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Using the Y-Waveform monitor to set whites and blacks

From: Avid Media Composer 6 Essential Training

Video: Using the Y-Waveform monitor to set whites and blacks

The first of the videoscopes that we'll take a look at is the Y Waveform monitor, which allows us to see and measure the luma, or light and dark values, of an image. It's very important to know and correctly set your luma values because the human eye is extremely sensitive to accurate whites and blacks. Having a dingy white or a muddy black is not only unappealing to the eye, but it also throws off the rest of the values in your image. All right! Let's take a look at our luma values. Let's go ahead and open up our Color Correction tool.

Using the Y-Waveform monitor to set whites and blacks

The first of the videoscopes that we'll take a look at is the Y Waveform monitor, which allows us to see and measure the luma, or light and dark values, of an image. It's very important to know and correctly set your luma values because the human eye is extremely sensitive to accurate whites and blacks. Having a dingy white or a muddy black is not only unappealing to the eye, but it also throws off the rest of the values in your image. All right! Let's take a look at our luma values. Let's go ahead and open up our Color Correction tool.

We can do that by pressing on this button in the timeline, which looks like three monitors, or we can come up to Windows > Workspaces > Color Correction. Let's go top to bottom here. We have our three monitors, and in the middle monitor is the image that we are correcting. We can populate anything in each of these monitors. So if you click on this pulldown menu, you can put in the previous shot in the sequence, the next, two before, two after, or any one of the videoscopes.

So we've got Y Waveform selected and if you wanted to, you could also populate something over here. We're not going to do that right now, because we're going to focus on one thing at a time. And in the middle here, we have our Color Correction tool. There's a lot going on and a lot of controls, many of which we'll go through. Just so you know, we also have a Curves tab, but this is a little bit more complex, so in this course, we're going to focus in the HSL tab. Finally, at the bottom, we have our sequence. Right now, we only have one shot in our sequence, but if we had an entire sequence, it would all be here.

But we would just be parked on the shot that we were correcting. All right! So we have our Y Waveform monitor fired up, and we have everything else in place. We're ready to look at our luma values. Also, due to the resolution that we're recording in, you can't really see these numbers, but I have a reference image that I'd like to look at. Here at the bottom, we have video black at 16 and at the top, we have video white at 235. So the goal is to set values in our image that are supposed to be black down at 16 and values in our image that are supposed to be white at 235.

Everything in between are our midtones, so we can weight them more towards white or we can weight them more towards black. Over here on the right side are just the percentages of luminance. So we have 0% luminance, which corresponds to black, and a 100% luminance, which corresponds to white. So with that, let's go back into Avid and take a look at our image. We want to make sure that the black values in our image come down to 16. We also want to make sure that the white values in our image come up to 235.

Now, let's go ahead and identify what those black values are and find them in the waveform. We first have to know how to read this waveform. And basically, we're just looking at the image from left to right, and it corresponds with the luma values from left to right in this monitor here. So the values over here that are peaking at 235 correspond with these values here, which is where the light is glinting off of the coat rack here. And our dark values, which pretty much hover all across, represents the dark values here in her dress, as well as the shadows behind these clothes.

They're all resting around here, but really they should be resting down here, around 16. So those are the first two questions; Where in the image is black, and how far do I have to bring it down, and where in the image is white, and how far do I have to bring it up? So we're going to start with Setup. Setup controls our black point. If we adjust Setup to the left, we are bringing down our blacks, and notice that our waveform adjusts accordingly. So if we bring this down, you can notice that the waveform will approach 16 and if I want finer adjustments, I just hold down Shift while I drag to the left and we get really fine adjustments here, because they are quite pronounced if you don't do this.

So now we have our blacks right here along 16 and we're already looking better. The way that we can see where we came from is by clicking on this monitor here called Dual Split. And we can either look at it half and half or what I like to do is drag this all the way over, so that we can toggle the before and after. All right! So Setup controls our black point. We've brought our blacks down to where they should be.

Now we have to look at our whites. We have a white hanger back here, and again, we have the light glinting off of the coat rack here. One thing about light glinting off of metal or water or glass: these are called specular highlights, and you want to make sure that you don't measure those at white. They're actually brighter than white. So you want to pick something in your image that is actually white, which will go with this coat hanger, and use that. All right! So we want to make sure that this goes above 235 if possible.

So we're going to use our Gain, which is going to control our white point, and we'll bring that up. So it's looking pretty good. Again, it's okay that our specular highlights are peaking above 235. But notice that our blacks got brought back up. So you kind of have to go back and forth. It's a little bit of a dance. I'm going to bring that back down to 16. Oh, too far! Notice that when you go too far, you get an indication in the waveform that it becomes white and you've gone below 16.

This is a problem because these produce illegal luma levels, and they'll be refused if you try to broadcast it. So let's go back up, and that looks pretty good. A little bit higher with our Gain. And I'm just moving my controls just a little bit to get this exactly right. All right! Let's do a before-and-after. Before and after. Like I said, fixing luma can fix the image drastically, and we're already much closer in getting this to look the way it should.

The last control I want to talk about is Gamma. This controls the midtones. So if I generally want to lighten the image or generally darken the image, I can do so with this slider. So if I want to lighten it up just a little bit, I go to the right with my Gamma. And just keep in mind, you want to keep your blacks at 16, so you might have to adjust that, like so. All right! So as you go forward tweaking your Gain, Gamma, and Setup values, make sure that you continually monitor that with the Y Waveform and you will produce a really nice result in getting your luma values where they should be.

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This video is part of

Image for Avid Media Composer 6 Essential Training
Avid Media Composer 6 Essential Training

87 video lessons · 14472 viewers

Ashley Kennedy
Author

 
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  1. 3m 55s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 39s
  2. 22m 54s
    1. Touring the Select Project window
      4m 45s
    2. Exploring bins
      4m 23s
    3. Customizing user settings
      3m 36s
    4. Setting up and organizing a project
      5m 57s
    5. Saving and backing up the project
      4m 13s
  3. 57m 27s
    1. Touring the Composer Monitor and the Timeline
      2m 29s
    2. Touring the Edit interface
      5m 6s
    3. Splicing shots
      7m 43s
    4. Splicing non-linearly
      2m 43s
    5. Overwriting shots
      4m 35s
    6. Removing shots using Extract and Lift
      4m 38s
    7. Using Segment mode (Extract/Splice) to switch shots
      6m 37s
    8. Using Segment mode (Lift/Overwrite) to move shots
      6m 31s
    9. Using Extract/Splice and Lift/Overwrite together
      3m 32s
    10. Manipulating the Timeline directly
      4m 34s
    11. Creating subclips and subsequences
      3m 48s
    12. Adding multiple video and audio tracks
      5m 11s
  4. 23m 28s
    1. Understanding trimming
      3m 19s
    2. Performing single-roller trims
      5m 15s
    3. Performing dual-roller trims
      3m 54s
    4. Using Ripple Trim and Overwrite Trim
      5m 4s
    5. Understanding sync
      3m 17s
    6. Solving sync problems
      2m 39s
  5. 54m 26s
    1. Navigating with JKL
      3m 26s
    2. Using navigation shortcuts
      4m 47s
    3. Using the Command palette
      6m 4s
    4. Customizing the Timeline
      4m 54s
    5. Using bin layouts
      3m 49s
    6. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    7. Sorting and sifting clips
      5m 57s
    8. Using the Find tool
      5m 13s
    9. Using markers
      5m 54s
    10. Using PhraseFind
      3m 21s
    11. Using ScriptSync
      4m 20s
  6. 20m 42s
    1. Trimming with JKL
      4m 53s
    2. Performing Slip edits
      6m 1s
    3. Performing Slide edits
      5m 39s
    4. Performing Replace edits
      4m 9s
  7. 27m 17s
    1. Reading audio levels and pan
      5m 42s
    2. Using the audio mixer
      10m 1s
    3. Keyframing audio
      7m 6s
    4. Recording audio adjustments on the fly
      4m 28s
  8. 55m 1s
    1. Using Quick Transition effects
      4m 6s
    2. Using the Transition Manipulation tool
      3m 12s
    3. Using the Effects palette and the Effect Editor
      6m 1s
    4. Keyframing segment effects
      5m 30s
    5. Nesting and auto-nesting
      5m 54s
    6. Saving effect templates
      3m 23s
    7. Building basic composites using vertical effects
      4m 7s
    8. Using the picture-in-picture (PIP) effect
      5m 14s
    9. Using the Color effect
      4m 24s
    10. Creating basic motion effects
      6m 55s
    11. Using Timewarp
      6m 15s
  9. 11m 48s
    1. Understanding system performance
      6m 13s
    2. Rendering intelligently
      5m 35s
  10. 26m 44s
    1. Analyzing footage for problems
      2m 27s
    2. Using the Y-Waveform monitor to set whites and blacks
      7m 16s
    3. Using the RGB Parade to correct color casts
      5m 50s
    4. Using the Vectorscope to improve skin tones
      5m 34s
    5. Using auto color correction
      5m 37s
  11. 30m 10s
    1. Formatting and enhancing text using Avid Marquee
      5m 32s
    2. Using Marquee to apply shapes and gradients
      5m 18s
    3. Using title templates
      3m 45s
    4. Bringing the title into Media Composer
      3m 54s
    5. Revising the title
      2m 17s
    6. Creating rolling and crawling titles
      5m 14s
    7. Using AutoTitler
      4m 10s
  12. 32m 37s
    1. Importing files
      6m 47s
    2. Linking to files using AMA
      3m 36s
    3. Linking to hi-res stills
      5m 59s
    4. Using the Avid Marketplace
      2m 50s
    5. Using the Capture tool
      5m 19s
    6. Capturing footage
      3m 41s
    7. Batch capturing
      4m 25s
  13. 12m 58s
    1. Deleting material from the bin
      5m 29s
    2. Understanding the Media tool
      4m 46s
    3. Deleting unreferenced clips
      2m 43s
  14. 17m 35s
    1. Preparing your sequence for output
      5m 44s
    2. Performing a digital cut
      5m 26s
    3. Exporting your sequence as a file
      6m 25s
  15. 19m 2s
    1. Solving offline media
      6m 48s
    2. Re-linking media
      3m 0s
    3. Resetting Avid settings
      5m 9s
    4. Using the Avid Attic
      4m 5s
  16. 44s
    1. Additional resources
      44s

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