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Lesson 13. Applying Filters > Viewing and Modifying Color Correction Changes

Viewing and Modifying Color Correction Changes

Sometimes, resetting the white balance for a clip solves the problem, and sometimes it just gets you in the ballpark. If you're only in the ballpark, you will need to tweak or adjust settings in the Color Corrector 3-way filter. To help you do that, there are two tools you can use to view the color changes and other filters you apply to a clip. One is the Frame Viewer, which displays a clip in a before-and-after, split-screen configuration. The other tool is the Video Scopes tool, which displays certain properties of an image, such as amount of brightness and color, or luminance and chroma.

In the Timeline, move the playhead to the marker in the biker down clip. Double-click this clip to open it in the Viewer.

Choose Tools > Frame Viewer, or press Option-7. When the tool opens in the Tool Bench window, reposition it over the Browser.


The Tool Bench window is placed over the Viewer or at the last position it was used in the interface.

In the Frame Viewer, you can choose what you want to see on each side of the frame and easily compare one clip to another or compare one clip with and without filters.

In the lower left of the window, click the Frame Viewer pop-up, and choose Current Frame, if it's not already selected. Click the pop-up on the right side, and choose Current w/o Filters.

In this view, you see the color-corrected image on the left and the original, uncorrected image on the right. You can change the size of each frame by dragging the boundary indicator.


You can also click the V-Split (Vertical), Swap, or H-Split (Horizontal) buttons to divide the frame differently or swap the images.

To use video scopes to help color correct a clip, choose Tools > Video Scopes.

Now there are two tabs in the Tool Bench: Frame Viewer and Video Scopes. You can pull away either of these tabs to create its own separate window. You can also change the size of the window itself.


You don't use Video Scopes to make any adjustments, only to view your image in different ways. Another way to work with Video Scopes is to change your window layout to the preset Color Correction option.

To view just the luminance levels of your image in the Video Scopes tab, click the Layout pop-up on the left and choose waveform. Make sure the View pop-up on the right is set to Current Frame.

Each option in the Layout pop-up menu displays the pixels of your image differently, according to luminance, chroma, and so on. The waveform displays the luminance of the image over a 0 to 100 percent graph, with 0 being Black and 100 being White. Broadcast luminance levels should not exceed 100 percent.

In the Viewer, experiment with the Blacks level by dragging the Blacks slider left and right, then reposition it back to center. Click the left adjustment arrow, maybe eight times, until you see the lower group of pixels in the waveform creep down toward the 0% Black line.


If you're working with a scrolling mouse, you can position your pointer over one of these sliders and scroll to change the levels.

The luminance of a clip is often divided into three areas, representing the darker pixels, the midrange pixels, and the brighter pixels in the image. The sliders beneath the color wheels in the Color Corrector 3-way tab are used to adjust these groups of luminance levels, and the waveform is used to monitor these levels.

To raise the level of the middle-range pixels, click the right adjustment arrow on the Mids slider. If the uppermost pixels in the waveform are not at 100%, you can click the right adjustment arrow on the Whites slider to make the brighter pixels a little brighter.


Adjusting the Mids slider is a good way to bring out more detail of an image that is too dark or underexposed, or to remove the washed-out effect of an overexposed image.

In addition to changing the luminance properties of a clip, you can adjust the color balance even further by working with the three color balance control wheels.

To remove some of the blue cast in the darker dirt areas, drag anywhere within the Blacks color balance control to move the balance control indicator toward yellow. If the darker areas appear a little green, move the indicator upward away from green on the color balance control.


When making adjustments in the balance control wheel, hold down the Command key as you drag to move the indicator faster. To reset a color balance control to its default setting, click the Reset button on the lower right of the wheel.

In addition to changing the luminance and hue of a clip, you can adjust the Saturation slider beneath the wheels to increase or decrease the amount of color in the image.

Drag the Saturation slider to the right to add more color, or chroma, to this image.

In the Viewer, click the enable check box on the Color Corrector 3-way tab to see the image with and without the adjustments, or look at the split-frame image in the Frame Viewer tab.



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