Creative Color Grading For Filmmaking & YouTubers | Jeven Dovey | Skillshare

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Creative Color Grading For Filmmaking & YouTubers

teacher avatar Jeven Dovey, Filmmaker & YouTuber

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

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

    • 1.

      Creative Color Grading


    • 2.

      What is Color Grading?


    • 3.

      Understanding LOG Footage


    • 4.

      Video Scopes


    • 5.

      Grading Tools: Color Board


    • 6.

      Grading Tools: Color Wheels


    • 7.

      Grading Tools: Color Curves


    • 8.

      Grading Tools: Hue Sat Curves


    • 9.

      Using Adjustment Layers


    • 10.



    • 11.

      What is a LUT


    • 12.



    • 13.

      Fixing Problems


    • 14.

      Creating Custom LUTS


    • 15.



    • 16.

      Color Grade Breakdowns


    • 17.

      Basic Color Grade


    • 18.

      Creating Contrast


    • 19.

      Fix A Sky


    • 20.

      Make a Color Pop


    • 21.

      Creative Matching


    • 22.

      Making Creative Choices


    • 23.

      The Big Picture


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About This Class

Color Grading can completely change the look and feel of your videos.  You can transport the viewer into a scene and change the emotion just with a few simple tweaks to your color.  

This class will teach you everything you need to get started with Color Grading.  We will explore all the tools that are available on most editing software and I’ll break down how you can push your colors around in a scene to transform it.

  1. What is Color Grading - We’ll go over the basics of the concept of Color Grading and some things you need to look out for when approaching a color grade
  2. The Tools - There are multiple tools that affect different parts of your image.  I go through each one of these in detail so you know how each tool works and how you can use it for your grade
  3. Demonstrations - I show you step by step how I do multiple color grades using all the tools and walk you through some different techniques so that you can find your best workflow for you color grades.

If you’re a complete beginner or you have done some color grading this class will go through all the fundamentals to get you up to speed so you can start creating your own creative color grades. 

In this course I am using Final Cut Pro for all my demonstrations however most of these tools are available in other editing softwares. 

Who am I?

My name is Jeven Dovey.  I'm an Adventure Filmmaker, YouTuber and I run a Production company based in Los Angeles.  I've been Color Grading since I started editing back in 2006 and its an essential skill that I use on all my projects.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jeven Dovey

Filmmaker & YouTuber


Hello, I'm Jeven. I create travel, adventure and filmmaking content.  My goal is to teach you new skills and inspire you to get out there and shoot some awesome videos! 

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1. Creative Color Grading: Welcome to your complete guide on color grading for video. In this course, I'm going to break down what color grading is and the different principles that you need to understand when you approach a color grade. Then we'll dig into all of the tools that you're going to use. Then at the end of this course, we're going to go through a project together. I'm going to show you some different color grading scenarios, and how I would approach it, and the different things that I would do to get the creative looks that I want out of my videos. Now, if we haven't met before, my name is Jeven Dovey. I have a production company based out of Los Angeles, and I also have a YouTube channel where I teach film-making and I do a lot of adventure films. Color grading is a big aspect to everything that I do. When I'm creating my adventure films, a color grade will really help tell my story. It's one of the elements that immerses somebody into what's going on. Now, my goal with this course is to make it accessible to anyone at any level. If you're just starting with video, I'm going to break down all of these tools and point you in the right direction of what to get started with. If you are someone who is a little bit more advanced, well, I'm also going to show you all the tools that you have accessible and the different things that you need to start looking at so that you can create color grades that are very specific and exactly what you need for a shot. Now in this course, I'm using Final Cut Pro for all of my color grading. That is the software that I use. If you're new to Final Cut Pro, I have an entire course here on Skillshare that goes through everything you need to know when it comes to using Final Cut Pro. But all the tools that I'm going to be using in Final Cut Pro, you can find on other softwares as well. This course is not limited to just Final Cut Pro users. There's a ton to unpack in this course, so let's just get right into it. 2. What is Color Grading?: What is color grading? At its core, it's basically just changing your color and your exposure values in a shot from one look to another. It's as simple as that. You're tweaking your contrast, your saturation, and how the colors look. Now there's two ways that I break up color grading. First is fixing problems, and then second is creative looks. If your sky is super exposed or someone's skin tone looks too blue, those are corrections that you do to fix the image. Then a creative look is what you do beyond these fixes to give your image something a little bit different. If you wanted to create the classic orange teal you see in Hollywood cinema, this is a creative look that then you add on after you've done your initial corrections. Another way to think about creative looks is adding more contrast or even creating less contrast. There's all of these choices that we make when we're working on our videos, that we have to think about when we're actually doing the color grade. There's just so many different directions that you can go, you really need to think through what it is that you're creating and what look you want out of the footage. If you just want to have a clean look, what you're going to do is fix all the shots and then make sure they all match. That's the first step of any color grading process. Then from there, you might add on a creative look on top of that. For me personally, when I'm working on my YouTube videos, a lot of times I just want to fix shots and make them look good. I'm not so worried about the creative look. However, when I'm working on more of a film, something that has more of a story in it, I'm going to add more of a look because the look will help enhance the story that I'm telling. Also when I'm working with clients, I'm going to be fixing a lot of issues and also create a look that matches their brand and their style. When you're doing a color grade, the different components that you're going to be tweaking are your exposure, your contrast, your saturation, and your colors. Those are the four elements that you're going to use in unison to clean up your image, to fix it, and then to create your look. At first when you start looking at color grading tools and the whole workflow, it may feel a little bit daunting, but it actually is a lot easier than you think, especially when you know exactly which tool does what. 3. Understanding LOG Footage: Before we get into all of the different color grading tools that we're going to use, I want to have a discussion on how you film your footage. Because the way that you actually shoot in-camera is going to change how you're going to approach your color grading when you get into that stage of your editing process. There's two main ways that you can film in-camera. There are some other ways, but I'm going to be focusing on normal-looking footage or standard and log footage. The difference is, one of them has a specific look that comes out of camera. It has contrast, it has saturation, it has color, and the other one is flat. It has less contrast, less saturation, and less color. The reason that you would shoot in log is so that you can preserve dynamic range and you can do more color grading in editing. When you're filming in a standard profile, you might have elements like the skies in your shot overexpose or the darker parts of your image go completely black. Whereas when you're shooting in log, all of those exposure values are compressed so that when you get into color grading, you can set the different exposures to where you want them and you can actually get more information out of each shot. A lot of times you'll use a log shot to be able to bring back your skies or bring up your shadows. It just gives you a lot more creative control when you are color grading. Now, when you start pushing your exposures, your saturation, and your color around in a shot, it's going to start breaking apart the image depending on how you shot it. A lot of cameras like mirrorless, DSLR, GoPros, any small camera is going to be shooting in a Kodak that might not allow you to push the color grade to these extremes where you're changing the log and really doing a lot of color grading on it. The reason for that is the Kodak that you're using is going to be something like 8-bit, and when you're shooting in an 8-bit Kodak, you can only push it so far and at a certain point the image will start breaking apart. So you could see right here, there's this banding in the sky and that's because this image was pushed too far. So this is something to consider when you're filming with your camera. Sometimes it might make more sense to not use the log setting if you're really trying to push the image around. 4. Video Scopes: Let's go over a couple of tools that you're going to use to be able to see all of your exposures and all of your colors. These are called video scopes. When you're in Final Cut, on your main window, you can go up to View and click Video Scopes, and these will pop up on the left-hand side. You can also use the shortcut Apple 7 and that will bring up this window as well. If you're using a different piece of software, you'll just have to find where the video scopes are. I like to use two different scopes when I'm color grading. I use a vector scope, which is all of your color values on an overhead chart. You have red, you have magenta, blue, cyan, green, and yellow. It's in this chart that's easy to see where colors are for where your cursor is on the timeline. Right now, I have a color wheel pulled up. This color wheel is all color values. You can see this represented on this vector scope. On a vector scope, the center is white and no saturation. When you go out from that center, you're moving towards a color. The further you're away from the center point is how much saturation is in that color. If I'm going to bring up just a basic color correcting tool and I'm on saturation, when I pull up my saturation, you'll see that all the color values are stretching further away from that center point. When I bring my saturation down, all the color values are moving towards the center. You can see on my color wheel on the right that all the colors are becoming desaturated when everything moves towards the center and the saturation is getting super bright when all the color values are moving towards the outside rim. This is a great way to see what colors are in your image and how much saturation each of those colors have. Let me just pull up a shot so I could show you this on something other than just a color wheel. In the shot, what I'm seeing are some blues, I see some reds, and I see yellows on the light bar. When we look at our vector scope, if you look at these bright yellow lights here, they're stretching really far into the yellow. You could see that as a visual representation on the vector scope. Now, you could see that the shadows are somewhat blue. There's some saturation here for all those elements. You can also see that the mountains are red and you can see the saturation here. Now when I pull my saturation up for the entire shot, you can see all of these values are moving away from that center point and the image is getting much more saturated. If I bring this down, everything's getting desaturated to black and white, and then you're not going to see anything on your vector scope. This tool is going to be super useful when you're actually doing your color grades to play around with your saturation and actually see where your colors are on a visual representation. Now the second tool that I use is a waveform. There's different styles of waveforms, but the one that I use most often is called a luma waveform. You'll see here on the left, this is my luma waveform, and this is all of my exposure values from zero all the way to 100. I'm using the step chart to be able to show you how these are represented on this graph. On the right-hand side where it's bright white, you'll see that the bright white is at 100 percent. On the left-hand side where it's pure black, it's at zero on my waveform. Then all of the steps are in-between. This is going to be a super helpful tool to judge your exposure for a shot, especially when you're making corrections. If your sky is too bright, you'll see it represented on this graph. Let's pull up the same shot that we were looking at before, and now you could see that all your exposure values are on this waveform. Those bright lights that we see, those are all stretching past 100. Then the dark parts of the image, all of these bushes and the parts of the car that are pretty black, those are all represented down low here more towards zero. If we just pull up our exposure as a whole, you could see that everything is moving towards 100 and everything's getting super bright in the image. Now if we pull this down, you'll see that everything is going towards zero and on the image everything's getting super dark. You're going to use this tool to see a visual representation of all of your exposures so that when you're making corrections, you can do little tweaks and see exactly what you're doing to the image so that you're not having to just rely on looking at a shot to make your adjustments. It's a very easy way to be able to see everything that you're doing represented on a graph. The other tool that I use is RGB Parade, and this is showing my red, my green, and my blue channels. This is another tool that I use, but not as often. But this will help show you if you have color casts in your image or if you want to try and level it out and make everything look the same. If you're going from shot to shot and there's different colors in the shots, this tool is really going to help you make sure that those match. If I bring up my color board and I push the image into blue, you'll see that the whole image is turning blue. On this RGB Parade, the blue channel is going up towards 100 and the red and green are going down towards zero. Now if I push this over to green, you'll see that the green channel is moving up and the red and the blue are moving down. Now when all three of these colors are in line, that's when you have a proper white balance for your shot. When we're looking at the step chart, everything is white. But if I push up into, say, the red channel, you'll see that the red will spike on the RGB Parade and everything else has dropped. The same will happen if I move over to the green, the green spikes and the blue and the red drop. Same with the blue. When all of these are perfectly in line in the center, that's when you have pure white. This is a great tool to use to make sure that your white balance is the same shot for shot. Also if you're in situations where you have different color casts on each shot, this is a good way to see if your red channel has more reds in it from one shot to the next. That will give you an idea of what you need to correct to be able to make the shots match so that you can have the same look from shot to shot. In Final Cut Pro, you'll click View and I use this layout option here, which is a side by side. This allows me to have my vector scope on one side and my luma waveform on the other. Now in Final Cut, you can change what you're looking at by clicking this little icon in the upper right-hand corner. I usually use vector scope on the left, waveform on the right, and I'll have my wave form on luma. These are the three different scopes that we're going to be using when we're working on our color grades. 5. Grading Tools: Color Board: In this video, we're going to discuss the color board in Final Cut Pro. So this is the color board, and there's three different ways that you can use the color board. You can change your color, your saturation, and your exposure. This is a super simple way to make general adjustments to your overall image. Let's start with exposure. What you're going to see are these four pucks, and these pucks move up or down. The top is white and the bottom is black, and on the left-hand side here, this is your overall. If we're to take our exposure puck and move it up, you'll see that all of the exposure values will get brighter and it moves in unison. It's basically taking the entire image and moving it all brighter or all darker. We're going to use the shot of myself so we can see this on some footage. If we pull the puck up, everything gets brighter. We pull it down, everything gets darker. Now the three pucks on your right are your lows, mids, and highs. This is the dark parts of your image, the middle, and the bright parts. Then if we brighten up the dark parts of our image, you'll see on the luma waveform the darkest part of the image, it's moving up faster than the other parts, and it doesn't even move the brightest part of the image. If we do the opposite, we take the white puck and bring it down, it moves the brightest part of the image down. Then it's gradually less until you get to the darkest parts of the image. You are affecting the entirety of the image, but it gradually gets less as you move towards the darker parts of the image. Now if we grab this middle puck, it's going to change the middle values and then the brightest and the darkest parts of your image aren't going to be adjusted. It's basically taken the middle exposures of your shot and shifting them up or down. If we bring up the shot of me again when we do this white puck, we can bring up the highlights in the image or we can bring down the highlights, but it's not affecting the shadows of this shot. In the opposite, if we take the shadows and bring it up, all of the shadows are getting brighter or we can make them all darker, but it doesn't affect the bright parts of the shot. Then the midtones, it just applies to everything in the middle, but your shadows and your highlights are going to stay the same. This is an easy way to do some broad stroke changes to exposure. If your image overall is just a little bit bright, you might bring down your highlights and a little bit of your mids. Or if it's really dark, you might bring up your shadows and your midtones. You'll just play around with these to build a change your exposure. Now in your color board, the saturation works the same way. You have your overall saturation here on the left and then you have your shadows, midtones, and highlights. I can bring up all my saturation or I can desaturate the entire image. Or what I could do is just saturate my highlights or just desaturate my highlights. You can see there's still saturation in my shadows. So if I bring up my shadows but desaturate my highlights, all the darker parts are saturated, but all the highlights are desaturated. If we do that in reverse, we'll bring up our highlights and bring down our shadows, all the bright parts are supersaturated, all the shadows are desaturated. Now in the midtones, this is just the mid-range. So you can bring up your midtones, bring down your highlights and your shadows, and then only the mid parts of your image are going to be saturated. You'll play with your saturation depending on what you see in the shot. Looking at this shot one more time, if we pull up our highlights, we can oversaturate the sky and all the bright parts of our image, and then we can desaturate all the shadows. You can see there's a clear distinction between the bright parts and the dark parts of the image. If we pull up this middle puck, then all the midtones will also be saturated. Whereas if I was to pull up the master, everything would become supersaturated. You'll use this for general saturation adjustments, whether you're working in your shadows, midtones, or highlights, or if you just want to do an overall saturation adjustment. Now on your color board, the color section is what you use to change the colors in your footage. Now the master color shifter is this puck on the left. These three are your shadows, midtones, and highlights again. So if I was to push the master up into green, you'll see that on the vectorscope, all of your color values are shifting towards the green. If I push it over to blue, you'll see that all of the color values have now moved over into the blue. Now if you just want to change your highlights, you can move all your highlights into the blue and you can see how that's different. It's only affecting the highlights of your image and same with the shadows. If we were to put the shadows into blue, it's going to only be affecting the shadows and it's going to be adding more blues into that footage. You could see when we move these pucks around, it changes the colors of all of these colors on the color wheel. You're essentially shifting your colors around when you're using these pucks, and a lot of times you might use this if you want to create a specific color to your footage or if you're trying to make some correction. If there's too much green in your footage in the highlights, you might pull that green down. Or if there's too much yellow in your skin tones, you might change one of these pucks to adjust skin tones so they look proper and a little bit more orange than yellow. One thing to keep in mind when you're working with the color board is you only have access to the dark mids and bright parts of your image, and it's more of a gradual adjustment. It's not as specific as you'll see in some other tools that we can use, but it's just overall. So if you just want to make some broad adjustments, this is a great tool to use that. A lot of times I might use this just to add a little bit of contrast or just to fix a color cast that I have in my shot. Let's just show you one quick example of how you can use the color board to edit your shots. This is a shot that I have from my drone and it's shot in log. When you're filming in log, everything is going to be super desaturated and there's no contrast. I'm going to first look at my exposures and I'm going to bring up my highlights to where these clouds are closer to 100 because these clouds are pretty bright in the shot. Then I'm going to bring my shadows, which are these parts in the lower part of the shot, parts of the jeep. I'm going to grab the shadow puck and I'm going to bring that down so those are closer to black. Now overall, this shot looks decent, but I might adjust my midtones so they're a little bit darker. I might readjust my highlights up a little bit brighter. Now this shot has some good contrast in it, but it's still pretty desaturated. I'm going to move over to the saturation and use my master puck and just bring everything up. That looks pretty good, but maybe I want those blues to pop in the sky. So I'll bring my highlights puck and bring that up, and I'm going to desaturate the shadows so that parts of the ground don't get too saturated. Now, just with a few tweaks, this shot went from something that looks super flat and super boring to something that actually has a pretty good look to it. Now we could use the color board to change this even further. Let's take the highlights and put a little bit of cyan into them, and then let's take our shadows and pull that cyan out. Now the sky has more of this teal pucked to it and the rest of the image still looks the same. I'm going to take my midtones. I'm going to add a little bit of yellow red into them. Now here is the before and after of the shot. You could see from just a few minor tweaks, I've changed the color and I've changed the exposure and the saturation. This is a great way just to do some general adjustments to your footage to be able to fix some errors that you have in your shot or to just get a different look. 6. Grading Tools: Color Wheels: This section we're going to talk about color wheels. In Final Cut Pro, I'm going to pull up my color wheels. You're going to see four different wheels and then a few extra additions that you didn't see on the color board. Now how color wheels work is you're adjusting your exposure, your saturation, and your colors, either on the image as a whole or the highlights midtones and shadows. First, I'm going to just pull up my step to graph here that shows you all your values from black to white. You'll see on my wheels I have exposure on the right-hand side. I'm going to pull up on my highlights and all the highlights are going to get super bright, but it's not affecting the shadows as much. Whereas if I pull down on the shadows into where they fall closer to zero to black, you'll see the darker parts of the image will get darker, but the brighter parts will stay where they're at. Now if I use my global settings, which is basically the image as a whole, you'll see it all moves in unison so everything gets brighter or darker. You use your highlights, your midtones and your shadows to adjust those elements of the image, or you could just do global adjustments. If you wanted more contrast in your footage, you would bring up your highlights and you bring down your shadows and then you'd adjust your midtones either up or down to add more contrast. You can see immediately how much more contrast there is between this shot, which is the stepped graph, and this shot which is the adjusted graph. Let's reset, on Final Cut you have these little arrows in the corner that resets each one of these graphs. Then let's move on to saturation. Now in Final Cut, on the left-hand side of your color wheels, you have your saturation. You have your global saturation, which is basically the entirety of the shot. You have your highlights, your midtones, and your shadows. Everything is broken up in this way where it's highlights, midtones, shadows when you're using these color wheels. If you wanted to just add saturation to your entire shot, you would bring up the global saturation. If you wanted to desaturate everything, you'd bring it down. Now, if you wanted to bring up the highlights, so say the sky, you want more saturation in the blues and the sky, well, you could just bring up the highlights and then you might adjust your midtones down and your shadows down. You're going to play with your highlights, midtones and shadows to adjust the saturation in the different aspects of your image. Now, the last thing that you have access to on these color wheels is changing the color. You have your global adjustment, which when I push it towards say, blue, the entire image is going to be pushed towards blue. If I move this towards red, you'll see that all of the image is all moving towards red. So all the colors change and the white, which you can see in the background here, is also going more red orange. If I push this down towards green, bring all the way down here, the white turns green and you can see that all the colors are now changing. You could also do this for just specific parts of your image. We could change just the highlights and move them to green, but then put our shadows and put them towards red. These work the same way that the exposure and the saturation works. It affects the entirety of the image, but it's more focused on, say, the highlights or more focused on the shadows. When you're changing the colors, if you push too much in one direction, you're going to just put a color cast across all of your footage. Let's play around with this one shot that I have where I have this extreme contrast and also these washed out colors in the distance. What I could do here is I want to bring down the highlights a little bit, so I'll take my exposure and I'll bring them down a tad. You could see here on my luma waveform, all of my exposures in the highlights are moving down. Now, I'm going to bring up my midtones so that you can see more of what's going on in the rocks and in the darker section. Then I'm also going to bring down my shadows, so the darkest parts will stay black. That was before, that's after, so it's less contrasting. Now, I want this sky to pop a little bit more so I could use my saturation and my highlights and bring that up. What you're affecting are all the brighter parts of the shot. If I was to do this globally, then all the shadows would also get more saturation as well. I don't necessarily want that for this shot. When you're color grading, you're going to have to make these choices, do you want more saturation in one part of your shot or do you want it in a different part of your shot? This is where you'll start using the shadows, the midtones, and the highlights, and make these conscious choices when you're doing your grades. I don't want the whole image saturated. I'm going to bring this back down. I'm going to pull up my highlights. I'm actually going to bring down my shadows and keep those. I'm going to give a little bit into the midtones. Now, with the highlights, I want to push them a little bit more yellow, give it more of that desert feel. But you could see it starts affecting the rest of the image, so I might pull my shadows back towards blue ticklish and so these can stay a little bit cooler. Now you still have this contrast between the colors which you have this bright yellows and the bright sky, but then you have the cooler elements in the shadow. If we turn this on and off, you can see the difference how I added a color cast and I've changed my exposure. When we look at our graphs, you'll see that I have more saturation moving towards yellow, which makes sense. Turn this off, there's less saturation in all these rocks. Turn it back on, now this is pushing more towards yellow. You're going to use your vector scope to see how much saturation you're pushing. You can also judge your color where the trace is on the graph. If I wanted to make things more red, I might push that trace up towards the reds. Now, doing that with these color wheels, it adds a cast across the entire image and it doesn't look that good. There's other tools that we're going to use that will be more specific, so if you just wanted to target the rocks versus creating a cast across everything, you can do that. But with this color wheel tool, it's more of a general adjustments. If you just have a little bit too much green in your image or a little too much yellow, you can just pull it more towards the blues and you can get rid of that overall or just like in the highlights or the shadows. But if you're trying to do more specific color grading, well, that's where other tools will come into play and that's where you're going to actually target specific things. That looks pretty good. Now another tool that you have in the color wheels in Final Cut is access to temperature and tint. Now, depending on what editing software you're using, these might be different tools in another spot, but this is where you're going to find them in Final Cut. These are to help fix any issues you have with white balance. If we go back to our color wheel and we look at our color temperature, if we move to the right and we go to say like 10,000, it's going to make the entire image much warmer, so it's pushing more towards the yellows. If we push down to say 2,500, it's making everything much cooler, so it's blues, the cyan. Now with your tint, it's moving towards magenta, which is the far-right, or it's moving to a green on the far left. If you have a green or magenta tint, maybe some fluorescence in your shot or something like that, you can use this to try and get rid of some of that color cast. Or if you're using a white balance that's off, you're outside but you shot a little bit too warm, well you could cool down your image and bring back those blues. You'll use this to make some adjustments to correct an image if it is pushing too far into the blues or yellows or greens or magentas. 7. Grading Tools: Color Curves: Now let's talk about a tool that is a little bit daunting when you first look at it, but it's one of the tools that I like using all the time, and this is your color curves. Now, these are great because it gives you more precise editing than just saying I want to affect my highlights, my mid-tones, or my shadows. You can go in and actually set where your mid-tones, and your highlights, and your shadows are and you can really tweak exactly what you need, especially when you're working with your exposures. In Final Cut Pro, you can either add it here by this drop-down menu and add color curves or you could go down here to your Effects window, go to color and find color curves, and then drop it on your shot. With your color curves, you'll have four different lines. You have your luma, which is all of your exposure values, then you have your red, your green, and your blue channel, your primary. The way that you tweak this is going to change not only your exposures, but the colors. We're going to start with the luma. On the luma waveform, you have this graph and you have the straight line that goes from down here in the lower left-hand corner, which is black to the upper right-hand corner, which is white. Now, these two dots are automatically set on your curve, and what you can do is add more dots in the middle. So I've just added a bunch here in the middle and you can bring these up or down. On a visual representation, this line is all of your exposure values in the shot. If I was to take this top point and bring it down, you'll see on my luma waveform that all of my color values are getting darker all the way down to zero, which is black. If I bring up this bottom point, you'll see that everything is moving towards 100, which is white. If I take the center values and move them up, everything's going to get brighter or I can move it down and everything's going to get darker, but it's more focused on these mid-tones. This is going to stay black and this is going to stay white because these two points are still here. You can make adjustments where you're changing these and changing the contrast of your shot. Let's do a simple contrast adjustment on this graph. I want to make everything much more contrasty, so I want these brights brighter and these dark areas much darker. I had a point here and here. I'm going to bring up my brighter parts of the image and I'm going to break down the darker parts. You can see overall, now there's more contrast in this image because I've added what's called an S-curve. The S-curve is how you make this graph look to create this contrast where you have both bright and dark parts of your image and you have the stretch of contrast instead of having everything gradually move from the darker parts to the brighter parts. There's more of this stretched out contrast. Let's pull up this drone shot that we were playing with earlier and let's bring up some color curves to make some adjustments. This is a log shot, so it's very flat. You can see all my exposure values are in the center on the luma waveform. What I could do is bring this top point over and bring up those clouds and all of this in the sky closer to 100 because those are pretty white and then I'm going to bring the darker parts of my image down towards zero by bringing the bottom point over. Now this is definitely as contrast when you look at the luma waveform, but I want to add more of an S-curve to this. I can add different points and I can change different aspects. Let's say I want the brighter parts of the clouds to go pure white, but I don't want the clouds to all blow out together. You could see I'm adjusting different parts of these clouds so that you can actually have some texture in the sky here. Now let's play around with the darker parts. I'm going to add a couple of points here. I want those deep shadows to get even darker, everything else to go a little bit darker, and then maybe more of the mid-tones go a little bit brighter. You can see that instead of just using highlights, mid-tones, shadows as like three points, you can now add as many points as you want along this line and do little tweaks so that you can really dial in how you want your exposures to look when you're editing the shot. With the shot, there's no saturation. I'm going to add a color board just so I could add some saturation back into the shot and I'm going to do global adjustment. I'm going to bring up my highlights, my mid-tones, bring down my shadows. Now I use my luma waveform to change the exposure values and make more contrast to my shot, and I just used the color board to add the saturation back in. Now we have these three lines that are the red, green, and blue channel and these work the same way as your luma waveform, except for they're affecting your color versus just your exposure overall. Your luma waveform is essentially all three of these lines put together in one so that you can adjust everything at once. You're not changing the color of the image when you're doing your adjustments. Let me pull up this color wheel just so you could see a visual representation of this. On your red channel, the top left corner here is going to be pure red. The opposite of that down here, the lower right-hand corner is going to be cyan. On green, the top left corner is green and then the bottom right corner is going to be magenta. Then on the blue channel, the top left corner is going to be blue and the bottom right corner is going to be yellow. You're going to move these lines between the color that the line is and the opposite color on the color chart. Because you could see here on the graph, the opposite of blue is the yellow and the opposite of green is the magenta and the opposite of red is the cyan. Just using the color wheel, let me show you this. If I pull my highlights over towards red, everything gets super red and you could see all the white parts of my image got red. Now if I pull this down here, everything turns cyan. Again, the bottom corner is your shadows and the top is your highlights. You can make adjustments just like the luma waveform and only affect one part of your image if you're trying to add more red or you're trying to take out red in something specific. Let's go back to our shot that we had. Let's say we want to add more of a color cast to the desert. This is in the mid-tones, and what I could do is bring up a little bit on the red channel towards red in the middle. You could tell, I'm just doing a very slight tweaks. The highlights in the sky, I want those to go more blue. I don't want to affect the rest of the image. I'm going to put a couple of points here, and I'm going to just pull up parts of the sky and let the rest of it stay the same. You can start using the red, green, and blue channel if you want to make these little tweaks to the different elements of the color on specific parts of your footage. These are super powerful tool and you can get a lot out of your footage by just doing little tweaks on these lines. 8. Grading Tools: Hue Sat Curves: When it comes to your color grading tools, the hue and saturation curves are going to give you the most flexibility and the most creative control over your image. When you pull up your hue and saturation curves, you're going to see a lot of different graphs here. There's a lot that you can do with this and it might seem a little bit daunting looking at it, but you can tweak every individual color in your image and not only change the color, but you can change the luma or the brightness or darkness of it, and you could change the saturation in relation to the other colors. This is where you're going to go in and really create some creative looks out of your footage. Let's pull up our color wheel, and let me just show you how each one of these works. Your hue versus hue is where you're going to change specific colors. You can use this eyedropper tool, select a specific color, say green, and then you could change the color. Let's say I want the green to turn more teal. Well, you could use these points, widen out this graph, and it's going to adjust more of the colors around green. You can see here on the color wheel, more of these colors are now turning teal. If I shrink this down, it's going to be very specific to that one color that I've selected. You could see it here, it's teal right in the middle of all this green. If I have this shot of myself and I pull up the hue saturation curve, I could target just my jacket, grab that element, and I could change the colors of it so I can make it something completely different. Now you'll see other parts of the image like my lips and my ear, and something up here also changing. I'm going to show you a way where you can mask these off and really focus in on one element. But that's something we'll get into later once we get through all the different tools. By using this graph, you could really change the tone of specific colors. Let's go back to this drone shot that we've been playing around with and let's pull up a hue and saturation curve. If I want to change the color of the sky, I'll use my eyedropper tool, grab the sky. I usually widen these out a little bit because I don't want the adjustment to be so specific and I want to feel more natural, because a lot of times if you just target one color, it ends up looking unnatural. I'm going to pull this up and it's going to introduce more green into the teals and I'll go right about there. It's a little bit more greenish up there, a little bit more teal. It has that aqua look to it. Now I'm going to grab the Earth down here. I want that to go more red. I'm going to pull up on this graph and it's going to add a little bit more red. Now I've completely changed the look of this. When we turn this on and off, you could see that it's completely changed the look of the shot. Just the hue versus saturation curve will really let you tweak your colors and create something different. If you want everything to shift more yellow or more blue, you can go in here and target specific colors and change the color value and you can play with it moving around in different directions. The best way to get a feeling for how this works is to get a shot with a bunch of different colors and start playing with this graph and seeing how you can tweak it, and at what point do you start breaking apart the image where it just doesn't look good anymore. I'm going to reset by using this reset button in the right-hand corner, and let's talk about hue versus saturation. Just like the top one here, you can target specific colors. This tool allows you to change the saturation of those colors. I'm going to just target the sky. I'm going to open this up a little bit and I'm going to make them super saturated. Now the sky is very saturated, but everything else is exactly where it was before. You can use your hue versus saturation curve to change the saturation of specific things in your shot. Let's go back to the color wheel. Let's select just this section here, which is the blues, and let's pull that down. Well, you could see that as I widen this out on both sides, basically all the teals and blues are now completely desaturated. I move this up and it's the opposite. Those are very saturated. I can desaturate the rest of the shot. The only thing you're seeing are that blue spectrum. When you're looking at your vector scope, you could see what is saturated. Whatever is extended out from the vector scope is super saturated. When I bring this down, it moves back towards the center. Let's reset. There's good saturation everything when we looked at the vector scope. Let's select the yellows, we'll pull that up, and you can see how it's stretching out or I can bring it down and you can see how it's going in towards the center. Hue versus saturation is great if there's an imbalance of saturation of one specific color. Or if you just want to make something pop, you might select that color, boost the saturation a little bit. The next is hue versus luma. Luma is exposure values. You can make certain parts of your shot brighter or darker based on color. Let's say we just want our greens to be darker. Let's grab that. Grab the greens and then bring it down. You can see that all of the greens on this graph are turning much darker. A lot of times this would be a good for like a forest scene. If you want that deep lush feeling in a forest, you might bring down all the greens that are in the trees. But here's a fourth shot, it's nothing super special. But if I wanted to say darken these colors, I can grab the greens in the shot, bring them down on the luma just a little bit, and it does make it a little bit darker and deeper colors. Now I can also tweak the hue versus hue. Grab that. Maybe I add a little bit more blue into it, and then let's grab for a hue versus saturation. Let's grab some of this other. I'm going to just desaturate a lot of the rest of the image. But I'm going to boost the greens and then I'm going to bring them down even more. Now the shot has completely changed. You can see I did the hue versus luma, which changed this specific colors. I added some different saturations and tweak the color slightly. That's the before and that's the after. The hue versus luma works great if you want to bring down or bring up different parts of your image based on color. Now if you push it too far, it's going to really start looking weird. If I really bring down these greens, all of a sudden it's very unnatural looking and it just doesn't look right. Everything with these hue saturation, hue luma curves, you have to finesse it and really just play around and not push it too far where you start getting a bizarre looking image. The next tool we have is luma versus saturation. This you'll use to pull saturation out of the highlights or the darker parts of your image, and you could set where that is by adding a control points somewhere in the center here. For this shot here I have of myself with my red jacket on, let's say I want to bring out saturation from the darker parts of this image. I don't want to affect my face, which is brighter. I'd add a control point here and I'd bring down this left dot and it pulls the saturation out of all the darker parts of the image. You can see as you move this control point more right, it starts affecting more of the image. Let me just make a crazy graph here that you would never use. But you could see that all of the image is desaturated except for this part. It just shows you how you affect it by moving it left or right on the shot. If we did this weird graph here, you could see all of these highlighted points have tons of saturation. The best way to think about the luma versus sat is decide if you want less saturation in the shadows, bring that down, and then move this control point left or right depending on how much of the image you want it to affect. The more you push to the right, the more the highlights are going to be affected. The more you push to the left, it's only the shadows that are affected. You can add multiple control points if you want, and you can bring up different sections at different values. Now the next tool is saturation versus saturation. This works a little bit differently. This is all of your saturation from the left being everything that's not saturated to everything on the right, which is very saturated. I have this shot of cooking some vegetables and you can see there's a lot of saturation in the reds and the yellows of the shot. Well, what I could do is set a control point in the center and just bring down the most saturated elements. You could see here red and yellow. The trace is moving more towards the center when I bring down this right point. Now if I move this up, it's moving further away from that center and it's becoming supersaturated. Now if I wanted to not add any saturation to these elements but then add a little bit to everything else, I would set a control point in the center and then bring up the left side of this graph. Now the rest of the image is going to become saturated, but it's not going to affect these elements. You're basically looking at not saturated elements versus very saturated, and you use this to match it. If you have an element, say, like a super bright red jacket and it's overpowering, well, you could just target that one element by choosing these elements that are most saturated on the right-hand side and bring it down. Or if you want the rest of your footage to match that bright red jacket, well, you take the left-hand side of this graph and bring it up. Now the last tool that you have access to is basically changing the saturation based on a specific color. It defaults to orange versus saturation, which is skin tones. If I wanted to say my face the shadows to not be as saturated, I'd pull down on the left side and then I'd pull up on the right side. That basically pulls out saturation from the shadows and brings up saturation in the highlights. You could do this with any hue. I could target, say, my red jacket and bring up the shadows so they're supersaturated and bring down the highlights. You could just use this in different ways to help add even more precise editing to your footage. Usually you're going to use this for skin tone. If you need to make adjustments and things aren't looking right, you can add saturation to different elements of that color, so the highlights, mid tones, or shadows. You can really dial it in by placing exactly where you want on this graph by adding these control points. Now the hue saturation curves adds a lot of tools for you to use and really start making sense once we get into editing some footage, and I show you some breakdowns of how I approach it to be able to create my color grades for my footage. 9. Using Adjustment Layers: Let's talk about adjustment layers and how I use them for color grading. I'll basically work on each shot independently if I'm doing the initial color grade, which is to fix problems. You can see I have three shots here on my timeline and they all are a little bit different. They each have their own issues. Some of them are too bright in sections and their colors might be a little bit off, and if I did just a general adjustment to all three, it might not work properly to fix all three. I would go through and adjust each one of these independently, and then if I wanted to create a creative look, well, I would do that on this adjustment layer that I have above these three shots, because once I've done the initial edit that fixes all these shots and matches them from shot to shot, then I can do just a general color grade and apply it to all of them, so I don't have to go shot to shot and apply the same color grade to each one. Let's just do a quick color grade. I'm going to change the color of these rocks, make them a little bit more red, take out some of that. Now this effect that I've added in this adjustment layer will be applied to all three of these shots because it's above all three of them, and then each one of these shots I can go through and change my exposures and fix the problems that I have. Adjustment layers are a great tool when you're going from your initial color grade to your secondary color grade, and so when you're thinking about your color grade in your workflow, only do color grades on specific shots, if it only applies to that one shot. If you have a color grade that's going to be affecting multiple shots in a sequence, do that on an adjustment layer above so that you don't have to go through and tweak each shot independently, if you want to make tweaks to your color grade after you've already applied it to each shot. 10. Vignettes: Let's look at another color grading tool that I like to use called a vignette. This is where it darkens the edges of your frame. When you use a vignette, it helps create more focus to whatever it is that you're filming. If you have a subject in the center and you add a vignette on, it's going to make the edges darker and the center is going to stay brighter. This is a good tool to use in your back pocket if the shot just feels too bright overall, but you don't want to just darken everything. A lot of times I'll use this if I just want to darken the corners and put more emphasis right in the center. 11. What is a LUT: Another tool that you're going to use is called a LUT, and a LUT is just a pre-made look that you just add on top of your footage. Now, a lot of times you'll hear creators talking about using LUTs and it just gives you an instant way to get better looking footage. But the truth is not every LUT is going to work for every shot that you have. You still have to do some color grading when you're working with LUTs. However, they do speed up the workflow so you don't have to use all of the different tools to be able to craft a creative look. A lot of times how you'll use a LUT is that you'll get your footage looking good so you'll get to that standard look. Sometimes you'll hear it called Rec. 709, but basically it's where you have proper contrast, proper saturation, the color's adjusted, so that your white balance is proper and you're basically ready to put a creative look on. That's when you'll add a LUT that is more creative and gives it a completely different style. Now there's also what's called a transform LUT and a transform LUT takes a log image and brings it to Rec. 709. So it does all the contrast, saturation and color automatically so you have a shot ready to start doing something creative. So if you wanted to, you could do a transform LUT to bring your footage to Rec. 709 and then add a creative LUT on top of that and then in a few steps you have some good-looking footage. So let me just show you real quick how this works. In Final Cut Pro, you have an effect called Custom LUT depending on your editing software, you might have it somewhere else. So just look up for your editing software, how to apply a LUT. I'm working with a log image here from my DJI Mavic3 and I'm going to first use a conversion LUT that I've built. It's a Dlog to Mavic3 conversion. I add that on and you can see in your LUMO waveform and your vector scope, this adds contrast and saturation. If I turn this off, it goes back to the log which has very little contrast and very little saturation. So I could just put the footage out just like this if I wanted to do a quick edit. If I'm not looking to do something creative and I just want the footage looking good that's pretty much all I need to do. But if I didn't need to do some quick tweaks for exposure because I didn't expose properly in camera I bring up either my color boards and Final Cut or color wheels and I might tweak my highlights down a tad, my mid tones a little bit maybe at bringing darker, boost the saturation and the highlights and bring down my shadows. With just a few little tweaks, I made the shot look even better. So from here I can add on a creative look let's drop on another LUT and I'm going to bring up this one that I call Hollywood. It instantly changes all the colors to more orange teal. That classic Hollywood cinema look. With these LUTs you can bring them on full or you can mix it in. It's only 70 percent or maybe 50 percent. So if a LUT is too strong, you can dial it back and not have such an intense look. Then with a few minor tweaks we have a completely different look and something that has more of this creative style. A LUT is a dot cube file. It's something that you'll either find for free online or you can purchase them from different creators, but you'll find different LUT packs that match what it is that you're creating and you could easily just use these in your editing workflow. Personally, I have my own set of LUTs that I've generated from my different color grades and I'm going to show you towards the end of this course how you can make your own LUTs. So when your color grading, if you have a certain look that you like using over and over and it's something that you can always use to make your whole editing workflow that much faster. 12. Masks: Let's talk about another tool that I like using for hard-to-grade shots and that's called a mask. There's a few different ways that you can do a mask when your color grading. In Final Cut, if you search under your effects and you just type in mask, you can see these different masks that will pop up. You can draw one which basically you can set your own mask. You can use a graduated mask, which feathers the effect from one side to the other. You can do a shape, you can do a vignette, you can do an image. When you're doing color corrections like color wheels, you can actually get a shape mask right here. If you open up your color wheels, you do a shape, you can do a circle on the screen and you can modify it so that it only affects that part of the image and then you can feather the effect. If I was to make it super bright, you could see how only affects where that shape is and I could change the feathering of it by grabbing on this outside ring and making it stronger or less. Now I could also invert this and do just outside the ring and then final cut. You could also track by using the tracker that's built into Final Cut, or you could keyframe and effect and actually have it move depending on where you want this to shift throughout your frame. There's a lot of ways that you can use masks and color grades and be able to key and track it. We have this shot here of these trucks going past this landscape view with this weird little totem in the center. I want to color grade this shot, but I want to color grade the sky differently than the foreground. First I'm going to do a general correction over the entire image. I'm going to bring down my exposure, bring down my mids. I'm going to adjust my shadows a tad and just get this to where I like overall. Now, I want to adjust the sky. I'm going to actually duplicate this clip and put another version of the same clip on top. I'm going to add a graduated mask to that top one. Now, when we go into our inspector and we add grabbed graduated mask, we could see that I can make adjustments and it's only going to affect the top portion here. I have these two pucks that I can adjust based on where I want it and how much feathering. Now I can make adjustments to just the sky alone. I'm going to tweak this. I actually want to bring down my mid-tones and my highlights a little bit more than I would for the foreground. Still want to keep my contrast. I'm just messing around with my curves, and then I want to change my blues and put a little bit more yellow and a little bit more magenta in that. Then we're going to go to a hue saturation curve, bring down my hue vs luma. Change the color slightly, a little more teal. When I turn this clip on and off, you could see that I'm only affecting the sky portions of the shot. I've gotten rid of a lot of that blue, I've made it more yellow and I've changed the exposure. You could use one of these masks to change different elements within your shot. When we get into some more examples, I'll show you how to use these in a few different ways to fix some different things. But just know that you can section off part of your image and fix things so if you have one aspect that's really bright, one aspect It's really dark, you can independently work on both of those and blend them in the middle so that the shock comes together and has a better look overall. A lot of times you'll get a shot that has a difficult color grade to work on, and it's better to work independently in two sections than it is to try and do an overall grade that affects everything in your shot. 13. Fixing Problems: Three problems that you're going to encounter when you're color grading are banding, noise, and color blocking. When you push color and saturation and exposure into your footage, depending on how you shot it, the image might break apart. We've spoken at this earlier in this course, but I want to show you how you can fix some of these problems and also what to look out for. Banding is where you see these lines that will happen across the footage. Oftentimes, when you adjust the color in a sky and you push it too far, you'll start seeing these bands pop up. You'll see noise on the footage in the darker parts or also if you boost your ISO too high when you're filming. If you're in a darker scene or you've exposed to low and then you bring up the exposure in your editing software, you're going to get more of this noise. Color blocking is where you're pushing the image too far and you actually see the colors start breaking apart and you'll see these weird little blocks all over the footage. Now, sometimes you'll shoot and you'll need to use a shot and you need to actually push the color grade. There is a way that you could fix this. It's not perfect, but it does work for things like skies or parts of your image that aren't the complete focus. The idea is that we're going to mask off those sections and then we're going to give them a slight blur. When you add a slight blur to those sections, it hides those issues that pop up when you do the color grade. The shot from the Trona pinnacles of trucks driving through this landscape. It's in logs, so I have to push the codes pretty far to get a good exposure of this. When I turn on this adjustment layer, you'll see that I have a custom LUT, which is a mavick3 transform LUT I made, and then I have a hue saturation curve. When I click on this icon, it pulls up to show you what I've done. I've tweaked the desert landscape and I've tweaked the sky both independently on the Hue vs Hue graph and then I've added some saturation on the Hue verse saturation using the left puck. That allows me to give me more saturation. Now, overall, this looks decent, but I did want to do an additional color grade on this shot specifically. On the actual clip itself, I did a secondary curve that adds a lot more contrast to the shot. This shot is part of a sequence so that adjustment layer with the transform LUT and the color shift is going to apply to all of the clips in sequence. Each shot has a different exposure so I'm going to tweak each curve a little bit differently so that they match. For this scene, I wanted a really dark contrasting look. That's what I did with this curve. I created a super-strong S-curve so that the shadows fall really dark and the highlights are still staying pretty bright. Now the issue is when we zoom in to 100 percent, we could go up to the sky, look at all of that banding. It looks awful and so when you play it back, you'll see all those bands are dancing around. This is very noticeable when the viewers watch it back and it just doesn't look that good. The good thing about this shot is that it's in the sky. The way that it was exposed the sky is what's breaking apart. What we're going to do is mask off the sky and add a little bit of a blur. Let's bring this back to fit our screen. I'll first go and copy the shot. I'm going to add it above the other shot. Now they are stack. I'm going to add the draw mask effect in final cut. In the editing software that you use, you'll have to find the effect of where you can draw a mask. How this works is I go to my draw mask effect in my inspector and I can start drawing points. I'm actually going to make this 25 percent so I can go outside and I'm going to start adding some points around that section that has the banding. It's basically all of this blue sky. Basically, I've drawn a mask that's just around that section. You can see if I bring up my curves and I really mess with them, it's only affecting the area that's in that mask. What I want to do is find a blur. I like to use the Gaussian blur. I'll just add that onto this shot. I have my color, my mask, and my blur and you can see its created some weird artifacts right now, so we're going to tweak that. First, with my draw mask, I'm going to change how much I've further the shot. I'm going to zoom in. I'm going to take a look at my edges and we'll play with my falloff. For the blur, we'll look at the sky where the banding is and we'll bring this down to where we could see the bands and then bring it up just to where the band starts to disappear. Now the banding is pretty much gone. I'm going to bring up my mask and I'm going to adjust these points so that there is no weird blurring happening on parts of my shot that should be sharp. This is why it's not going to work for every shot that you use because if you blur something and it's noticeably blurred it's going to draw attention to that. If you have banding or noise in parts of your image that are flat or something like a sky or something that's like a darker section where you can blur and you won't notice it, you can use this method to be able to fix these issues. I'm going around and tweaking these edges, redrawing my mask. Let's go back out to 25 percent. When we play the shot back, you'll notice that the banding is gone. Now, this method is not perfect, but it does get rid of some big chunks of your footage that has this noticeable issue in it. If you have a sky that's blue like this and you have these bands, it's better to blur it than it is to leave it with these stripes in the sky. Also with moving shots, you can keyframe this mask. If your edges need to shift slightly from beginning to end of the shot, you can go through and keyframe and move these points to follow your shot. If you have multiple issues throughout your frame, you can use multiple masks, and create additional layers and just fix little parts of each. It takes more time. But if you have a super complicated shot that has a lot of issues, you can go through and tweak little elements and be able to fix it and make it look much better in the edit. 14. Creating Custom LUTS: Let's talk about how you can create your own LUTS. If you have a specific color grade that you use again and again, or you want to have these different looks that you can then share with others you can create a LUT. It's a dot cube file. For your editing software, you're going to have to see if you can export a dot cube file from the color grade that you have created. In the final cut, there is no way to export a dot cube file. I use a program called Color Finale Pro. This program gives you the same color grading tools that we've been talking about in this course. However, it also gives you the ability to export that as a dot cube file that then you can use as a LUT. In Final Cut when you have Color Finale Pro installed, you can just drop it on your footage, and then in your inspector, you have all of your color tools and you have this additional window that can pop up that has your color wheels, your curves. It has an additional color gradient tool called 6 vectors. Then it has your HSL curves, your hue, and saturation curves. Then also you have your exposure, your contrast, your white balance or saturation, and your sharpness. You have a lot of the same tools. It's just organized a little bit differently. With Color Finale Pro, these three dots in the upper right-hand corner and you click on this and you can export as a LUT. Anything that you do when you're doing your color grades in Color Finale Pro, you can then export, and then you can use that dot cube file and just use that as a LUT. Let's just give you a quick example. I have the shot, which is a pretty cool shot I just timed it perfectly. I was hiking and I caught the train passing by, so let's say I wanted to create a layout of a color grade for the shot. This was originally filmed in standards, so I don't need to do a conversion LUT. I'm just going to start tweaking the colors. Let's just do an S curve on the shot. Let's make contrast higher. I want to bring down my highlights a tad. I want to bring my shadows down, and let's just mute these dark elements a little bit. I don't want pure black in my shot, I want that muted, moody tone. I'm going to bring up the dark parts so they're above zero. You'll see that it starts to create more of a fade in these darker parts of the image, and that looks pretty solid for this shot. Now I want to add a little bit of red into my highlights, so I'm going to tweak this curve a tad. I'm going to take out some green from the shadows. I'm just playing with the curves at the moment. We can take this further and do some hue and saturation, so I'll take my saturation of this element, drop that a tad. The idea being that I'm creating more of this moody look to my shot. Now, I can go through and go export as a LUT. I'm going to call this moody train, and now I've exploited a dot cube file. Let's bring this onto another shot. So I have this hiking shot here. I'm going to go back into Final Cut. I'm going to find my custom LUT effect, add a new light, and we're going to add this moody train LUT. So you just bring the dot cube file in into the custom LUT and that same look has been applied. Now I might need to tweak the shot a little bit further, or I might bring down the mix of this LUT so it's not as strong. You can create your own LUTS, create your own looks and then you could share those with others or use them on your own footage and just have a library of LUTS. Now, unfortunately, there is no way to do this in Final Cut Pro, you can't export a LUT. However, if you use a piece of software like Color Finale Pro, then this is a tool that's in that software. Now, depending on what program you're working on, if you're in Resolve Premiere, something else, you might have this option to export a LUT. It's just a feature that you want to look for if this is something you want to do in your color grading. 15. Workflow: We've gone over a ton of different tools that you're going to use for color grading. But I just want to have a quick discussion about how you actually color grade and what do you actually look for and what to even do with your footage. This is where your creativity is going to come into play because color grading is not straightforward. It's not like you do X, Y, and Z every time. It more depends on what do you want out of this footage. I've shown you some different looks throughout this course, whether it is something that's more of like a standard just clean look, or you wanted something more extreme like the Hollywood look or the moody look I created in the custom "What" section. There's so many ways that you can go about it and it all comes down to your style and what the purposes of the video that you're creating. The other big thing is what kind of color grades do you like? Something that is a good practice is to start saving screenshots of different videos that you liked the color grade on. If you see a film or you're watching a YouTube video and you see a color grade that you like, save those screenshots because you can always refer back to them, and you can start seeing what choices that creator made to be able to get that color grade look. There's only a few key things you need to look at in a shot to be able to understand how you color grade to get that same type of look. The first is your exposure. Are all the elements in a shot bright, are they all dark? How much contrast is there between them? Is there a lot of contrast or is it more muted? you want to look at your exposure values overall on a shot. The second thing you want to look at is your color. What colors do you see? Then how much saturation are in each of those colors? If you have something like a red or a blue in your shot and it's super vibrant, well that tells you that there's a lot of saturation for that color. But if everything's looking very muted and it's a very washed-out feeling, there's a lot less saturation. Also if there's only certain colors popping up, well then there's going to be some shifts in the color spectrum. If you're only seeing oranges and teals, well then you can get a sense that the creator who's worked on this has pushed the colors into the orange and teal spectrum and has muted some of the other colors in that shot. One other thing that you can do is when you have screenshots of different creators' images, well you can bring them into your editing software and look at the vectorscope and the waveform. Here's a color idea that I'm looking at for a film that I'm working on. This gives me a good idea of how much contrast is in the shot, where the highlights are sitting, where the shadows are sitting, and then also where all the colors are sitting on the vectorscope. I could see that there's not a whole lot of saturation for the blues, cyans, and greens, but there's a lot of saturation for red and yellows and the oranges, and so I could see where the colors are positioned on my vectorscope, I can see where they're at on this waveform, and I can even bring up my RGB Parade and get a sense of the red channel is super bright and the green and the blue are muted. The blue is even less than the green. I can start to see where the color is shifted in the shot and I can start making decisions on how I can start pushing the colors in my own shot to match something like this. I suggest creating a folder on your desktop. Whenever you see something you like, save a screenshot and it'll just give you a reference to go back to and give you some ideas of what to play with when you're in your editing software. With anything creative, it just takes practice. So the more that you're looking at color grades and you see how other creators are using exposure contrast, saturation, color in their own videos, you'll start to notice trends and you'll start to see things that you like. The more that you play around with these color grading tools, the easier it will be to achieve these different looks, and you can start creating your own style and find a look that really reflects you and the videos that you like creating. 16. Color Grade Breakdowns: Now that we've gone through all the tools and just all the ideas around color grading, the next step is to actually go through some color grades together and just walk you through my process. Now everyone is going to color grade a little bit differently and you can use all of these tools to craft your color grade. You might use the color wheels and the curves, or you might just use the curves, or you might be someone who just needs to use the HSL curves. There's no right or wrong way. We have a few examples here of different scenarios that I've come across working on a project. Instead, I'm going to show you different techniques in each one of these videos and show you how I'm going to use basically all the tools and in different capacities to be able to fix these shots and create something creative that has a specific look for this footage. 17. Basic Color Grade: Let's just clean up a basic shock and make it look good. I have the shot of myself, it doesn't look bad, it's shot in a natural profile. I'm using S-Cinetone on a Sony a7S Mark III, which does have a little bit more of a muted look, it's not as contrasting. We're going to add contrast and then we're going to clean up the colors. First, we'll take a look at our luma waveforms in our vector scope, and we see that some of the exposures are way above 100. Now This camera can record a little bit of extra information, so I can bring that back. We have saturation towards the yellow and the red. Now one thing that you can do is check your skin tones. This line right here on the vector scope is your skin tone line. This is where your skin tone should generally hit, and it will have a good look to it. If we zoomed in to my face only, and you could see right here that a lot of the color is shifted into that skin tone line. You could see how we could get shift that line back and forth, we could take out orange, we can add in more yellow, and it shifts back and forth across that line. When the skin tones are hitting right around that line is where they look pretty good. Let's do some grading. First, I'm going to pull up my color curves because that's what I like using, and I'm going to bring down my highlights. These are overexposed, so I'm just bringing that down to around 100. Now I want my shadows to be a little bit darker, so I'm going to pull right on my luma waveform until my shadows are hitting right around zero. Now I'm going to create a dot in the middle and then one on each third, and I'm going to create more of an S-curve. I'm going to bring up my highlights and bring down my shadows, and then just add a lot more contrast into the shot, and then I'll adjust my mid tones to where I like. Now the shot has a lot more contrast. Everything to me has a yellow tint to it, and you can see there's a lot of yellow here. I'm going to take my red line and I'm just going to tap it up slightly in the mid tones. You definitely don't want to go too crazy with these, especially when you're just trying to make a good look. Now I'm going to pull up my HSL curves, my hue saturation curves. I want to pull saturation out of the shadows, so I'm going to bring down my Luma versus Sat. It's going to pull the shadows and make them less saturated. Then overall, I think it needs a little bit of saturation, so I'm going to boost Hue versus Sat. It's going to pull up the entire saturation, maybe bring down this Luma versus Sat a little bit more. I think that looks like a pretty solid shot. You can see the before and after, it's just a subtle shift, change the color slightly, and then I also added more contrast. You don't have to go crazy with your color grades, you just need to do what makes sense for the shot that you're working on. For a lot of the content that I create on my YouTube channel, I just want to make it look good. I'll add contrast, I might tweak the color slightly, and I'll play around with saturation just so it pops and it has a good look to it. 18. Creating Contrast: So now let's fix a shot that looks washed out and has a bunch of different colors in it. This is from a trip I did through Utah. There's a lot of greens, blues. You see the red on the Jeep itself. Overall, this looks pretty washed out. This is from an action camera. Depending on the camera shooting on, you might get some washed-out looking images. Let's pull up our car wheels and adjust using these on this one. As you can tell, there's lots of contrasts in saturation. The issue is, it's washed out looking. That tells me that I want to bring down my mids because my shadows are almost at zero already and my highlights are pretty much at a 100. I'm going to play with my mid tones. I'm just going to shift the whole range down and I might bring up my shadows a tad, I'm going to bring in my highlights as well. As you bring your mid-tones down, you may have to do some slight tweaks to your highlights and shadows when you're working with this tool. That shot has a lot more contrast now. The next thing is, what do we want to do with our colors? We have this bright red, this bright blue, this bright green. This shot works if we just want a standard look and we just want it to just have saturation. But if we want to create a look out of this, we want to start tweaking these. I'll bring up our HSL curves and I want to darken the greens in this. I'm going to go to Hue vs Luma. I'm going to use my eyedropper, grab the greens, so it's right around there. This is the greens, reds and the oranges. I want to make those darker and the sky is a little too saturated for me. I'm going to grab my eyedropper, grab the sky. I'm going to expand these out. I'm going to desaturate the sky, because I don't want the heavy blue sky in this shot. Now, this red has a lot of saturation going on. If I pull down the sat versus sat, it's going to pull down anything that's overly saturated and make it mixed with the rest. Now that matches everything else in the shot. Then if I use my luma versus sat, I'm going to bring down the saturation of my shadows. I want to emphasize creative choices, because you might think that you want more saturation in the sky or you want more saturation on the fuel can, it all comes down to what you like seeing and what your goal is with the video. This is why I keep stressing, find different looks that you like, find different examples and start seeing how they use contrast color, saturation, and exposure, and how the overall image looks. Because when you get into color grading, you have to make all these choices. Do you want saturation added into these elements? Or do you want to take it out of these elements? All of these are going to be decisions that you're going to have to make when you're doing your color grade. 19. Fix A Sky: Let's fix a sky. In this sample, the sky is too bright. I'd like to bring the exposure down. Then I want to take out some of the blues and I want to add a little bit more yellows to make it feel like it's more in the morning. The first thing that I'm going to do is just look at my overall image. Do I want to adjust everything or do I want to adjust just the sky? I'm going to bring up my color wheels. I'm going to bring down the highlights. I'm going to bring down my mid-tones. That's pretty much as far as I want to stretch it for this lower area down here. I'm going to duplicate this shot, put it on top, and then I want to bring up my masks. I want to use a graduated mask. I'm going to turn off the shot underneath so I can see what I'm affecting. I'm going to close this down a little bit so it's just the sky, go back to my color wheels, and I want to add a little bit more reds, yellows into the shot. I want to bring down my mid-tones even more, maybe my shadows, so I really get some good contrast out of the sky. Now, another way to do this if we weren't using color wheels would be to go back to color curves and create more of an S-curve. Then let's turn on our shot underneath. Now, you can see that the sky has been brought back. But also, if you want to have even more color pushed into the shot, I could go into my color curves and I could add some more red into the shot, maybe add a little bit more green so it turns yellow, and then I would mess with my mask a little bit more so it has more of this gradual look from the top to the bottom. Now I've created more of a sunrise look for this footage and tweaked just the sky, not messed around too much with the foreground and the elements on the bottom. 20. Make a Color Pop: Let's make a color pop in a scene. I have the shot here and it's me walking on the Racetrack Playa out in Death Valley and I have this red jacket on. I really want this red to pop against this very barren landscape. What we're going to do is make some initial adjustments to start, we're just going to add a color curve. We're going to adjust our luma. I want to bring down my highlights, take my mid tones. Let's add some contrast into the scene. Let's bring the shadows towards zero. Let's bring up the exposure of the land. Now, we have more contrast in this shot. It looks like my jacket is falling a little bit dark now. I want to make that pop and then also I want the red to really stand out. We're going to bring a hue and saturation curve. I'm going to first grab my jacket, hue versus hue, zoom in to 100%. It's looking a little bit orange. I just want to make it a little bit more red. I can bring it down, it becomes more yellow, bring it up, it becomes more magenta. I just tweak the color slightly. I like that. Now it's going to hue versus saturation. I'm going to grab the jacket, same thing that I just did and we are going to just bring up the saturation on the jacket. Then the last thing I'm going to do is add some brightness to it. I'm going to add hue verse luma, and I'm just going to bring that up. Now I have a little bit more brightness in that jacket. Now that's going to be the most saturated element of the shot and the rest of this is a little bit desaturated. I can make that even more desaturated by pulling down on the SAT versus SAT. You could see that if I pull up the jacket is the only thing that saturation. Let's bring the jacket up and everything else to here. Then I'm going back and I'm going to tweak my curves a little bit more. I want to just change a couple of elements in here and now I have a shot where the jacket pops across this landscape. You can grab that, you can change the hue, you can add some luma or saturation and really make it pop in comparison to the rest of the scene that you're filming. 21. Creative Matching: Let's talk about matching two shots and then creating a creative look. I have these two shots. It's one of me walking through the throne of pinnacles and then the second is I'm out on the landscape in the distance. Now, these two shots have completely different color and exposures and everything about them. There's a lot of things that we need to fix about these two shots. I'm first going to work on this first shot. I'm going to pull up my color wheels. My colors here are looking like there's a color cast of a yellow-red on it. I'm going to pull a little bit away from the yellows and put a little bit more blue back into the shot. I'm just doing a global adjustment here. You could also see over here, take this on and off, I'm just shifting the colors towards more blue cyan. Now also my exposure is a little bit dark, so let's bring up my color curves. I don't want to go crazy with this because it is a sunrise shot, so creatively, I want to keep this a little bit dimmer. I don't want to have it so bright, but I do want to bring up this region. I can use my eyedropper, and just pushing it along here it shows which part of the image this is. I'm going to make a point here. I'm going to make a point here, and I'm just going to bring that foreground a little bit. That's starting to look better and more what I want for the shot. I want to match my second shot to this shot. This shot is very blue. I'm actually going to copy this first shot. I'm going to drop it over the second shot and I am going to use a crop and crop it over just so I can get a sense of the colors I'm looking for. Now I can turn this on and off if I just want a reference. You could see that on the shot, when I put them side-by-side, my first shot is very muted. The highlights are down here at 75 and shadows are down here. The second shot has a lot more contrast in it. The reason is I shifted where I was looking and I'm looking more at the sunrise. Let's bring up first our color curves. I'm going to bring down my exposure, but I don't want to bring it down too much because this should stay bright. That's the sunrise. Pull my mids back up a tad. I don't want to go too crazy with this, but I do want to keep this hard contrast. I have a little bit of exposure in those mids, and that looks pretty good. Now just judging exposure, those are matching a little bit better. Now I could bring down my highlights even more, and that has a very close look. Now we need to deal with color. There's a lot more oranges and reds and yellows in this, and this is all blues, teals, and cyans. All right. Let's tweak a little bit more in the color curves. I'm going to take my red, I'm going to shift it more towards red. The highlights are pushing more towards red. Then I want my blues to push more yellow. That's a nice just general curve across the entire shot. Then I just affected the highlights here with the red curve. Then let's add some color wheels. Then I just want to push the highlights into this red-yellow, creating more of a color cast across the entire image. Pull a little bit of the blues out of the shadows. Now when we put these side-by-side, you'll see that that first shot has a lot more of this blue steel in it. Now let's add a hue saturation curve. I'm going to look at this region. This is the only region that really has blue in it, and it's kind of that magenta color. I'm going to add a little bit more blue back into the sky just because the last shot has some of that and I want to make it match as much as I can. Now this whole shot overall is looking more red. This whole shot has a lot of more saturation. I'm just going to pull down the sky I tad by pulling down on this purplish area. Then Hue vs Luma, I'm going to leave that. Then I'm going to come to my SAT for SAT, I'm going to bring down just the super saturated parts of the image. Now this matches a little bit closer. Now, I'm going to also add a vignette on the first shot because I want to darken these corners, has a little bit of a darker feel to it on the edges, so it's not so bright. Then let's blow this up to 100 percent. Let's look up at the sky and let's see if there's anything going on. There's some definite noise and color blocking happening. Let's go back out to fit. I'm going to add a second layer of the same shot. I'm going to draw a mask. I'm going to find my draw mask. I'm going to add a Gaussian blur. Now you can see that the whole image is blurred. I'm going to find my draw mask and bring this out to 25 percent. I'm going to start drawing a mask around the sky. Then I'm going to zoom back in to 150 percent and see when the blurring gets rid of that noise. Great, right around there. We'll zoom back out to fit. Play this shot back. Now the sky has a much better feeling to it. We're going to go through, we could play with our feathering and just make this look a lot more cleaner so that it doesn't have such a hard edge. Now when we play these two shots side-by-side, you can see how the scene matches much better and it has more of a creative look for the sunrise, whereas the original two shots don't match at all and there's completely different colors going on. Now, this is an art. This just comes down to what you like and what you think looks good from shot to shot. But if you're matching and you have a scene where it's going from one shot to the next and they're in progression, there's not a lot of change in your exposure and everything, you'll want them to get them as close as possible. But something like this where it's going from a bright part to like silhouette, you have more creative flexibility and you just want to make sure it feels like they match, and it doesn't have to be perfect. 22. Making Creative Choices: Let's have some fun on this next color grading. This a shot that is very dark, but I was exposing for the sky specifically, but what I want to get out of the shot is this idea of the sun coming up and the circle of Jeeps are corralled up, getting ready for the day to start. What I'm looking at this, I'm going to be creating two different edits. I want to do one for the sky and one for the Jeeps down here. I'm going to just start by duplicating, adding this on top of each other, two different layers and I'm going to use a gradient. I want to turn off the bottom just so I could see what I'm going to affect on the top and then let's do a color grade for that top. I'm going to pull up my color wheels, I'm going to bring down my highlights, not too much, they're pretty good. I exposed for the highlights. I'm going to bring down my mid-tones and not really tweak my shadows, but I want to push it more into the sunrise and so I'm going to add some red magenta feel to it, so it has more of the sunrise field. Now I want to add a color curve. I want to play with this super bright section. I definitely want everything to feel bright, but I don't want it to feel too bright, so I'm going to take off some of that really bright, so I'm just bringing down the top of my highlights and bringing it down and compressing it so that the whole sky has this nice pink, purple, orange field to it. Now when we add the bottom here, this has a nice lookup top, but we need to do something with the bottom. I'm going to pull up my color curves. I'm going to add contrast. I want the lights around the trucks to really pop, to really have some brightness to them. I want my mid-tones to go up overall, but I want to keep my shadows and have that silhouette feeling but still see into those shadows a little bit. I'm really going to bring this up. Now we have a pretty cool look going on where the Jeeps down here are getting some bright light and the sky up top has a nice color to it. Now, I want to reflect some of this color down here. To the highlights, I want to add some more red, maybe a tad magenta. We're going to bring our red and our green, and we're going to tweak those, but I don't want to make it too yellow, so I'm going to cool it off a tad with the blue channel, make it more purpley. When we bring this to 100 percent now we could see it's looking pretty solid. Let's go back to fit and then the last thing I want to do is add an adjustment layer on top of all of this and I want to add a vignette. I'm going to add this adjustment layer between them because I don't want it to affect the sky, but I do want it to affect the ground down here because I want to create this pool of light that these trucks are in. I'm going to grab this vignette. I'm going to bring it in and then the last thing I want to do is add a little bit more saturation to the sky. I'm going to go back to the sky layer. I'm going to add a simple color board and I'm just going to boost the saturation. Now I have the shot where it really shows the sun rising in the distance and you just get that feeling of the first light in the morning with all the colors. It's pretty amazing what you can do with your footage when you start pushing it and you start thinking through like, what do you want out of the shot? Like how do you want the audience to see this scene? Because I could have easily just left it silhouetted and just added some color to the sky and then it would have just felt pretty flat whereas when I created this pool of light for the trucks, you have a much different feeling for the shot because we have these lights on and everything else is so much darker. But I've created that effect in the color grade. Sometimes you're going to make choices that are just going to make a shot look good and other times you're going to want to get super creative and try to come up with a concept before you actually start color grading a shot and then you'll pick the right tools and just play around until you get the shot looking how you want it. 23. The Big Picture: Taking a step back and looking at the whole workflow, the process of color grading is pretty simple. You first fix any errors that are in the shot and then you do your creative grade on top of that. The things that you're looking for are: exposure, contrast, saturation, and color. You use those elements in unison to be able to create your looks. Now, as I've mentioned multiple times throughout this course, find different creators or films or different pieces of content that you like and start saving screenshots. It's a great way to start building up a library of the types of looks that you want to start creating in your color grades. Also just get familiar with all the tools, play around with each one and see how they work differently when you're working on the same shot. Some tools or more specific whereas some are more broad strokes. You want to think of this like a painting. You're just doing big broad strokes on some parts of your footage but then you're getting in specific with a little detail brush and cleaning up other elements. If you have any questions from anything in this course make sure you ask them in the discussion. If you want to learn more about Final Cut Pro, I do have another skill share course that's all about how to use Final Cut Pro and how you edit your footage. It goes through my step-by-step approach for basically everything that I do and how I create all my YouTube videos. If you haven't already, make sure you head over to YouTube and check out my YouTube channel; it's just my name, Jeven Dovey. If there's any topics that you want to expand further on in this course, please let me know. I appreciate you taking this course and hanging out with me as we've learned some color grading, and I hope that these skills are going to help you be able to craft better looking footage and help you create some creative looks for the videos that you're working on. I'll see you on the next course.