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Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?

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Noam Osband
Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 5:53:43 pm

I have a clip I shot in the airport. Color correcting to normal looking skin has been hard, and this shot is well nigh impossible. It's mixing different colored lights and is just a nightmare. I'm attaching a screen shot with waveforms of the edited shot and the unedited shot.

Any advice for making it look more natural?

Unedited shot:

Edited shot:


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Mark Suszko
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 6:28:02 pm

You tried to auto-balance on her white turtleneck, right?

I'm thinking you're going to have to put a keyframed, drawn mask on her so you can leave the background at daylight temp and fix her tungsten temp separately.


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Noam Osband
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 6:32:50 pm

I didn't try autobalancing....I generally find it underwhelming.

As for keyframing, she moves around a bit in the interview. If I keyframe her separately, that means i need to readjust the position of the shape accordingly? I'm guessing there is no magic way for it to follow her.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 6:45:18 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Oct 26, 2015 at 6:46:13 pm

Magic, no... but keyframing makes it easier. It's a "divide and conquer" process: you start by keyframing the first and last frames, then the middle. Then you pick a spot mid-way between the middle and the first frame, adjust that. Same for a spot between the middle and the last frame. Then you keep playing the thing, and wherever it gets too far off-target, adjust at the worst spot, then play again, dividing the interval between existing keyframes each time. This gives you the best overall correction with the least number of hand-adjusted keyframes, and the machine does the bulk of the work for you.

You could also cheat, and just put a LOT of feathering on a cropped box around her.

One other trick you might try is using the "spotlight" plug-in to add a colored light to her, and then you just track the colored light, instead of a multipoint mask.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:17:44 pm
Last Edited By Jeff Kirkland on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:26:09 pm

I literally spent three minutes with the colour board while the microwave was heating up my breakfast and got to this result, which I think is ok-ish. Or at least it looks ok on my Macbook Air screen with my pre-coffee eyes.

If I had Color FInale installed, I could probably do better still, or better still, I'd take the clip into Resolve and fix it there.

The main thing is, no keyframing of masks required to get to this point - just correcting an underexposed and badly balanced image.



Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Noam Osband
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:18:47 pm

Jeff, what did you play with? That does look better!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:29:38 pm

That does look good... try adding the spot effect to that, to add back some missing light.


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Jeff Kirkland
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:48:25 pm
Last Edited By Jeff Kirkland on Oct 26, 2015 at 8:50:40 pm

I boosted the exposure in the mid-range, added a truck-load of blue in the highs (hit the top of the color board, I think) and reduced the saturation to compensate for the underexposure. I've attached a color board preset if you want to look at that.

It goes in your user library->application support->pro apps->color presets.

You might have to save a preset first to create the folder. And just in case you haven't had to do it before, the user library is hidden but can be reached through the Finder's Go menu if you hold down the alt key.

9383_noamairportfix.cboard.zip

Jeff Kirkland | Video Producer | Southern Creative Media | Melbourne Australia
http://www.southerncreative.com.au | G+: http://gplus.to/jeffkirkland | Twitter: @jeffkirkland


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Joe Marler
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 27, 2015 at 12:05:51 pm
Last Edited By Joe Marler on Oct 27, 2015 at 12:10:05 pm

Here is my attempt. All I did was:

(1) Crop on her face to isolate that
(2) Use the waveform scope to increase her skin luminance to about 40%
(3) Use vector scope and color board to place the cropped skin region on the skin tone line

Oftentimes when there's no good white object to balance on, using the vector scope on a cropped skin region works pretty well.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug


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Noam Osband
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Oct 27, 2015 at 5:10:05 pm

Guys, huge shout out to this thread. So useful. This forum is a lifesaver!


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Craig Alan
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Nov 1, 2015 at 6:51:37 am

That looks really good, Joe. Any chance you could do a screen capture tutorial of those steps? I knew the skin looked too red-yellow and I know that blue-cyan/red-yellow are complementary opposites; but what a difference.

Still don't get why the color board doesn't show the complimentary opposite on the bottom half of the hockey pucks line

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Joe Marler
Re: Any suggestions for how to improve this clip's color correction?
on Nov 1, 2015 at 11:35:18 am

[Craig Alan] "Any chance you could do a screen capture tutorial of those steps? I knew the skin looked too red-yellow and I know that blue-cyan/red-yellow are complementary opposites; but what a difference."

Larry Jordan covers the procedure in this video at about 25:00:





For those interested he has an updated version of this video on his web site.


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