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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.
Besides blacks and whites, the human eye is very perceptive to skin tones. By using the Vectorscope, you can adjust chroma, hues and saturations as well as correct the hues of skin tones. We'll take a look at the Vectorscope in this movie. Unlike the Y-Waveform and the RGB Parade, the Vectorscope contains no information about luma levels. Just chroma. So this monitor is our chance to really hone in on the chroma levels of this image, both hue and saturation, and make adjustments as necessary. Let's take a look at how to read the Vectorscope.
The Vectorscope, which I've populated again by clicking in our list, is basically just a big color wheel. Now again, I apologize we can't read the values here but I assure you you would be able to, if you have a little bit more real estate. But let's just use our chroma wheels as a guide. Starting here we have our Reds, Magenta, Blue, Cyan, Green and Yellow. Now our trace indicates that we have a medium saturated image residing between yellow and red, which make sense given our image here.
Now one thing that we want to make sure of and one key about the Vectorscope is that there is an invisible line going right in between red and yellow and it's called the eye line. It's the line along which skin tone reside. So any adjustments that we make, because we are dealing with skin tones here, we want to make sure that it still resides along this line. Now let's take a look at our image. I think it's fairly weighted towards Yellow. So to improve this, I'm going to drag the opposite ray of Yellow or more towards blue.
As I grab the crosshairs and drag towards blue, watch my image change. Did you notice of the color cast basically just disappeared there? Now what it also did was it took my trace and brought it more towards the middle. I want to make sure I have a little bit more saturation than this. So I am going to go to my Controls tab, take my Saturation, and bump it up a little that. My trace increases along the eye line and things are looking good. Let's take a look at how far we've come.
I am going to go ahead and click on the Dual Split. This is what it was before and here we are now. We fixed our blacks and whites, we've removed the color cast from our neutral colors, and we have corrected the flesh tones. I think everything looks pretty good. If I would like to use this color correction effect on another shot of Tony, I can do so by saving out this template and using it again. To do this, I am going to create a New Bin and name it Color Correction Template and all I have to do is drag this icon here into my bin and I am going to call this Color Correction Tony.
So all we'd have to do is drag our Color Correction Effect template from the bin to a segment in the Timeline and it would instantaneously improve another shot of Tony. We could then tweak it as necessary if we needed to. So as you can see, color correction is a very important phase of the postproduction process, not only to change an image aesthetically, but also to bring the image into legal levels of luma and chroma. It's important to be able to analyze an image and perform each step of the color correction process manually.
However, in the next movie, we'll take a look at how to add some automation to the process.
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