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Understanding color looks and effects

From: Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X

Video: Understanding color looks and effects

So far in this chapter we have taken a look at some specific color correction features in Final Cut Pro X, namely Balance Color and Match Color. In this movie, I want to introduce you to a few other options you have in Final Cut Pro X to color correct and grade your footage. Let's start out by taking a look at some of the color looks that were created by Apple. To do this, I am simply going to select this first shot in the timeline. And then what I want to do is come over and access the Effects Browser, and I can do that by clicking on this button right here in the interface. I can also use a keyboard shortcut Command+5. Here in the Effects Browser, I can see a whole bunch of different categories for both audio and video effects.

Understanding color looks and effects

So far in this chapter we have taken a look at some specific color correction features in Final Cut Pro X, namely Balance Color and Match Color. In this movie, I want to introduce you to a few other options you have in Final Cut Pro X to color correct and grade your footage. Let's start out by taking a look at some of the color looks that were created by Apple. To do this, I am simply going to select this first shot in the timeline. And then what I want to do is come over and access the Effects Browser, and I can do that by clicking on this button right here in the interface. I can also use a keyboard shortcut Command+5. Here in the Effects Browser, I can see a whole bunch of different categories for both audio and video effects.

The category I am concerned with right now is this one right here labeled Looks. This category contains a bunch of preset looks created by Apple. Now the thing to understand about these effects is that they are, well, effects. In other words, they are not color correction presets that manipulate the controls of the color board in any way. We will talk about the color correction presets and the color board later in this movie, and then later in this chapter we will break down the color board into a whole bunch more detail. Now, here is one of my favorite features in Final Cut Pro X. Prior to committing to an effect, you can actually preview it here in the Effects Browser.

The way this works is you simply place your cursor over one of these effects or looks. Let me show you. I will place my cursor over this look right here labeled Cast. And when I do that, what you should notice is that the viewer updates to show me a preview of that effect. The actual icon of the effect down here in the Effects Browser also updates to show you the actual clip that you are working with. And you can even skim left or right to preview that look or effect. I think this is an awesome feature in Final Cut Pro X because instead of having to commit the effect, you can first preview it here inside of the Effects Browser.

Now for this movie, the effect that I want to use is this one right here, labeled 50s TV. I kind of like this look. It'll give this shot a nice, black-and-white feel. So, to apply this look, I have two options. I can drag it onto the clip in the timeline or I can simply double-click on it to apply. Now that I have applied this look, let's come back out to the timeline and select the first shot. And then I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut Command+4 to open up the Inspector. On the video pane of the Inspector here at the top, notice that I have the Effects section. And here you can see that look that we just applied, labeled 50s TV. Now this look only has one parameter that we can adjust--the Amount or the intensity of the look.

Let me dial that up just a little bit. And what that really did was intensify the edge vignetting that was going on in this look, and I kind of like that. Now, because these looks are just effects, we can keep adding multiple effects to one another to create sort of a composite look. What I am going to do is come back down to the Effects Browser here, and let's locate another effect. I want to use this one right here labeled Numeric. This time instead of double-clicking on this look, I am simply going to drag it out to the clip on the timeline to apply it. Now you can see up here in my Inspector, I have both of those looks, the 50s TV look, as well as the Numeric look.

Also notice that the Numeric look has more parameters that we can adjust. Depending on the look that you apply to a shot, you'll have more or less parameters that you can use to tweak the look. For this Numeric look, let me simply dial down the Amount. Something like that works pretty well. Let's come back down to the timeline and skim through the shot. All right, I am liking the work. It's working pretty well. Let's navigate down to the second shot in this timeline. The basics and stylized categories here in the Effects Browser also have some effects that we can use to help us color correct our shots.

Let me go ahead and make sure that the second shot is selected. Then what I am going to do is come into the Basics category over here. And then in the Basics category, you can see a whole bunch of different effects-- things like Tint, Sepia, Colorize, Black & White, and so on. Also notice this effect right here labeled Broadcast Safe. We we'll come back to this effect in the later movies in this title. For right now, I want to apply this effect right here labeled Crisp Contrast. And I will simply double-click on it to apply it to the second shot in the timeline. Up here in the Video pane of the Inspector, you will notice that I now have that effect.

Let's dial back the Amount a little bit so we are not crushing the black so much. Something like that works just fine. The Stylize category also has some effects that can help you color correct your footage. We have things like Bad TV, Aged Film, Cartoon, Camcorder, and so on and so forth. The one I want to use on this shot is labeled Film Grain. So this time I am going to apply this effect by dragging it out onto this clip. And in the Inspector here for Film Grain, I have two different styles I can choose, iMovie Grain or Realistic Grain. And I don't find iMovie Grain to be particularly realistic, so I am going to choose Realistic Grain.

And that looks much better. Let me skim through the shot. Now our third shot sort of disappeared here in my timeline. It's kind of underneath the Effects Browser, so only use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Z to snap the clips in the timeline back into the viewable area. And then let's go down to this third shot; let's make sure it's selected. Now what I am going to do is actually use the Color Board to apply a color board preset to the shot. Now don't worry, I know that we haven't talked about the Color Board in detail. We are not going to actually use any of the controls on the Color Board.

All I am going to do is simply apply a preset from the Color Board. Let's go ahead and first hide the Effects Browser, because I don't need that anymore. And then with this third shot selected, let's come up here to the Inspector. You will notice in the Color section, I have a default correction, this one right here labeled Correction 1. To access the Color Board, let's click on this button right here. Now again, we don't need to worry about any of the controls here on the color board on these three panes for Color, Saturation, and Exposure. What I want to do is come down and click on this little menu right here where you see the cog icon. This is where I can access presets for the Color Board.

You will also notice that you can actually save your own preset. In a later movie in this title, we will talk about creating and saving our own presets here on the Color Board. But for right now, let's just choose one of these presets. And the one that I want to use is this one right here labeled Ash. And when I choose that preset, you can see that the controls here on the Color Board changed. When you choose a Color Board preset, what's really happening is that the Color Board updates and adjust the parameters on it to create a look. In this shot it created a pretty stylized sort of desaturated look.

Let me skim through the shot. I am liking the way that looks. Now if you were astute you would have noticed that these shots are actually all from the same scene. And normally, you would think that I would try to match these shots together. And you are right. Normally, I would try to do that. But I wanted to show you in this movie different ways that we can sort of stylize and correct our shots, without directly manipulating the controls on the Color Board. So you can see, besides the other color correction tools that we have already talked about like Balance color and Match Color, you can easily use other effects and presets here in Final Cut Pro X to create custom looks.

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Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X

30 video lessons · 12145 viewers

Robbie Carman
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