Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3

From: After Effects CC Essential Training

Video: Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3

I don't care how much you plan in advance. This information is called trace information.

Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3

I don't care how much you plan in advance. It seems, like, inevitably, there's going to be a shot or two that gets shot and it doesn't look anything like the footage that you actually shot. And, that's the case with what we have here. This track looks kind of brown and it was actually red. So, we have a really strong color cast in this shot, so we're going to go ahead and fix it. But, in this video, we're going to focus on how to make color correction using scopes because, otherwise, if you're just adjusting based on what you're seeing on your monitor, your correction is only as good as how well calibrated your monitor is.

So, since that can vary from place to place, using scopes is, kind of, a failsafe way to have a clean, accurate. Color correction. So to get started let's select layer 1 and then go up under effects and then go down under synthetic aperture and choose SA color finesse 3. Once that's loaded in you affect controls panel go ahead and click the button for the full interface. Now once the interface populates the screen I want to show you how things are organized. We have two boxes in the upper half and then one box in the lower half of the inner face.

And in the upper left corner is where we are going to look at our different scopes and this of course is going to be our reference. And then these are where the controls are in the lower portion. Now if you ever want to preview the clip all you have to do is just press the play button here and it will go ahead and start loading the clips for playback. Now sometimes it's a good idea to go ahead and play your footage after you've made some color corrections just in case you've created some extra noise. Now I know this clip is relatively noisy and it's H264.

So we are going to have a highly compressed clip. So we are going to have a little bit of noise in this shot. But that's okay. I'm going to go in stop, playback just by clicking on the stop button there. And we can actually color correct this without ever having to look at the footage. Because I want you to look at the scopes. Now before we try and fix the color hue, I want to fix the levels or brightness of what we're looking at. And to do that I'm going to work primarily with the wave form monitor. So if you click on the third option down.

You'll see luma waveform. This information is called trace information. It works from left to right, and it's literally tracing the information that you see in your shot from left to right. Now, it's giving me a luminance value for that shot, so I can tell you right now, 0 is black, and notice none of the trace information is down near 0, so I know none of my scene is actually truly black. Now 100 is 100% white and as you can see I do have a trace dot up here.

Now I know where this trace dot actually lives in the shot because it's about three quarters of the way through the scene so if we move three quarters of the way through the scene. In look for bright pixels, here you can see on the head of our runner and right here on his leg, we've got some bright pixels and that's what's being represented right here. So to fix the levels, what you need to do is go down to the control portion of the interface and go down to the levels area. So with level selected, you should recognize these level graphics.

We have input and output. So, in order to set the black levels, I only go to that lower left corner of the input menu and go ahead and just click on this black triangle and drag it towards the right. Notice as I drag to the right, you can see that trace information start to move down to the bottom. Of my waveform monitor. So, I just want it to be just right at 0. If I drag it too far, we're doing what's called crushing the image, and I don't want to crush the black levels.

So I just want them to just barely touch. 0 there. Now for the white levels, we could bring them up a little bit more, but honestly this was a night shot. So I'm just going to leave this the way it is right now. We already have some information up near a 100, and that's plenty bright for me. If we wanted to bring that brightness down, we could go to the output levels and tell it to output a little less brightly so here I'll just bring that down a little bit just so it is below 100 there. Okay, now to fix the color cast. We need to go to our controls to the hsl section, and then click on q offsets.

This going to give you typical color wheel correction controls. Now in order to actually see how the colors are changing, I want to go ahead and click on the RGB waveform monitor and this shows me the trace information for each individual color channel. So it's the same image all the way across from left to right for each individual channel. So here I can see there's a ton of green and a fair amount of red. So usually when you're color correcting, you'll either want to see this wave form or the vector scope.

So let's go ahead and click on the vector scope, I want to show you what this is. Vector scope is divided up for red, magenta, blue, cyan, green and yellow. This is the trace of information in the vector scope. And notice a lot of that information is geared towards yellow, and even some in the green area. So we need to fix this. So I'm going to go ahead and start with my highlights, because I know that this area is supposed to be white. So what I'll do, is just go in and click on this little center point. And as I drag out to the right, it's going to increase the saturation in whatever direction I'm dragging things.

Now, I happen to know that the colors are a little yellow. So I just want to drag it over to the right here. And if you want to type in exact number amounts, you can go ahead and just change the hue to 144, and then press tab, and we'll go head and set it for .43. Okay. Now. The lines appear a little more white but most of the color balance issues are in the mid-stones so as I am looking at my scopes here what I want to do is bring there a little more towards red so I'm going to go ahead and just click and drag up towards red and as I'm dragging, I'm noticing okay, it's getting way red so let's go ahead and drag it back a little more towards magenta here.

And now the skin tones are starting to come through a little better and the track is starting to look a little bit more like it did when the shoot actually happened. So. Just so everybody has the same settings, I'll go ahead and set the hue at 55 with a value for strength at 0.6. Okay, now that's definitely adjusted our black levels to have some color information. And I also know that because right here in the center, most of the trace is been pulled off of that center point.

So what I want to do is click in the center of the shadows and then just drag back. So the trace information is back over that center point, and that'll balance out my black levels. And again if, if you want precise numbers here we could go ahead and type 209, and press tab and type 0.25. Okay, so now, just by looking at my vector scope, I can see that this is going to look relatively okay. Now, I'm going to go back to my RGB settings here, and you can see my red is most dominant, which was the case in that actual shoot.

Green is considerably less, and blue has actually increased a little more. If you want to see. How this is further adjusted. Go ahead and just click and drag and notice how drastically each of the channels are changing as you move around the color wheel. Now I'm just to cmd + z to undo that last little change there. And usually I'd be all set with this. But I want to kind of give this one last tweak so one other thing that you can do is. Add a little bit more pop by adjusting the curves. So I'm going to click here under the curves and rather than adjusting the curves for the red green or blue channel separately, I'm just going to go ahead and add a smooth little s curve here in my master settings.

So I'll click into the center line and just drag it up into the left a little bit, which is going to increase the size of my RGB data. Just giving me a little big more color. And then. In the upper half of this line I am going to click and drag downa nd notice what it does to the image if I drag right or to the left. If I drag right it kind of brightens things up so I want to drag it to the left here to give a little more contrast because I like this. Sort of pop that's happening with the light illuminating our runner who's getting ready.

So, to accentuate this. I'm going to go ahead and click on the lower regions here, which will adjust the darker values. And go ahead and squash those down a little bit. So, here I'll go ahead and drag back here on my curve. Just so it's not quite so drastic. And so the curves. Are just giving me that extra little pop in terms of adjusting the brightness and contrast, through the different sections of the curve adjustments. As you can see, we have a representation.

these are the lighter pixels in the upper right corner and these are the darker pixels in the lower left hand corner. So we're just adjusting the brightness levels for each as we click through this curve. Okay, so now I have set everything up, and I can go ahead and click OK. Now immediately you can see this clip is infinitely better. Now if you want you can come up to the effect panel and toggle that on and off. I think it's pretty clear to see the drastic difference that's happened after we've made that color collection. Once you get used to working with scopes, you should be able to do color correction without even having to really look at the footage that you're working with.

If you just look at the trace data, you should be able to tell whether or not the shot is going to look relatively well color balanced or not.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for After Effects CC Essential Training
After Effects CC Essential Training

110 video lessons · 52518 viewers

Ian Robinson

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 30m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
    3. Relinking missing footage
      1m 54s
    4. Working with keyboard shortcuts
      1m 23s
    5. Updating After Effects with Creative Cloud
      1m 25s
    6. Different ways to use After Effects
    7. Exploring the interface of After Effects
      12m 0s
    8. Exploring important preferences and setting up the cache
      6m 20s
    9. Video terminology
      4m 24s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. The six foundations of After Effects
      11m 5s
    2. Understanding compositions
      10m 35s
    3. Creating and manipulating layers
      9m 49s
    4. Building animation
      6m 29s
    5. Working with effects
      7m 5s
    6. Introduction to 3D
      8m 45s
    7. Understanding how to render
      6m 48s
  4. 38m 54s
    1. Importing elements
      5m 53s
    2. Organizing projects
      3m 51s
    3. Building compositions with layers
      6m 17s
    4. Animating with keyframes
      10m 0s
    5. Adding effects and graphics
      8m 7s
    6. Output techniques
      4m 46s
  5. 44m 49s
    1. Exploring composition and project settings
      6m 48s
    2. Importing Photoshop files as compositions
      8m 39s
    3. Importing Illustrator files as compositions
      7m 41s
    4. Viewing files in the comp panel
      4m 42s
    5. Understanding Pre-compose
      4m 21s
    6. Positioning layers with snapping
      4m 55s
    7. Interpreting footage
      4m 0s
    8. Keyboard shortcuts for compositions
      3m 43s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Defining layers
      5m 4s
    2. Creating type layers
      7m 38s
    3. Precise typesetting techniques
      5m 42s
    4. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      9m 6s
    5. Creating design elements with shape layers
      6m 10s
    6. Layer compositing: Masks, switches, and blend modes
      7m 35s
    7. Using track mattes
      4m 49s
    8. Precise compositing with variable-width feathered masks
      9m 24s
    9. Working smarter by swapping layers
      7m 6s
    10. Keyboard shortcuts for layers
      2m 35s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. Understanding animation
      6m 20s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 52s
    3. Understanding keyframe interpolation
      6m 20s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      8m 26s
    5. The power of parenting
      5m 26s
    6. Using null objects
      6m 46s
    7. Creating expressions with the pick whip
      6m 25s
    8. Creating and adjusting motion paths
      9m 56s
    9. Building complex graphics with Pre-compose
      4m 54s
    10. Preparing audio for animation
      8m 57s
    11. Generating graphics with audio
      9m 13s
    12. Working smarter: Navigating the Timeline
      4m 32s
  8. 58m 59s
    1. Understanding the order of effects
      5m 58s
    2. Generating backgrounds with effects
      5m 33s
    3. Generating a scribble effect
      8m 12s
    4. Animating strokes with effects
      6m 37s
    5. Using adjustment layers
      5m 52s
    6. Adding gradients and glows
      4m 30s
    7. Saving pan and scan presets
      5m 20s
    8. Fixing exposure with Levels
      3m 5s
    9. Fixing color casts with Color Finesse 3
      9m 57s
    10. Masking individual effects
      3m 55s
  9. 55m 24s
    1. Understanding 3D in After Effects
      9m 2s
    2. Intro to cameras
      7m 51s
    3. Intro to lights and material options
      8m 56s
    4. Animating cameras
      12m 39s
    5. Creating depth of field
      6m 48s
    6. Exploring the ray-traced 3D renderer
      10m 8s
  10. 1h 43m
    1. Understanding CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects
      1m 32s
    2. 3D foundations
      10m 43s
    3. Matching CINEMA 4D Lite and After Effects projects
      8m 9s
    4. Understanding the CINEMA 4D Lite interface
      7m 31s
    5. Creating 3D projects from Illustrator files
      7m 28s
    6. Exploring modeling in CINEMA 4D Lite
      8m 8s
    7. Applying deformers
      5m 59s
    8. Understanding materials
      7m 32s
    9. Lighting your scene
      8m 14s
    10. Looking at detailed materials
      7m 51s
    11. Animating in CINEMA 4D Lite
      6m 51s
    12. Animating cameras in CINEMA 4D Lite
      5m 45s
    13. Working with CINEWARE
      9m 38s
    14. Render settings and the multipass workflow
      8m 38s
  11. 23m 35s
    1. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      4m 45s
    2. Recommended settings for rendering graphics
      10m 21s
    3. Creating presets in the Render Queue
      4m 0s
    4. Prerendering with Import and Replace Usage
      3m 18s
    5. Working smarter: One render, multiple outputs
      1m 11s
  12. 29m 3s
    1. Creating type animators
      8m 52s
    2. Creating and animating type on a path
      5m 32s
    3. Animating shape layers
      8m 45s
    4. Animating brushstrokes with Paint
      5m 54s
  13. 23m 31s
    1. Retiming with Time Remapping
      8m 56s
    2. Retiming footage with Timewarp
      9m 10s
    3. Smoothing shaky camera footage with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      5m 25s
  14. 16m 6s
    1. Getting started with Keylight
      8m 43s
    2. Refining your key with Keylight
      3m 42s
    3. Cleaning up keys with masks
      3m 41s
  15. 26m 47s
    1. Rotoscoping with paths
      6m 47s
    2. Introducing the Roto Brush
      5m 58s
    3. Refining the Roto Brush
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Refine Edge tool
      7m 50s
  16. 27m 13s
    1. Creating a single point track
      7m 38s
    2. Applying motion with Warp Stabilizer VFX
      4m 29s
    3. Warp Stabilizer VFX: Reversible Stabilization workflow
      7m 47s
    4. Solving cameras
      7m 19s
  17. 6m 30s
    1. Archiving your projects
      3m 50s
    2. Removing unused footage
      1m 25s
    3. Moving compositions between projects
      1m 15s
  18. 2m 24s
    1. What's next?
      2m 24s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed After Effects CC Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?


Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.