Mark shares tips on colorizing your edited video for style.
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Hi this is Mark Montgomery, this is Tips and Tricks, and today I'm gonna be showing you how to stylize your video using some simple color controls. Most of these controls you can find on professional editing applications such as Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro. Vegas has, I think, some sort of version of this, Etuis, I know does. On the lower ends like Premier Elements and Final Cut Express, you may or may not have some of these filters we're gonna go through.
But just to give you a little bit of setup, when you do make color adjustments, and especially if you're gonna be, you know, if your main video is going to be on a DVD where somebody is going to be experiencing it on a television set, it's nice to have a production monitor or just even a typical TV monitor to check your work and make sure you're not tweaking the colors too much and making it, you know, an atomic color – or not correction, a style. But these tools we're actually gonna show you are typical of what you would use also to correct for a poorly white balanced shot.
So I've got Premier open and this is actually a project we worked on several weekends ago with one of our workshops. If you want to learn more about – this is a shameless plug, more about our workshop, go to videomakerevents.com, and we have people come into this very studio and learn from us. But we stylized a B role shot to emphasize an interview of a video junky, and we wanted to stylize it not – to kinda make the gear look really cool and to also reinforce the fact that she was a video addict. So in some senses, we may want to stylize it and make it look like she was tripping on acid or something and make some sort of weird druggy connection. But we just wanted to make it look cool.
So all I'm gonna show you is a technique called crushing your blacks, which is commonly used in a lot of television productions. I think CSI is a good example of a program that crushes its black levels. And basically what that refers to is the shadow and dark areas of an image being pressed down and compressed into, you know, a very dark region. So if we look – you know, if you looked closely, although on the web you're probably not gonna see this, we've got a lot of shadow in this shot. And what we do, rather than have some like real neutral grays, we take those neutral grays and we compress them and push em down to a real dark black, and that's called crushing your blacks.
So what we've done here is we've actually added to a clip a filter from our video effects bin under the color correction bin, a three-way color corrector, and I dropped that on the clip, and here I have it opened. So if I wanted to, I could turn off and on the effect and see, you know, with it off and with it on. What I'm gonna do to – first, before I crush my blacks, is I'm actually gonna add a little bit of color to this to help stylize it.
In this first color wheel, I have dropped my shadow areas and made them a little blue, and for the sake of the web, I'm really gonna emphasize this by – this is way too much for, you know, a DVD, I think that's not very tasteful, but so you can see the actual effect. In the dark areas of this image, I can change their color values. And I'm just gonna scroll around the wheel and you'll see, like right now, all these dark areas have a little bit of a red tint.
The highlights here on these sliders are actually still a little bit white. In fact, I could give them a separate color if I go to this highlight area, I can maybe make them a little pink. So if you get another close look here, we've got some highlights here on this microphone, well, those are pink, and then these shadow areas are tinted red. I'm gonna undo this a little bit.
I'm gonna make my highlights a little bit blue and my shadow areas a little bit blue. But for this example they'll be really blue so you can really see it. And that's basically kind of giving me almost like a two-tone color. So I'm happy with that and I'm gonna move on to crushing my blacks.
As you see, my blacks are already crushed, so I will actually uncrush them, I don't know if that's a technical term or not. I'm using the output levels to do this, and it actually gives me two results. One, it gives me that crushed black look but it also does a little bit of posturization in the black, the shadow areas, which I think is kind of an interesting look.
So if I go to my output levels here and I drag the super bright luminance value back down, I'm basically telling my black levels to only output anything in the gray area as a real dark black, black color. And if we check it on the monitor, you can see now where we have a relatively light luminance area down here at the bottom, it seems to be natural and normal. And then this shadow area casted from the mixer itself is pretty dark and you can actually see the line between – if this was a normal, uncrushed shot, this gradient would be natural and there would be several stops of different colors of gray before it got to a super dark black. But again, we've crushed it, so it's either black or it's bright.
And again, these are really extreme examples. You would want to, in your video, especially if it's going out to DVD, not crush them so much unless you really needed it, you thought. Auto save project just ran. So that's how you do it.
You can do it one other way, I'll show you real quick. I'll actually turn off this three-way color corrector, and I will throw on this clip a luma curve and I think I already did, or I didn't. I'll throw it on there. And the luma curve is actually gonna apply this to all areas of my image, and if you're familiar with Photoshop, you can do this as well in Photoshop. And I'm gonna apply two points on this curve, and I'm gonna drag the bottom one down. And in this region, what it's saying is I want the dark regions of the image to be super dark, in fact I'll really exaggerate it, I'll push it down. So there's no gray areas, or the gray areas that would normally be there are pushed, crushed down.
And I'll also, because this adjusts the whole image, I will compensate by pushing up the bright areas a little bit. And if we look at the monitor – yeah, in this example it's really extreme. You can't see any detail in this area of the image because we've crushed it to black. So you have to be careful with it, you have to use it very subtly.
But that's two techniques using two different filters you can use in Premier Pro. You can find the three-way color corrector in most of these professional applications. That's it for me, so if you have more questions go to our forums, we're always on there helping people out and there's lots of people who do this day in and day out as well, who can help you. That's it, thanks for watching.
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