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Color is a powerful signal in video; it can subtly project emotion, mood, time of day, and location. Learn to manipulate these visual elements in a variety of shots, from interior spaces to outside landscapes, with color grading. Filmmaker, colorist, and experienced editor Simon Walker shows how to simulate a light source and different types of light, and choose an evocative color for your footage to tell the story of a particular location. Plus, learn techniques to change the time of day, the type of room, and the overall mood of a location.
Simon works with Adobe Premiere Pro and the Magic Bullet Colorista II and Looks plugins, but these lessons can be applied to any color correction workflow.
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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