Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Correcting color-balance problems, part of Introduction to Video Color Correction.
- In the previous movies, we were mostly concerned with Luma related problems with footage that was too dark, too bright, too flat, and so on. In this movie, we'll focus on problems related to color balance, and, specifically, we're going to take a look at a relatively common problem when a camera is incorrectly white balanced. I want to show you two shots here. This is an inside shot, but the camera was balanced for outdoor light. And this is an outside shot, but it's the reverse. It was balanced for indoor light. Okay, so, this one is very orange. This one is very blue.
All right, so let's go ahead and tackle this, and we're going to use both the RGB curves and three-way color corrector to get this looking right. So let's go to RGB Curves, first, and just like always, we're going to set our tonal range first. So I'm going to bring my whites way up, okay. She's looking kind of neon orange there, but don't worry. We'll fix that.
And bring our shadows down, and I'm looking at here. This is the flesh tones, and I press tilde to maximize this. We've got our flesh tones hanging out right around 60. I might want to explore bumping them up just a bit, and we can play with that later. But, now, let's get rid of this color cast. So I'm going to go to RGB Parade, okay, and it's pretty drastic. We want to come down in the highlights in the red channel and up in thehighlights on the blue channel.
And there we go. Things are looking really nice. Now, I'm going to come down to my blue in the shadows and raise that up little bit. All right, so, we are balanced across the board now. This is so much easier to do in RGB Curves than in three-way color corrector, that's for sure. Now, let's go to vector scope, and if we take a look here, we have a lot in the red and yellow area. This is obviously flesh tones as well as the back wall, and the back wall is what's making this so saturated.
So I bet our flesh tones are right about where they're supposed to be, about a quarter to a third from the center. But these values way out here are the back wall. Then, we have a little bit in cyan and blue, which appears to be this object back here. So I'm actually okay with this level of saturation. If you did want to bump it down just a little bit, you would need to add another color correction effect to the three-way color corrector because RGB curves doesn't have a saturation slider. So I'm going to just add this and come down to saturation, and notice when I decrease this, the trace and the vector scope shrinks back a little bit.
Okay, so, just a small adjustment there. We'll do a before and after. Here is all the way before, after the initial adjustment, and here is after an optional saturation adjustment. All right, let's go to this shot here, now, and same thing, I'm going to start by correcting it with RGB Curves. Okay, RGB Curves, okay, and we want to switch back to my waveform. And we've already got our highlights kind of hagging out around a hundred.
Our flesh tones are really, really dark, though. If I move through this clip, you can see that as she moves, these values down here are moving. So our flesh towns are about 30 right now. So let's leave our highlights kind of where they are and really concentrate on bringing up our midtones, our upper midtones and mid midtones. And as I do that, you can see the shadows crept up. So I'm going to bring those back down.
And, so, things are really blue, but she's looking better contrast wise. I'm going to switch to the RGB Parade. And this one is a little bit interesting because we aren't way out of whack on the red, green, and blue color channels like we were on this clip, but, visually, it's still, you know, much too blue. So I'm going to have to make some subjective decisions here. I'm going to come up in my reds and down in my blues and my highlights. You can see the image start to warm up, okay.
And in my shadows, I'm going to come down in my blues and up in my reds a little bit. Okay, so, they're still pretty much in line. I made small adjustments, but the image is looking a lot better, maybe down with the greens and the highlights as well. Okay, so, let me just do a before and after on this. This is before and after, looking a lot better. I'm going to go to vector scope, okay. We're still a little bit too desaturated. We want the flesh tones to come out to about here.
So I'm going to add a three-way color corrector to get my saturation controls. I'm going to do master saturation adjustment and midtone, And I think I'm going to come up and just warm them up a little bit. Okay, so, it's a little bit strange. It's a little bit cooler on this side, a little bit warmer on that side, and it's just because she's sitting on this porch area where we have indoor light and outdoor light.
Sometimes in this situation, you might want to create a mask, so that we can draw a shape over this and make it warmer. I'll just quickly show you this. We'll rough it in, won't get it perfect, but kind of show you what you might like to do. I'm going to come to my free draw bezier mask and just draw my shape around this area and get a little bit of her hair in there, okay. So I'm going to close that up and come down to my color wheels and go up, warming it up in the highlights and the midtones and maybe brightening it up a little bit, maybe bringing down the saturation so it blends a little bit better.
We, of course, want to feather the mask so that that blends into the background. And we might want to bring these control points out so that we don't have any of those cooler values. Okay, so, again, let's just see how this is looking. Okay, so, let's do a full before and after. Here's before. Here's after the initial adjustments. Here's after the saturation adjustments.
And here's after the masking adjustments. All right, so, no matter if you're inside or outside, correcting color balance issues is a fairly straightforward process. It's all about increasing the complement to the color that you want to remove.
- Exploring the history of moving images and color
- Understanding color correction and color grading
- Exploring color theory
- Adjusting contrast, color balance, and hue/saturation of individual shots
- Using automatic color-correction techniques
- Establishing shot-to-shot consistency
- Applying color treatments
- Correcting color problems