Apple Final Cut Pro X allows you a few ways to fix the color cast on an image: an automatic way with the help of analyzing a clip, and a manual way by referencing videoscopes and using our eyes. In this video, author Nick Harauz walks you through how to white balance a shot in Apple Final Cut Pro X.
- Final Cut Pro 10 allows us a few different ways to fix the color cast on an image, an automatic way, and a manual way. Let's see how we can fix this in Final Cut by exploring both. So we're in our Chapter 2.2 project, which we can find in the Chapter 2 folder. I've got two clips here in the timeline, and they've both got color casts on them. There's a pretty extreme color cast on this first shot, it's tinted in blue. If you're just getting used to color cast, it might take a while for you to identify this with your eye, so just keep in mind you can bring up your scopes by pressing Command seven, and then by going into your scopes, I would recommend that you use the Waveform RGB Parade.
You can take a look at those scopes, and you can see that there's quite an influx of blue specifically in the higher midtones in the shot, and the red, green and blue channels aren't so balanced. So let's go through this with an automatic correction. One way that we can do this is analyze the color information in the clip, and then apply a balance color effect. The disadvantage to this is it's a take it or leave it effect. So your system, all it does is looks at these channels, and then it decides what to do based on its analysis.
How do we do this? I'm going to just Control or right-click the clip in the timeline, and I'm going to reveal it in the browser. Okay, so once I do, it brings up all of the footage here in the timeline. I'm actually just going to do that again. Reveal in Browser. And then, see you can see it brought up that clip right here. If I Control click this clip now and choose to Analyze and Fix, I have a number of options for it to analyze this clip and essentially apply corrections that I might not want to do.
So it's going to analyze for balance color, which is great. I'm going to choose OK. It goes through a little quick analysis. It went so quick that we weren't able to see it, but it's a background task that actually took place, and you can access those background tasks from this window right here. So now that that's taken place, what I can do is simply select this clip, and this is kind of known as a magical effect, so if I go to the Magic Wand over here and choose to Balance Color, you'll notice something in your Inspector. One is that it shows you that this clip has been analyzed, and based on that analysis, it's made a correction to your red, green and blue channels.
To see the before and after, you can see what it's done to the correction of your clip. Again, it's a take it or leave it effect, so sometimes we don't want to leave things up to an analysis of just looking at the RGB Parade. Usually what works best is using these scopes in conjunction with your eyes to make a color correction decision in terms of light balance. So I'm now going to move to the second shot in my timeline. I'm just going to move my Play head over there. Just to get a little bit more space I'm going to close out my browser, and then when selecting the clip by pressing C I'm going to add the color correction effect by pressing Option E.
With that applied to the clip we can see the color correction effect here in the video Inspector. I'm going to head over to my Color Board, and here in Exposure, the first thing I'm going to do is actually make an exposure adjustment. So just looking at the RGB Parade, the blue is not only really high in the highlights, and really high just overall compared to the red and green values, but it's almost overexposed, so I just want to bring down the overall exposure in this shot just a little bit, just so that we can see the shot a bit better.
Okay, and I might just make some adjustments here in terms of the mid exposure just a touch. Midtones, and then play around with the highlights as well. We can still see the blue is just overpowering the shot, so let me go Control Command C to move to color. We're going to play around with the color to add some red to the shot and see what happens. So I'm going to grab my Highlight slider here, drag it over to this side of the board, and just push this up a bit better. And you'll notice that it's balancing way better with the green right now just with this subtle adjustment.
Now we're not done, so just one of those adjustments there. I'm now going to add or select the Overall slider, and here in the Overall slider I'm going to try to move the blue or just subtract blue from the overall shot. And notice now how these RGB channels are lining up a lot better. Okay, so we're seeing there quite a bit of difference in the shot. I'm now starting to just make out a little bit of the backgrounds of the mountains here. Now this was quite an extreme example, so let's see what else I can try to pull out of this shot.
I'm actually just going to take the midtones and just try to bring it down a little bit as well. I think... By looking at the bottom of the graph here too the blue is just slightly off, but I'll also move that towards a negative value. Not seeing too much of a result here, but one great thing that you can notice here to see if some of the color is being restored here in the tree in specific, specifically in the shadow details you can see that I'm recovering a lot more of that tree.
So we can play around with the shot here in the midtones too and I always like to pull back on these shots because the red overall is just so weak in those upper midtones and highlights. And you can see now that it's essentially balancing itself out with the green channel that's right beside it. In order to take this a little bit further, we should just bring down the blue in the overall shot. So I'm going to grab the Overall color slider, drag it away from blue, right, or towards a negative value in order to add essentially more red and green in the shot.
Again you can head back into your color correction effect there and turn this on and off to see the before and after. And I highly recommend that you also go back to the Exposure pane where you can make subtle adjustments based on the correction that you just made to get an even better balance of this shot. So this was great to show you an extreme example because I don't think in terms of the automatic balance that it would have fixed this shot, but through a manual balance we were able to color, we were able to correct and get some of that information in our shadow and midtone detail to have a slightly better shot.
So just notice that we have those two options for light balancing and automatic correction through an analysis, followed by a manual base correction through using our scopes and using our eyes along with the color correction effect.
- Using and customizing a color correction workspace
- Making basic corrections
- Creating a secondary color selection
- Applying creative looks with color correction presets
- Restoring color and tone
- Working with raw video
- Applying filmic looks and effects
- Sending clips to DaVinci Resolve
- Legalizing for broadcast