging the camera outside the car in a family trip and then we had the subway scene and then a few other elements with this guy sitting here. And they kind of look like they belong together, but as we saw before, earlier in this training series, giving them the same color correction will make them seem like they belong in the same composite a little bit more.

Let's look at another example. Earlier we keyed this footage of the host of this fictional podcast in front of this virtual set. The virtual set colors are very contrast-y. They're very strong and this guy's color is a little bit washed out. So, let's talk about how we would remedy that. For this background layer, the first thing I want to do is maybe adjust the Hue/Saturation a little bit. We can't really adjust the hue of our subject, because as soon as we start fiddling with skin tones it's going to seem very fake very quickly.

So, we could easily adjust the hue of the background. So, I am going to apply Hue/Saturation to this background, and we might start might by desaturating this a little bit. And we might also adjust the Master Hue so that the things seem to blend a little bit better. And I don't have some exact formula here, some scientific method to figure this out. It's kind of like an eye thing. You are kind of getting a ballpark by just looking at it, what are the characteristics visually of the background, and we have very strong powerful contrast, and then what I'm seeing from the subject is that we don't have that much contrast.

It's kind of washed out a little bit. So, we kind of want to a balancing act with both of these, so we can meet in the middle somewhere. And speaking of meeting in the middle, I think that as far as this background goes we took out too much saturation here. So, I am going to bring this back maybe to around -15, let's say that. And let's also apply a Levels adjustment to this background layer. And with Levels, we can make sure that we have the full spectrum of brightness represented and also we could grab this middle slighter here and maybe brighten things up generally.

That's already looking much more like the foreground. And actually, I am going to select the top layer and apply Levels to him as well. And I am going to drag the right slider in and the left slider in until they get to the first few dots here, because I want to make sure that there's enough highlights and enough shadows. And then what we can do is we could adjust this mid slider. Maybe drag it to the right and make it little bit darker, so that it blends in the background a little bit. And let's also add you Hue/Saturation to our main subject, because all the Levels adjustments to this guy has made him a little bit too saturated.

So, we are going to compensate for that by taking Saturation to the left a little bit, not too much again. Maybe about negative 15 or so is looking pretty good. And we have a fairly decent composite. It's not perfect, but it's definitely better than it was. To see what it was, we can come down here to the Timeline panel and we have these master fx switches, which are the visibility for all of effects applied to the layer. We know that if we want to turn off the visibility of the Hue/Saturation we can just click this fx icon for the effect and see the effect before and after.

And we could see that before without the effect on it's much more saturated and then when we click the fx icon on again, it's much less saturated. So, if we want it do that for both layers to see all fx off and on, we can click both of those, so those are the original, and there is afterwards. So, again, if we were to take this apart, the before is a very strong contrast in the background and kind of faded in the foreground, and then if we turn the fx on we're still kind of faded here.

He isn't so much different, but the background is significantly different and having them lightened a little bit definitely makes them blend together a little bit. So, as you're doing with compositing and you are dealing with keying, be aware that getting a good key and just removing the green screen is not enough to make a good composite, where the light is coming from in both sources. Light direction. But where the light is coming from in both sources plays a huge role in the believability of two objects looking like they belong in the same scene together.

And even without knowing any hard and fast rules of how to composite, like we just did. We didn't really have any specific guidelines what we're going for. But still just taking inventory of what's going on and looking at the pieces of your footage and seeing what's amiss and seeing what you could fix, that will help your composites immensely.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CS5 Essential Training
After Effects CS5 Essential Training

111 video lessons · 67173 viewers

Chad Perkins
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 40s
    1. Introduction
      1m 30s
    2. What is After Effects?
      3m 12s
    3. How to use the exercise files
      58s
  2. 28m 14s
    1. After Effects workflow overview
      2m 18s
    2. Bringing elements into After Effects
      2m 23s
    3. Adding elements to the Timeline
      1m 57s
    4. Working with layers
      3m 45s
    5. Creating animation with presets
      3m 24s
    6. Applying effects
      3m 34s
    7. Creating animation without presets
      5m 38s
    8. Previewing your work
      2m 46s
    9. Exporting content as a movie file
      2m 29s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Touring the interface
      6m 2s
    2. How After Effects projects work
      4m 47s
    3. What is a composition?
      4m 52s
    4. Tips for adding content to compositions
      2m 49s
    5. Understanding the properties of video
      8m 50s
  4. 57m 8s
    1. Importing an Illustrator file
      4m 57s
    2. Animation basics
      7m 12s
    3. Animating opacity
      6m 40s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      4m 57s
    5. Animating position
      6m 8s
    6. Animating rotation
      4m 41s
    7. Animating scale
      7m 19s
    8. Using the Puppet tool
      7m 13s
    9. Copying and pasting keyframes
      3m 4s
    10. Animation shortcuts
      4m 57s
  5. 9m 42s
    1. Understanding precomposing
      6m 51s
    2. Navigating through compositions quickly
      2m 51s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. A showcase of effects
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a layer for effects
      3m 1s
    3. Applying effects
      4m 54s
    4. Animating effect properties
      4m 29s
    5. Using Glow
      5m 34s
    6. Creating patterns and textures
      6m 57s
    7. Creating a fireball
      7m 9s
    8. Using the Cycore effects
      5m 58s
    9. Adding blur
      5m 45s
    10. Creating a galaxy scene from scratch
      8m 38s
    11. Distorting objects with effects
      4m 7s
    12. Creating and using lens flares
      4m 21s
    13. Creating lightning bolts
      4m 3s
    14. Viewing random variations with Brainstorm
      4m 39s
  7. 30m 52s
    1. Shortening the duration of layers
      4m 23s
    2. Trimming in the Footage panel
      4m 14s
    3. Slowing and accelerating video speed
      7m 9s
    4. Applying video transitions between clips
      6m 7s
    5. Working with image sequences
      4m 47s
    6. Importing footage with an alpha channel
      4m 12s
  8. 36m 11s
    1. Brightening dark footage
      9m 12s
    2. Changing colors in footage
      6m 34s
    3. Creating cinematic color treatments
      8m 17s
    4. Creating a quick vignette
      3m 42s
    5. Colorizing black-and-white objects
      4m 50s
    6. Using adjustment layers
      3m 36s
  9. 21m 9s
    1. Creating and editing text
      7m 39s
    2. Applying text animation presets
      4m 41s
    3. Animating text manually
      4m 43s
    4. Applying layer styles to text
      4m 6s
  10. 28m 58s
    1. Let's get better
      37s
    2. Using work areas
      3m 37s
    3. Creating markers
      6m 17s
    4. Replacing layers
      2m 35s
    5. Mastering Timeline navigation
      3m 18s
    6. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 4s
    7. Selecting layers quickly
      1m 56s
    8. Cropping layers
      3m 43s
    9. Adjusting comp resolution
      3m 51s
  11. 23m 53s
    1. Using the paint tools
      9m 35s
    2. Using the Roto Brush tool
      9m 25s
    3. Animating growing vines
      4m 53s
  12. 40m 29s
    1. Creating and using masks
      6m 42s
    2. Exploring mask options
      7m 57s
    3. Creating masks with Auto-trace
      6m 51s
    4. Masking objects with other objects
      5m 33s
    5. Making shape layers
      3m 43s
    6. Modifying shape layers
      9m 43s
  13. 30m 44s
    1. Turning 2D layers into 3D layers
      9m 22s
    2. Creating lights and cameras
      6m 14s
    3. Creating shadows
      4m 23s
    4. Using depth of field
      4m 42s
    5. Working with 3D effects
      6m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. Removing a green screen background
      4m 37s
    2. Refining the matte
      4m 48s
    3. Compositing with color adjustments
      4m 50s
    4. Compositing with blend modes
      3m 55s
  15. 25m 44s
    1. Understanding spatial interpolation
      2m 5s
    2. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      3m 55s
    3. Orienting moving objects along a path
      1m 29s
    4. Drawing motion with Motion Sketch
      2m 51s
    5. Creating pauses in animation
      3m 6s
    6. Understanding temporal interpolation
      1m 56s
    7. Easing keyframes
      5m 57s
    8. About the Graph Editor
      4m 25s
  16. 12m 13s
    1. Stabilizing shaky footage
      7m 46s
    2. Tracking the motion in footage
      4m 27s
  17. 24m 58s
    1. Setting up parent layers
      5m 49s
    2. Working with null objects
      2m 31s
    3. What are expressions?
      7m 17s
    4. Modifying simple expressions
      2m 20s
    5. Using the wiggle expression
      7m 1s
  18. 6m 52s
    1. Understanding audio in motion graphics
      1m 22s
    2. Previewing and mixing audio
      3m 55s
    3. Enhancing audio tracks with effects
      1m 35s
  19. 11m 36s
    1. Adding comps to the Render Queue
      2m 30s
    2. Exploring key Render Queue settings
      4m 11s
    3. How should I export my video?
      4m 55s
  20. 7m 16s
    1. Using Photoshop with After Effects
      2m 10s
    2. Using Illustrator with After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Using Flash with After Effects
      2m 4s
  21. 11s
    1. Goodbye
      11s

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