This video teaches the importance of analyzing images with your eyes before making any corrections. You learn to look for things like: white and black parts of the image, brightness and contrast, color casts, and saturation. You go through these questions on three separate images to get an idea of what needs to be corrected.
- [Ashley] Color correction is such an 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 the scenes in your film. We'll touch on the first part of this workflow in this course, which should give you some solid skills in the art and science of color correction.
To learn more about the rest of the process, you can check out any of the other many color correction courses available on Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning. 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 really do it right. First, you simply need to look with your eyes to determine exactly what it is that you need to do. Second, you need a series of videoscopes to measure the result. In this movie, we'll take a look at the first part where we analyze the footage with our eyes.
So, I'm going to load this color correction analyze sequence here. And here I just have three shots from our three interview subjects in the Topa Topa project. And, full disclosure, while these interviews certainly did need some general color correction in their natural state; I've doctored these images a bit to give us a bit more to discuss and to adjust. But it's honestly not that uncommon for you to find images like this that are in need of a lot of help. Let's start here with Kyle. As we go through each of these shots, we immediately ask ourselves a series of basic questions.
So first question for Kyle here. 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 this reflection behind him. So we'll probably bring that up to our white value. Now sometimes reflections like this, which are called specular highlights, are actually brighter than white. So definitely keep that in mind, because quite a few of our shots do have reflections so we may need to factor that into our adjustment. As far as our blacks, the shadows in the background and around his beard should register as black.
Next, how are the brightness and contrast? So this image is pretty dark and a bit flat. So we'll need to brighten it up by bringing out our lightest values, and when we do that, the image will really begin to come alive. And as we do this, the skin tones are one of the most important things to consider when adjusting the light and dark values. So, we'll be raising the midtones, particularly the flesh tones. Next, how are the colors and is there a color cast? There really isn't too much of an obvious color cast; maybe a slight brassy, warm one.
But once we fix the light and dark values, it may become more clear that we need to make a slight adjustment. And then finally, how is the saturation level? In general, the saturation level is a little low. We can likely bump that up and make this a lot more vibrant. Okay, so I think we have a good idea on where we need to get going with this shot. Now let's go to Jack. We need to ask ourselves the same basic questions. What part of the image is supposed to be white, and what part of the image is supposed to be black? Well, there's a lot that should be white in this image.
The wall, and parts of his shirt, and then of course, we have these reflective surfaces on the glasses behind him, which may register even above white. In terms of what should be black, we've got some of the shadows on the surfaces behind him; and then we also have some shadows in his hat and his hair. Next, how are the brightness and contrast? This image needs more contrast. It's very flat. So we need to make our brightest parts a little brighter, and we need to make our darkest parts darker.
Fixing that contrast will help everything pop a lot more. Next, how are the colors, and is there a color cast? So I think there's a slight bluish color cast to this image. I think warming things up will really help out a lot. And then finally, how is the saturation? Well, this image is very muted, and we'll definitely need to increase the saturation to make Jack look healthy and vibrant. All right, now finally I'm going to take a look at Casey. But instead of going through each question, I'm going to go faster. I'll just look at it and give a few sentence summary of what I think I see.
This image is too flat. The blacks - his shirt and some of the darker surfaces on the metal around him - are a bit too bright. And the whites - the background window, and some of the surfaces on the metal - are a bit too dim. And his flesh tones are too washed out. So we'll need to open up the contrast range quite a bit. There's a general cool color cast, so we'll also need to warm everything up a bit. And we'll also probably need to bump up the saturation. Again, his skin is washed out, there isn't much color to it; so once we warm it up, Casey will have a lot more vitality.
All right. So again, even before we begin measuring our video signal, we already have a jumpstart on what it is that 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 the correction.
This is the first part of a two-part series. The second installment explores more intermediate techniques.
- Touring the Premiere Pro interface
- Asset organization and project management
- Basic editing
- Trimming and refining
- Basic audio editing
- Working with stills and graphics
- Basic effects
- Manipulating clip speed
- Using automatic and basic color correction tools
- Working with titles
- Sharing and exporting