Color Correction in PREMIERE PRO CC: Get Perfect SKIN TONES in your Videos | Dennis Schrader | Skillshare

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Color Correction in PREMIERE PRO CC: Get Perfect SKIN TONES in your Videos

teacher avatar Dennis Schrader, Freelance Videographer and Creator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Master Skin Tones in Premiere Pro CC

    • 2. Why Skin Tones are important

    • 3. Before we can correct the skin tones

    • 4. LIVE Skin Tone Correction (HUE vs HUE Curves)

    • 5. LIVE Skin Tone Correction (HSL Secondary)

    • 6. Your Homework!

    • 7. Thanks for taking the class!

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About This Class


Where do I get music for all my videos?

I use AUDIIO nowadays! The most important thing for me is simply: How easy is it to find good music? I dont care how many songs they have or add daily or how many big brands use the service.. I need to know, that I can find what I need! And with Audiio I love how easy it is to find what I need. You can look for moods and themes and genres of course. But how useful is the "build" option, where I can select things like "ascending" in emotion or "multiple crescendos". Anyone who has edited before, knows how useful that can be!

Audiio Pro offers music AND sfx for any platform, including commercial work. And here is the catch: Through my link you can get the first full year for just 59$ which is 70% off!

I use it, I think you should use it, too. Click here and get those 70% off: I WANT TO TAKE A LISTEN


The Email Script that got me 3 Real Estate Video Clients in 3 Days!: 

My Personal Folder Structure for Video Projects (Ready to Use!): 

Understand the Basics of Filmmaking PDF (Free Download): 

The Camera Gear I use and recommend:

Skin Tones are one of the most crucial things to get right when creating videos. As humans, we instantly notice when skin tones are off and often we dont even notice what exactly is wrong, before we change it.

In this short class I will teach you two different techniques to correct skin tones. Both are fast, effective and pretty easy to understand.

This is not an in-depth advanced tutorial. You learn something, that can make your video much better in a couple of minutes rather than hours.

I am excited to see you in the class!

My Cooking Youtube-Channel:

Meet Your Teacher

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Dennis Schrader

Freelance Videographer and Creator


Hey guys! My name is Dennis - I am a one-man video production company based out of Hamburg, Germany. I love sharing my experiences with others so they can do the same!

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1. Master Skin Tones in Premiere Pro CC: How come? What's up, guys? My name is Dennis. I'm a freelance videographer based out of Hamburg, Germany. And in this class, you're going to learn how to get perfect skin tones in Premiere Pro for really good looking for the originals. One of the most important things to get right is the skin tones, because if you think about it more often than not the main subject off, whatever you might film, whether it's an interview or online coursework or YouTube videos or whatever it might be most of the time the main subject is a human. And the most important thing when we film the human are the skin tones we want are subject to look good. We want to look healthy, to look natural. And in order to achieve those perfect skin tones, we need to do something in post production because our cameras are not perfect in this class, you're going to learn too easy and fast ways to correct skin tones. It's not gonna be super in depth. It's gonna be short tutorial, and it will have a great effect on your videos. We're making much better. I remember the first time when I paid attention toe actual skin tones in my video and made those little changes and it changed everything. My videos looks so much better, and since then it's almost annoying how often I see wrong skin tones of people. And it's one of those subliminal things that you kind of noticed. But you never know what's really wrong. So lots of people have green faces, yellow faces, orange faces. We will learn how to correct all this. So without further do, this is a really short one, but really important one. See you inside the class. 2. Why Skin Tones are important: So let's first start by talking about why skin tones are important in the first place. If you think about it, it seems kind of obvious, right? Because usually when we shoot any kind of video, no matter what, whether it's a wedding film, a commercial YouTube content, online courses, whatever it might be in most cases with the exception of real estate videos, now that I think about it, the subject of most scenes is a human. What makes us as humans look a certain way, whether it's healthy or unhealthy or natural or unnatural. Most of that is in the skin tones. And if you look at the videos that people publish, you will have to notice that the skin tones apparently didn't get as much attention as you might think. And the same is true of my personal experience as a freelancer and video creator. It took me quiet some time to even think about skin tones in the first place. The big thing is color correction. The big thing is color grading and all that stuff. But focusing specifically on the skin toes took me a while to make it very easy for you to understand why skin tones are important. I figured. Let's just look at some examples before we get into how to create the perfect skin tones, where we compare the very same clip with good skin tones and slightly off skin tones so you can see the difference. You can see how the before and after looks pretty different, and there's really not much else to say about it just looks more natural. It looks better. It makes the subject in the video appear more healthy, human and more Rio. And that's Regis, and you want the subject in your image to look as natural and as healthy as possible. And that's why skin tones are important. So now let's go into Premiere Pro and figure out how to get perfect skin tones. How to correct your image to have perfect skin tones. 3. Before we can correct the skin tones: way are in Premiere Pro, and I have a bunch of clips loaded in here with different light scenes, different skin tones, darker skin tones, brighter skin tones, my own skin tones and, you know, like I said, a bunch of different scenes so we can look into the corrections for all kinds of different scenarios that you might encounter on your video journey. And the first thing we have to do before we go into the skin tone correction is obviously finding out. Okay, where are we at the moment? Like, what is the skin tone levels at the moment? What exactly do we need to correct and the way we do? This is pretty simple. As you can see here, I have a bunch of penalty open that you might not use otherwise, and the most important one is the elementary scopes. If you don't have that already opened in your premier window, you can goto window, and then you should find it here under elementary scopes and you click it and then you have this. And then there's a bunch of options off different kind of scopes that you might want to see and you go down here to that. To that I can and click vector scope. Why you be. And what that brings up is this beautiful vector scope. And there's one specific position on this vector scope that is extremely important to us. And if you see this line right here, this is the so called skin tone line. So this resembles the exact color, the exact skin tone that we want. And you will learn later that regardless of the actual skin color, whether somebody is dark skinned or likely skinned, that doesn't make a difference because the skin tone is always the same. Wouldn't go into that later, but for now, this is the skin tone nine. And now we need to find a way because this, by default, is obviously representing the whole image. Right? The complete image, the complete frame, the blue in the background, the yellows, the red hair. We want just the skin tones, and it's very straightforward, actually. How we do that we just go to effect controls. Make sure that our clip is selected, that we click on capacity on the mental and we make a mask. So it's not important that it's a super big area that we mask out. Something like this is already enough, and instantly you can see that lots off lots of the college left and right are gone, and we have a more or less straight forward line that shows us also exactly what's wrong for making a little bigger. You can see better the skin tone of the woman. It's slightly tilted to the yellows, So if we go to the corrections, we want to correct that and add maybe a little bit of red or, you know, change the yellows into the reds. Another thing that's important before you get started with the skin tone correction is that your general color correction and color grating is already finished. Because if you think about it, if you correct the skin tones beforehand and then make all kinds of color changes later in the correction in the grade, then the whole effort was for nothing. And you have to do it all over again because you wanted to look natural regardless of the color. Great, right? So that's something you have to do. I race like corrected this one. So in the next lesson we will go directly into skin tone correction. 4. LIVE Skin Tone Correction (HUE vs HUE Curves): way are back again with the second clip like before and we will go into the skin tone correction. So, like we already know, this woman has a skin tone, that it's in the shot slightly to yellow. But we're going to mask it out again. Just so we have something to look at when we make the changes, there we go. OK, so the next thing is, I prefer to make those changes to an adjustment layer just so I can work, not destructively. And I don't interfere with any other kind off changes that I maybe have made so select adjustment layer. And now the way we correct this, there's there's lots of ways how you can correct this. I'm going to show you two simple ways. Today they give you fast results is not the most in depth ways, not the most complicated way. And it might not even give you the, you know, the very, very, very best results. But I have found to get really good results with that with not a lot of time invested, which is also obviously a factor. So option number one is going into a metric colored again if you don't have the window open , you can go to window no metric color and then you scroll down began. Make sure your adjustment layer selected and then you go to curves. Okay, And here are the curves You have the RGB cups, which is what we were going to ignore for now and then the human saturation curves and there is one field here. There's one option that's called Hugh versus you. And what that does is you can basically pick any color and change it into any other color. Very, very strong, powerful tool. You can be really creative with that kind of thing, but we're going to use it today to make our yellow color in the skin tones a little bit more red. All right, so we have this sort of color picker to here, and we can just click it and then go to our skin tones and left click rather. And now you see those three points here which kind of resembles the range of colors that we have in this shot, and I always like to pick the middle tone. And now, while I'm dragging this point here, pay attention to the left side and see what changes. I'm going to drag it upwards towards the Reds. And now look, I can be more extreme so you can see the changes. But you can see the reflection off the changed right there on the vector scope so that the ideal thing is to be directly on the line or if you have, if you have a lightly skin person slightly towards the red. So that's what we're trying to achieve here. So now we have the first part alliance with the red. So now we still have this other like almost like fog looking like area here on the left. And you just have to play around a bit. In this case, I think it might be more down to the yellows and then we correct this. There we go. Looks really good. If we compare from this to this from this to this and now, obviously we haven't now on the vector scope looking good. Now let's check what our skin tone. Actually, it looks like in the full image. So for that we go back to effect control, select the clip. And now we deactivate the mask and we can go and compare before after before. After, you know, that's a bunch of things. Number one. You first of all, you notice how bad it actually was before often, and I'm told me, Speak out, tell you, speak out of experience here. If you do not know how corrected footage looks like. Yet you're completely shocked at the change that you actually make when you correct the skin tones, because often when we see a complete frame of, for example, the whole frame probably was a little bit to greenish a little bit too yellowish. So that's why the skin tones kind of like fit in a little bit more. Andi were hiding in the overall color caste, but in this case, if we correct the yeah, there was before enough. We corrected that skin tones look much more healthy. It looks much better. The background this also slightly affected if you pay attention. Sometimes when he worked with this method you won't see were changes in the background. You have to pay attention if there's anything that has skin tones that has the same color of skin tone that's in the background and might be affected, too. But usually most of the time. It actually effects the image, the whole image to the better and makes it all just look more like one. And that's already the first way. How to fix skin tones fast. So now, before we go into the next method, let's go to the next cliff and just for sex of practice do the whole thing over again with a different, totally different skin tone. And in this case, we just jumped directly into masking out the skin tones. This gentleman has a beautifully big forehead which sell for for us 1234 Wonderful. And that we can actually see the skin tone is actually already pretty much on point. A few things that we see here. If we go close enough, we see something that goes a little bit into the blue, even which probably is the daylight coming from outside. We have a little bit yellow, and we have a little bit magenta. And what we Oskin see is that the line compared to before. If we look here, this line is much longer, then this line and this is actually where the difference lies in the different skin colors for some of you have a black person, then obviously there's less exposure in the skin tones. It's not as bright right, and that's the actual difference rather than the actual color is the exposure in the color . So we have the very same skin tone, the very same color, so to speak, just darker. Okay, so, um, let's go in and try to see if we can fix that or make it any better at all, because this is not actually that bad. Let's go ahead and drink the adjustment layer on top like so Here we go. OK, so now began. I picked the first of all to make this a bigger and now I picked the middle point again and just see what happens if I move it around a bit. Okay, that doesn't seem to do as much. The goal is to make this line the actual skin tone line a little bit slimmer. Not so not so big. And sometimes you need to experiment a little bit. What actually makes the problem? All right, so we've made a bunch of changes. Let's just take a look that even did anything positive in this case. So actually it looks like it's not much, but I like the change because if you pay attention, you see a slight green cast on, especially on the right side of his face. Like if you look here and if you look here and now, let me activate it. 3 to 1 green, more red, green, more red. So we actually corrected quite a bit of this green cast on, and that's very subtle changes. Not as easy to notice, but it's definitely noticeable. So that's going to 1/3 example, which is this lady right here? That was one of my favorite shots. That was an interview seeing inside of a church, and I totally over exposed her face, which is, uh, totally unfortunate. Did I already corrected a little bit? Yes, indeed. Yeah, not optimal. But in any case, we're looking at the skin tones today. And before we look into anything else, first thing, we want to do it like always get an idea of how the skin tones actually are at the moment capacity pen tool. Actually, in this case, I don't want to use the forehead because there's too much shadow on the forehead. There we go and wow Okay, this is easier again. Much more obvious. This skin tones obviously way too yellow. Same thing that before it's kind of like the ambient lighting up the room that messes it up . But we're here to fix it. So we go back to curves, make sure that just very selected you versus you collect on the skin tones. And now we just go up, up, up and go to the Reds. Now we drag this a little back again. This are seldom, okay. We actually direct this a little too far. All right? Something like this looks perfect. In theory, let's see how it looks in in reality mass gone. There was quite a rough change. Wow, It's not a totally different image. Let's take a look before after before after. Are you kidding me? Look in the background. That's one of me with background. The whole brick wall suddenly looks like a brick wall again. And she doesn't look like she has to, uh, throw up in five seconds. Much, much better. Now you know this way how to fix skin tones. Let's look into the different option off how we can achieve similar results with maybe a little bit more work, but maybe also a little bit more precise. 5. LIVE Skin Tone Correction (HSL Secondary): way are back again with another shot, and in this case I'm going to show you the other way off, correcting skin tones that is a little bit more complicated, perhaps a little bit more difficult. But also it gives you a little bit more flexibility. So again, the first thing we want to do obviously, like always, we want to get and accurate reading off what our current skin tones are. An artist based on Germany, at the pleasure for working with her, talking to her, making an interview. But in this case, we're here to fix her skin tones, which on first glance, don't even upset. Don't even look that terrible. To be honest, I see a little bit off green cast almost in there, perhaps. Yeah, so here we go. Skin tones are there and we can see. Indeed, it goes a little bit, goes limp into the yellows, live into the greenish tint eso. Now let's think about how we can fix this. The first thing we have to do is this catch. We don't go to curves. We go to H s L secondary in lieu metric are OK and the next thing is, we need to select the skin tones with a different method. So that means we deactivate the mask for now and what we do. What we do is we hit this I can hear because this basically again sets the parameters for which colors are going to be affected by the changes that were going to make so hit the plus I can actually cannot use. This one doesn't really matter. And then you just hit pleasant drag over the color off the variety of the complete variety of the face and make sure to only touch skin tones. And as you can see on the right side, this tool continuously grabs new colors and makes the scheme according to all the different skin tones that are available here. So now we stop. And now how do we know what selected we don't? Not now, but for that we can change the look. Here we can go click on this color gray and now everything that's in color. Okay, Everything that's in color is selected, So if we can click this, the only skin tones in the image that we have that she has is her face. So here we go pretty good. Actually, the only thing is, obviously, in some cases, you might want to have only really only the skin tone selected and nothing in the background. So let's try play around if we can find a way to exclude all those other things here in the bag on the table, the painting in the background and the way we can possibly do that is with those h s, l sliders. Okay, the stands for hue, saturation and luminous and honestly, like I would just play around a little bit and see what happens if you drag it into different directions. This doesn't seem to do all that much right this week. Need there? I want to find a way to make a more fine selection off her skin tones. All right, so that's actually the best I could get. The thing here, the issue is obviously that the tape at the table and lots of things in the background have the exact same color as her skin. So in this case, it's gonna be fine. Not too big of a problem. And now what we're going to do is we reactivate the mask and now we make the changes. So I'm in this case. I totally forgot to say I don't do that with an adjustment there. I'm not exactly sure why, but it doesn't really work on this whole thing if you do it with an adjustment layer, because then it just doesn't recognize the underlying colors for some reason. But that's okay. So the next thing we do to correct it, the whole thing, let's make this a little bigger so we can see what we're doing is we click that we go down here into the correction into the correction tap and there's two options. We can have one color wheel or we can have three color wheels. And we prefer the three because we know or decent going to tell you right now that the main changes in color okay, it's in the mid tones. It's not in the shadows, it's not in the highlights. We want to make the changes in the mid tones, primarily because the highlights give us a chance later on to make the whole image blend in more with the general color. Great. You know, if you have a orange and teal look, then you can make the highlights maybe a little more orange. Or, you know, anyway, according to your color. Great. Okay, so there we go so we can see this image. The skin tone is slightly to yellow. We want to correct it a little bit into the Reds and the way we do this is we just grab the we grab the plus year in the middle, and we just drag a little bit. All right, so now we have dragged it a little bit to counter the yellow a little bit into the red. Unless you can see, it's not as razor sharp, precise like the other two, Um, But before we judge that I want to go and look at the before and after. So in this case, that's the before. That's the after. And the reason why I, like this, is actually because it's not so razor sharp because the problem with making a razor sharp it's also that you, so to speak. You have, like rough edges on where you have complete strong color changes, if you know what I mean. This one is way more subtle. It's way more soft in the way again before, after before, after it's still a massive change. The color tone in her skin looks way better than before, but it's not so, so harsh and especially if you shoot with cameras that don't have very robust Codex. Like, for example, my Sony A 73 which this was recorded on, does not have the most strong Codex. So I cannot throw all that much of color grading or color changes. Add it without the image breaking apart and looking weird and different. See different places, you know. So especially if you change colors completely. This will lead to extreme changes in color, which makes it more difficult to handle for the Kodak. And in this case, it's a very subtle change. You know, it's not as precise as it would have been with maybe the other version with the other way of doing this. But I almost like it more because it's more subtle. It's more. Yeah, it's just more. It's not so extreme. Let's go into another clip and see how we can fix that one. And guess what? Who is that? That's me and myself, and I am actually doing my mom's potato salad, but we are here again to change the skin tones. So to get an accurate reading off our skin tones one more time, you already know the drill capacity pen tour. Select the big forehead. And here we go and s I already know my skin tones are a little bit too much in the reds. Um, that's unfortunate. So we go back and select the skin tones plus and also wanna make sure that I have this area here because it's especially red and also my arms in case there's anything else down here. OK, there we go. So now let's select this, and that's already pretty good again. We have this issue with the table. I guess most tables, loads of wood in general has skin tones. But that's okay, actually, another good way. How you can fix something like this. It doesn't always work, but you should at least try because you don't want to change the potatoes and you don't want to change the table. You could just hit the minus, and it has the opposite function of the plus, obviously, so you click it now we can see that the table is gone. The potatoes are gone, but also and that looks funny with my tattoo right there. But also, the skin tones are obviously a little bit, you know, unsolicited. It's still a It's still a quite good selection, but it's tried to make it a little bit better. There we go. On this way, you have to make the slight changes. Uh huh. Look at this. I think this looks pretty good. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a nice selection. So now we de select this. And now again, we applied the mask. And now let's go ahead and correct this a little bit. So again, we need to bring it back a little bit into the yellows. So we go into the mid tones and we just drag it towards the greenish yellow kind off area. And again, you can see that parts of the image still stay in the Reds. And that would not be the case with the other way of correcting it. And I have to say, I like this. Actually, I like this quite a bit. Let's see how this looks. In reality, we deactivate the mask we look before after before, after, And now that I look at this, I kind of think that actually before, almost looks better because there's too much green now in my skin. If you agree, I don't know if you agree, but I think there's too much green. So I activate the mask again and I activate the vector scopes again. I'm going to make some changes more towards the yellow now less towards the green. And by the way, you can obviously also do that without the without. The vector scopes are than just get an idea of what you're doing like this. So now let's look before after before, after before after. So this result I like this to me looks good. Looks healthy. It looks pleasing. I actually like myself much better like this than before. I should have someone color. Correct me in real life that there will be awesome. But until that day, let's jump into the next image, all right, and here we can see already with our bare eyes that this is obviously not the correct color , so nonetheless, we do the duty that we have to get an accurate reading, and this case is not even that easy to get a good reading. But here we go, a little too much shadows in there. I will predict that there's too much green and much yellow, and here we go. It's not actually that as wrong as it looks in real life. So let's go ahead and correct this on the way we do that again, de select the mask and now make a selection of the skin. And this might actually be quite an interesting one, because I predict that this is quite challenging to get her skin tones because the whole images so colored casted that it actually messes up. Quite a bit of my my planning, so to speak. I think this is acceptable. Let's see how we get what we get when we do this one now reopened the mask. Then we just go directly into the magenta, as in this case, and that's it. Let's take a look already okay, Before, after before, After before, After before, after that's going. But more into the Reds. Not a strong maybe before after before, after slight change, but indeed powerful change, because if we look at it from closer, I'm gonna This is actually pretty good. She has the blood back in her face. It's more red. It's not as green anymore, and I'm happy with the results. All right. That's the last example of how to fix color tones, how to fix skin tones with the second way of doing it. 6. Your Homework!: homework time. You have learned to easy, fast and very powerful ways to correct skin tones in Premiere Pro. So now it's your turn. I want you to show me a screenshot of before and after off your subject of your scene of your frame to see what you could do with those two tools, and also let me know which of the two ways do you like better. I'm excited. It's your work. As always, I'm commenting on every single upload and every single question. So if you have any questions, let me know. I'm excited to see your work. 7. Thanks for taking the class!: All right, That is it. Thank you so much for taking the time. I hope you learned a ton. I remember. Like I said, when I learned those tools, my video work changed a lot. It got so much better basically overnight. And I looked at all my old videos and I was like, Oh, my God, What did I get money for? What did I do? And since then, those two steps are mandatory in my color correction routine, so I hope it has the same effect for you. I hope you learned valuable information that you can use to make your work your videos much better. And if that's the case, be so kind of leave a review for me. I appreciate every single one of them, and it helps me to get those classes out to more people. If you guys like the class, chances are other people might like to. And also, if you're interested in making videos in general, check out my other classes here in school show. You might find something useful in there. This is the end of this class, but as always, if you have any questions, just let me know. Goodbye.