Join Amy Leland for an in-depth discussion in this video Making primary color corrections with timeline effects, part of Smoke 2013 Essential Training.
The next area of Timeline Effects that I want to take a look at is color correction. For this I'm going to start with a new sequence. I'm going to select my sequences clip library and again, you can either right click and choose new sequence or you can use that shortcut Cmd+ N. And I'm going to call this one color correction in Timeline. We're going to look at some different types of color correction effects. We're going to start with what we can do directly in the timeline and I'm going to click Create. What I'm going to work with is from this opening scene, I'm going to work on this clip called opening scene master and I'm not too worried about what specific part of the clip I'm using.
I'm just going to take what's already marked with ins and outs and hit F10 to override it into the timeline. I'll then hit Shift+Z to fit the timeline into the window. And I'm just going to place my play head here where we can see the clip. When we work on color correction, there are different types of color correction that we can do. The simplest is a primary correction. In other words, making a color correction that affects the entire clip uniformly across the frame. In later lessons, we will also look at secondary corrections. Where we have different methods of choosing part of the clip to adjust, color wise.
But let's start with a primary correction. I'm going to click the FX button, or of course, you can right click on the clip and choose Add Effect or us the short cut Ctrl+Tab, and I'm going to add this Color Correct Effect. Now, like all other Timeline Effects, you get some controls immediately in the Toolbar. So for instance, all if all I was trying to do was raise the saturation of the clip, I have that control right here on the Toolbar. As we've seen with these other fields in the past, I can click and drag to adjust the value. If I don't like the change that I've made, once you've change a value, you'll see that asterisk to show it's been changed.
I can Opt+click to set it back to the default. I can also click in that field to type a value. Let's raise the saturation to 150%. So again, you can make simple color correction changes right here on the timeline. I of course want access to all of the color correction controls. So I can show you those. I am going to click on the Editor. I'd like to talk about a few things in this color correction interface before we make any actual changes. The first is that there are two main color correction controls inside of Smoke. The color corrector and the color warper.
When you apply the color correction effect, by default you come in using the color corrector. And you'll see this single color wheel for making a color adjustment to the entire clip, as well as adjustments to make changes on the red, green and blue channels, or within the gamma gain, or offset values in the light. I tend to use the color warper. I find these color corrector controls a little bit limiting And I'm going to show you somethings you can do in the color warper that you can't do in the color corrector.
To change from the color corrector to the color warper I come to this button over here that right now says CC for color corrector. It's toggle button, if I click it I switch to the color warper, CW. By the way, when you're in this color corrector, you can apply a change either in the color corrector or in the color warper, not both. So by switching to the color warper, I lost the change that I made in the color corrector. If I switch back to the color corrector, I would get that change again.
But I want to be on the color warper. There are several things I can do in this color warper control that I can't do in the color corrector. First of all, I have separate color wheels for the shadows, midtones, and highlights light ranges within the clip. If you've come from Final Cut 7, this will look very familiar to you if you've ever used that color collector threeway. The other thing I can do in the color wharper that I can't do in the color corrector is related to this area over here that says selective. Remember I told you that a primary correction applies to the whole clip and a secondary correction applies to part of the clip.
In a later lesson, we'll use this selective area to select part of the clip to apply color correction to. I'm not going to do that now, but I wanted you to know that's one of the reasons I prefer the color warper. Also before I make any other changes, I want to show you some differences in how you can view your clip inside of the color corrector or color warper. This is true of both. There are two styles of controls inside of these color correction tools and where you toggle between them is this double headed arrow to the far right of your screen.
Right now I'm in overlay mode. If I raise the zoom level of this clip up to make it bigger, you will notice that as it becomes big enough to sit underneath the controls, those controls overlay on to the clip with some transparency. This allows me to see this clip in full screen mode and yet still manipulate the controls over it. If I click this double headed arrow that takes me out of overlay mode and into this regular mode where even if I zoom in on this clip it zooms in.
But independent of the color correction controls. This is just a viewing method. It doesn't change how the controls operate. You can pick whichever method works the best for you. So now, let's make a fast primary color correction. When I correct color, I always like to fix contrast first. The basic controls for fixing contrast are your black control and your white control. In other words, I want to adjust the light values in the shadows, and highlights of the image. So that there is higher contrast between them, which will give me more detail in the image.
This histogram in the middle of the screen will help me to see where those light values are. It represents the signal across the whole images, and what you can see is that right now the darkest part of the image isn't sitting anywhere near that zero where pure black would be. To adjust that, I'm going to click in the black's control, and drag to the left. And watch the signal in that image move closer to zero. And already, you can see I have deeper shadows, and a little bit richer color in the darkest parts of the image. I'm going to do the same thing with the white.
I don't need to stretch all the way to the top. But if I brighten the highlights a little bit. Again, I'm stretching the contrast, and bringing a little bit more life to that image. If you want to make finer control contrast changes. You can switch this control from warp to gamma and you get the gamma curve. Now instead of just adjusting the darkest and the lighest part. I can actually adjust the light values and the mid tones as well. I can do that with the point that already exists by curving the mid tones either darker or lighter or I can also change the controls for that curve from select to add points and click to add more points along the curve. Change this to a back to select.
And now, I can move these individual points to get a more complex contrast curve to get the exact look that I'm looking for. You can also make color changes within the clip. And again, they will apply to the whole image but within the light areas. So I can make a color change in the shadows, in the midtones, or in the highlights. The cololr values for skin tones are in this mid tones range. So If I took this color wheel on the mid tones and dragged up left to warm up the color.
You'll notice it's warming up her skin and making her look a little bit healthier. I like that. That's a primary color correction. I have come into these controls. I have adjusted the contrast to sharpen the image. I've warmed up the mid-tones to change how her skin tones look. I'm going to exit back to the timeline. And if you'd like to see a before and after, I can use this blue line on the Color Correct effect to turn it off and back on. And you can see that with a pretty simple primary color change, I've added a lot of life to this clip.
In the next lesson we'll start looking at secondary corrections of adjusting part of the clip.
This course was created and produced by Amy Leland. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Creating a project and user
- Importing with MediaHub and the Media Library
- Drag-and-drop editing in the timeline
- Adding cutaways with three-point editing
- Creating dissolve and wipe transitions
- Keying green-screen media
- Performing primary and secondary color corrections
- Composing in ConnectFX
- Importing layered Photoshop files
- Using 3D text
- Editing and mixing audio