Final Cut Pro Lessons
Color Correction

Nothing that I shoot or edit leaves FCP without color correcting. Every clip gets a little touch. There is a big difference between color correcting for broadcast (TV, DVD, etc.) and color correcting for the web. Color correcting for broadcast requires a knowledge of using scopes and a good broadcast monitor ($500 + with a "blue only" setting).

Color correcting for iPod release is a bit don't have to worry about white levels too high and people will be watching on a computer monitor, which is what you are using to adjust the colors.

Color correcting can mean the difference of yucky muddy video and video that looks pretty good as I am going to show you now...

This is a screen grab from a video I shot "run and gun" style at a comic convention. The lighting was awful and pretty dark. I did not have time to light and my on camera light ran out of juice hours before this shot. Oh well, I thought, I'll fix it in post! We need the Color Corrector for this.

The Color Corrector is in the Effects tab in the Browser window, it is in the Video Filters Folder, you need to click on the triangle to open it.

Use the Color Corrector 3-way that is in the Color Correction folder.

Add the filter to the clip by clicking and dragging the filter directly to the clip to which you want to add the effect.

Now you will go to the Viewer window. All of the other effects show up in the Filters tab. The Color Corrector 3-way ALSO shows up in its own tab, it is that important! Click on the tab to reveal the filter controls.

Wow! Here it is! We are going to adjust all of the contols to get the most we can out of the video.

First we will need to set our white balance to make white appear as white. Click on the Eyedropper next to the Whites color wheel.

Now move the Eyedropper to your Canvas window and click on something that is white. Usually you will be able to find white somewhere. I know the edge of this picture is white so I click on it.

This is the color corrected image, now he looks a bit "warmer" than without the correction.

Now I go crazy with the controls. As I adjust the controls I look at the Canvas window to make sure it looks good. I will pump up the whites, BARELY push DOWN the blacks and maybe click once to the right on the mids to open the shadows. For my final touch I move the saturation slider to punch up the colors.

The image now looks like this. Below is the original image...Subtle but better I think!

By clicking on the check box next to the eye at the top of the color correction box you can see the effect turned on or turned off.