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Final Cut Pro X has a robust set of color tools that have vastly improved over the years. Here’s how to use them to give your video cinematic colors.
Making your palette really pop is an easy way to add production value in an instant. In this video tutorial, we’re going to look at how to create your own cinematic colors all within FCPX. Let’s jump in.
Step 1: Capture High-Quality Footage to Achieve High-Quality Color Grades
Having high-quality footage, the right codec, resolution, lighting, and awesome exposure — all of this is vital to achieving ideal cinematic colors. The footage we’re working with today is 6K Canon RAW shot in Canon Log 2. Check your current camera and see what codecs and color profiles could give you the best color grade.
Step 2: Color Corrections
Address any issue with conversions during the color correcting process.
Once your footage has been imported, it’s ready for the first step of color — color corrections. The process of color correction addresses any issue from conversions for LOG formats. These corrections could be exposure and white balance adjustments. Ultimately, it normalizes your footage’s color into a standard format.
Since we’re working with Canon Log 2 footage today, we’re going to convert our footage using the C-Log 2 conversion LUT in FCPX. These LOG conversion LUTS can be found in the Inspector panel and by selecting the extended function.
After we see the conversion LUT, we can make minor exposure and white balance adjustments as needed and according to the scopes we utilize.
Step 3: Color Grade
Harness true cinematic colors utilizing the features within FCPX.
This is when the fun truly begins. We utilize a variety of curves and color masks to really fine tune our footage. Use the Color Wheels and Color Mask features to isolate and select specific colors and areas to customize your color grade.
For our purpose, we utilized color masking to give our shadows a bit more of a teal look and then another color mask to warm up our mid-tones. This resulted in a strong color contrast that really complimented our footage.
Step 4: Revisions
Revising allows you to make any final adjustments to your footage.
After you’ve completed your grade, it’s always advantageous to take a step back and really evaluate your footage as a whole. This allows you to see if you need to make any minor and final adjustments, like bringing down your highlights or bumping up your shadows a bit. Essentially, you want to give your footage a final look to make sure it’s as pristine and cinematic as possible.
For example, you may want to open your Hue/Saturation Curves to bring down the amount of red in skin tones. This adjustment could be something you may have missed had you skipped the opportunity to make final revisions of your color graded footage.
Step 5: Copy the Grade
If you have multiple clips in the scene that the grade can apply to, you can simply copy and paste the effects. Here’s how you do it.
Select the main clip you’ve graded. Once selected, press Cmd+C. Now, select the clip on the timeline that you want to paste the effects onto. Once selected, press Command+Option+V to paste the effects. If needed, you can make some minor adjustments to perfectly match the clips.
Now that you’re a cinematic color pro, keep elevating your video editing skills with this bonus FCPX content:
Cover image of Blade Runner 2049 via Columbia Pictures/Kobal/Shutterstock.
Colour grading footage inside FCPX:
When editing your footage using Final Cut Pro X, it’s always nice to colour grade it to the highest level, in order to really get the most out of your edit and give it that cinematic finish it deserves.
With the new and improved colour correction tools, Final Cut Pro X has really impressed us over the years. Now you’re able to edit with the most intricate colour grading tools to add something extra to your footage.
Film Effect Final Cut Pro
In this article, we will look at the best methods to ensure you are colour grading your footage to its full potential.
Let’s have a look at how you can colour grade with Final Cut Pro X to the highest level.
Your initial footage
This first point is actually nothing to do with Final Cut Pro X but it is essential to ensure you are able to colour your footage to the highest possible level.
Before anything is done in post-production, you must ensure that the footage you’ve shot is as clear and of the highest quality, you could possibly reach.
This is so in post-production you can work at bringing the colour to life and changing the exposure, temperature and other components to achieve that cinematic look.
Good quality footage is the anchor to this method.
This is essentially the first layer of colour when editing your footage. Colour corrections can be anything from adjusting the white balance to adapting the exposure levels.
You can also use pre-built LUT’s in the “Inspector Panel”. Once you’ve used oneof the LUT’s you can still change and make additional tweaks to the colourcorrection until you are happy with the finished product.
*a LUT is known as a ‘Look Up Table,’ this holds a set of numbers which are looked up by Final Cut Pro X in order to change the colours of an image.
Colour grading your footage
Next up is colour grading your footage. This isfinalising the tweaks and changes you’ve made whilst colour correcting thefootage. Here is where you get that cinematic feel and look.
Film Look Final Cut Pro
In this part of the colour grading process, we utilise colour masks, colour wheels and the other intricate colour grading tools to add depth and isolate specific colours you wish to flourish in your film.
You can create real contrasting colours that pullthe footage up to the next level, making it stand out and giving it thatcinematic feel you’ve been looking for.
Finally, revise your colourgrading session
It’s really healthy to take a step back and giveyourself a few hours away from the screen to really evaluate your work and makecorrections to the edit.
Taking a step back allows you to reset and see if there are any scenes or parts to the film where you may have over-egged the colour grading and it looks a bit too superficial.
Once you have made the corrections, you canexport your movie!
Don’t forget to save these colour corrections asa template as these can prove to be very efficient when developing a base toyour colour correcting adventures.
To do this simply press Cmd+C, then select the clip on the timeline that you wish to add effects to. Once selected, click Command+Option+V and paste this to effects.
Vintage Film Look Final Cut Pro
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