Tips and techniques for manipulating the color, speed, and texture of your video.
There are many reasons why an editor might choose to use video filters and color effects. Some of the more common reasons are to fix the color quality, to enhance the mood or look, or to add a unique style to the footage. Learning how to use the video filters and color effects options within your editing software will not only allow you to make adjustments to the color quality and add style, but will help you improve the overall look of your video.
The best way to capture great video is to make sure your in-camera settings are properly set before pressing record. However, despite our best efforts, there are occassions when the color of the video is less than ideal. Fortunately, many editing applications will allow you to make adjustments using various color correction tools, such as white balance correction.
Since there is never an absolute guarantee that your footage will be flawlessly white balanced, the White Balance Corrector is a tool that every editor needs to be familiar with. Though it's never a good idea to rely on "fixing it in post," white balance correction can greatly improve footage that would otherwise be unsuitable for use.
Example**: To make sure your footage is white balanced open the color correction tool within your editing application. Most color correcting tools are equipped with an eye-dropper. The eye-dropper will allow you to select an item within your footage that should be white. By doing this you are telling the software that the selected item is white, and to match the rest of the shot according to that standard. Your color correcting tool will do the rest and white balance the clip. If the color is still not balanced, you may have to manually adjust the color to your liking.
Adjusting Color Tone can help enhance the overall look of your footage. If your camera didn't have the proper exposure setting it can lead to an image that has muddied colors, making it appear flat. Some ways to improve the color quality in your footage are by adjusting brightness and contrast as well as hue and saturation.
Brightness and contrast controls will help you create an image that has more depth by allowing you to control the amount of white and black within the image, as well as midtones. Making sure your image is well-balanced in terms of shadows, midtones, and highlights, will improve picture quality and add depth.
Another control that will give your image a boost in color quality is the hue and saturation tool. With adjustments to these controls, you're able to punch the color up a notch, which will help combat muddy tones. Improving color saturation should be done with care to avoid colors that are over-saturated. This can cause color-bleeding or an unnatural appearance.
Color Effects are a great way to stylize your video. While a lot of hollywood films obtain their color effects in camera by using different film stock, video editing programs will allow you to achieve a similar look with the use of filters.
Using tints can help achieve the look of certain film stocks by giving everything in the frame a wash of color. Depending on your software, you may be able to assign one tint to the black values and another tint to white values. Another way to create a tint is by creating a color matte on the track above the clip. Then, turn the opacity of the matte down until the color tint is at the desired level.
Removing color from your footage can help you create that black & white movie look. This can be done several ways from a simple click and drag filter effect or, for more control, by adjusting the saturation manually until the desired look has been reached. Some software will come with a Color Pass filter which allows you to select a color from within the clip that will be allowed to "pass through" the black & white filter, giving you a "Sin City" or "Pleasantville" effect.
Conversely, with a Change to Color filter you are able to replace a single color with any other hue. With the addition of keyframes this change in hue can occur over any given time span, allowing you to make your green summer trees turn brown .
Depending on the video editing software you are using, the options for texture effects may differ. A common texture effect is film grain or noise. This effect can help add a film look to your video. As with most textures, you can make fine tuned adjustments in order to achieve the desired look.
Adjusting the speed at which your footage plays back can add an interesting element to your video.
Example** At regular speed, the speed of your clip will be at 100%. If you bring the percentage below 100 percent, you'll create a slow-motion effect which is great for adding drama or calling attention to a specific action. By increasing the percentage above 100 percent you will speed the clip up, which will exaggerate the quickness of the action taking place. Increasing the speed is great for effects like mimicking old-time black & white movies, or creating special effects where the background is moving faster than your subject. The speed filter is handy for controlling time within your clips. However, keep in mind that a little goes a long way, so it's best to use the speed filter in moderation.
Video filters and color effects are a fun way to add a unique style to your video. They can also come in handy when correcting mistakes made during production. Learning how to use the color effects and video filters found within your editing software will help you create exciting videos that will look polished and professional.