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One of my favorite features in Lightroom 4 is the ability to change the appearance of a video clip. You can do everything from modifying exposure to making a color video look black and white. Here's how it's done. I'm working in the Library module that is because even though I'm going to be processing this video, I can't process video in the Develop module. So here in the Library module I'm going to go over to the Quick Develop Header and I'm going to click the arrow to the right of that to open the Quick Develop panel and I'll be using these controls to process this video clip.
I'm going to scroll down so you can see everything in that Quick Develop panel. Then I'm going to take a look at the controls here. This is a subset of the same controls that we saw in the Basic panel in the Develop module for processing still images. You have controls for adjusting white balance, exposure, contrast, white point, black point, vibrance and if I hold down the Opt or Alt key, the Vibrance control changes to Saturation but I don't have access to the clarity, shadows, or highlights controls here.
Let's see how to apply these settings to a video clip. If for example, I want to make the entire clip darker, I would come to the Exposure controls. To do that in small chunks, I'll use the single pointed arrows so I'm going to click the left facing single arrow and that decreases the exposure in a third of a stop. If I wanted to decrease exposure in a larger chunk by about a full stop, then I would click this double left facing arrows and this change effects not just the frame that you see here but the entire video. So, if I click the Play button, you can see that, that's true.
I'm going to take the Playhead back over to the left. Now, if I didn't like this result and I want to set my exposure changes back to zero I can just click on the Title Exposure. These controls are cumulative so let's say that I do decrease exposure and then I also want to make the entire video cooler or more blue, I'll go up to the Temperature control and I'll click the double pointed arrow there as well a couple of times and that's the result. Now, if I wanted to reset all of that back to zero, then I would come down to the bottom of the Quick Develop panel and click Reset All.
Another way to change the appearance of a video clip is to use a preset. I'm going to go to the Saved Preset menu and here I have categories of presets that shipped with Lightroom. And if I had created my own presets they would appear here too. Notice that there is a category down here for Lightroom Video Presets and these are specifically made to apply the video. So, I can try out some of these like Video B&W High Contrast or Video Cross Process.
And these apply to the entire video not just this frame. There are other categories of presets there. I can apply them but I won't know if the entire preset is being applied. Here's why. I'm going to go ahead and choose the B&W Toned Presets and I'll go over and choose one of those like Sepia Tone. That brings up this message that tells me that not all the settings in the Develop module are supported for video files. So, if this preset, which was created in the Develop module, contains some controls that can't be applied to video, those parts of the preset won't be applied.
The parts that will be applied are listed in this message. Once you've seen this message, if you don't want to see it next time, you can just click Don't Show Again. But I'll just click Okay and that will apply at least the parts with the preset that can apply the video and I'll play a little of that for you. After you apply a preset to a video clip, you can tweak the way it looks on this clip by using the controls here or, if you want to go back to the beginning, you don't like the way the preset looks on this clip you can click Reset All.
I'm going to go ahead and drag that Playhead all the way back over to the left again because I want to show you one more way to change the appearance of a video clip. Let's say that there's a particular black and white look that I want for this video clip and I'm just not able to achieve it using the chunky controls in the Develop panel in the Library module or in the presets that are currently available. What I really want is access to more controls, those fine tuning sliders that I have in the Basic panel of the Develop module for example, but I can't bring a video clip into the Develop module.
So, here is a work around. I'm going to go down to the film strip and make that taller so you have a better view of the thumbnail there. With that thumbnail selected, I'm going to make a JPEG copy of one of the frames in this movie. I'll go up to the Image window and to the controller for the movie and I'll click Direct Angle and choose Capture Frame just like I showed you in the last movie. And that creates a JPEG, a still from whatever frame is showing in the video at the moment. Now, I'm going to click on that JPEG and I'm going to take that into the Develop module.
I'll go up to the Module Picker and I'll click Develop. Here in the Module Picker, if my Basic panel isn't open, I'll click the arrow to expand it. I still have my JPEG selected in the filmstrip and I am going to apply some settings to the JPEG. I'll make the JPEG look just the way I'd like the video to look. I'm going for a high-key kind of ethereal black and white look. So, I'll click Black and White here at the top of the Basic panel and then I'll come down to the Exposure slider and I'm going to drag that over to the right increasing exposure. I'm going to decrease the contrast and then I'm going to come down to the Clarity slider to finish this off.
If I pull the Clarity slider to the left, that adds this soft, defused kind of dreamy look and that's really important to the look that I'm after in this case. Now, if you look at the filmstrip, you'll see that the JPEG is now black and white but the video clip is still color as it was a moment ago. What I want to do is take the settings that I just applied to the JPEG and synchronize them over to that video clip. So, I'll leave the JPEG still selected in the film strip and I'll hold down the Shift key on my keyboard as I click on the thumbnail for the video as well.
Now, this button reads Sync. I'll click the Sync button and that opens the Synchronized Setting window where I see a list of all the settings that are going to be synchronized from the JPEG still image over to my video. As you can see that includes Exposure and Contrast which I did tweak but the Clarity Setting is grayed out. So, I'm only going to get part of the look that I'm after transferred over to my video clip. I'll click Synchronize and now you can see that the video clip also looks black and white. I can't check the video clip here in the Develop module.
If I try to select just the video clip thumbnail, I'll get a message up here in the Image window that the Develop module doesn't support video. So, I'm going to go back to the Library module by clicking Library in the Module Picker. I'll click Off of both these thumbnails into a blank area to deselect them both, and then I'll click once on the video thumbnail. And here is my black and white video. I'm going to play a part of it for you. And if you look closely, you can see that although it's a high-key video, in other words, the exposure is up and the contrast is down, I don't have that soft ghostly diffused look that I have on the JPEG.
I'll switch over the JPEG so you can see that. But I was able to apply some of the settings from the JPEG back to the video. So, those are some of the exciting options for changing the appearance of your video clips here in Lightroom 4.
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