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Using Adobe SpeedGrade CC, powerful professional color correction and color grading is available to anyone with a Creative Cloud membership. In this course, professional colorist Patrick Inhofer offers a project-based learning experience to get you familiar with the SpeedGrade tools. You'll work three different types of projects through the color correction and grading process, which includes getting projects and footage into SpeedGrade, color correcting and grading shots, and then rendering and outputting shots. Each step of the process is rich with lessons and anecdotes that are applicable to real-world color grading scenarios that editors, producers, and other creatives will face.
This course was created by Patrick Inhofer and produced by Robbie Carman. We are honored to host this content in our library.
In this movie, I'll share with you a very common use I have for secondaries, which is enhancing the look of clouds and skies. We are going to start here on 05_03_DML_END. We are going to pick up where we left off last time on the short sequence from deadman's lake. And we are going to start with this shot where we have got a lot of clouds up here and what we want to do is enhance it. We want to give them a little bit more pop. Make them a little bit more of a character in this image. And as we look at this image, if I turn both of these off, we can see what we've done already.
We've done two primary layers. Mostly a variety of tweaks to add a lot more punch to this image. What we're going to do now is add a secondary layer and we're going to try to key out those skies. I could do this here in this layer stack, but I think I might want to re-use this correction on other angles. And one of the easiest ways of speeding B grade to use specific fixes and share them on other shots, is to use grading layers. So, rather then doing this correction here in this layer stack we'll add a new grading layer and if we get lucky we'll be able to reuse this correction in other angles.
Now quick side note, grading layers are not available to us in the direct link work flow. They are only available when we are working on native IRCP projects. If we're working in direct link, we'd have to direct link back to Premiere, add an adjustment layer there, then direct link back to speed grade to replicate what it is we are about to do. So now lets go ahead and add a grading layer. We do that just by clicking and dragging in here and make sure it's a thin line and it's only going to apply to this clip and now we have a new layer stack.
What I'm going to do is add a secondary and I don't think I need that primary right now. So I am just going to delete it. Get it out of the way. I am just going to take this and lift it up a little bit, until it reveals everything. And for the moment, I'm going to get rid of my analysis tools and just so I can focus on the image itself. And now let's go ahead and key out the sky. There are a couple of ways doing this, of course the most common way is just to use a little eye dropper and drag across this region. Now I'm going to go into my gray out menu, again I like the high contrast version, the black and white version and that'll show me wherever I have white pixels what parts of this image I'm manipulating.
So I'm going to go ahead and do that and you can see I'm pulling in a lot of other stuff here that I don't like. So I'm going to go ahead and reset this and instead I'm going to turn off hue and saturation. I'm just going to try it on brightness because the sky is fairly bright and I'm going to see what that gets me and I'll move this all the way up to the top, add a little bit of softness and now I am going to drag out this triangle more to the left, more to the left and there we go. So based on brightness alone, I am doing a really good job of pulling out the key.
I am also getting them a little bit. So what I am going to do enable the hue. Again drag this top arrow to the left to expand it out and I want to expand it out just so that it's only pulling in the blues. I'll put in a little bit of softness. And then see how that works. I am, I am getting less of them. If I turn this hue on and off now. I am getting less of them. And that works for me. I kick up this blur. Hold down the shift key for faster response. And now I'll turn off my gray out. And now I've isolated the sky and I'm going to do a little bit of grading in here and I'm going to use the contrast controls.
Because, you know, we don't have the 12 way controls in here and the gain and the offset isn't really going to work for me. So I'm going to use the contrast controls and I'll expand out, pick up the contrast, now it's going to tend to push. All of this stuff brighter and I'm probably going to want to adjust the pivot. Now I'm going to hold down the the shift key as I adjust the pivot to find where I really want it to center up my contrast adjustment and right in there looks pretty good. I'm going to kick up some more final saturation.
Let's do before and after on this layer, and yeah, look at that. See, we went from this kind of muddy. The sky didn't look bad before, but now in comparison to what we've just done, really kicks it up. And this is a great way. I love doing contrast expansions on skies, cause it, cause skies tend to be in a very narrow range. You know, you've got the bright whites. But then, you know, the blues generally aren't much darker than that. And by kicking up the contrast and adjusting the pivot to pull out the detail just where you need it, I find that that's a great way of pulling out detail and skies and as an example of another great use of secondary layers.
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