Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Stabilizing exposure with the Color Stabilizer effect in After Effects, part of Fixing Video Exposure Problems in Premiere Pro CC.
Sometimes you're going to have footage that's really tough and the auto adjustments just won't get there. Fortunately, After Effects has a color stabilizer effect which is actually more useful for fixing exposure. However, you need to get the clip out of Premiere Pro into After Effects and there's a couple of ways to do that. I'm going to use dynamic link to make this fast and easy. In this case with the time lapse shot you're going to notice that there's some changes over time, that's because the lighting source was moving through the scene.
This is a great candidate for the color stabilizer effect. I'll right click and choose Replace With After Effects Composition. This'll launch After Effects. Now, once it switches to After Effects, you'll want to save this. Let's click here and call this Fixing Exposure and Color Problems Starter, and I'll choose Save. Now the companion After Effects project is made and the clip comes in. From Effects and Presets I'll type in the word stabilize. And you see the Color Stabilizer.
This effect is very versatile. You could fix Levels, Curves, or Brightness. Let's start with the simplest for brightness. And this simply asks for you set a black point. So, for example, we'll tell this to Fit, and by moving the black point, we could choose something in the scene that should be black. Let's make the preview controls a little bigger. And invoke the RAM preview. What it's done is it's made that black point consistent across all the frames. If we switch from Brightness to Levels, you'll see that it now adds a white point.
You can use the controls or simply drag and place that over something that should be white. And you can also adjust the Sample Size to average out the values a bit more. And now the blacks and whites are more consistent. If you'd like to add a third control point, switch to Curves, and now you just need to set the midtones on something that should be gray. In this case, I chose the whitish snow, which has some gray values, and you'll note it did a nice job of actually removing some of the color cast.
So not only can you fix tone but you can also fix some of the exposure changes. And over time that does a pretty good job. Now with that midpoint you have to be careful, it's very easy if things start to move around to see some slight variation, so tweak the sample size. And don't be afraid to move the black point or the white point until you get a more stable result. That works pretty well. When satisfied simply hit Save and you could switch back to Premiere Pro and new effect is applied.
There it is. If necessary render it out and you've got the After Effects composition nested inside your Premier Pro sequence. Allowing you to take advantage of any After Effects effects that aren't available natively inside Premiere Pro. In this case, like the very useful, Color Stabilizer effect.
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- Using the Waveform Monitor
- Toggling effects on and off
- Working with Auto Contrast, Auto Levels, and Auto Color effects
- Using color correction effects to fix exposure and tone
- Controlling noise and grain
- Keyframing effects
- Sending projects to After Effects with Dynamic Link
- Extracting backgrounds with the Roto Brush tool
- Adding a vignette to footage
- Working with raw video
- Legalizing video for broadcast