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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.
Have you ever seen an image that looks just a little bit too blue, too red, too yellow? There are a number of reasons that a shot may exhibit a color cast. But fortunately, this is easily fixed by using color correction. In this movie, we'll take a look at how to use the RGB Parade to help remove a color cast. As we learned in the last lesson, the human eye is very perceptive to accurate whites and blacks. As you remember from the Y Waveform, the true value of video black is 16 and the true value of video white is 235.
Now because both white and black have no red, green, or blue values, they are called true neutral colors and should read at 16 and 235 across all three color channels of red, green, and blue. Let's take a look at how we measure this. I have the RGP Parade populated in my monitor, which again, I can load by clicking in this menu here. What we're looking at is the entire composite signal from left to right in the red, green, and blue channels.
Composite means that it's both for luma and chroma or light and dark values plus color values. But it's broken out into red, green, and blue channels. So, we have Tony here and we see him from left to right in the current image, and here is Tony left to right in the red, in the green, and in the blue. Now, before we start guessing if this image has a color cast or not, we're going to actually measure if it does by looking at this graph as well as by making a few samples. As I just said, we know that black and white should not have a color cast at all.
Therefore the black values of this image, this value in the fireplace and certain values on his shirt, should be even across red, blue and green. Now, it looks here that we have a higher red value than we do blue and green, by just a little bit. So, we're most likely going to be bringing our reds down just a little bit in the shadows. Likewise, with white, again, this part of the window here, which is represented by this area here, here, and here, should have equal values across red, green, and blue.
Red and green are very similar, and blue is just a little bit lower. So, we're probably going to bump up our blue highlight values. Now, let's take a look at our Color Correction tool, and specifically, at these three wheels in the middle. These are called the Chroma wheels, and these are broken out into the Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights. So, any adjustments that we make in any one of these will affect only those values. Let's go ahead and sample our black and white values and then make the adjustments accordingly.
When I drag my cursor into these boxes here, my cursor becomes an eyedropper, and it allows me to sample an area of this image. As you can see when I drag my eyedropper over the image, the colors change accordingly. So, I'm just going to sample a couple of black values here. Okay, looks like we have a little bit higher in red, but not much. Same thing here in the darkest area of his shirt. Again, just a little bit higher in the red, but not much. We're just going to bump that down a little bit. Okay, let's resample our white values.
All right, again, as we suspected, red and green, very similar. Blue just a little bit low. So, we're going to bump up our blue values and our highlights. So, let's attack our blacks first. We're going to click-and-drag on the center X in our Chroma wheel and dragging it a little bit away from red and let's resample. Okay, everything is really similar now, so we'll leave it there. So, let's take a look at our highlights.
We're a little low on the blues, so we're going to be dragging the X on our highlight chroma wheel towards the blues. Let's resample. All right, it looks like we corrected the blues. The reds are a little low. So, I'm going to go back a little bit, resample, and we're really close here. 186, 187, 188, and let's look at our RGB Parade. Everything looks in line here on the black. Everything looks in line here on the whites.
It looks like we've removed our color casts. Removing color cast is an important part of the color correction process, and as you see it's fairly straightforward. So now that we've set our whites and blacks, removed the color casts from these neutral colors, it's time for us to take a look at the chroma values of our image.
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