Join Jeff I. Greenberg for an in-depth discussion in this video Three-way color corrector is gone: Understanding the color board, part of Migrating from Final Cut Pro 7 to Final Cut Pro X.
Hopefully, you color correct every single clip in your timeline. In Final Cut 7, that was all done with the three-way color corrector. In Final Cut 10, they've kind of rethought the way they do color-correction. You have as much, if not more, flexibility but you should just be warned that's it's going to be looking a little different. Let's go ahead and take a look here. I'm going to open up this project and I'm just going to go to my Projects, this is that smart collection. And I'm going to just grab here a color correction timeline that I built. I just have a couple clips on this timeline.
Before I show you the color information, I just want to mention again, for RED files and LUTs where you can find some basic starting points. My very first shot is a RED file and when I go here, onto my inspector, you'll see under the Info, because it's a RED file, it knows, when I'm here under the Settings, to show me that I can modify the RED raw settings. You need the latest RED color science installed for this to work.
I'm going to hit a Cancel, and close that up. On a clip that might have been flat, shot from a flat camera, that same Settings gives you the ability some log-processing, some basic LUT removal. Now, these are basic treatment LUTs, these are resetting the footage to look right to you. They're not stylistic LUTs, which are often essentially, a lot like color corrections. But I just need you to see those before we talk about the rest of the color environment. So, when we get to the rest of the color environment, Final Cut 10 happens to have this, under this magic wand, the ability to do balancing color and matching color, but also this color board.
Now, the color board is an effect that you now put in Final Cut 10.2. Before 10.2, it was just automatically on there. I'm just going to go ahead and put an effect on here. So, I'm going to say "Effects" under Color Correction. Drag and drop the color correction. When I go to the video tab here, you'll now see it's got a color correction on the color board. You don't have to do this. If you click on a clip, I'll just put my play head over this next clip. Option clip. If I hit a Command-6, it automatically take me to the color board and automatically applies that, even though I haven't done anything with it yet.
Alright, so we see where our color correction tools are. We'll break them down in a second. Before we do, we need scopes. So, I'm once again going to say here, let's hide our browser to give us more real estate. Up here under View, we go to Show Video Scopes, and under the Scopes, I can choose what kind of a layout I'd like. I particularly work with a three-panel layout, and the scopes I tend to work with are a vector scope, not an RGB overlay, but instead, a waveform monitor.
Then, I also like a waveform monitor as an RGB parade. So, there are my scopes, there's my shot, there's my color board. So let's talk about the color board itself. I have three buttons on the top of the color board. Three tabs: Color, Saturation and Exposure. I'll start with Exposure and show you I have a Master Exposure Adjustment. I can adjust just the shadows, just the highlights, and the midtones, which is essentially the way the three-way color corrector worked.
More flexibility, I have the ability to adjust the saturation, I can globally increase or decrease the saturation,, but I can also do so just for the shadows. When you're struggling to correct a shot, and you're not sure why it's still kind of holding a color, generally speaking, a great little secret colorists' trick, is to pull some of the saturation out of the shadows. Your color wheels look like this now. This is the color board. This shot, by the way, this shot's kind of warm. It's got some oranges to it.
Now, on a color wheel, to remove that sort of warmth, I would end up adding blue. If I go ahead here, this is a Master. This is a shadows. Midtones and highlights. I'm just going to, in the midtones, add some blue and it will cool off that shot. But I could just as easily, take it over to those oranges and decrease the oranges. It's doing the same thing. The neat part about this effect is it's much more intuitive. If you're trying to reduce a color, you don't have to think about mixing in the opposite.
You can think about adding or reducing that specific color. The last thing I want to show you, and this is big in Final Cut 10, too, is I can add a second color correction. So, with the second one added here, you'll see I've got Color Corrections 1 and 2. I can use Color Correction 1 as a primary correction and use Color Correction 2 as a secondary correction. Now, I have two basic choices here with this as a correction. I'm able to sit back and add a mask based on a shape, or based on a key, or a color mask. So I'm going to choose the key one here, and I'm going to go ahead and just key some of his face.
With that being set, this now allows me to, under the color board, maybe let's increase the saturation in the midtones, let's do that, and let's also just take those midtones and add a little bit extra warmth into just his face. That's kind of the neat part of a secondary correction. I'm using this primary for the entire shot, off and on, but I'm using the secondary just to do the flesh tones. And I'll do one more, a vignette. I'll throw a third color correction on it and, this third color correction I'm going to say, add a mask.
I'll make this mask nice and wide. Feather those edges quite a bit. And what I want to do, is darken on the outside of this. Whether you're doing the key-based, or a shape-based, when I go over to the color board, you see at the bottom it says "Inside" and "Outside." I'm just going to go to Exposure and say, on the outside, let's pull down the exposure in general. So, I'm going to come back and I'm just going to toggle that off and on.
So, this is a great way to build that sort of vignette pop. Now, I've got all three of these built. I've got one that's a primary correction. I've got one that's built for flesh tones. I've got one built down here as a vignette. I just want you to keep in mind what we learned from the Effects Section is that you can save these all as a starting point to apply on shots.
- Touring the Final Cut Pro X interface
- Running Final Cut Pro 7 and X on the same machine
- Ingesting footage
- Browsing and organizing media
- Adjusting metadata
- New editing methods (including working with connected clips)
- Timeline editing (including trim, split, slip, slide, and nudge edits)
- Mixing audio
- Adding and adjusting effects and transitions
- Creating titles
- Applying motion effects to clips
- Performing color corrections
- Compressing and exporting video