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Sometimes your video files need a little cleanup. You shot video of someone standing in the shade and it's too dark to see him or the color isn't quite right or it's not vivid enough. The Adjustments panel in Premiere Elements includes a number of tools for correcting your movie's lighting and color. Let's take a look at a couple of clips we have on the timeline here. We have a clip that is too dark. So we can open up our Adjustments panel. The Adjustments panel is launched by clicking on the button on the right-hand side of the interface. By the way, make sure you have a clip selected on your timeline when you open it; otherwise it will say Please select a clip.
We'll select our DarkClip. Remember that any adjustments you make are not being made to the entire track or to the entire movie; the adjustments are being made to the individual clip. At the top of the panel is the Smart Fix. That's an automatic fix that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. This will look at contrast and lighting. And if your video has a lot of jiggle from a handheld camera, it will apply a Stabilizer effect to take some of the jiggle out of it. Now it's not really a color issue. We can try Gamma. When we open it up, you notice that we have sort of this tic-tac-toe pattern here. That's what Adobe calls their Quick Edit Preview tool, and it's designed to make it very intuitive to make adjustments to your clip.
What you do is you just look at the variations on there and select the variation you think might work. We'll try this one, and that's probably a little too bright. To try a different one, we don't have to reset anything; we can just try another variation until we find one that's just about where we want, and that's probably as close as we'll get using the Adjustment panel here. If you prefer to work more analog, you can click the More button and you have a slider instead, and you can adjust the Gamma with the slider. And that's pretty good. That's not bad. And we can take a look at the before and after here by clicking on the Reset button: there is the before and using Ctrl+Z or Command+Z to undo or reset.
We can look at the after. So, not bad. Before, after. It's a pretty good adjustment. Let's try another one of the adjustments and see if it's more appropriate for this particular clip. I am going to select Lighting, and when I do, take a look. When I scroll up here you can see that there is a little green dot next to Gamma Correction. That means we've already applied Gamma. I don't want to double up on adjustments here, so I am going to reset Gamma by opening up the Gamma Correction and clicking Reset. That zeroes it out here. Now when I close Gamma or open Lighting, you see that green dot is gone.
So any changes I am going to make are going to be made on the lighting adjustments for this clip. Many of the adjustments have auto levels and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. Let's try this. Auto Levels, Auto Contrast, not much help. I am going to reset that. Let's try Brightness. We'll try one of the variations. That's kind of nice. Let's bring down the Contrast just a little bit by clicking on the variations. Not bad, but I want to reset that and try one more.
There is an Exposure tab here that can sometimes be very, very good at bringing out or enhancing photos that were shot in too bright a light or too dark. Let's see what happens when we click it. It's not quite powerful enough in this particular case. I think we're better off with Brightness and Contrast. That's not bad. Let's look at before, click Reset, then Ctrl+Z or Command+Z to undo the reset. There is our after. Before, after. Not bad.
I think that we could work with. On our second video clip, we have a picture that has a little bit of a yellow tint to it. Now most likely, this yellow tint is a result of changing color temperature. Color temperature is not about Celsius or Fahrenheit, but color temperature has to do with the electromagnetic spectrum. Things with a higher color temperature tend to be a little more bluish; for instance outdoor light is a much hotter color temperature than indoor light. Indoor light is a cooler color temperature.
It's more reddish and orange, and you don't notice so much when you go from indoors to outdoors or outdoors to indoors, because your eyes automatically adjust to it and if you have a camcorder, it's automatically making those adjustments. But in this particular case I think the person who shot the video, had the camera set up for midday light. Now if you look at the boxes on the truck, you can see the shadows are getting kind of long. I think this is later in the day, and so the light is cooling as daylight tends to do. That's why sunsets are red and orange. And he got a little bit of a yellow tint to his picture.
So before I make the adjustment, I want to make sure I select that clip so that the adjustments, I am making, are to that clip and we'll look at Temperature and Tint. Let's try making a temperature change first just by selecting one of the options here on the Quick Edit Preview tool, and we'll go down to more bluish. This is actually pretty good. I'm just going to scrub throw. We'll take a look at it and see if it looks natural. Yeah, those results are pretty good I would say. Before--I am going to click Reset--you can see it's very yellow. After, Ctrl+Z or Command+Z to undo the reset. Looking pretty good.
Let's see what we can do with tinting though. We'll reset it, go over to the Tint tab, and now let's try making a tint adjustment. In this particular case, I think Tint actually did a better adjustment than Temperature. Let's scrub through the clip and see how it looks. Yeah, I'd say that looks pretty natural, that color. Let's look at before, and let's look at after. Ctrl+Z or Command+Z. Very, very nice. The Adjustments panel is really your master control for correcting and adjusting color and lighting in your video.
And Adobe has done a great job of not only making these tools easily accessible, but also making the interface very, very intuitive.
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