Discover the importance of analyzing images with your eyes before making any corrections. Learn to look for things like (a) white-and-black parts of the image, (b) brightness and contrast , (c) color casts, and (d) saturation. Go through these questions on three separate images to get an idea of what needs to be corrected.
- [Ashley] Color correction is a very important part of the post-production process. During this process, you should follow a workflow to achieve best results, starting by correcting individual shots for proper contrast, color balance, and saturation. You then go through and establish shot-to-shot consistency, making sure that each of the shots within a scene look like they belong together. And finally, you have the option of stylizing your footage to add a particular look or style to your project. We'll touch on the first part of the workflow in the next several movies, which should give you some solid skills in the art of color correction.
At the end of this chapter, we'll also touch on the second phase of it. And to learn more about the rest of the entire process, you can check out many of the other color correction courses available in our library. And if you're just starting out, my course Introduction to Video Color Correction would be a good place to begin. Now, in order to go through the color correction process, you need two main things to do it right. First, you simply need to look with your eyes to determine exactly what you need to do. Second, you need a series of video scopes to measure the results. So in this movie, we'll take a look at the first part where we analyze footage with our eyes.
So in order to give you an idea of the process, we're going to take a look at several shots from the Donut Dynamite project. I'm going to show those to you here. Here we have Madame Donut stirring over the stove. Here we have a shot from her interview. And here we have a kitchen worker. Now, shots one and three are directly from the raw footage. Image two I doctored up just a bit to give us more to discuss. But it's honestly not uncommon for you to work with images like these that need a lot of help. I'm going to start with image one, and we'll begin by asking ourselves a series of questions.
First, what part of the image is supposed to be white, and what is supposed to be black? Well, the white wall in the background should be a lot brighter and approach white, but will also still be in a bit of shadow. Probably the lightest part of the image should be some of the reflections on the wall behind the stove, as well as in the pan. The darkest parts of the image should be Madame Donut's shirt, as well as the stove top. Next, how are the brightness and contrast? This image is pretty dark and pretty flat, so in general, we'll need to raise the highlight significantly, and we'll probably need to lower the shadows just a bit, which will open up the contrast range and help things out a lot.
Next, how are the colors? And is there a color cast? There is a general warm, brassy color cast, so we'll need to cool things off a little. Also, the flesh tones are muddy, so we'll look at brightening those up to give Madame Donut a little bit more vitality. And then finally, how is the saturation level? Again, this image is pretty muddy and flat, so we'll need to bump up our saturation across the board. All right, so now let's move to this image here of Madame Donut's interview and ask ourselves the same questions. What part of the image is supposed to be white, and what is supposed to be black? Well, the lightest part of the image is the white wall, but because it's in the background in a bit of a shadow, it's not going to be a totally 100% white, but it will be close.
There is one section of wall back here that is brighter than the rest, and that will probably register as the brightest, whitest part of the image. Also, notice that there are some reflections on the display behind her. Sometimes reflections like this, which are called specular highlights where light is glinting off of surfaces like glass or liquid, are actually brighter than white. So keep that in mind, as we may need to factor that into our adjustment. And as far as our blacks, her dress should be the darkest part of the image and should register as black.
Next, how are the brightness and contrast? Well, this image is pretty dim, pretty flat, so we'll need to brighten up the lightest parts of the image and darken up the darkest parts of the image. This will open our contrast, and when we do that, the image will really begin to come alive. Next, how are the colors? And it there a color cast? I think there is a general cool color cast, so once we fix the contrast, we'll likely need to warm the image up so it's not so cool and muddy. And finally, how is the saturation level? Overall, our saturation is a little low, so we can bump that up and make this a lot more vibrant.
All right, great. So I think we have a pretty good idea where we're going with this shot. Now let's take this last shot of the shop worker, and this time instead of being so methodical about it, asking ourselves each of those questions, I'm just going to look at it and give a brief summary on what I see. As far as the white and black values, the white wall should register as white. And in particular, this section of the wall will definitely register as the whitest, brightest parts of the image. In terms of what should be black, obviously the darkest parts of his shirt, plus some of the darker parts and shadows to the bowls and utensils in the shot, as well as some of the darkest parts of his hair.
Also, in general, this image needs more contrast. Our brights are probably bright enough, but we'll need to bring down our darkest values to make everything pop a lot more. Also, I think there is a slight warmish color cast to this image, so I think cooling things off just a bit, particularly in the highlights, will really help out a lot. And finally, this image is pretty muted, so we'll increase the saturation to bring out the skin tones better and make the image a lot more vibrant. All right, so again, before measuring our video signal with the scopes, we already have a jumpstart on what we need to do.
This analysis part of the process will get easier and quicker, and soon you'll be able to perform the analysis in a matter of seconds before you dive into your correction.
- What's new in the latest version of Premiere Pro
- Importing media
- Organizing assets into bins
- Editing and trimming video
- Using markers
- Editing audio and multicamera footage
- Working with stills
- Adding effects
- Manipulating clip speed
- Correcting color
- Adding titles
- Sharing and exporting your project