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Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X
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Using Match Color


From:

Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X

with Robbie Carman

Video: Using Match Color

As a colorist, I work on a lot of shows every year. And one of my main concerns is making sure that shots within a scene match each other and that shots from scene to scene feel like they belong with one another. In the past, to match shots you needed a keen eye and a deep understanding of the video scopes to be able to match shots. Well, Final Cut Pro X offers a very cool solution called MatchColor to match shots quickly and pretty effortlessly. And that's what we are going to take a look at in this movie. This project contains a couple of shots from the same scene but there are two different angles, and one of the angles has already had a look applied to it.

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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

Using Match Color

As a colorist, I work on a lot of shows every year. And one of my main concerns is making sure that shots within a scene match each other and that shots from scene to scene feel like they belong with one another. In the past, to match shots you needed a keen eye and a deep understanding of the video scopes to be able to match shots. Well, Final Cut Pro X offers a very cool solution called MatchColor to match shots quickly and pretty effortlessly. And that's what we are going to take a look at in this movie. This project contains a couple of shots from the same scene but there are two different angles, and one of the angles has already had a look applied to it.

So let's go ahead and scrub through this timeline. And here on this first clip, you can see that it has pretty stylized, kind of aggressive look to it. But it doesn't match the flat look of this second shot at all. What I actually want to do is have this second shot match the more stylized look of this first shot. Now, speaking of this first shot, I am pretty happy with it. What I have done is actually gone ahead and performed a primary color correction. That is a correction that affects the entire picture, and I have done this with the color board here in Final Cut Pro X. For right now, don't worry about how I actually made the correction.

We will talk more about the color board later in this chapter and throughout the title. The point is, is that you can match the contrast and color over raw shot to another raw shot. But you can also match a shot to a previously corrected shot like the one I have here. Alright, so let's go ahead and select this second shot, the one we are unhappy with, and then let me use the keyboard shortcut Command+4 to open up the inspector. Here in the inspector, let me make sure that I am on the video pane, which I am. Then let's come down to the Color section. Just make sure that the Color section is enabled, and you can tell that it's enabled by this blue square right here.

Right here, I have the parameter for Match Color. And right now match color is not currently enabled, and I can tell that because of this black square. To enable Match Color, I can simply click on this black square but I can also use the keyboard shortcut Option+Command+M to enable the Match Color function of Final Cut Pro X. I am simply going to click. And when I click, you can see that the viewer changes into this sort of side-by-side view. I have a clip here on the right, no clip here on the left, but we will run in that in a second. Down here you can actually see that I have some instructions. And they are actually being cut off. That's only because of the resolution that I am recording in this movie at.

What these instructions really say are "Skim to a frame you want to match and click to preview it." Okay, so what I am going to do is come down here to the timeline and skim this first clip. And as I drag back and forth, you can see that I am picking a new frame in this first clip. And I can see that on the left-hand side of the split view up in the viewer. Let me go ahead and click right here. And when I click, you can see that the right-hand side, or that second clip on the timeline, updates to show me a preview of that match. Now it's only a preview. I haven't actually committed to the match yet. But on first blush, it looks really, really, really good.

Now in this clip, it didn't really matter the frame I chose since it is a pretty static clip but if you had a shot that the color and contrast changed within the shot, be careful about what frame you choose. Okay, so to accept the match, I am simply going to click Apply Match. Let's navigate down before the edit here, and let me play this back. And wow, that's pretty good! You can see that the shots match pretty well. Now if you decide, you know what, I want to match this shot to another shot in my project, all you need to do is make sure that the shot is selected, come back up to the inspector, and click Choose here.

And then you can simply repeat the process of choosing a new frame that you want to match the shot to. Lastly, I think it's important to mention that if a match is not perfect, you can always refine it with the color board or with filters and effects, all of which we will discuss a bit later in this title. So that's the essentials of color match. I think along with balance color, it's a huge feature of Final Cut Pro X, and one that can save you hours of time performing manual corrections.

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