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Exploring color correction tools in AE

From: After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

Video: Exploring color correction tools in AE

With Adobe Creative Suite 5, there were several color correction tools added to further enhance the capabilities of After Effects. Now, I have to say, with regards to creating motion graphics, color correction is probably one of the easiest ways to treat the footage that you're working on. In this exercise, what we need to do is come up with kind of a vintage color treatment for our background video. If you turn on the visibility of layer 1, you can see there's this kind of cheesy retro wood texture.

Exploring color correction tools in AE

With Adobe Creative Suite 5, there were several color correction tools added to further enhance the capabilities of After Effects. Now, I have to say, with regards to creating motion graphics, color correction is probably one of the easiest ways to treat the footage that you're working on. In this exercise, what we need to do is come up with kind of a vintage color treatment for our background video. If you turn on the visibility of layer 1, you can see there's this kind of cheesy retro wood texture.

Again, we just want to come up with a color treatment to kind of match things little bit better, and to make the type pop off the background. So, turn off layer 1 for the time being and go up to the Project panel and select the Falls Sunrise video. One thing I want to draw your attention to: this was shot on my DSLR camera, and so it's H.264. Now, most of the time when I am doing color correction, I'd go ahead and transcode the footage--transcode meaning change it from one codec to another codec. Most of the time when you are working on motion graphics, you want to work with an uncompressed codec, or a codec that's optimized to work on your individual system.

Now, I left this H.264 because it saves a ton of file space on the disks, so I just wanted to draw your attention to that. Let's go ahead and move on to our color correction tools. Make sure layer 2 is selected in the Timeline and go up under Effects, down to Color Correction, and the first thing I want you to check out is the Photo Filter. So, navigate down to Photo Filter. This is one of my favorite ways of color correcting footage, just because I tend to look at footage from the eyes of a photographer.

So, this Photo Filter is in fact the exact same filter that's been in Photoshop for a long time. It's just been ported over into After Effects. So, this specific effect is built to emulate different filters you can put on your camera. So, I sort of like using these different warming filters. And the nice thing, you can click through all the different options and see how it affects the images; for example, Sepia, if we wanted that retro looks. But also down here, you can adjust the density. So, if you click and drag, it will obviously affect to the image a little bit more.

So, I just cranked that up to 100 and we turn our frame back on. We're already starting to get back on the road towards a neat treatment. I'd probably go in and change the type a little bit, yellow it so it sort of matches the background, but the Photo Filter, definitely a cool way of treating your footage. Now, let's go ahead and turn that filter off just for second and look at another one. Again, make sure layer 2 is selected, go to your Effects, down under Color Correction, and this time I want you to look at the Black & White filter.

Again, this is another effect that was ported over from Photoshop. The beautiful thing about the Black & White effect is the fact that you can actually make adjustments within each individual color channel. So, just so we can see things a little bit better, I want to change the magnification of our window. So, let's zoom in here a little bit to around 100%, and I'm going to use my Spacebar to reposition. We want to look at this area of rocks right here. Just turn off the Black & White filter for second.

You can see these bushes that are kind of yellow and green. Go ahead and turn Black & White on, and I want you to adjust the green channel. See if you can see any differences. Yeah, I am seeing a difference right here; it's kind of making some minor adjustments to just that one specific area. But I know if we adjust the reds, we'll actually get a fair amount of adjustment right here on the tips of the rocks. So obviously, with the Black & White effect, you should click around and adjust the image to your own personal preference. But if we scroll back out here, I want to draw your attention to one more section of that filter.

That's the Tint area down here at the bottom. If you go ahead and click Tint, this is yet another way to stylize the footage. So, if we go adjust the tint color, we can really kind of crank up that individual effect. So, I'm being kind of harsh here, just so you can see what's going on, but obviously, we have yet another vintage effect. So, let's turn to that effect off, and we'll talk about one last effect for color correction, and that's the exposure adjustment.

Go back up under Effect > Color Correction, and this time go down and choose Exposure. Now, I like working with the Exposure effect because you can actually work in different color depths. So, if I go up under File and down to Project Settings, we can go in under the Color Settings and change the Color Depth from 8-bit to 32-bit float or 16-bit. Now, when we do that--go ahead and press OK-- now when we go ahead and change that space, we can actually apply a much stronger color correction to the image before we'll start seeing that image degradation.

Now, let's first start by adjusting the exposure. Go ahead and bring the exposure of that image down here a little bit. And we can adjust the Offset, so let's go ahead and click and drag to adjust the Offset. You see, this is actually helping me create a sort of weathered beat look, which would kind of work a little bit better with the treatment that we're going for. Now all we have to do is actually add a Tint back into this, but since I'm in 32-bit color space, what I want to do is create a new layer.

I'll just make it a layer solid, and let's brighten up this brown tone to kind of a medium orange and click OK. So, with our new solid selected, let's go to the Mode section and change our blend mode. I want to change it from Normal to Screen, and that actually looks kind of rough right now, but if we change our layer order, making sure to put the new solid in between the two layers, it's starting to look a little bit better. Now, to blend it in, all we have to do is adjust the opacity of this new solid.

So go ahead and press T to open up the opacity and go ahead and bring that down. Now, through using some of the new effects in After Effects, we've created a vintage look for our footage and a new frame. Once we load up our RAM preview, you can see that we've created our new look with a little help from the new color correction tools built right into After Effects.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics
After Effects: Principles of Motion Graphics

60 video lessons · 22981 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 3m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 4s
    3. Defining motion graphics
      1m 32s
  2. 11m 11s
    1. Workflow for creating motion graphics
      5m 7s
    2. Organizing projects for motion graphics
      4m 25s
    3. Defining a motion graphics "package"
      1m 39s
  3. 12m 58s
    1. Collecting visual inspiration
      2m 14s
    2. Listening to imagine
      3m 20s
    3. Creating elements for inspiration
      7m 24s
  4. 33m 4s
    1. Essential theories of typography
      6m 34s
    2. Understanding shortcuts for setting type in AE
      7m 27s
    3. Converting type from Photoshop
      5m 51s
    4. Importing type from illustrator
      9m 44s
    5. Creating shapes from text
      3m 28s
  5. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the role of timing in motion graphics
      8m 1s
    2. Creating and using markers
      7m 58s
    3. Creating animation with markers
      5m 16s
    4. Using audio to create animated graphics
      5m 47s
    5. Editing techniques for graphics and video
      9m 28s
  6. 49m 27s
    1. Understanding different kinds of type in After Effects
      15m 53s
    2. Using animators with type
      7m 59s
    3. Using type presets
      7m 35s
    4. Creating custom type presets
      4m 35s
    5. Animating paragraph type
      13m 25s
  7. 45m 51s
    1. Exploring the use of color in motion graphics
      10m 40s
    2. Creating and using color palettes
      13m 45s
    3. Exploring color correction tools in AE
      6m 46s
    4. Advanced correction with Color Finesse
      8m 30s
    5. Creating custom color presets
      6m 10s
  8. 59m 6s
    1. Exploring textures in motion graphics
      8m 30s
    2. Building an animated background texture
      16m 48s
    3. Creating textures for type
      10m 19s
    4. Animating seamless textures
      15m 1s
    5. Creating custom vignettes
      8m 28s
  9. 38m 25s
    1. Understanding lighting in After Effects
      12m 57s
    2. Intro to lighting techniques
      5m 17s
    3. Using material settings to enhance lighting
      7m 36s
    4. Adding polish to a light setup
      12m 35s
  10. 50m 32s
    1. Animating swoops and swooshes
      12m 37s
    2. Creating repeating light trails with the Vegas effect
      6m 28s
    3. Repeating patterns with shape layers
      8m 11s
    4. Exploring graphic transitions
      10m 37s
    5. Exploring video transitions
      5m 16s
    6. Adding dynamic elements to a video transition
      7m 23s
  11. 22m 23s
    1. Working in 3D
      8m 36s
    2. Rigging cameras for animation
      8m 45s
    3. Working with depth of field
      5m 2s
  12. 50m 54s
    1. Creating storyboards in After Effects
      10m 20s
    2. Creating an animatic
      18m 14s
    3. Polishing the animation and timing
      8m 45s
    4. Applying the final effects
      13m 35s
  13. 47m 53s
    1. Preparing a map for animation
      7m 59s
    2. Animating and styling a map
      8m 24s
    3. Designing a lower-third graphic
      8m 22s
    4. Adding animation to the lower-third graphic
      9m 10s
    5. Creating bumper animations
      13m 58s
  14. 14m 17s
    1. Defining the toolkit
      2m 2s
    2. Preparing templates
      7m 12s
    3. Creating a style guide
      5m 3s
  15. 1m 3s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 3s

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