Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: How our eyes see color

The first thing to learn about how we perceive color, is that we can't trust our eyes. The way our eyes interpret color changes according to which colors we're looking at and which colors are placed next to each other. You can easily demonstrate this with a simple spreadsheet. I've created a spreadsheet here with two orange panels. And a blue panel in the middle. And it's a very light blue panel and the oranges are constant. They're not gradient, but the interesting thing is that they may appear to be a gradient because of the viewing angle, or that you're looking at the screen. Or your type of screen you're looking at.
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

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course 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
Subject:
Video
Software:
Final Cut Pro Premiere Pro Magic Bullet Suite
Author:
Simon Walker

How our eyes see color

The first thing to learn about how we perceive color, is that we can't trust our eyes. The way our eyes interpret color changes according to which colors we're looking at and which colors are placed next to each other. You can easily demonstrate this with a simple spreadsheet. I've created a spreadsheet here with two orange panels. And a blue panel in the middle. And it's a very light blue panel and the oranges are constant. They're not gradient, but the interesting thing is that they may appear to be a gradient because of the viewing angle, or that you're looking at the screen. Or your type of screen you're looking at.

And all these things combine to change the color on screen. The reason that you can see the central column as blue, and the panels as orange, is because they are complimentary colors, they are colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel. And on the digital color wheel that we work with on the computer, oranges are on the opposite side of blue. And so they compliment each other. And it means that when these color work together, we see the difference between them. And it's an esthetically pleasing effect. But what happens when these colors are from the same hue. So here's the original slide again.

And all of these slides the central colomn stays a light blue. If I change the panels on the left and the right to a lighter blue. Then the central column appears to be much less blue. It's much more desaturated, it's almost white. And then if we enhance the panels along the left and right to be an even darker blue, then the central column appears white, but actually it's the same blue as we saw in the very first slide here. So it's an important thing to think about when you're placing colors in a scene. What color are you placing the next two because the perceived color that we see changes according to the surrounding colors.

And we can demonstrate how colors can make a difference in a typical video scene. I'm in the color and story Premiere Pro project, and I'm using the Seeing color sequence here. And, this is one of the series of shots that we created especially for this course to demonstrate the sort of colors that turn up in standard video shoots, and the sort of things to look out for. So, in this shot, we've got a scene of two people choosing some material.

And if I just play it back, our focus is centered on them. And in a very similar setup we placed something orange in the background. And on this second clip, this orange clothing here. (LAUGH) Now you've seen it it's really difficult not to see it. It's because it's so dominant. The orange colors in a shot tend to project forward and they attract attention. It's interesting though, that when he picks up this material here. That is actually quite pleasing to look at this scence.

Because the orange is balancing nicely with the blue. They're complimentary colors. So a good practice when your'e setting up a scene, is to have a look at the colors in the background. This scene is much less distracting than this one just because we're not distracted by this orange color. And over the course of this chapter we go into techniques about how to target this particular color on this clip here, I've got a secondary color correction which desaturates the color of the shirt here.

So here's the untreated clip, and here's the desaturated one. And I'll show you how to target that one specific color. The other thing to think of though, is our interpretation of color at the subconscious level. Sometimes we observe things in our surroundings, and we don't know we're observing them. We are just used to seeing them. So for example in this shot of New York, I mean it's a great example of how the atmosphere of the earth filters light to create a bluish tint to items that are further away.

So you know I mentioned that orange tends to jump forward. And blue tends to recede. Well it's a practical way that our eyes work, but we're also used to seeing this effect in real life when you look at mountains in the distance and this is why they appear slightly blue. Because light is being filtered by the atmosphere turning it blue, so in a scene like this these buildings are the same color as the buildings in the foreground here. But because of the filtered light that's why they appear blue and a similar thing can be seen in a landscape shot. This is a view of North Wilcher near to where I live in the UK. And it's a good example of how the hills in the distance here are colored slightly blue because the atmosphere is filtering the light over a distance. You can use this to your advantage though.

And you can exaggerate the position of the building for example or some hills, by coloring them slightly blue. Selecting a specific area of the screen. And then grading that to suggest to the audience a greater distance. So it's something to be aware of as a natural phenomenon. But also something that you can use in your practical, day-to-day grading.

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

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

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.


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.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

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

Upgrade to View Courses Offline

login

With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

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 ?

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:

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.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
lynda.com provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now
 

A trusted source for knowledge.

 

We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that lynda.com helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

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
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.