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Color correcting individual RGB channels


From:

Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing

with David Mattingly

Video: Color correcting individual RGB channels

Lets talk about the really super charged part of color correcting, and that's working with the individual RGB channels and curves. I'm just going to show you how to do this in curves from here on out, but you can do all of this in levels just not as well. First lets look at the red channel, so choose it from the drop down menu If you pull up on the mid tone you'll add red to the image and lighten it. If you pull down on the curve you darken the image since you are removing red, and add blue green to the image.
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  1. 1m 51s
    1. Introduction
      59s
    2. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 44m 5s
    1. Why did we wait so long to use photographic textures?
      1m 55s
    2. Prepping the form study for texturing
      5m 32s
    3. Transfer modes
      9m 4s
    4. Color basics
      4m 45s
    5. Creating a stone texture
      3m 26s
    6. Adding the dark side's base texture
      3m 57s
    7. Adding the light side's base texture
      3m 40s
    8. Rounded textures and the Warp tool
      6m 33s
    9. Websites for matte painting reference
      5m 13s
  3. 30m 12s
    1. Creating a photographic crenellation
      7m 30s
    2. Creating a line of crenellations
      3m 27s
    3. The Vanishing Point tool
      4m 54s
    4. Adding crenellations using the Vanishing Point tool
      3m 4s
    5. Trimming the crenellations
      7m 9s
    6. Adding back sides to the crenellations
      4m 8s
  4. 29m 36s
    1. Levels and Curves anatomy
      5m 26s
    2. Camera Raw
      3m 33s
    3. Using Levels and Curves
      4m 55s
    4. Color correcting individual RGB channels
      3m 19s
    5. Toning the base castle
      5m 35s
    6. Toning the crenellations
      6m 48s
  5. 32m 25s
    1. Adding photographic elements
      4m 19s
    2. Distorting the dome and rectangular faces
      5m 18s
    3. Relighting the dome
      5m 59s
    4. Color correcting the dome
      1m 52s
    5. Adding more photographic details
      5m 57s
    6. Relighting the new details
      3m 50s
    7. Color correcting the details
      5m 10s
  6. 51m 33s
    1. Extreme color correction
      3m 36s
    2. Adding a photographic sky
      6m 27s
    3. Adding background mountains
      5m 32s
    4. Integrating the details
      7m 30s
    5. Collapsing layers and more details
      5m 13s
    6. The final paint layer
      6m 28s
    7. Lights and glows
      7m 16s
    8. Smoke and flames
      9m 31s
  7. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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Watch the Online Video Course Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing
3h 10m Beginner Nov 07, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

A crucial step in building a realistic digital matte painting is texturing your scene. This course shows you how to add light, color, and texture to a basic form using photographic references and the tools in Adobe Photoshop. Author David Mattingly starts the lessons where Digital Matte Painting Essentials 3 left off—with a fully shaded 3D form—but you can also jump straight into this installment to learn more about texturing. Start now to learn how to add crenellations, color correct your form, distort and relight photographic textures, and add glows and special effects that make your painting convincing.

Topics include:
  • Preparing your form study for texturing
  • Adding dark and light side textures
  • Making rounded textures with the Warp tool
  • Creating photographic crenellations
  • Using Levels and Curves for color correction
  • Adding photographic elements
  • Relighting details
  • Adding glows, smoke, and flames
Subjects:
3D + Animation Design
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Color correcting individual RGB channels

Lets talk about the really super charged part of color correcting, and that's working with the individual RGB channels and curves. I'm just going to show you how to do this in curves from here on out, but you can do all of this in levels just not as well. First lets look at the red channel, so choose it from the drop down menu If you pull up on the mid tone you'll add red to the image and lighten it. If you pull down on the curve you darken the image since you are removing red, and add blue green to the image.

RGB color correcting can be a little confusing since the next choice in the menu is green. You may think, won't that do kind of the same thing, when I pulled down on red, I added green, so won't this just be the reverse of the red channel? The answer is no, the two channels give you very different results, since if you pull down on the green channel, you add a magenta-red. Well the red channel added an orange-red when you pulled up on it. If you pull up on the green curve, it adds a yellow-green to the image, quite different from the blue-green the red channel added.

So, the two channels aren't just mirror images of each other. They yield very different color results when you modify them. The last channel is blue, and it's obvious that if you pull up on the curve it adds blue to the image, and lightens it. But, if you pull down on he curve it adds yellow. Maybe not the color you would have immediately thought of as the opposite of blue. So the color you get, especially from pulling down on curves may not initially be what you expect. The only way to internalize what these channels do is to work with them a lot and over time, you'll see what moves give you the results you want.

I'm primarily showing moving the mid-tones of the color channels, but you can also pull down on the white point in blue to flood the image with yellow. Or pull up on the black point to reduce contrast, and add blue all over the image. Same with the red channel. Pull up to flood the image with red, or pull down to remove red. And the green channel. So you'll just need to experiment with these, until you really get the hang of what each channel does. Before we leave this topic, I want to mention what I think is the best book on color correction ever written, called Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction by Dan Margulis.

Dan is a prepress master, and a lot of the book involves color correcting in CMYK color space, the space where all printed materials live. However, all of the color correcting concepts are valid in other color spaces, and in later editions he has gone more into RGB color correction. I learned more about color correction from this book than from anything else I've ever read, and I would highly recommend it to any aspiring matt artist. In the next lesson, we'll color correct the base of the castle to match our castle concept.

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