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Of course, there'll be times where you want to make adjustments to the exposure of a video file. I encourage you to use levels to make these adjustments so you can get a real time feedback as you make these adjustments. To show you what I mean let's make sure we have Layer 1 selected in the timeline, and then go up under Effect > Color Correction > Levels. With levels selected, we get this box with another gradient underneath of it. And as I'm looking at my image here, I can tell that it's slightly over exposed. So I'm going to click on the left side of the histogram here, and when I start to drag.
Notice I'm getting color information in here. Well, actually I'm getting some kind of information in here. If you go to these two circles on the right, if I click the top one, this actually contains the color information, the red channel, the green channel, and the blue channel. Now, if we click this other dot here, that's going to change for our Luminance values. And since we're making adjustments to brightness, this is exactly what we want. I want to make an adjustment to the Luminance. So I'm going to go ahead and just click and drag on this left arrow here and what this is doing is making an adjustment to the black levels.
So, as I click and drag, notice it's changing the input black levels here in my Effect control panel. As a general rule of thumb, you want to drag the little triangle all the way till you get just to the edge of where there is image information. Now if I continue past that as you can see I can create a stylized look. I don't generally recommend this because this process is also known as crushing the black levels which is generally not recommended. So let's just drag it 'til we get right to the edge there. And then, we could also make adjustments to our Gamma settings, which are our midtones.
So I could click and drag, and if you want to brighten up the image, we can drag them to the left. If we want to go ahead and darken the image, we can drag them back over to the right here a little bit. Since we have information all the way on the right hand side of our histogram, we don't really need to make changes to the white levels. If the image were under-exposed, we would probably have to work the opposite way, where we would have our black triangle all the way to the left edge and then we would be bringing our brightness up by dragging this triangle to the left.
We obviously don't need to increase Brightness and are seen, so I'll just undo that. Now this gradient down here at the bottom will allow us to make adjustments to the output of both the black and white levels. So if I click on that output of our white level, I can bring that down, and now the sky doesn't appear nearly quite as vibrant. I still have white levels here inside of my light, but it's not coming straight from the clouds. So any time you want to make adjustments to the exposure of your image, I encourage you to use levels.
T hat way you can see exactly what's happening by checking out the histogram
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