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Most color correction apps and most nonlinear editors have some sort of three way color correction interface. What they generally don't have are four sets of those interfaces. As we have here in SpeedGrade CC. So I like calling SpeedGrade CC's color correction interface a twelve way color corrector. Not only do we have an offset gamma gain for overall, we've got those exact same set of controls for shadows, mid tones and highlights. But the first thing that will confuse most people is, well.
What part of the image when I look at it is considered a shadow, a mid-tone, or a highlight? Well, the developers at SpeedGrade have thought about that problem and they've given you a solution. So if I'm over here in the Overall tab, notice that when I click on any of these other tonal ranges, we'll start with Shadows, a new menu pops out here. It's the Grayout menu. And it's designed to show you precisely, what does SpeedGrade consider to be in the range of shadow controls? I click on this pull down menu, I've got three options.
Let's start with color gray. And color gray is just showing me a color image against a gray background. Whatever I see in here as being in color Is what will be affected by, in this case, the shadows tonal range. I can click on Mid tones. And now that's what's in color there is being affected by the mid tones controls. And when I click on highlights, what's being shown in here is what will be affected by the highlights controls which (LAUGH) in this image is not very much at all.
And if I'm finding that this color gray doesn't really work for me. I can use this little arrow and move it down to make it brighter and move up the numbers to make it darker. And I'll take a quick look at some of these options. I've got color against black, so it's a pure black background. Let's punch up midtones to see it better. And then, I've also got white against black. Now, whatever is white is what will be affected by in this case these Mid tone controls. And as I get further and further away from white as these are kind of grey in here, those will have some impact on the midtones but not quite as much.
And then as I get to black, this is showing me that this part of the image will be completely ignored by these midtone controls. Let me jump back down into shadows and there you go. You can see what SpeedGrade considers to be in the shadows tonal range. And of course now I can come up when I'm done looking at that click none to hide it. I've also got some keyboard shortcuts that makes it a lot easier to use. So I press Ctrl+G, that puts me into my color against gray. If I press Option+G on a Mac or Alt+G on a PC, that puts me into my color against black.
And if I combine those two keys, Ctrl + Alt or Ctrl + Option G, that puts me into my black and white mode. And now to get out of this grey out mode completely, I add the Shift+Option or Shift+Alt+G and that goes away. And very quickly if you use these keyboard commands and you will get used to them. And they will be very, very helpful as you try to understand which tonal control you want to reach for. Depending on which feature in the image you most want to have the most effect upon.
And now that we've determined what is controlled by each of these tonal ranges, the question is, well what do each of these controls do within those tonal ranges? And for a clear demonstration of that, let's Cmd left arrow key Back to the first shot here, and this is our grayscale ramp once again. And we are in our shadows. So if we were to press Ctrl or Option+G, it's showing what it considers to be in the shadows. So, this part of the image is what's going to be manipulated by these controls down here.
I'm going to go ahead and turn off that grayout mode. Now let's go to the Gain control and we're going to kick up this gain and look at what happens on the scope here. You see that delineation, that 50% mark. It's affecting all the pixels below that, but mostly on the upper part of the shadow range. If I turn that off and go to the gamma, notice the effect that's happening now. Now it's having less of an effect on the upper part of the shadows and much more of an effect on the bottom part of the shadows. And now if I come to my Offset control, let's lift that up.
And look at that, it's having a huge effect on the entire shadow range. Let's go to the other extreme, let's check out the Highlight control. I'll come up to this gain control, kick it up. And you can see there's a bend happening in here at around the 50% mark. If I come up to the Gamma control, yeah it's having a much bigger effect on the lower part of the highlights and then if I select the Offset control here. It's having a pretty big effect on the entire range here. Look at that pivot right around that 50 IRE point.
Alright, so your challenge now is to pull up a gray scale and explore all of these tonal controls within all of these tonal ranges. So that you really get to be intimately familiar with how these different controls target different parts of your image. And this will help you become very fast and help you kind of inherit the moniker of SpeedGrade. Right, it's going to let you, allow you to make very targeted corrections very, very quickly. The time you invest in understanding this now will pay off in spades as you begin working in real-life projects.
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