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In Avid Media Composer 5 Essential Training, author Ashley Kennedy demonstrates basic and intermediate editing techniques in Media Composer, one of the most widely used nonlinear, video editing systems. This course covers how to build sequences, mix audio, color correct footage, apply effects, and troubleshoot common post-production issues in Media Composer. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the most important tools you have at your disposal when color correcting are your eyes. To execute proper color correction you absolutely need your eyes just as much as you need all the high-tech video scopes and monitors that we'll cover in later lessons. Why is this? Well video scopes, which measure measure video signal in very specific units, can do you no good unless it knows what parts of the image are supposed to be certain values. Therefore you need your eyes and your brain to say what parts of the image are supposed to be white, which are supposed to be black, if it's supposed to be generally bright, generally dark, that sort of thing.
So in this movie, we will talk about the questions you need to ask yourself before you even approach a video scope. Let's take a look at some of the questions that we'll want to start asking ourselves when we approach color correction. First off all, you want to nail your blacks and whites down. What parts of the image are supposed to be white, which are supposed to be black? You want to know if the image is generally too dark or too light. You want to know if the image is too flat or too contrasty. You want to identify if there is a color cast to the image. And finally you want to know if the image is too saturated or not saturated enough.
Let's take a look at four different images and ask these questions. So for the first one, let's look at our black and white values. I would say that this area down here as well as some of the areas on the actor's cloths are supposed to be black, and probably a little bit too light for black. We need to bring that down. Likewise, the white values, we have several white values on some cloths here on the actors. We'll want to bring that up to white. The image in general is too dark, so we'll want to improve the contrast because it's also too flat and it also has a little bit of a pinkish color cast which we will correct.
For this one, our black and white values we have our black values here. Again they are way too light so we will bring that down to video black and we have a white wall here. It's definitely too dark as well. So we are going to have to bring that up and it has just a general yellow color cast and it's just generally flat. So we will probably increase the contrast quite a bit. Okay, on the third one, let's look at our black and whites. We have black values here and white values here. Both are definitely not correct, so we'll want to correct those.
The whole thing is just generally too bright and too milky, too flat, so we'll have to correct all of that as well. And for the final one, again, we have a pretty flat image. We want to make sure that our blacks in here and we have just a couple of white values also on the hat. You want to make sure that those are correct. In general there are not a lot of black values in this image though. So again, we need our eyes to tell us that. The whole thing has a general yellow color cast, so we will look to correct that.
Then again it's flat. We'll want to introduce contrast. So before we even look at our video scopes, we generally have a good idea where we are headed. Let's keep all this in mind as we start taking a look at our scopes to gather even more information about our shots.
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