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Changing the colour of water

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Michael Freedman
Changing the colour of water
on Jan 11, 2011 at 3:38:52 pm

Hello everyone,

Before I start I would like to say thank you to everyone who replies to this post. I am in need of some advice.

I have a set of five video clips that have water dropping into the frame. The water is a very slight greyish colour but mostly transparent and the background is white. I am attempting to change the water to a different colour in each video eg vid 1 the water would be orange, vid 2 the water would be pink etc. I need to keep the background as white.
I have tried playing around with the change color filter but I'm not getting much of a result. Can anyone recommend a way to do this? I also have some RGB colour pantones that I need to stick to but obviously working in video they would have to translate to YUV. I am new to after effects having come from an editing background, so if there is anyway to do this in final cut that would also be good.

Many thanks,
Michael, London, UK.

Michael F


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Changing the colour of water
on Jan 11, 2011 at 4:14:06 pm

[Michael Freedman] "I am attempting to change the water to a different colour in each video eg vid 1 the water would be orange, vid 2 the water would be pink etc. "

I'll assume these are straight cuts. If they aren't, you need to elaborate on the effect you want.

You can try the Change TO Color effect, which may yield better results. Or you way want to create a matte by using the Threshold effect, combined with a little blur. You would then have isolated the darker water from the background, which can then be used as a track matte, and you can colorize the water using the Hue/Saturation effect. There's a little Colorize check box you need to activate in the effect controls.

In FCP, you could also give the 3 Way Color Corrector, which can also create an area to be colorized via luminance.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Changing the colour of water
on Jan 11, 2011 at 4:46:56 pm

I would duplicate the clip, crush levels to get the gray to be darker and the white to a clean bright white and use that as an alpha to composite the original back on itself. That would give you the water on one layer that can be affected by using the Hue/Saturation to colorize.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Michael Freedman
Re: Changing the colour of water
on Jan 14, 2011 at 10:48:08 am

Thanks for this. It seems there are many ways to achieve the same effect, both were useful

Michael F


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