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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.
Sometimes it's important to show the viewer the physical temperature that is usually associated with a certain room. In this case in a morgue, these rooms tend to be cold. So this untreated image doesn't quite look like the sort of place, so it doesn't have quite the sort of temperature that a viewer might expect it to. We can easily fix this though. Let's open up the Looks builder, add a Three-Way Color Corrector, and use our old trick of cool lighting, to suggest a cool mood.
This is beginning to change the temperature but these places are quite dramatic and whenever a morgue is featured in a movie (LAUGH) it's never a friendly place, so let's increase these shadows slightly. And also, a nice thing to do here is to add a pool of light or a lighting effect. Which you can do quite easily with a gradient, in this case the Grad Exposure tool from the Mat section. Drop down the stops a little bit and balance some negative lighting if you like from the opposite side of the room that the main lighting is coming in from. You could decide to go a little bit more eerie than clinical and move the highlight over to the green that we often see on the camera that's captured by florescent lighting.
And this would give off a slightly stylized, slightly sinister mood, a little bit more sinister than blue. So you're changing the emotional temperature as well as the physical temperature. But it's also important to consider the materials that you've got in a particular room. In a morgue, you've got lots of metal. It's either aluminum or steel, and that surface tends to be stark and shiny. So, it's good to reflect that in a grade, we can use the Pop tool inside Magic Bullet Looks to do this.
And just as a reminder this looks at the edges in an image and increases their local contrast, so it acts like a sharpening tool, so let's bump this up right up to 100%. Here's the before and after, and it has the effect of bringing out the bright highlights, as well as increasing or exaggerating the texture that's already present in the image. One last creative treatment that you might like to include is something that I see in many of these types of scenes, which is as well as coloring the lighting, let's move this back to blue. We get a really heavy mood push towards blue, quite often in the mid-tones, sometimes in the shadows as well, which really changes the scene. This makes it much more dramatic and hopefully communicates to your viewer that this is the sort of place where they don't really want to be.
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