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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.
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