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Chapter 10. Color Correction > Adjusting Tonal Values

Adjusting Tonal Values

Adjusting a shot's tonal values involves the following:

  • Optimizing the contrast automatically: You can automatically optimize the contrast—maximizing the range of dark pixels to bright pixels—by clicking the Auto-Contrast button on either the Hue Offsets tab of the HSL tab or the Curves tab (both buttons achieve similar results).

    The Auto-Contrast button optimizes your black point and white point simultaneously, but if you want to optimize just one or the other, you can use Auto-Black or Auto-White.

  • Adjusting contrast manually: You can also manually adjust the contrast by using the Controls tab of the HSL tab, but you'll typically use this control for darkening dark pixels and brightening bright pixels beyond simple optimization (increasing contrast beyond normal is often something people do to video to give it more of a film look).

    In a similar fashion, you can use the Gain and Setup sliders (on the Hue Offsets tab) to adjust your white point and black points, respectively.

    Finally, you can use Master Curve on the Curves tab to make sophisticated adjustments to tonal values in the shadows, midtones, and highlights of your image.

  • Adjusting the gray point: Best left for the final stages of tonal range adjustments, adjusting the gray point using the Gamma slider on the Hue Offsets tab will generally brighten or darken the midtones of the image without affecting the highlights and shadows. Specifically, adjusting the gray point determines whether most pixels have a tonal range between middle gray and white or between middle gray and black.



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