Join Jeff Sengstack for an in-depth discussion in this video Presenting the Premiere Pro color correction workflow, part of Premiere Pro CS5: Color Correction and Enhancement.
Premiere Pro has a full suite of color correction and enhancement tools. I want to give you an overview of those tools and show you how they fit into the basic color correction and enhancement workflow. We'll start with the scopes; Premiere Pro has four scopes that you will work with a lot in color correction. Let me pull this Reference monitor out of its frame for a moment, so you can see it. I will just drag it here by holding down the Ctrl or the Command key, then I am letting it go, and then dragging it out a bit. There are four scopes. We can work with them individually or here in this little group. I'll show you just how they look individually.
There is one to look at, Vectorscope. We will go back to the whole group here so you can see all four of them. This is the Waveform monitor, which is luma. We use this to adjust the contrast and brightness. This is the Vectorscope, which shows you hue and saturation, basically the color and how vivid the color is. This is the RGB Parade, which breaks down the color into the individual red, green, and blue channels. This is the YCbCr Parade, which breaks it down into what is usually the original format for video, which is Luma, Cb, and Cr.
We will work primarily with these three, and we will refer to this one a couple of times. These scopes are immediately interactive. As you move through your clips, the scopes immediately show what's going on there, and as you add effects to the clips and make changes, those changes show up immediately in the scopes. That's a terrific thing that makes it really, really easy to do good color correction work. Let me put that back in there. You can make color correction and enhancement changes using any number of the color correction-oriented video effects that come with Premiere Pro. I am just going to give you a brief rundown of what that's like.
Here is the Effects panel, open up Video Effects. All those bins are full of effects, many of which are color correction oriented. Specifically the Color Correction folder has 17, and we'll work with a subset of these. There are several other bins that contain color correction-oriented effects like these three, for example. In fact, there are about 40 effects inside Premiere Pro that can be considered color correction effects, so many that it can get a little confusing, so I suggest you make a Color Correction Effects folder and put these ten in--and I explain that later-- because these are the ten we will use throughout most of the course. Only a few others will come into play.
So those ten are the big heavy hitters in the color correction world and Premiere Pro. The first step in your color correction work is what's called primary, where you adjust the tonality--the brightness and contrast--and the colorcast, so we will just take a look at this particular clip right there. I've applied an effect to it called the Fast Color Corrector, and that is a quick difference. It makes it sort of jump off the screen at you. We're going to work with four different kinds of effect controls. Let me show them to you. This is the RGB Color Corrector, and it has the Gamma, Pedestal, and Gain controls, with sliders.
I use that sometimes. RGB Curves work with a graph. Here is the Tonality for the Master, plus Red, Green, and Blue, so you'll work in the individual channels. The Fast Color Corrector has two kinds of controls: a color wheel and levels-styles control here, so you have four different kinds of controls that are at your fingertips when you're doing color correction and enhancement inside Premiere Pro. After you do your primary work, you do secondary work. Let me switch over to another clip here. The secondary work lets you work on certain sections within a clip.
For instance, I want to highlight the hair here, not the whole clip but just the hair, so I can do it that way, little bit of highlights. See, a little bit of a pop came on there. We'll make it even more emphatic this way. There are ways to just emphasize certain parts of a clip, and that's called secondary. You do that with the secondary color controls inside these effects. But you can also isolate certain areas of a clip using what are called track mattes. For instance, this clip has a nice orange warm fill back there, but upfront it's kind of blue from the sunlight. Well, you can fix that using a track matte.
I'll show you how that works real quick. Now, the whole scene has that same nice warm glow. Another part of color correction is matching clips. We will match these two clips. The original clips look like that, so I am going to match that to that. I'll explain how to do that in this course. And then we're going to go to enhancement after that, where you take a clip like this-- let me show you the original one of these guys. That's the original. Let me go forward a little way so you get a sense of what it looks like, compared to that. I am going to take that original and give it that kind of blue urban, gritty feel.
We're going to take a shot like this, that daylight shot, and turn it into something like day-for-night, as they call it. And then, after that, if you want to go beyond what's available within the retail version of Premiere Pro, you can use what are called plug-ins that are available on a retail basis. I am going to show you two that work inside Premiere Pro. One is called the Colorista II. It looks pretty much like this. Well, there is much more to it, but it's a full-featured color correction suite that's built right into one plug-in.
And we'll show you also something called Looks, and it gives you a full suite of tools that give you these sort of Hollywood looks in a moment, with all sorts of tools that allow you to adapt those to your own liking. And I'll show you a plug-in that ships with the retail version of After Effects. You don't need to pay extra for it. It's called Synthetic Aperture Color Finesse, and it is also a full suite of color correction tools. The bottom line is that Premiere Pro gives you a full collection of tools so you can do high-quality color correction and enhancement work.
- Touring the vectorscope, YC waveform, RGB parade, and YCbCr scopes
- Analyzing clips for color and tonality issues
- Adjusting tonality with RGB Curves and levels-style controls
- Making specialized tonality edits
- Adjusting color channels using RGB Corrector
- Animating track mattes
- Compensating for changing lighting conditions within clips
- Isolating and changing a single color
- Creating film-like looks
- Working with third-party plug-ins