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Using a color mask to isolate a correction

From: Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X

Video: Using a color mask to isolate a correction

In this movie let's start our exploration of secondary corrections. That is, corrections that only affect part of the shot. One of the most tried and true ways of making a secondary correction, even in very high-end dedicated color correction applications, is a key. By keying or selecting a portion of a clip, you can isolate that portion of the shot, and once you've isolated a portion of the shot, you can adjust its color, saturation, or exposure. And in Final Cut Pro X this type of keying is referred to as a Color Mask, and that's what I want to show you in this movie.

Using a color mask to isolate a correction

In this movie let's start our exploration of secondary corrections. That is, corrections that only affect part of the shot. One of the most tried and true ways of making a secondary correction, even in very high-end dedicated color correction applications, is a key. By keying or selecting a portion of a clip, you can isolate that portion of the shot, and once you've isolated a portion of the shot, you can adjust its color, saturation, or exposure. And in Final Cut Pro X this type of keying is referred to as a Color Mask, and that's what I want to show you in this movie.

This shot looks pretty good, but what if I actually want to go ahead and do is amp up the saturation of this red rug, and the way that I'm going to do that is by using a Color Mask to select the red in the rug. With the shot selected, let's go ahead and use the keyboard shortcut Command+4 to open up the Inspector, and here in the Color section of the Inspector you'll notice I have Correction 1. This of course is the default correction that every shot in Final Cut Pro X has, and I've used this correction to do some basic balancing of this shot. Well, to isolate the rug, what I want to do is go ahead and add a new correction, and I'll do that by clicking this plus button right here.

Now you can see I have Correction 2. You can add as many corrections as you want on a shot. Right here in Correction 2, what I want to do is click this button right here that looks like a little eyedropper in a square. This button will allow me to add a new Color Mask. By using a Color Mask I can isolate the red in this shot. All right, so let me go ahead and click this button. Then over here in the viewer, you'll notice that my cursor has changed to an eyedropper. By clicking in this shot and using the eyedropper, I can select a portion of the shot that I want to isolate.

So what I want to do is click on the red here in rug. I'm going to click but not let go. Once I've clicked you'll notice that a part of the rug is selected. If I drag out, I can actually add more of the rug, and as the circles get larger, you're adding similar contrast and color values to your selection, and you'll notice when I've dragged out really big like this and the circles are large, I've selected almost all of the shot. So what I want to do is drag back down to make a much smaller, tighter selection.

Something like that works. Let me go ahead and let go. Now you'll notice that I didn't actually select this part of the shot over here. It was in grayscale. The way that this works is when you have a portion of the shot selected, it's in color, and a portion of the shot that is not selected is in grayscale. And portions that are in color will take part in the correction that you'll make, and portions that are in grayscale will not take part in the correction that you'll make. So what I want to do of course is add more of the rug, and the way that I'm going to do that is by holding down the Shift key.

By holding down the Shift key you can add to your selection when you click with the eyedropper. So let me go ahead and click to add more of this rug. I'll click again and drag out ever so slightly; something like that. Okay, now you'll notice that I have most of the rug targeted, but take a look at the floor over there in the upper- left hand corner. I have the floor also targeted, and I don't want that portion of the clip to be selected. So what I'm going to do this time is hold down the Option key to subtract a portion of the shot from my selection, so I'll click over here on the wood floor and drag out a little bit to remove that portion from my selection.

That's looking pretty good. Back over here on Correction #2 where it says Color Mask. I have a control that allows me to adjust the softness of my selection. Every Color Mask has a little built-in softness, but it's always a good idea to add more softness to your shot. That way you won't have any ringing edges or artifacting on the edges of your selection. So I want to drag this control up a little bit to soften my selection. Okay, so we've made a selection, but we haven't actually made a correction, meaning we haven't actually amped up the saturation in this rug. So to do that I'm going to click on this button right here to access the Color Board for Correction 2.

And then let me click over to the Saturation pane. Remember you can always use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Command+S, S for Saturation. Then using the Global saturation control, this guy right here, I'll drag up a little bit to add some more saturation into that rug. That's looking way better to me. Now one little note. You might have noticed these two buttons here down at the bottom of the Color Board that say Inside Mask, which is the default, and Outside Mask. With set to Inside Mask, any correction you make will affect your selection that you've made with a Color Mask.

With set to Outside Mask, any correction you make will affect the outside or inverse of your selection. For this movie I don't need to make an outside correction, but it's nice to have that flexibility. Let's go back to the main level of the Inspector by clicking this Back button right here, and then what I want to do is toggle this correction on and off. So here's the original shot, and then a little bit more saturation in the rug. Now you'll notice a couple of things. This red book back here in this bookshelf was also selected. That's because it had similar contrast and color values to the red rug.

You might have also noticed right here that this bookcase was slightly selected. And that's the same problem. It has similar color and contrast values to the rug. Having both of these items be a little bit more saturated doesn't bother me in this shot. Later in this chapter, I'll show you how you can actually combine a Shape Mask with a Color Mask to limit a selection that you made with a Color Mask, but for right now this shot looks pretty good. Let's go ahead and drag through the shot, and you can now see that the rug is a little bit more vibrant.

So that's using Color Masks here in Final Cut Pro X. Color Masks are a great way to isolate a portion of the shot for further correction.

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Color Correction in Final Cut Pro X

30 video lessons · 11752 viewers

Robbie Carman
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