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This course helps experienced Final Cut Pro editors understand new ways of performing traditional editing techniques. New terminology and new tools for performing editing functions are also clarified.
- Touring the X interface
- Running Final Cut Pro 7 and X on the same machine
- Importing and analyzing media
- New editing methods (including append and connected clips)
- Timeline editing (including ripple, roll, slip, and slide edits)
- Adding audio
- Fine-tuning with the Precision Editor
- Adding and adjusting transitions
- Creating titles
- Applying motion effects to clips
- Performing color corrections
- Archiving and collaboration
Skill Level Beginner
The color correction tools in Final Cut Pro 7 were excellent, but I think they've really taken them to the next level in Final Cut Pro X. Let's step into the Color Correction project and take a look at some of the new features and workflows in Final Cut Pro X when dealing with color. Now this first scene was shot onstage during a performance and there were lots of purple lights on our dancer. What I want to do is I want to neutralize that cast. I can do that very simply with a new feature Final Cut Pro X where we can balance the color.
I select the clip and I simply go over to the Inspector. Now if your Inspector is closed, go ahead and hit Command+4. You'll see there's a checkbox next to Balance and the word Analyzed. If I check Balance, you see that the color cast is automatically neutralized and I have nice tonality. Now I'd analyzed this clip when we imported it, but if you didn't analyze the clip, whatever frame you're parked on, Final Cut Pro X will analyze that frame and apply the balance to the entire scene.
If I want to analyze a clip after I've brought it in, because I chose not to do it during the import, I can simply right-click on the clip in the Event Library and say Analyze and Fix. Final Cut Pro X will give us the same dialog box we saw when we did the import and I could simply uncheck everything and say Analyze for balance color. Since we've analyzed this clip already, I'm going to go ahead and click Cancel. Now the next thing I want to show you is how to use the color correctors in Final Cut Pro X. Let's select this broll_dance_ rehearsal clip, the third clip in your Timeline.
If I want to work on color correction, I'll go over to the Inspector, and on the right side, I'll click on the Show Correction button. This reveals the new color corrector that you'll be working with in Final Cut Pro X. Now at first, it looks a little bit scary and radically different than what you're used to using. But if you take a closer look, a lot of the controls are the same. For instance, I can work with Exposure. I have a slider that allows me to work with Exposure for the entire scene, or just like Final Cut Pro 7, I can work with just my Shadows, my Midrange, and my Highlights.
And just like Final Cut Pro 7, I have a Reset button in case I've really messed up my correction. If we click over to the Saturation sliders, once again this is very familiar. I can work with the Saturation of the entire scene, or again, just in my Shadows, Midrange, and Highlights. So if I feel that that wall is a little too saturated, I can bring down just the saturation in my highlights. Finally, the Color tab is the most dramatically different of the three choices. You're used to working with the color wheel, but this is actually a color board, and once you get your head wrapped around how it thinks, it's really quite easy to work with.
The large circle here talks about the tonality or the hue of the entire image. So if I bring it up, I'm adding more green into the image. If I bring it below the line, I'm removing green from the image. If I want to do it with another color, I simply move it to the right or left, and as I bring it into the plus area of that color, it adds for instance more blue, or if I bring it down, it's actually removing blue. Now these three buttons here are exactly what you would guess them to be. My Shadows, my Mids, and my Highlights.
So I can work with changing the hue in any of these sections. Let me go ahead and reset the color board and we'll actually make a correction. I notice that this image has a little bit too much yellow in the shot. The wall is yellow and it really bothers me. So I'm going to go over here to my color wheel, because I'm going to use this as a reference. If you notice, yellow and blue are exactly opposite from each other, so if I want the wall to be more wide and remove some of the yellow, I need to add some blue to it. And since the wall is a brighter area, I simply will go to my highlights and I will add blue to the highlights, neutralizing the yellow of the wall.
I'm going to jump over to the Exposure and just bring down my Shadows and my Mids a little bit, just to make the shot nice and balanced. Now I'd like to show you one more thing. You might be afraid that you can't find your scopes. Well, here they are. if you go to this drop-down window right here, Choose Viewer display options, you can show your Video Scopes. Now one suggestion is if you have a dual screen monitor, go ahead and show your Viewer on a second display and now your image and your scopes will be full screen.
For now we're going to stay with our current setup. Once you've color corrected your first shot, you may want to copy those corrections to other shots on the reel. So what we're going to is simply hit Command+C, the keyboard shortcut for Copy, and then we're going to select the other clip that we want to balance. So you can see it better, I'm going to go ahead and close my Scopes. I can paste this on either with a keyboard shortcut or under the Edit command, I can simply Paste Effects. The keyboard shortcut for this is Command+Option+V, just like Paste Attributes in Final Cut Pro 7.
And as you see, it immediately reduces some of that yellow quality and makes this shot match this shot. But there's one more way of getting two shots to match, so we're going to take a look at the fourth and fifth shots in our timeline. Here we have the dancers in performance and the purple light is pretty strong. The final shot, that purple light is off and it's much more of a blue tone and a washed-out white tone. What I'd really love is this to have that purple cast of the previous shot. Once again, Final Cut Pro X gives me the answer.
I'm going to go ahead and select the last shot in my Timeline. Now if you notice in the upper right- hand corner it says Correction Disabled. Well, remember, we were on the color board on the previous shot. We need to step back into the main area of the Inspector, and we'll need to turn on a second correction, or in this case, we're going to Match Color. I'm going to click on the Match Color and a dialog box will appear. And what it's asking me to do is skim through and find another frame in my Timeline, or even skim through and find another frame in my Event Library, that I want to use to match this color to.
Well, since we want to match to the previous shot, I'll skim my cursor over the previous shot and when I find a frame that I like, I'll simply click to select that frame to match to. If I don't like the way that matches, I'll just skim down a little earlier or a little later and click again. Once I find a match that I really like, I simply hit Apply Match and it seems as if these were both shot under the exact same lighting conditions. I do want to make a point that the footage in the exercise files are very compressed, so they would be easy to download.
The more compressed an image is, often the more challenging it is to color balance it. So you might see some gradations in the color, but don't worry. When using full quality footage, the color corrector rocks. Now you may be asking yourself, but what about secondary color correction? I could have very easily in Final Cut Pro 7. Well, secondary color correction is even more robust in Final Cut Pro X. For instance, if we look at this shot and we like the way it's balanced in our primary color correction, but I want to work with the blue on her shirt, it's very easy to do.
I simply select the clip, and I go over to my Inspector with Correction 1 selected. I can very easily use an Eyedropper or a Shape to select the color blue. As a matter of fact, unlike Final Cut Pro 7, I can easily select a range of the color that I want to modify. With this color selected, I step over to my color board, go to Saturation, and bring up the saturation of just the blue shirt. I can even change its color in the Color tab to any color I want.
One last thing about the color corrector in Final Cut Pro X. You're not limited to one secondary. I can add as many corrections as I want by simply pressing the plus button. So for those of you who are worried about the color corrector in Final Cut Pro X, you see it's a lot more robust than Final Cut Pro 7 and you don't even have to step outside the application.