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Digital video is a medium that is now available to almost everyone. It can be captured on anything from a mobile phone to a high-definition camera, and published anywhere from YouTube to Blu-ray discs. In Premiere Elements 4 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explores all the video editing capabilities of Premiere Elements 4. Chad starts with a real-world sample project, then covers techniques for importing and editing video; and adding effects, transitions, and animation. He concludes with a final project incorporating all the steps, including exporting and posting. Exercise files accompany the course.
Alright, now it is time to get into some real good hands-on stuff with effects, we would like to follow along. I am using the Brightness and Color project from the Chapter 6 folder and first up and perhaps most important and most commonly used, we're going to be talking about adjusting color and brightness of clips. Now, I will say this before we get started, often times as you look at some of this clips I will be using, they seem to be a little on the dark side. I will say that when you're shooting, it is better to have clips that are little bit too dark than a little bit too bright.
When your clips are little bit too dark, it is easier to bring back that lost information or to make things lighter and fix things, than it is if they are a little bit too light. So, just remember that while you're shooting, if you're the one using the camera. Perhaps, the simplest and quickest way to adjust brightness and color problems with the piece of video, is to just to go to the Effects tab and all you have to do is click Edit Effects and this takes us to our Fixed Effects here. We covered Fixed Effects in Chapter 4, when we talked about moving and transforming clips, we have barely skimmed over this Image Control area that is applied automatically to every piece of video footage that we bring in to our project and use.
There is four controls here, Brightness, Contrast, Hue and Saturation. Brightness makes a clip brighter as we drag this side to the right or darker as we drag it to the left and then we have Contrast which increases the contrast if we drag it to the right or decreases the contrast if we drag it to the left and then Hue changes the overall color of the clip and Saturation controls how much it is colorized. So, as we drag it to the right, we will notice the colors get more and more vibrant, as you drag it to the left, will turn this clip black and white essentially.
Now, I want to go through here and restore the default values, 0 for Brightness and a 100 for Contrast and 0 for Hue and 0 for Saturation. Actually, 100 for Saturation, excuse me, 0 would turn it black and white. This is basically the way the clip was when we brought it in. Now, you might be tempted to come in here and say it is a little bit too darker, let's pump up the Brightness. The problem with this Brightness slider is it is universally lightening every single pixel, every little tiny square that's making up this video clip is being lightened.
That might sound initially like a good idea, but trust me folks, it is not a good idea. This gooseneck is really cool, it is very dark and we want to keep it dark and as we brighten this clip up, it takes that gooseneck to white and we don't want that. So, I'm going to take this to 0, there are better ways to fix Brightness problems and we will get to those in just a moment. I do have refined myself often using Hue and Saturation. So, in this clip the colors are little warm, it is a little yellowish and if we drag this to the left, it is going to get even more red, more warm, if we drag it to the right, it is going to get a little bit cooler, a little bit more greens and blues.
I like that actually, if we want the greens and blues in this footage to be even more vibrant, then we would click on the number here, the 100 for Saturation, click and drag that to the right and see these colors get more and more vibrant. Now, it is going slowly and often times when you click and drag on these numbers, they do work a little slowly. What you can do is hold the Shift key on your keyboard and that will go much more quickly, if it is going a little bit too slow for you. So, that's probably a little bit too much, it is little overdone, so I'm going to take that back down a little bit, but you get the idea.
To see the before and after of what you originally had to what you have done, click this little eyeball here. Basically you're making it visible and invisible, so right now the effect is visible, if you click off the eye, this is what we started with and this is what we have now. That's quite cool actually, no pun intended. So, I'm going to close up Image Control here and go back over to Effects and most of the time the Color Adjustment effects, you want to add are in the Adjust category. With efects they are grouped in these categories, you will find on the left hand side here and the Adjust area is where the bulk of the good ones are found.
Now, as a general rule, I usually stay away from anything that says Auto, like Auto Color, Auto Contrast, Auto Levels because I like to have my own control over things, and usually the program guesses badly. But in this case, with Auto Color, Auto Contrast, Auto Levels, this is an exception, these work remarkably well and these will not harm and destroy your footage. So, if we were to apply maybe Auto Levels, it would automatically fix our Brightness problems. Now, we're starting to see a little bit, one of the problems of brightening dark clips is it starts to get extra grainy, so you want to be aware of that.
But even still, it did a remarkable job of balancing out the Brightness values of our shot and we have some really bright highlights here and our gooseneck is also still very dark. That looks infinitely better than had we gone into the Fixed Effects and adjusted Brightness there as we were just looking at moments ago. Now, Auto Contrast, I'm going to hit Ctrl+Z to Undo Auto Levels, Auto Contrast looks very similar, Auto Levels has a tendency sometimes to shift the colors very slightly, but they work very similarly, I am just going to Undo that by hitting Ctrl+Z again.
Auto Color will attempt to do Auto Contrast and fix the color. Now, it is done that here, it is sensed that our footage was a little bit too greenish, bluish and try to compensate for that by getting rid of it. However, sometimes if tactfully done, it is OK to leave a little tint in there. So, I'm going to hit Ctrl+Z to Undo that and get our footage back to the way it was. Now, let's see folks, the ways I have shown you so far are the ways, I typically would adjust color and brightness on my own, but there are many of these effects, you just experiment and play with here in the Adjust category.
Also if you scroll down a little bit, there is channel which will invert your colors, it is kind of a crazy effect, everything is inverted. So, everything that was black goes white and so on and so forth, kind of a psychedelic Jerry Garcia look and effect usually. I will hit Ctrl+Z to Undo that, I keep scrolling down here, there is another category called Image Control and you could use the Effects in this Image Control area to create a black and white clip or to tint a clip or to adjust the color that way. This is a little bit more sophisticated and advanced and usually the Adjust category gets you what you need.
Be aware that there are some kind of special effect type effects here, like Posterize for example, which creates just a few colors out of your image and creates like these really weird, painterly artistic kind of looks. In this case, it looks pretty terrible and in a lot of cases, it looks very 1980s, but that might be what you're looking for. In some cases, it does look very painterly and beautiful and very artistic. So, this might be something to try in the future and that's it for adjusting the Brightness and Color of video clips. In the next movie, I'm going to show you some of my favorite crazy effects in this huge list of video effects.
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