Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

The Art of Color Correction: Color Grading for Locations and Times of Day
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating fake depth of field in Colorista II


From:

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

with Simon Walker

Video: Creating fake depth of field in Colorista II

Having depth of field with magic bullet looks to a static shot is very useful. But the problem with our characters onscreen is that they tend to move and here our actress moves from the left to the right through the shot. So if we added a static frame or a static soft edge vignette then she would move in and out of it. So, this would be a job for the plug-in Colorista rather than Looks in this instance, because you can animate vignettes. I'm using the Colorista II sequence, and I'm going to apply Colorista to this shot.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
The Art of Color Correction: Color Grading for Locations and Times of Day
2h 6m Appropriate for all Jul 03, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • How our eyes see color
  • What colors tell the audience
  • Making sure color is consistent
  • Applying adjustments in the correct order
  • Understanding how warm and cool colors frame emotion differently
  • Isolating and adjusting skies
  • Changing the time of day with color
  • Designing interiors like an office, a hospital, or an interrogation room
  • Creating fake depth of field
Subjects:
Video Video Editing Color Correction
Software:
Final Cut Pro Premiere Pro Magic Bullet Suite
Author:
Simon Walker

Creating fake depth of field in Colorista II

Having depth of field with magic bullet looks to a static shot is very useful. But the problem with our characters onscreen is that they tend to move and here our actress moves from the left to the right through the shot. So if we added a static frame or a static soft edge vignette then she would move in and out of it. So, this would be a job for the plug-in Colorista rather than Looks in this instance, because you can animate vignettes. I'm using the Colorista II sequence, and I'm going to apply Colorista to this shot.

In the secondary and in the master sections of Colorista, we have the ability to apply a mask. I'm going to use the secondary section because that has the Pop tool that I'm going to use to soften the outside of the mask. One of the important things to do when you're applying a mask to Colorista is to set the filter, because then you see a preview of the onscreen controls. And I'm going to go down to the mask area, the secondary power mask, and I'm going to turn on the ellipse. And now we can see it on screen.

We can drag on the onscreen controls to re-size this, and I'm going to re-size it to suit her face and reposition it also to cover her hair. So the idea is I'm going to blur everything outside this vignette. So I need to invert the mask here. And then go up to the pop control, inside the secondary section. And set it to a negative value so everything is being slightly smoothed. In fact, I'll set it to 100% and then switch the filter on and off, so you can see the effect.

You can see on her shoulders here and on the shoulders of the waiter as he passes. This is more of a subtle blur at this level, rather than out and out blur. The Pop tool is analyzing the edges and slightly softening them. So I can experiment with the amount of softening by sliding the Pop tool. But I'm going to leave it 100% for now and just see what happens as she moves and the waiter moves through the shot. Okay.

So what I need to do, is I need to set a key frame for the position of this vignette at several stages during the shot, so I'll choose the first one. In fact, the whole thing can move over slightly, and brought a bit more tightly in. I'm going to check that my feather size is around about 40 or 50, which means that the blur gently starts at the edge of this vignette. We can see this here. It's a very, very subtle effect.

Here it is with no effect. We could see the sharpness of her hair. And here it is with the blur. And this is good because what we're trying to do is add an effect to the shot without advertising the fact that we added an effect. We want to slightly focus our attention on the main character here. So this position is more or less working, let's try she moves there so let's just set a key frame here. I'm going to set a key frame on the center position of the mask which is here. I'll turn on the ability to make key frames which automatically adds a key frame at this point in time.

Then, as I move forward, move to the right there. Move the whole mask. It automatically adds key frame for me. Then I can move back again, move it here, that's another key frame, and so on. So I just go through and work out where she's going to finish up rather up there. And then work out where she's going to move back to, right there. Okay so as we move through the shot here, it's automatically moving the vignette for us.

Now this is an interesting effect because our waiter moves around her as he reaches the same plane as her shoulder in real life he would be in focus. If we were doing this effect in camera. And there's an interesting balance between doing something in post and doing something in camera. You could make an argument that doing it in camera makes it more technically accurate, but doing it in post-production does give you a chance to be able to change your mind and subtly alter the scene. Our intention here in this scene is to focus our attention on the main subject.

So you could totally make the argument that it's good that our waiter isn't coming into focus. But these decisions do depend on a lot of things. They depend on the budget, the sort of camera you're using and how much time you've got to set up each particular shot. So it is of course a matter of choice in your particular production. The nice thing though about making a mask like this is that we can then perform color correction outside the mask. So we can further exaggerate the attention on the main subject by bringing down the shadows outside the mask and keeping her in a virtual pool of light in the middle of the shot. And I'll just finish off by deselecting the tool and then scrubbing through the shot here.

So we definitely know as an audience where to be looking at on this particular image. So as filmmakers, we do want to draw attention to the areas that we want our viewers to be looking at, but we do have to cross-reference this with budget and the ability to do it either in-camera or in post production. But I still think it's nice to be able to perform these small little tricks on the timeline relatively quickly.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about The Art of Color Correction: Color Grading for Locations and Times of Day.


Expand all | Collapse all
Please wait...
Q: Do I need any plug-ins or additional software to perform the color grading work shown in this course?
A: This course demonstrates techniques that will work in any color grading software, including the built-in 3-way color corrector tools in Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Avid Media Composer.  However, the author uses some plug-ins for Premiere Pro in this course.  While you can still get similar results with other tools, you may wish to try the same tools used in the course.  If so, you can install Colorista II and Looks by Magic Bullet.  There are free trial versions of these plug-ins available at the Red Giant website at https://www.redgiant.com/downloads/trial-versions/registration/magic-bullet-colorista-ii/.
Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed The Art of Color Correction: Color Grading for Locations and Times of Day.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked