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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.
As you follow along with this course, you might notice that there are several things in my interface of Final Cut Pro X that look a little different from the default layout of the application. I just wanted to spend a few moments in this movie to point out those differences. First, throughout this title, I'll have the Event Library hidden to make more room for other on-screen elements like the Viewer and the Scopes. And at any time you can access the Event Library by clicking this button right here. Here in my Event Library you'll notice that I actually only have one event, called Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X. Depending on how you've copied the exercise files to your machine, if you have access to them, you may have other existing events. But for this title and on my machine, I only have this one event.
Let me go ahead and hide the Event Library. Right here I can actually see all the clips that are in the Color Correction for Final Cut Pro X event. You shouldn't have to access clips here, as they've already been placed into the various projects used throughout this title. Next, I'll be running Final Cut Pro X in Full Screen mode for this title. I like Apple's recent move to full- screen apps and the easiest way to get to get Final Cut Pro X into Full-Screen is to come over here to the upper right hand corner of the interface and click on this button right here. To get out of full-screen mode, simply press the Escape key, and of course to get back into full-screen mode, click the button again.
Throughout this title we'll be accessing what is known as the Color Board here in Final Cut Pro X. So let me go ahead and select the shot down here in the timeline and then I'll use the keyboard shortcut Command+6 to access the Color Board. Due to the resolution that I'm recording this movie at, I'm not actually able to see all of the Color Board. If I place my cursor between the dark and light gray areas right here and drag down, I can resize the interface a bit, and when I do that you'll notice some additional information here on the Color Board.
This area of the Color Board is just informational; you can't actually click into one of these fields here to edit the position or value of a control up here in the Color Board. For that reason I've chosen to have this part of a color board hidden throughout this title. Final Cut Pro has a new feature called Skimming, and this feature allows you to quickly preview a shot with what's called the skimmer without having to move the playhead. This is how it works. I'll simply come down to the timeline and I can skim the shot, but notice the main playhead is staying still.
This feature makes it easy to quickly view clips on a timeline, but it also gives you the ability to quickly preview shots in a selected event, and skimming is on by default in Final Cut Pro X. Now I should just say that some people love this future, but when you have it turned on and you move your mouse down here in the timeline, the image in the viewer constantly changes, and I find this can be distracting. Also, when color correcting, I like to make sure that I'm viewing the frame I want to look at in the viewer and not the frame that my mouse might happen to be over here in the timeline.
On your system, you're welcome to keep this feature on, but for this title, I'm going to disable Skimming, and to disable audio and video skimming, simply click this button right here. You can also use the keyboard shortcut S, S for skimming. However, disabling skimming draws attention to an issue that I want to show you. Let me go ahead and use the keyboard shortcut Command+6 to close the Color Board, and then what I want to do is come up here into the Viewer and click on this little light switch icon right here, and then I want to choose to Show the Video Scopes.
We'll talk about the Video Scopes throughout this title, but what I want you to understand right now is that there's actually no information being displayed in this scope. To display information in the Scopes window, Final Cut Pro needs to have a shot be skimmed or selected, which essentially moves the playhead to the point where you clicked to update the Scopes. In the case of a parked playhead in the timeline, you can also nudge the playhead by using the left or right arrows to update the Scopes. Because I've gone ahead and disabled Skimming for this title, I can't use the skimming option to update the scope.
Throughout this title I'll use the option of actually coming down to the timeline and selecting a shot. Now in the scope I can actually see some trace or information about this shot. I also want to make you aware that on my system I've gone ahead and made sure that Auto or Background rendering is on, and you can find that option in Preferences. So let me come up here to the Final Cut Pro menu and then down to Preferences. Then here on the Playback pane of my Preferences, the option I want to take a look at is this one right here for Rendering. Right now I have Background rendering on, and I like this feature, as it can quickly speed up workflow, and of course, it renders in the background.
In some movies in this title, if you're following along with the Exercise Files, there will already be color corrections on a shot that will need to be rendered, and if you have Background rendering on, when you open up a project rendering should automatically begin based on the time value that you input right here. If you're on a slower system you might want to disable background rendering. But when you do that I want to show one important thing. Let me go ahead and close my Preferences here. Then I want to come back down to this shot on the timeline and select it, and use the keyboard shortcut Command+6 to open up my Color Board, and I'm going to do a simple correction on this shot.
Right now don't worry about how I'm actually making the correction. The point is, is that over the clip right now I have this orange line; this indicates that the shot needs to be rendered. At any time you can come up here to the Modify menu and choose to render everything in your timeline or render just a selected shot. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts of Control+R to render a selection and Ctrl+Shift+R to render the entire timeline. Let me go ahead and render the entire timeline.
And when I do that you'll see this little progress icon of the rendering right here in the middle of the interface, and slowly but surely, you'll see the orange bar disappear over the clip, indicating that that part of the shot has been rendered. Let me just make sure that I go back up to my Preferences here and once again enable Background rendering. Now that we've adjusted the interface and some preferences, we're ready to start Color Correcting in Final Cut Pro X.
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