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In this course, author Robbie Carman details the principles of color grading in Final Cut Pro X, while explaining how to enhance and stylize footage. The course spells out the differences between primary and secondary corrections and demonstrates fixing problematic footage with contrast corrections and neutralizing color casts. The course also discusses secondary corrections with shape and color masks and explains how to make projects broadcast safe. Additional topics include evaluating clips using the video scopes, and how to create stylized looks.
Earlier in this chapter, we took a look at using color masks as well as shape masks. In this movie, I want to show you how you can combine the two types of masks. By combining a color mask with a shape mask, you can essentially limit the selection that you've made with the color mask. Let's go ahead and take a look at this shot. This shot looks pretty good, but what I actually want to go ahead and do is lighten up this actress' skin tone a touch. And the way that I am going to isolate her skin tone is by using a color mask, but I think I am going to have a problem. The actress' skin tone here is very similar to the color of this door, and I am willing to bet when I use a color mask to isolate her skin tone, I am also going to select a part of the door over here, but I don't want that to happen.
But by combining the color mask with a shape mask, I can limit the selection that I make with a color mask. Let me show you how this works. With the shot selected here in the timeline, let me go ahead and use the keyboard shortcut Command+4 to open up the Inspector. Here in the color section of the Inspector, I, of course, have Correction 1. This is the default correction that every shot has inside of Final Cut Pro X and I have used this correction to do some basic balancing of this shot. But now, what I want to do is go ahead and add a new correction and I will do that by clicking this Plus button right here. On correction number 2, let me click this button right here to add a new color mask. And then over here in the viewer, with the eyedropper, I will click on the actress' face and then drag out a little bit to select her skin tone.
Something like that works. Actually, what I just noticed is that I missed this part of her ear right here. So I am going to hold down the Shift key to get the positive eye dropper and I will click on her ear to add that to my selection. But I am not actually going to let go yet. What I want you to notice is that we've selected the actresses' skin tone and we've isolated it, but take a look at the door; we've also selected part of the door, and in the upper right hand corner of the door, you notice that gray area? That's a part of the door that we haven't really selected and it's going to be problematic. Let me go ahead and let go. Over here on Correction 2 and right here with the color mask, I have this parameter right here to adjust my softness of the color mask.
Every color mask has some built-in softness, but I want to use this parameter and drag up a little bit to soften out my selection even more. Then for Correction 2, let's go ahead and click this button to access the color board. I will come over to the Exposure pane right here. Remember, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Command+E to access the Exposure pane. Using the Highlights control, this guy right here, I will drag up a bit to lighten up the actresses' skin tone. She is looking pretty good but what's not is this door right here. You'll notice this bit of the door is kind of blown out and I have some weird looking artifacts up here.
I don't want this in my final shot, of course. So to fix this, what I am going to do is go back to the main level of the Inspector by clicking the Back button right here on the color board. Here on Correction 2, let me go ahead and actually add a shape mask. You can add a shape mask on the same correction with the color mask, and what this essentially does is it limits the selection that you've made with a color mask. Here in the viewer, you'll notice that I have some on screen controls for the shape mask that we just added and if I drag this around, you'll notice that the shot is being lightened but only inside of the shape.
So what I want to do is position the shape over the actress' face, something like this. I will rotate it a little bit, maybe make it a little bit bigger, and then I will add a bit of softness to the shape by dragging this line out, just a touch, something like that works. Let's go ahead back down into the timeline and scrub to this clip. Oops! Right there she actually moves out of the shape, so I will just position it over a little bit, maybe make it a touch bigger. That's working really well.
Take a look at the door though. You'll notice that it's no longer affected and that's because we've limited the selection that we made with the color mask by using the shape mask. Let's go back over here to the Inspector and toggle this correction on and off. That looks much better. Now, you might have noticed that I selected a little bit of the doorframe here, but that's actually okay. This doorframe was part of my original color mask selection and because I positioned the shape mask around the actress' face, this door frame was inside of the shape mask. But, you know what, it doesn't actually bother me in this shot.
So you can see it's pretty easy to limit a selection made with a color mask by using a shape mask. This technique is very useful in situations where you want to isolate a part of a shot, but you don't want another part of the shot with similar color and contrast values to be part of your selection.
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