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

Creating fake depth of field in Magic Bullet Looks


From:

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

with Simon Walker

Video: Creating fake depth of field in Magic Bullet Looks

One of the nice thing about Magic Bullet Looks is it's extra tools that allow you to do fake depth of field. So, I'm going to choose the Magic Bullet Looks sequence here, and apply it to this clip. I'll just grab the Looks from the set of effects filters and I'll click Edit Look to bring up the Looks builder. Over in the Lens section, we've got a vignette tool. And the Vignette tool with its screen controls, lowers the luma values of the edge of the image to allow us to focus on the subject in the center. Here's the before and after.
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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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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 Magic Bullet Looks

One of the nice thing about Magic Bullet Looks is it's extra tools that allow you to do fake depth of field. So, I'm going to choose the Magic Bullet Looks sequence here, and apply it to this clip. I'll just grab the Looks from the set of effects filters and I'll click Edit Look to bring up the Looks builder. Over in the Lens section, we've got a vignette tool. And the Vignette tool with its screen controls, lowers the luma values of the edge of the image to allow us to focus on the subject in the center. Here's the before and after.

But next to it, there is also in the Lens section, an Edge Softness tool. The Edge Softness tool is used in a very similar way as the Vignette. You can change the aspect, and you can move it around the screen. And everything inside the center area of this tool, is not blurred, and everything outside is blurred according to the blur quality amount in the settings. I've always found that the blur size of three is a little too much for this effect, so I tend to reduce it down to one or one and a half.

And the idea is to isolate our individual and just subtly to make the background less interesting to look at and so we're looking at him. Here's the before and after. I'll turn off the Vignette so we can just see the effect. And that's very subtle. You'll can see on the line here that this is without the effect applied. And if I apply it there's a very subtle blur so perhaps I need to increase the amount of blur there to maybe right about two for after.

And deselect the tool so I don't get the onscreen controls. Now I can turn the tool chain off and on. And that's a bit less subtle, but it's easier to see the effect. We'll probably go for somewhere in between one and a half and two say one point seven. But the thing to remember about this effect is that it's not as technically accurate as shooting depth of field in your camera. You can see here that his shoulder is on a similar plane to the side of his face but it's still not in focus here whilst his face is.

And I see this effect all the time on TV shows. Whether it had to work on a budget and work quickly, and this is the trade-off. Somewhere in the line between the most perfect elegant workflow and actually getting the job done in time to transmit the program. When you're on a deadline, every second is precious. So, having access to easy subtle methods like this, of exaggerating depth and focusing interest is extremely useful.

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


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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/.
 
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