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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.
Let's have a look at the color of light at midday. I've got two shots here, one shot at midday and the other shot in the afternoon. And it's very clear the difference in color between these two shots, shot from the same bridge in Venice. The second clip is much cooler, and that's because it's much later in the afternoon. And the first shot was shot around by lunchtime. Apart from anything else, it is warmer especially because the sun is out. So how would we go around making this shot look as though it matched the first shot in that it was earlier in the day? Let's select this clip, and apply looks.
And then open the looks builder. Lighting effects can generally be attributed to the highlights in an image. So, let's move our slider towards, yellow. And when the highlights are quite bright, then the shadows can become a little darker, you can get a little more contrast in the image. Let's move the highlights a little warmer, and then get a slight more contrast.
And the other thing we need to do, is actually increase the ambient light ever so slightly in this shot. And then also to match the mood, and the feel of the first shot, we can increase the mid-tones. So it can warm those up too. So you get much more of a sense of a warmer part of the day or an earlier part of the day than late afternoon. Here's the origional. And, here's the correction. If you give it too much contrast, if I just move the shadows down a little more, then it becomes slightly stylized and not exactly what you might see in real life.
Also, when the sun isn't out and the sky is overcast, then the shadows wouldn't be as dark. So you can bring the shadow control up a bit. But in general, the color of the light is controlled by the highlights. The ambient light is controlled by the mid-tone luma adjustment, and then play with the shadow levels, or how deep the shadows are, according to the sort of light that you want to replicate. One other thing to consider, though, is that when there is no sun, then the general midday light can be a bit cooler.
So you might have to back off the highlight adjustment. Because the way the light is scattered through the atmosphere, it means that you can still get a bluish tint, even if it's the middle of the day.
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