Have you ever watched a Student Film and everything has a blue tint, then the next shot looks a bit yellow.. then blue again? Have you ever made this film?! Well this is what you get when you don’t color correct your footage. The cameras perception of what is White, will change as you change your lighting and this will affect all the colors in your shot. Many people think color correcting is too hard or complex, especially if they’ve never tried it. But it is very very important to color correct ALL your shots. I am about to show you a VERY SIMPLE way of color correcting that will liven up your shots until you are ready to correct with more advanced software ( not using FCP). This will give you the ability to match all your shots relative color in a scene to each other, which is otherwise difficult especially while using AWB ( Auto White Balance). Beyond that you will have the power to really bring your shots to fruition, whether it be brightening it or tinting it to that color just perfect for the feel of your film.
My example above shows what you first see when you open the color corrector filter. I put a “NO” sign next to it because you usually never want to leave your shots unedited. Next I showed what a frame from my raw footage looked like of an interviewee I filmed. I put a question mark on this one because this is where I think ” What do I want to do to my shot to make it look better?” By moving the controls around which I will describe how to do below I raised my White levels and shifted my color balance slightly towards Reds as noted by the arrows. This resulted in a much brighter, livelier, sharp looking shot in my opinion, so I gave it a check mark. Approved!
This was a very simple way to improve my footage, below are instructions how to apply the filter to your clip, so you can introduce yourself to simple yet powerful color correction techniques.
- In Final Cut Pro click the “Effects” tab in your Browser window.
- Click the Arrow next to “Video Filters” This will open up more options.
- Click the arrow next to “Color Correction”
- Then click the “Color Corrector” Filter, drag and drop it on the clip you want to edit.
- Then double click that clip and it should open in the Viewer Window.
- In the Viewer Window you will now see a new tab “Color Corrector”, click it.
- Now you have some very simple tools that can drastically change your shots. To operate the Balance ( tint) click the *little ball in the middle of the circle and drag it around. The Whites, Mids, Blacks, and Saturation levels below can simply be raised or lowered by dragging the tick marks. Mess with these until you get familiar with them and get the look you want.
TIP: At some point after you add the filter be sure to move the playhead over the clip you are editing on the timeline. This will show the frame in the Canvas giving you a live preview of what your clip is going to look like as you are actively changing the colors.
It may be frowned upon if your color correction skills do not expand outside of the FCP filters, so when you master this move on to more advanced correction software.
*little ball- The little ball has VERY low sensitivity so you’ll have to make big movements with your mouse or it wont seem to budge.