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Color correction is the process of tweaking the colors in our images to make them look better, match shot-to- shot better, and sometimes to bring out an emotive element. Now, doing a mini-documentary, how much you use is going to depend on a number of things. How your piece was shot, whether it was shot at different times and places that creates lighting situations that need to be matched, and if you want to get involved in anything that is quote-unquote more emotive.
We're looking here at our picture-locked timeline. And the first thing I want to emphasize is that color correction is never really about getting a single shot perfect so much as seeing where there is distraction between shots and fixing those shots so that as you cut from one to the other we don't notice a change. There's one shot I'd like to concentrate on by way of example. I want to play it here, starting with the shot prior, so you can see the difference and notice that distraction for the viewer.
(Female speaker:--being a participant in this incredibly rare medium.) Did you notice how this shot in the middle is noticeably washed out? It might not be so noticeable that it's sort of bright and lacking contrast if the shots on either side weren't exposed better. So when this one comes up particularly after this one that's so dark and rich, it's a little bit of a distraction that it's so bright. Let's work to fix this.
There're a number of color correction tools in Adobe Premiere Elements. They're all found in Effects. Here you can see a number of Automatic choices, as well as Brightness & Contrast, and et cetera. Going down further, I see Image Control, Shadows/Highlights, and ultimately I have a Three Way Color Corrector. This is going to be the most advanced color correction tool, and I want to show you what it looks like, although it might not be the best solution for the problem we have here.
I've added my Three Way Color Corrector, and I want to see its detail. So I Edit Effects, and here you see that the nature of the Three Way Color Corrector is a color wheel for each level, Midtones, Grays, and Whites. I've opened up the Midtones, and I am going to do an exaggerated change so you see how this works. I can now change the Midtone color value, taking it green or a different color. But this would be much more for one of those emotive looks, a dream sequence or something like that.
I do have fine control here, but I found a better method for correcting this particular shot. I am going to remove the Three Way Color Corrector, go back to my Effects palette, and I am going to apply Auto Levels. Did you see how right away they got more contrasty? It's necessary to render before we can actually see the effect full speed.
(Female speaker:--being a participant in this incredibly rare--) You can see from this example how color correction is not about making a single shot perfect but about understanding the comparison between the shots and making small adjustments that will detract from the sense of distraction that people get when color changes.
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