One of the main elements of the Color Correction effect and Color Correction workspace in Apple Final Cut Pro X is the Color Board. How is this similar to three-way color correctors you have seen? In this video, author Nick Harauz walks you through how to use the Color Board to affect your footage in Final Cut Pro X.
- So, now that we know a bit about how Final Cut Pro evaluates color with video scopes, let's see how we can apply color corrections by using the color correction effect. In the last few movies we spent our time getting to know our video scopes and now it's time to know how to make adjustments in Final Cuts in terms of color correction and that is all possible because of the color correction effect. There are a few ways to apply a color correction effect to clips and right now I'm in my chapter 1.5 project and you can access that in your chapter one folder.
I've done a few things to my interface. I've actually closed out here the browser on the left-hand side by just simply clicking this button or pressing control or command one, I've brought up my video scopes by pressing command seven. You can see my effect browser has been brought up as well and the color correction effect happens to be available in the color category and one way that you can apply that to a clip is you could select a clip in the timeline, I just click to select it or you can press the C key and if you take this color correction effect and just double click on it, you'll notice that with that clip selected in the video inspector that color correction effect has been applied.
Now, at default it doesn't look like there's a lot there but really what we want to do is click on some icons to access some of the parameters of this effect and the gateway to those parameters happens to be this show correction. So, right now inside what Final Cut calls a color board are three panes. We actually want to start off with the exposure pane. The exposure pane, we're making adjustments here, is best to be done with the Luma waveform, so to do that I'm going to go the view menu, go on a one up display and then just again go to my waveforms and choose waveform, followed by Luma and if you follow along since the first chapter, you could go to the window workspaces and bring up that Luma waveform color workspace that we saved earlier and the added benefit is that you get that monochrome view, so the waveform's stripped of colors and that's simply by going to the view menu and choosing monochrome.
So, here's that kind of flat-looking shot that we saw earlier. I'll just go back into the color board and here is my exposure pane. Here we can see if I just click on this, this happens to be my shadows, this happens to be my mid tones and this happens to be my highlights. This slider is a universal global slider which will affect your overall image. Now, let's just see what a subtle adjustment here in the exposure pane makes to this shot. What I'm going to do is grab my shadows, I'm just clicking on it right now and I like to play video games, so I use my arrow keys quite a bit with this, so if I use my downward arrow key, it makes subtle adjustments and see what's happening to your Luma waveform.
You can see now that this line happens to be approaching the zero mark which happens to be that shadow or the deepest shadows. I'm now going to take my highlights and just press the upward arrow key to bring this up quite a bit and you'll see there that that indeed brightens quite a bit of highlights in your shot. Your mid tone slider could be treated subjectively. I mean, if I drag this square up, just notice that the shot overall gets a lot brighter.
When I drag it down, it gets a lot darker, so depending on the mood of this particular scene or shot, I could make adjustment on either direction. Now, an important thing to note is that this mid tones or the mid tones here on the exposure actually affect everything slightly, so it is affecting your shadows and it is affecting your highlights and usually I call this a push or pull game. When you make an adjustment to one part of your image, in the shadows, mid tones or highlights need to readjust the previous adjustment, so this push and pull process just keep in mind that everything slightly affects everything else and in the color correction process personally I find myself going back and forth to find the perfect correction.
Now, moving on from the exposure pane, I'm just going to move to my next shot, we can see that this next one if I select it, right now it doesn't have actually a color correction effect on it, so besides adding it from the effects browser, this time I'm actually going to go to my edit menu. The reason I'm doing this is the color correction effect happens to be the default effect and you can add it with a shortcut key. You don't even have to bother going to the effects browser. If you press option E or go edit, add color correction, it's automatically applied to your clip. You can see here I have that clip selected, there's my color correction without an adjustment.
This shot also doesn't have a lot of contrast in it so if I clicked on this arrow, I could go to the exposure, and make a adjustment really quickly and the next thing I want to do is just look at this in terms of if its color. I'm going to go over to the color pane. I've skipped over saturation temporarily but we're going to get to that, so if I go here and choose my waveform RGB Parade, I can see how this shot lines up. This time I don't want to look at it as a monochrome image, so I'll go back to view, click on monochrome to turn it off, I see the RGB colors.
Looking at this, I can see overall the shot does appear to be fairly balanced. There might be a little bit stronger reds here in the upper mid tone/highlights and I might want to make an adjustment here on the color board and this is extremely unique to Final Cut. The idea is it works with either adding color or subtracting color from the shadows, the mid tones or the highlights. So, let's just say that I wanted to subtract a little bit of red from the highlight's upper mid tones.
If I head over here to this side of the color board, you can already see I'm trying to grab this straight, but it's making very subtle adjustments to the image. If I just press the downward arrow key to remove a little bit of the red from the image, you see how both the green and the blue graph go upward 'cause I'm subtracting red from that image. A lot of times what I'll do here just to make sure that my eyes are working properly is I'll drag this a lot further just to know whoa, that was way too far, my eyes are working and then I'll go back and make a extremely subtle adjustment, so in the color board right here in the color pane a lot of times extremely subtle adjustments go a long way.
So, you can see there that I removed quite a bit of red from the image, almost too much to taste and I can always go back to the color correction effects and just turn that effect on and off to see what I've done with just an exposure and a extremely basic color pane adjustment. Last but not least with that field selected, color correction effect the last image, I'll go in the color board and go to the saturation pane and just when we're dealing with saturation, what do we look with? I'm just going to go to my view, it's on that one up display and head over to my vector scope.
We can see there that the blob here it's not a very over saturated image, so we have a global saturation just like our other sliders and if I increase that, everything becomes more saturated. By the way, if you select that little slider and press delete, it resets that one slider. Now I can also adjust saturation in my shadows, just press delete, my mid tones and my highlights. We'll see a little later by sometimes adjusting saturation in only one of the shadows, mid tones or highlights can create some interesting color looks and there is your overview of your color correction effect which leads you to a color board where you can adjust exposure, saturation and color.
Don't worry, as we go through this course we're going to go into extreme detail into each one of these panes and see practical uses of why we want to use this in conjunction with our video scopes but for now in the next movie, join me for a couple of shortcut keys to access these panes a lot quicker.
- 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