30 Second ColorCorrection Tricks inFinal Cut Pro
by Charles Angelis, Final Cut Cafe
Tips & Tricks
More available at artbeats.com
Using Artbeats stock footage is an excellent way toenhance the storytelling value of your production. Acommon myth exists that says stock footage givesyour production a cookie-cutter look. The importantthing to understand is that any footage (shot by youor by others) can give your production a cookie-cutterlook unless the shots have been color corrected. Inthis tutorial I will show you how to breathe life intoyour stock footage in Final Cut Pro using techniquesthat take only 30 seconds. In this tutorial, I will use
only two lters, the Color Corrector 3-Way and Bright
ness and Contrast lters found in Final Cut Pro.
Applying color correction is largely a personal affair.You are trying to match one shot with another whilecreating a unique look. In this example, I found theoriginal to have too strong of a blue cast. I also feltour characters blended in with the water too much.
Figure 1: Artbeats clip A013-C174. Top image is before, bottom image isafter the color correction was applied.
I began by increasing the white
values in the Color Corrector 3-Waylter. This brought emphasis to our
characters by increasing the lu-minance of the white shirt. It alsoincreased the shine on the boat,helping to separate our charactersand the boat from the background.Next I decreased the black levels togive the shot a richer feeling. This iscommonly referred to as crushing theblacks. Detail is taken out of the dark-er, shadowy parts of the frame andthe end result is a shot that appearsto have more depth to it. Increas-ing the mid tones came next. Thisbrought back more detail after havingdecreased the blacks and added tex-ture to the water. Lastly, I decreasedthe saturation so the dominant colorin the frame, blue, would have lessstrength in the overall look.