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Tinting with Colorama

From: After Effects: Insight into Effects

Video: Tinting with Colorama

In this movie we're going to focus using Colorama for my personal favorite use, as the ultimate tinting effect. I've already set this up in the way I described in the first movie, with my Output Cycle preset to Ramp Grey. This gives me a grayscale image as the starting point. But whenever I'm tinting I want to maximize my Contrast and Input. I want to get the maximum ranges of dark colors to light colors to feed into this Output Cycle so I can get more gradations of tints. So to do that, I'll twirl open Input Phase again, go back to the Get Phase pop-up and try out some other options.

Tinting with Colorama

In this movie we're going to focus using Colorama for my personal favorite use, as the ultimate tinting effect. I've already set this up in the way I described in the first movie, with my Output Cycle preset to Ramp Grey. This gives me a grayscale image as the starting point. But whenever I'm tinting I want to maximize my Contrast and Input. I want to get the maximum ranges of dark colors to light colors to feed into this Output Cycle so I can get more gradations of tints. So to do that, I'll twirl open Input Phase again, go back to the Get Phase pop-up and try out some other options.

Intensity is the default for Black and White; it's very similar to Lightness. For something a bit brighter, you can try something like Value. But none of these are getting me a high degree of contrast of darks to lights. So, I might try some other phases. For example, I remember that these rocks were very red. So let's try the Red channel. In this case, the water is now turned very dark, almost black, the mountains have remained bright and I still have some nice dark areas where the veins go through the rocks. So this will make good Input Phase to my tinting.

I'll twirl up Input Phase for now and focus on the Output Cycle. Now the way Colorama works is that the darkest colors on Input are mapped to 12 o'clock, straight up and down on this wheel. Progressively lighter input colors are mapped to whatever color goes around the wheel to end up to another stop just before 12 o'clock, just before a straight up and down on this wheel. If I want to change one of these color stops, I just double-click it. It opens up the Color Picker and I can pick the color for that stop.

For example, maybe something in a light yellowish-orange. Click OK and now I have a duotone effect. I go from black some of the dark areas to my yellowish gold in the bright areas. If I want to add an additional stop, for example, to turn this into a Tritone effect, I click anywhere around the wheel. It will open up the Color Picker again with the color already set to where I clicked around the wheel. If I want that to be a slightly different color, maybe something in the more red area and maybe something a bit brighter, I'll do that, click OK and now I have a Tritone effect.

It goes from blacks through a rusty red, to this golden yellow. Now, if I'm not pleased with any color, I can just double-click on it to open up the Color Picker again. Example, I might go ahead and make that a little bit darker for contrast, and there we go. If I want this color to map to a different grayscale value, I just drag this stop around the wheel. You can think of this as a bit of a gamma adjustment. It's similar to moving the color stops in more traditional gradient editors. If I want to snap this point to 45 degree angles, I'll hold the Shift key while I'm dragging and I'll snap to exact spots around the wheel.

This is particularly handy if I'm trying to set the color for up top. Let's go ahead and leave it down here. Now let's add another color for interest. I'll just click around the wheel. The Color Picker opens up and say let's make that area a little bit more plummy. Click OK, drag the wheel to get a little more contrast in my shadows, make it much deeper and if I want, I can add one more color in the Highlights. I can add up to 64 colors around this wheel. Now there's a couple of things I can do. I can hold down the Command key on Mac, Ctrl key on Windows, drag an existing color stop and it will duplicate that color to whatever place I drag, or if I want a new color, I just click anywhere around the wheel and the Color Picker opens.

So let's go ahead and pick something that's maybe a bit more saturated orange, right in that area. Too dark, so I can either try mapping it to different grayscale value. We'll just double-click it and edit its value, maybe make it just a touch brighter, a touch less saturated, click OK then go ahead and move this back around the wheel to have that nice contrast on my image. Normally, Colorama will interpolate values around this wheel from one stop to another.

That's reflected by the Interpolate Palette checkbox defaulting to on. If I had turn it off, I now I have a posterized effect. Colorama will now jump between these colors rather than smoothly interpolate in between them. Let's say that I want to include some of the original colors of this image back into my final composite. There's a couple of ways doing that. One is to edit the Blend with Original value. Go to the original mountains, go to my tinted mountains. Another way is to edit an individual color stop so that it is transparent.

Each color stop is connected to its own Alpha slider. So, if I want to make these mid-colors peek through and show me the original color of the mountains underneath, I just dragged it all the way down. Now you'll see some of the sky creeping in, some of the colors on these beach areas along the lake creeping in. Again, I can go ahead and adjust just where those colors fall, get a bit more of the sky in. Now I have an interesting colorized image. There is the original and here's my newly tinted image and now you start to see how powerful this is. You can create subtle looks, not just crazy psychedelic looks.

Now in this case I'm revealing the original image that was underneath. If I wanted to reveal another layer, I just turn off the Composite Over Layer switch and you will see it shows me the checkerboard pattern, the Alpha and the underlying comp. I could have another layer underneath this, if I want to mix this layer partially over another layer. But I'll leave this is on for now, just so I can blend it into my original photo. If you get a color treatment you really like, there's not a way to save it in the Preset palette. However, if you select the Colorama effect you can save an animation preset of it and recall back color tinted at any point.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects: Insight into Effects
After Effects: Insight into Effects

47 video lessons · 10395 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 6s
  2. 7m 27s
    1. The Effects & Presets panel: finding effects
      2m 42s
    2. The Effects & Presets panel: animation presets
      4m 45s
  3. 1h 24m
    1. Bilateral Blur
      5m 30s
    2. Box Blur
      5m 33s
    3. CC Vector Blur
      6m 18s
    4. Creative Channel Blur
      2m 2s
    5. Corrective Channel Blur
      1m 47s
    6. The pros of Compound Blur
      4m 35s
    7. The cons of Compound Blur
      3m 3s
    8. Directional Blur
      2m 35s
    9. Fast Blur and Gaussian Blur
      5m 16s
    10. Lens Blur: iris effects
      6m 17s
    11. Lens Blur: depth maps
      4m 41s
    12. Overview of Radial Blurs
      4m 16s
    13. Radial Blurs shootout
      3m 29s
    14. Reduce Interlace Flicker
      4m 12s
    15. Corrective Smart Blur
      4m 26s
    16. Creative Smart Blur
      7m 40s
    17. Unsharp Mask theory
      5m 5s
    18. Unsharp Mask and Sharpen
      3m 59s
    19. Unsharp Mask power tips
      4m 14s
  4. 41m 5s
    1. Overview of Calculations
      3m 55s
    2. Creative Calculations
      3m 32s
    3. CC Composite
      4m 54s
    4. Overview of Channel Combiner
      2m 49s
    5. Channel Combiner and color space
      3m 56s
    6. Channel Combiner and transparency
      4m 0s
    7. Remove Color Matting
      4m 24s
    8. Set Matte vs. Track Mattes
      6m 45s
    9. Set Channels and Shift Channels
      2m 0s
    10. Solid Composite
      4m 50s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Auto Color vs. Auto Levels
      6m 21s
    2. Auto Contrast vs. Auto Levels
      4m 44s
    3. Channel Mixer
      5m 34s
    4. Corrective Color Balance
      8m 15s
    5. Creative Color Balance
      3m 19s
    6. Color Stabilizer
      4m 51s
    7. Overview of Colorama
      7m 40s
    8. Tinting with Colorama
      5m 48s
    9. Colorama and color cycling
      3m 12s
    10. Hue/Saturation tips
      5m 4s
    11. Hue/Saturation vs. Color Balance
      2m 17s
    12. Tint vs. Tritone
      4m 34s
  6. 14m 40s
    1. Compound effects
      5m 43s
    2. Grayscale shootout
      6m 45s
    3. Repeat Edge Pixels
      2m 12s

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