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In Premiere Pro CS5 Essential Training, author Chad Perkins shows not only how to edit video with Premiere Pro, but he also explains how to use video to tell compelling stories. This course covers the Premiere Pro workflow from a high level, providing a background on how projects go from start to finish before diving into basic clip adjustments, such as color correcting scenes for more dramatic impact, applying transitions effectively, and slowing down and speeding up clip playback. The course includes creative techniques, such as making titles and removing a green screen background from a shot. Exercise files are included with the course.
Another color-related property that you'll probably want to adjust frequently is Contrast, basically how strong the brights are and how strong the darks are. In this clip, we already have great natural contrast. We have our biker here, contrasted with this kind of a sunset-y-looking colored background. Again, there is good contrast here, but we could still see parts of what our biker is wearing here. I think this will look even more awesome, if there was increased contrast. So we're going to go to Video Effects in the Effects panel. We're going to open up Color Correction, and we're going to drag and drop Brightness & Contrast onto our clip here.
To increase Contrast, all we have to do is go to the Effect Controls panel, open up the controls for Brightness & Contrast and take the Contrast value and increase it. As we increase it, you could see increased contrast here. That's looking pretty good. If it starts to get a little bit too dark, we could increase the Brightness to kind of balance that out. Also, as we increase Contrast, one of the result oftentimes are as we decrease Brightness, it increases the Saturation. So we want to kind of keep that in mind, because this looks a little cartoony and fake, because it's so saturated.
So we've got to kind of balance things out just a little bit with that. And fiddling with these settings, it's not hard to get a really awesome result. I'm liking that. Now, this might be a little bit too saturated with the dirt. We might want to apply another effect to tone that down a little bit, but if we click on the Effects icon for Brightness & Contrast, we see the before and the after. It's much more stark and powerful in the after version. This figure here is definite silhouette. We can't see anything on this person, which again makes this look so much more potent and powerful. Now as with editing itself, when you are making color corrections, you want to make sure that you color correct with a purpose, including Contrast.
What I see a lot of people doing is taking a shot like this that doesn't have tons of contrast as far as color goes. But as far as the bright brights and the dark darks, it's not super contrasty. So if we were to go add Brightness & Contrast to this, open up Brightness & Contrast and increase the Contrast, this definitely makes it much more contrasty. We could take down the Brightness or up the Brightness. But we have to ask ourselves what kind of story are we trying to tell here? This is flowers from this Hansel and Petal flower shop that we're trying to promote as like this really sweet, warm, friendly place.
What feels more friendly and warm and inviting to you, this or the original? Even though this is less contrasty, this is more welcoming and friendly. So if we did want to add some contrast, I'm going to go ahead and click the Reset button, we probably want to do so with great subtlety, like that much. So like there is the before, and there is the after, just a little, little tiny bit. Because this was shot very well and it really speaks, naturally just on its own, it speaks to the message we're trying to just send out here that this is a warm, comfortable place.
So again, if you are advertising a product, for example, or have a podcast or something warm and friendly, be careful with the Contrast. On the other hand, if you have a scene with intense drama, with really high highs or really low lows, you might want to consider reflecting that in the colors and bumping up the contrast.
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