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

Creating a midday look


From:

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

with Simon Walker

Video: Creating a midday look

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.
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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 a midday look

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.

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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