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In Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explains how to take video editing from simple nuts and bolts to an art form. He shares tips for shooting video in the field to get the most from a subject and get the best footage for a project. He demonstrates how to build a project through the careful use of cutaways, pacing, and suggestive edits. He covers special effects, color correction, and keying and compositing, integrating all these concepts as he builds a music video project from scratch. Exercise files are included with this course.
As we looked at in the last movie, primary color correction is when you affect the entire image, basically, laying down the basic foundation of the luminance values and the color grading, and secondary color correction, which we're going to look at now, is when you focus in on individual parts of the image. For the secondary color correction on this image, I want to focus on two things. I want these rapper guys to stand out a little bit more and I also want to deemphasize some of these really saturated greens in the background here. So let's start by removing some of these greens, or at least toning them down.
For this, I'm going to apply a second Three-Way Color Corrector effect beneath our original Three-Way Color Corrector effect, we're continuing from where we left off in the last movie. One of the cool things about Premiere is that at the bottom of a lot of the Color Corrector effects, you'll find this Secondary Color Correction area, so you could open that up and see these secondary color correction parameters. Now what we're allowed to do here with the secondary color correction parameters is to create a mask that will make it so that whatever we do with the rest of the color correction effect, it will only affect those things that we mask off.
Now if I look at this here, this one is already adjusted, so I need to get this Three-Way Color Corrector effect, which is the one I just added, and drag this below the one that we already added. It's a little confusing, but we don't want to adjust this one, because we got that one where we liked it from the last movie. Let's see, it's not working if I drag it that way. So I'll drag the other effect, and okay, now, that's working there. Now the first thing I want to do is create a mask. So, I'm going to change this Output from Composite to Mask.
Now when we see white on the mask that means that everything is affected, so there is no mask. So when we have black areas, we are protecting those areas from adjustments. So I'm going to scroll down to Secondary Color Correction and I'm going to open up Saturation. What I'm going to do is drag the left- hand side to the left, and what this is doing is it's masking off the most desaturated components in this footage here. So what's left, if I keep pushing this, is only going to be the most saturated pieces.
Actually, I might want to fiddle with more than that. Yeah, somewhere right about there. If you want feather the edges, you can grab the triangle and make a little bit of distance in between the square and the triangle, like that. Sometimes, you have to drag it a little bit farther so that there's a little bit more room. Or if that's not working, you could adjust the Start Softness to manually -- sometimes for whatever reason, clicking on those triangles just doesn't work. So if you click on the value of the Start Softness that will work for you. So I moved this until I'm seeing white for all the values that I want to adjust the saturation of, and the black values are masked off, so they are unaffected.
So now if we go back to the top and change the Output to Composite, you will notice that we could only adjust those areas that were white in our mask. So if we adjust the Brightness, even the Levels, we are only messing with these areas that were acceptable to mess with, that were white in our mask. Actually, what I want to do is change the Tonal Range from Highlights, which is all I'm adjusting with these sliders here, to Master. So I adjust this to Master and then I go into the Input Levels, and you could see that I could have a bigger impact on areas, but only the areas that we created with the mask.
So it doesn't really matter what you use to make the mask, whether it's Hue, Saturation, or Luma, in other words, Brightness. But once you have that mask, you could adjust the Hue, Saturation, and Brightness of anything. So it doesn't really matter which attribute you use to create the mask, whether it's Hue, Saturation, or Luma or, in other words, Brightness, once you use that to create your mask, then the mask function is independent. So then you can adjust the brightness of whatever is in the mask or the saturation of whatever is in the mask, and it won't really affect the mask itself.
It will affect this stuff that's within the mask. So what I'm going to do, in this case, is with my Tonal Range set to Master, I'm going to come down to here to Master Saturation and then take this down a little bit. We might want to take this down, considerably, actually, maybe to something really small like 15. So we could see if we turn this effect off and on, the before and after. So really you don't notice it too much, and maybe this is a little bit overdone, maybe we need to darken this a little bit here, maybe these leaves just are a little bit too bright, little bit too desaturated.
But the point is we want to make them not stick out. We want to make them a little bit less conspicuous. So here is the before, and the after. I think we did a really good job at that. Now the other thing I want to do with this piece of footage, in terms of secondary color correction, is to emphasize these guys, bring them out a little bit more. One of the problems we have with that though is that Premiere doesn't really have that great of masking capabilities. So we can't exactly say, make a line around these guys and just influence these exact areas.
So what I'm going to do is kind of fiddle with the system a little bit. I'm going to go to the New dropdown in the Project panel. I'm going to create new Black Video. Basically, this is just black video. That's all it is, just some black pixels. I'm going to use the same settings that I have for my sequence already and click OK and drag this to Video track 2 over my current footage. Then I'm going to do a search for garbage and I'll apply an Eight-Point Garbage Matte effect. This is basically an effect that if we select it in the Effect Controls panel, it gives us eight points that we can use to make a mask.
So what I'm going to do is basically move some of these points around, until we have black area around the background. Now that looks pretty good. Then what I'm going to do here is I'm going to apply a Gaussian Blur effect to this as well. I'll make sure that it's after the Garbage Matte and I'm going to increase the blurriness value of the Gaussian Blur so that the edges are soft, and we don't have any hard edges here.
Then what I'm going to do is take the Opacity of the black video, actually, we just clicked the stopwatch here, we just don't need to animate that at all, take this down to something really small, something to where you can't really notice the black video very much at all, somewhere around 20% or so. Then we have this. So we could have done the opposite and brightened up the background video a little bit, but they are already kind of grainy, because of the low light situation. So our other option was then to go into the black video and darken that, so it would deemphasize the background.
So there are two options. You could emphasize the foreground or deemphasize the background. That's what we did here. We deemphasized the background. So, here is without the black video and here is with the black video. We may want to bump that up to 27% or so. We could also select the black video and move that up a little bit, so that some of those feather edges at the top kind of go off the screen a little bit and then click away to deselect it. So that is the before and after.
There is before the black video and after the black video. It does a good job of darkening things and just kind of keeps the focus on our two guys here. Now secondary color correction really is the bigger challenge of the two, because you're constantly looking at the shadows in all of the different components of your image, depending on how much time you have and the money allocated for the project, of course. But it forces you to kind of train your eye and look at the entire image and say, "Okay, now is everything where I want to be?" Where is the first place that my eye will focus? Here we have some highlights and this is the first place our eye goes and that's great, but maybe some of these other highlights are a little bit too distracting as well.
So we might want to increase our black video, maybe increase the opacity or make it little bit bigger, and you might want to focus on different shadows. Shadows are a big one, obviously. Make sure the colors of your shadows are correct. Make sure the darkness of your shadows are not too rich, but that they are dark enough. All these different types of things that you might want to focus on to make sure that your image, the whole entire spectrum of what you're seeing, is exactly the way you want it.
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