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Another Color Correction task that you'll perform quite frequently is that of adjusting luminance, or in other words, the brightness of a clip. Oftentimes, it's tough to get the right exposure when you're shooting video, especially if it's kind of like a run and gun situation, where something is happening in front of you and you don't have time to set up a big lighting crew and everything for it. You've just kind of got to shoot. So we've got this clip here that's a little bit underexposed. Now previously, we've been using Brightness & Contrast. If you just search for that in the Effects panel and just apply that here, you can work with it. Open up Brightness & Contrast and there is Brightness value here, but typically, you would not want to use that.
I kind of broke my own rule in the last movie, just so I could explain Contrast. But here is why this effect is a no-no, usually. I want you to watch these shadow areas. If I increase Brightness, it's going to make all of the pixels universally bright. If we take this to a negative value, it's going to take our highlights and make them a little bit darker. It usually does a little bit better when you're darkening footage, as you could see these highlights remain bright, which is kind of cool. So, if you wanted it seem like it was very dark in here, we still have these cool little highlights here.
But again, if we're going to brighten it, it's going to make all these values be bright as well. So, I like to have a little bit more control over my luminance changes. So I'm going to select Brightness & Contrast and hit Delete. The real powerhouse effect for color correction - and actually, let me resize the Effects panel. I want to close out this Search result. Open up Video Effects > Color Correction. There is two of them here. There is Fast Color Corrector and Three-Way Color Corrector. Three-Way Color Corrector is just a more advanced form of Fast Color Corrector, but as you'll see, Fast Color Corrector is plenty complex for our purposes, and most of the Color Correction tasks that we'll talk about in this chapter can be performed with the Fast Color Corrector, or through a Color Corrector effect.
So I'll just go ahead and drag and drop and apply Fast Color Corrector. As we open this up here in the Effect Controls panel, we'll instantly see this is significantly more complex and powerful than anything that we've seen so far. Here, there is White Balance built into the Fast Color Corrector. There is Saturation adjustment built into the Fast Color Corrector. We could also adjust a Tint, which we'll look at in the next movie. We could also adjust Luminance and Brightness here. So what I could do is come down here to where it says Input Levels. If I find that I'm not getting a lot of bright highlights, if I'm not getting pure white, then I can grab this slider on the right-hand side and drag this to the left ,and that will brighten our highlights.
Now, that's not really the problem here. We have really bright highlights up here in the left-hand side and these highlights on the bowl, but what we really need to do is just brighten the midtones, and not the shadows, the shadows are good where they are, but brighten just the middle ranges. So what we need to do is click and drag on this Midtone slider and drag this over to the right. Now we don't want to drag it too far, because it's going to wash everything out. But you'll notice that even as we do so, that the darker shadow areas remain kind of dark. If they don't, then we could grab this left Input Levels slider and drag this to the left to make sure those dark areas remain black.
But we don't want to drag either one of these end sliders too far, because once we do, it crushes, as they refer to it as, the highlights or the shadows. It crushes them. It forces them all to white, if we adjust this slider on the right, and it forces them all to black, if we adjust this left slider. So, notice how there is a little bit of detail here on the bag on the right. If we keep dragging this Input Black slider to the right, it's going to crush all those values to pure black. We're going to lose all that detail, all the texture in that bag, and that's not what we want. So, use those end ones sparingly but feel free to be a little bit more liberal with this middle one.
So we can move this up here a little bit and even if we wanted to, we can drag on the Saturation value. I think it's a little bit more saturated there. So, we can go back up to the top of our effect, and we have the fx icon, so we can turn off the visibility of this effect by clicking it there. So there is the original, and here is what we changed it to. Now, one thing I should also point out is that when you underexpose video footage, and it's dark like this, it gets noisy. So you saw that as we try to get it bright, that you could see a lot of this grain, a lot of this noise here.
That kind of makes things look a little less attractive. This is actually shot with a really powerful camera, a really expensive camera. So if you had a less expensive camera, like a DV camera or something like that, you're going to have even more noise when you try to brighten it. So again, if you have any say in how stuff is shot, make sure that when it's underexposed, it's not too dark, because again, the grain is almost impossible to get rid of.
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