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Lesson 4. Color and Opacity > Color management and correction

Color management and correction

The color correction features in Premiere Pro give video editors precise controls for monitoring color from clip to clip. Premiere Pro provides built-in waveforms and vectorscopes to ensure that your color adjustments are within the legal broadcast limits.

By default, the Source and Program views display video as it would ordinarily appear on a video monitor. However, you can also display the video's alpha channel, or transparency information. In addition, you can evaluate the video's brightness and color by running several iterations of measurements and displaying them with a Vectorscope or a Waveform Monitor.

Understanding the waveform monitor and vectorscope

The waveform monitor is used primarily to display the levels of luma and chroma components of the video signal. With the waveform monitor, you can see the level of a pixel, plus determine the brightest and darkest levels in the video signal.

The vectorscope tool displays precisely the color content of a video signal, including hue and saturation. A specific point on the vectorscope represents a specific color with its corresponding hue and saturation points. The distance from the center of the display represents the saturation; the counter-clockwise rotation from the center of the display represents the hue.

The Luma key creates transparency for darker values in the image, leaving brighter colors opaque. Use the Luma key to create a subtle superimposition or to key out dark areas.The width and height of the waveform correspond to the width of a video scan line and amplitude of the video signal, respectively.

Chroma is judged by an area that appears to be white. Videographers use the chroma key to set the white point for their camera, so that no bright spot will be brighter than the chroma calibration. It is the whitest white in view.

1.
Click on the menu triangle button in the upper right corner of the Program view and choose New Reference Monitor.

You'll use the Reference monitor to view waveforms and vectorscopes. You can have only one reference monitor open at a time per sequence.

A. Gang to Program Monitor B. Output

2.
To have the Reference Monitor track the playback of the Program monitor with color and levels information, select the Gang to Program Monitor button ( ).

3.
Dock the Reference Monitor to the Source view of the Monitor window by dragging its tab into the tab area of the Source view.

Reference monitor docked with Source view with Gang to Program Monitor option on to track the Program view playback.

4.
To view the waveform of Sequence Ex, click the menu triangle button in the upper right corner of the Reference view in the Monitor window and choose Waveform.

5.
To view the waveform version of Sequence Ex, click the play button in the Program view of the Monitor window. You can view the changes by scrubbing.

Notice the differences in luma and chroma intensities in the two images in step 4. Throughout this lesson and the Classroom in a Book, you can check the waveform or vectorscope displays in the Reference monitor to see the effects of your color corrections.

Applying the Color Corrector video effect

With the powerful color correction tools available in Premiere Pro, you can control the look of every clip in your production. The 3-point color correction tools allow you to adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of clips to make sure all of the shots in a scene match. These tools make it easy for you to accurately adjust the color of your video images and correct exposure, color-balance, and lighting.

You'll adjust the Mtntop.avi clip, which was shot outdoors in grey weather conditions. The rest of the movie was shot with a different camera, either indoors with studio lighting or outdoors in bright weather conditions.

1.
In the Timeline window, set the edit line to the head of Mtntop.avi (at 00;00;28;26).

2.
In the Effects palette, open the Image Control subfolder within the Video Effects folder and locate the Color Corrector effect. Or, you can type color corrector in the Contains area and the program will find the effect for you.

3.
Drag the Color Corrector effect to the Mtntop.avi clip in the Timeline window.

4.
In the Timeline window, click the Mtntop.avi clip so that the Color Corrector video effect will appear in the Effect Controls window.

Note

If the clip is selected in the Timeline window, and the Effect Controls window is open, you can drag the effect to the Effect Controls window.

5.
In the Effect Controls window, click the triangle next to the Color Corrector effect.

The Color Corrector effect combines several color correction tools so that you can easily adjust the color of video clips. It displays the following settings:

Setting Keys Saves or loads your settings from the hard disk.

Split Screen Preview Displays the right half of the image as the corrected view and the left half of the image as the uncorrected view.

Black/White Balance This is the first adjustment that should be applied to any image. It establishes proper black, white, and gray points.

Total Range Definition Use this to alter the colors in an image area, such as the highlights, midtones, or shadows.

HSL Hue Offsets These controls adjust the hue and saturation values by using four different color wheels corresponding to the master, shadow, midtone, and highlight controls.

HSL Use these controls to adjust an image in the HSL (Hue-Saturation-Lightness) color space. Controls for changing Tonal Range, Hue, Saturation, Brightness, Contrast, and Contrast Center are included. You can make adjustments based on whether an area is a shadow, midtone, or highlight.

RGB With these controls, you can manipulate the gamma, pedestal, and gain of each of the red, green, and blue color channels in the RGB (Red-Green-Blue) color model. These controls allow you to make adjustments based on whether an area is a shadow, midtone, or highlight.

Curves The Curves correction pane allows you to create complex color adjustments by placing control points on curves and adjusting the curves. The curves can have up to 16 control points.

Video Limiter These controls allow you to prepare video that falls within broadcast and other regulatory limits.

With the Color Corrector video effect, you can accurately adjust the color of your video images.

Note

The Color Corrector performs its image processing operations in the order that the settings appear in the list, from top to bottom. This may be useful when analyzing the correction results or applying multiple corrections to the same image.

6.
In the Effect Controls window, select Split Screen Preview to view the before and after effects of your changes during playback.

White triangles appear at the top and bottom of the clip in the Program Monitor view.

7.
In the Effect Controls window, click on the triangle next to the RGB settings.

You can use the RGB controls to adjust gamma, pedestal, and gain of each of the RGB channels separately or simultaneously. For example, you might want to make the mountain scene a little more brooding.



8.
Click on the triangle next to the Pedestal settings.

The pedestal is a small DC voltage step within the video signal indicating a picture's black level. It is used as the reference in a standard video signal for white and gray levels.

Most of the adjustments in the Color Corrector and in many of the effects in Premiere Pro can be made in three ways: editable text fields, Hot Text Keys controls, and sliders.

9.
Using one of the three methods, reduce the Mtntop.avi clip Pedestal to -0.08.

10.
Preview the results by scrubbing in the Effect Controls window.

The changes in the clip's RGB values are reflected in the Program view of the Monitor window.

Experiment with the other settings in the Color Corrector effect. For example, if you click on HSL hue offsets, the adjustment tools are color wheels. Explore how adjustments to the color wheels affect the scene in the clip. To use the color wheel, click on a wheel and drag it clockwise or counter-clockwise. The color wheel spins as you drag.

The changes in the clip's hue are reflected in the Program view of the Monitor window.

Note

To make fine adjustments using the color wheel, hold the Shift key while you click and drag. This increases the precision by a factor of ten.

  • Click the Saturation controls to adjust the strength of the color. The default value is 100, which does not alter the saturation. Change the setting to zero, and all color is removed.

  • Click the Contrast and Contrast Center controls. The contrast curve gives a more natural look to the adjustments you make.

11.
Close the Reference Monitor window by clicking on the “X” on its tab.

12.
Save the project.

Using the Color Match video effect

The Color Match video effect allows you to match the colors of one video clip to another clip. This is especially useful if the footage was shot with different cameras. For example, if you're combining shots of a sunny day with shots of a fluorescent-lit office, you may want to remove the green hues in the latter clips. Or, if you're creating graphics for a corporate video, you may need to match them to the colors in the company logo. For a description of the Color Match effect and its settings, see the online Help. In this exercise, you'll learn how to replace a color throughout a clip.

1.
In the Project window, click on the triangle next to the Resources bin to open the bin and choose File > New > Bin.

2.
A new bin appears within the Resources bin. Rename this new bin Color.

3.
Select the Color bin and choose File > Import.

4.
In the 04Lesson folder, hold down the control key and select Faceadj.avi, Faceadj2.avi, Faceorig.avi, and Faceorig2.avi. Click Open.

5.
In the Project window, double-click Sequence 01, making it the active Timeline. You'll use Sequence 01 as an experimental workspace.

6.
From the Color bin, select Faceadj.avi and then Faceorig.avi, and drag them to the Video 1 track on Sequence 01.

Faceadj.avi and Faceorig.avi now appear on the Sequence 01 Timeline.

7.
In the Sequence 01 Timeline, scrub with the edit line to the middle of Faceorig.avi (at approximately 00;00;10;11).

8.
Click on the menu triangle button in the Program Monitor and choose New Reference Monitor.

9.
Dock the Reference Monitor with the Source view of the Monitor Window.

10.
Change the viewing mode of the Reference monitor to Composite if it displays waveforms.

Faceorig.avi becomes the model for your color adjustments to Faceadj.avi.

11.
Position the edit line in the Timeline or adjust the time code field so that the Program view displays the frame at 00;00;04;26.

The Monitor window now displays the two frames from the separate clips side by side. The Reference Monitor is on the left where the source view is displayed, and the Timeline Sequence is on the right in the Program view.

The two clips, Faceadj.avi and Faceorig.avi, were both shot in identical conditions with the same camera. As Faceadj.avi was being shot, however, the sun peeked out from behind a cloud at several points in the scene, causing Hero's face to “burn out” in some highlight areas.

Now you'll use the Color Match video effect to remove some of the glare from the highlights and midtones in Hero's face in Faceadj.avi. This will make it look closer in tone to Faceorig.avi.

12.
In the Effects palette, open the Image Control subfolder within the Video Effects folder and locate the Color Match effect.

13.
Drag the Color Match effect icon onto Faceadj.avi on Sequence 01 in the Timeline.

14.
Click on Faceadj.avi in order for the Color Match settings to appear in the Effect Controls window.

15.
In the Effect Controls window, click on the triangle next to the Color Match effect to display its settings. In the Method area, click on the menu triangle to the right of HSL and choose RGB.

16.
Click and hold the Master Sample eyedropper. The cursor changes to the eyedropper icon ().

17.
Drag the eyedropper across the Program monitor onto the bright spot in Hero's forehead.

18.
Release the mouse button to capture the color of the bright spot. That color will show up in the color field of the Master Sample area of the Color Match effect.

You don't want the brightness of Hero's face at any one point to exceed that of the brightest area on Hero's face in the target frame of Faceorig.avi 00;00;10;11 in the Reference Monitor. You, therefore, need to locate the bright color in the target frame.

19.
In the Effect Controls window, choose the Master Target eyedropper.

20.
Drag the eyedropper across the Reference monitor to the brightest spot on the back of Hero's neck above his collar.

21.
Release the mouse button to capture the color on the back of his neck. This color will show up in the color field of the Master Target area of the Color Match effect.

Now that you have made your selections, you will apply the effect.

22.
In the Color Match effect, click the triangle next to the Match settings at the bottom of the list.

23.
Click Match.

24.
Make the Timeline active and preview the Color Match effect.

Note

You can also scrub in the Effect Controls window to preview your changes.

The glare in Faceadj.avi has been toned down.

25.
Close the Reference Monitor window by clicking on the “X” in its tab.

26.
Save the project.

Using the Color Match video effect with clips from different cameras

Now, you will use the Color Match effect with two clips that were shot with different cameras under different lighting conditions.

1.
Make the Timeline active. Choose Edit > Select All.

2.
Choose Edit > Clear to prepare the Timeline for new editing.

3.
Restore the edit line to the beginning of the program by pressing the Home key.

4.
From the Color bin in the Project window, drag Faceadj2.avi and Faceorig2.avi to the Timeline.

5.
Double-click Faceorig2.avi to make it active in the Source view.

Notice the lighting and color differences between the two clips. You'll remove the rosiness from Faceadj2.avi and brighten it a little.

6.
From the Effects palette, locate the Color Match effect in the Image Control folder within the Video Effects folder and drag it onto Faceadj2.avi in the Timeline.

7.
In the Timeline window, click the Faceadj2.avi clip so that the Color Match effect appears in the Effect Controls window.

8.
In the Effect Controls window, click the triangle next to Color Match effect to view its settings.

9.
In the Method area, click on the menu triangle to the right of HSL and choose RGB.

10.
In the Effect Controls window, choose the Master Sample eyedropper.

11.
The Program view displays Faceadj2.avi. Drag the eyedropper across Hero's forehead to the bright spot on his right forehead.

12.
Release the mouse button to capture the color of his skin. This color will show up in the color field in the Master Sample area of the Color Match effect.

13.
Select the eyedropper for the Master Target area in the Color Match settings.

14.
Drag the Master Target eyedropper to the Source view to the bright spot just above the arch in Hero's right eyebrow.

15.
Release the mouse button to capture this color, which will show up in the Master Target area of the Color Match.

Now that your selections are made, you will apply the effect.

16.
In the Color Match effect, click on the triangle next to Match at the bottom of the list.

17.
Click on the Match button.

18.
Make the Timeline active and preview the Color Match effect.

19.
Save the project.

Native YUV processing

Adobe Premiere Pro provides native support for YUV color, ensuring higher color quality in your final productions. With YUV support, the native color space of the original video material is preserved.

Premiere preserves the native color space of the source clip when processing effects to avoid any loss of quality caused by converted colors. Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro use either RGB or YUV color, depending on the color space of your media. DV video uses the YUV color space; most computer-generated graphics use the RGB color space. Although most color conversions are generally not noticeable, DV images lose some information when converted to RGB. This is because the RGB color palette does not include all of the colors represented in the YUV color palette.

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