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Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X
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Creating a leave-behind color look


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Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X

with Robbie Carman

Video: Creating a leave-behind color look

Popularized by films like Pleasantville and countless commercials and music videos, the Leave Color Behind look has become really popular. In this movie, I am going to show you how you can quickly create this look by using a secondary color correction in Final Cut Pro X. This project contains a clip that I think would look pretty cool if we were to keep the fire here in color and desaturate the rest of the shot. The Leave Color Behind look is a nice one to choose when you have one bold color in a shot that you want to isolate and enhance, just like we do in this shot with the red fire. So what I'm going to do is come down to the shot here, and select it in the timeline, and then use the keyboard shortcut Command+4 to open up the Inspector.

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Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X
2h 40m Beginner Dec 21, 2011

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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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the video scopes
  • Using Balance Color and Match Color
  • Fixing under- and overexposed clips
  • Expanding contrast
  • Controlling saturation
  • Using color and shape masks
  • Creating looks with primary and secondary corrections
Subjects:
Video Color Correction
Software:
Color Final Cut Pro
Author:
Robbie Carman

Creating a leave-behind color look

Popularized by films like Pleasantville and countless commercials and music videos, the Leave Color Behind look has become really popular. In this movie, I am going to show you how you can quickly create this look by using a secondary color correction in Final Cut Pro X. This project contains a clip that I think would look pretty cool if we were to keep the fire here in color and desaturate the rest of the shot. The Leave Color Behind look is a nice one to choose when you have one bold color in a shot that you want to isolate and enhance, just like we do in this shot with the red fire. So what I'm going to do is come down to the shot here, and select it in the timeline, and then use the keyboard shortcut Command+4 to open up the Inspector.

Here in the Inspector in the Color section, you can see that the shot already has a correction applied to it. This of course is the default correction that every shot in Final Cut Pro X has. Now, I've used this correction to perform a primary color correction. Actually, what I did was I amped up the saturation in this the shot to make the fire nice and red. Now, I'm not too worried about what that saturation correction did to the rest of the shot--the grass, and the actress here--because we're going to actually desaturate those portions of the shot. So to isolate the fire, what I need to do is come in and add a new correction, and I'll do that by clicking this button right here in the Color section of the Inspector. And on Correction 2, let me click this button to create a new Color Mask.

Then, I'll come out into the shot right here, and you notice that I have an eyedropper. What I am going to do is click and drag to isolate that fire. Now, just be careful that you don't drag out too far like this. Remember, the larger these circles are, the more similar contrast and color values that you'll be selecting. So what I want to do is drag down to select just the fire; something like that works just fine. Then, back over here on the Inspector for Correction 2, let's click this button to access the Color Board for this correction, and then let's click on the Saturation pane right here.

Down here at the bottom of the Color Board, I have two controls: Inside Mask and Outside Mask. When this option is set to Inside Mask, any correction that you do will affect the selection that you've made with the color mask, instead of its inverse which would happen if you chose Outside Mask. So using the Global or Master Saturation control and this option down here set to Inside Mask, let's drag up to really amp up the saturation in the fire. Something that like works great. Looks really nice. Okay, let's come back down into the bottom of the Color Board here, and this time let's click Outside Mask. And then once again, let's come into the Global or Master Saturation control and drag down.

This time, the rest of the shot becomes desaturated because when this option is set to Outside Mask, we're correcting the outside or the inverse of our selection. All right! That's looking pretty cool! Let's go over to the Exposure pane here, and then using the Global or Master Exposure Control and with this option still set to Outside Mask, let's drag down a touch. Something like that is really nice. Let's come down to the timeline, and drag through this clip. And that looks really, really cool. Now, you might notice that I have a little bit of a reflection here on the actress' shoulder, but I'm actually okay with that.

This shot looks super stylized and really cool. A couple of things to keep in mind though about this look is that you may, depending on your shot, need to use several color mask corrections to really dial out colors, or you may need to also limit color masks with shape masks for the effect to work completely. But, for this shot, I think we got a pretty cool look and we did it quickly and easily by using the secondary color correction here inside of Final Cut Pro X.

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