Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Stylizing color with the Colorama effects, part of Repairing and Enhancing Video.
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If you like the gradient map effect in Photoshop, you've got a really similar one in After Effects called Colorama. But instead of organizing the gradient as a linear gradient from left to right showing you the shadows and the darks, it maps it to a circle. But it's the same idea. It basically starts at darks and goes around and goes to lights. If you can just get used to the slight change in interface you can get the exact same effect. Let's take a look at a couple of examples here. I'm going to bring this one up, it's the same one you saw from before. Let's just apply that Colorama effect.
Double-click. Same awful presets, but under the Output Cycle, you see you have the ability there to dial those in. And so that allows you to map color. Where this really shines though, is when you put it onto an Adjustment Layer. So if you want to dial in a new color, maybe you want to map it to blues for you client. I'll go ahead and do the Ramp Blue here to even that out, and then by changing the blending mode. Maybe something a little more subtle like Hue.
You see that it preserves the luminosity from down below, and creates a gentle map of the effect. On the other hand, you can do the same black and white type conversions. Just add the Adjustment Layer, toss on Colorama. And get past the world's worst present and instead come into some of these simple colors. You will see that there are some sepia ones and you notice here it basically is a tri tone. This is the shadow, this is the highlight, this is the mid tone. Well I'm going to push that shadow a little darker.
And I'm going to make the highlight a little brighter. There we go. And you can then move the mid tone to taste until you get the results you want and of course if you don't want a solid tint, just take advantage of blending mode. So there a sepia tone with a blending mode just completely changed the feeling of that shot. And it gave it that nice brown earthiness that I wanted for a bunch of turtles having a turtle party. And that looks a lot better. Let's take a look at one more example.
And we'll add the Adjustment Layer. And toss on Colorama, and let's dial in something here, like the Fire effect. It's really dramatic, but, if we take that into something a little bit gentler, such as an Overlay. Or maybe a Soft Light. Notice how it starts to tone that down. I actually like the Overlay even though it's really strong. And I'll just adjust the opacity down a bit and you see how it takes on a nice palette of fall colors. If that doesn't work for you, you've got lots of other options you can play with.
And there, we're just giving it a different emotional feel. It's aged, it's suddenly become a 70s back to school special. But as you're using these different presets, remember they can always be modified. And you can go in and dial in something, to give it a particular look, but stay away from the ones that solarize like these where it alternates between lights and darks. Instead, favor some of the more simple ramps, or completely create your own. So, you can dial in the look you want, or just start with none. And remember you could start to peel off the colors you don't want to use by just dragging them off and then dial in a more specific color that you do want.
So maybe I want a little bit more oranges back here into the shadows and I'll go with a little less yellow. And by adjusting that gradient in its stops, I can refine my look until I get the overall color grade that I want. And, by using the opacity adjustment, you can finesse that. But again, a great way to change the emotional feel of a scene.
This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Reviewing the retoucher's toolbox
- Stabilizing footage
- Fixing alignment
- Retiming footage
- Removing lens distortion
- Using rotoscoping to enhance footage
- Recovering exposure
- Color grading with Photoshop
- Converting to black and white
- Creating a film or painterly look
- Adding depth of field