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Creating an afternoon look

From: The Art of Color Correction: Color Grading for Locations and Times of Day

Video: Creating an afternoon look

Late afternoon has a look all of it's own. We can simulate this sunny feeling of the time that approaches golden hour, that last hour before sunset quite simply with only a couple of color corrections. I have got looks applied to this clip. So, I'll open the Looks Builder and Late Afternoon, which is to us the colorista three way, has a little less ambient light because the sun is approaching the horizon. And of course you can use the mid-tone Luma adjustment to simulate falling ambient light just by reducing it slightly.

Creating an afternoon look

Late afternoon has a look all of it's own. We can simulate this sunny feeling of the time that approaches golden hour, that last hour before sunset quite simply with only a couple of color corrections. I have got looks applied to this clip. So, I'll open the Looks Builder and Late Afternoon, which is to us the colorista three way, has a little less ambient light because the sun is approaching the horizon. And of course you can use the mid-tone Luma adjustment to simulate falling ambient light just by reducing it slightly.

But it also has, especially in a sunny situation, an orangy yellow light to it. So, pushing these two together begins to simulate the sort of light we'd see. But there are some interesting colors that can happen late afternoon. The famous impressionist artist, Monet, painted many paintings in the afternoon and began to notice certain colors in the shadows. He began to notice that the shadows had a bluey red tinge to them.

And so, he began to add in purple into the shadows in his paintings. It's very interesting that we can add a little purple into the shadows here and it begins to suggest that particular time late afternoon. Grading is a lot like focusing a camera. So, if you push something too far just like if you focus too far, then you can see that, that's not the result you want to have. So, you can always bring it back again, but experiment with pushing your shadows towards purple for late afternoon look.

And it really is quite evocative of the sorts of colors that you can see in late afternoon in a sunny situation. Here it is without any purple, and here it is being pushed towards purple. And here's the before and after. You can further exaggerate this look by adding in a bit of a flare effect in Magic Bullet Looks. They've got in the lens section, a Haze Flare tool, which I can set without a reflection, and increase the spillage here.

So, these two corrections together, the color and the flare effect, combine to give much more of a sense of that light afternoon feeling, especially with this simulated haze coming in over the buildings. The color of the sun does change though, the more it approaches the horizon. This is because of the way that the light from the sun is being filtered by the atmosphere. I'm going to copy this effect onto the next clip, I'm going to hit Finished, and then right click on this effect, Copy. And jump to the next clip, and then right-click and paste the effect inside the effects controls.

We've got that same effect applied now to this shot. I'll open up the Looks Builder for this shot. It's useful to be able to simulate those times towards sunset just by moving the highlight control. The closer it gets to sunset the redder the sun becomes, or redder the light becomes. So, you can just move this towards red to simulate the change in light. Here it is before, here's with an orangy light. And just have a look at this, we're changing the effect.

We're making it seem a bit more like this was bathed in a sunset light just by moving this one control. If you want a more subtle effect, you can back off how much intensity applied to the highlights, but I find it's really interesting that you completely change the time of day. In this case towards late sunset, just with a simple few corrections.

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  1. 4m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 47s
    2. Telling a story with color
      2m 10s
    3. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 38m 20s
    1. What different colors tell the audience
      1m 6s
    2. How our eyes see color
      5m 12s
    3. Making sure color is consistent across multiple clips in a sequence
      4m 54s
    4. Understanding the correct order to apply color correction adjustments
      7m 43s
    5. Working with Premiere Pro and the Colorista II plugin
      7m 55s
    6. Working with Premiere Pro and Magic Bullet Looks
      7m 21s
    7. Making contrast, lighting, and mood changes: A general rule of thumb
      4m 9s
  3. 25m 13s
    1. Understanding how cool color frames emotion
      7m 39s
    2. Stylizing a cold location with color grading
      3m 18s
    3. Understanding how warm color frames emotion
      3m 16s
    4. Stylizing a hot location with color grading
      4m 40s
    5. Isolating and adjusting skies
      6m 20s
  4. 28m 0s
    1. Changing the times of day with color
      50s
    2. Creating an early morning look
      5m 24s
    3. Creating a midday look
      2m 36s
    4. Creating an afternoon look
      3m 46s
    5. Creating an evening look
      2m 34s
    6. Composing a day-for-night shot
      7m 28s
    7. Creating a flashback look
      5m 22s
  5. 17m 17s
    1. Changing colors to match the mood of the story
      28s
    2. Stylizing an office scene
      2m 31s
    3. Creating a bedroom color style
      2m 20s
    4. Designing a hospital look
      3m 13s
    5. Stylizing a morgue shot
      2m 56s
    6. Coloring an interrogation scene
      5m 49s
  6. 9m 26s
    1. Separating characters from the background
      44s
    2. Creating fake depth of field in Magic Bullet Looks
      2m 51s
    3. Creating fake depth of field in Colorista II
      5m 51s
  7. 3m 6s
    1. Next steps
      3m 6s

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